Zadig and Voltaire: A Cultural Event

The essence of the fashion industry is understanding cultural phenomena. With an ear to the ground on everything from what people are listening to and watching on TV to how they communicate and how they spend their days, the fashion world takes their cues from people and anticipates how we will move into the future.

Staying within their brand aesthetic, each fashion house interprets culture differently. One thing I love about Zadig & Voltaire is that I feel super aligned with how they view the world and the direction in which they see fashion going. First off, and most apparent, is their love of Rock ‘n’ Roll and that real street grunge look. Materials like leather and hardware like chain metal always make their way into the collection season after season and with good reason. This season, one of my favourite pieces—before I previewed the new collection of course—is the camo jacket complete with badges and all.

This season, Zadig & Voltaire’s event for New York Fashion Week 2019 was, as fashion bloggers have been calling it, a SLAM DUNK. I’ve always been a fan of streetwear style, but Cecilia Bönström went a level further with the collaboration with @Nike and @NBA. Everything from team t-shirts to the most out-of-this-world sneakers, the brand’s interpretation of how to style streetwear is both a real coup in the fashion world.


Zadig & Voltaire had two events this week in NYC. I am fortunate enough to be staying at the 11 Howard yet again, and so I just moseyed on into their pop-up event at the hotel. I am always so impressed with an artist’s ability to create something so impeccable and cool right there before my eyes, and so when @jormigraterol personalized a Zadig & Voltaire purse for me on the spot, I just watched in awe. Her talent is amazing! People could customize everything from bags to shoes and the fun choices people were making made the event pretty exciting.


I was originally wearing my look with a light cami, but after the pop-up event, I was immediately inspired to switch some stuff around and decided to rock a team tee. I threw on the NBA t-shirt and felt I was truly representing the brand while also staying authentic to my style. I have a soft spot for all things basketball, because my daughter Neva is such a super fan, and I know I just upped the cool factor with her when I swapped my ultra-feminine cami with the more androgynous sports t-shirt. I paired my look with gold kitten booties, but I could easily imagine wearing this look with sneakers.


That’s another thing about Zadig & Voltaire that I love: their pieces are versatile and although they always have elements that are a touch more feminine or slightly more masculine (depending on the collection), each piece can be worn in a very unisex manner. When I got to the main event, which was so jam packed, I was able to see so many different ways people choose to style their Zadig & Voltaire pieces. The versatility is just obvious and clearly one of the elements that make people opt into the brand.


The Shoe Surgeon x Z&V launch party showed yet again how the brand has been able to successfully predict where fashion is headed. Fusing sports with fashion felt so seamless as people have been rocking athleisure and streetwear a lot more frequently lately. Pairing Nike / NBA sneakers with a more formal look, like a dress or skirt, has been a look so many have been dabbling in this past summer. When I caught a glimpse of Cecilia Bönström, her long-legged silhouette rocking a pair of leather pants with high-top sneakers, my heart flipped. She has such an effortless style, she emulates cool. Finally getting a chance to meet her personally, she was at the main event showing a preview of this season’s collection which will make its debut in Paris.

Everyone was at the main event – NBA players (like @chrisbosh, @rudygay, @pjtucker) and fashionistas en masse. It was insane to be able to watch @theshoesurgeon customize kicks on the spot: people chose their colour, their fabric, their shoes style… everything was customized from beginning to end. There were shoes on display for everyone to draw inspiration, and sneakerheads abounded as they got to create anything their hearts could possibly imagine!

The preview of the new collection is what dreams are made of. The collaboration for the upcoming season was with the brand’s newest ambassador, Kate Moss, and you could immediately see how she influenced the brand in their design. Kate Moss’ attitude is rebellious and anti-conformist, it always has and always will be. She is the embodiment of cool – I say this, because as a woman who came up in the 90s (ok fine, the late 80s), she was the one super model that broke the mould. She has always been associated with freedom and power, and that’s what Zadig & Voltaire is all about. Throw in a little punk, and that’s basically what the collection presented.  


The spirit of Zadig & Voltaire is one that blends music with fashion; they have a unique read on today’s culture and by putting out two so very diverse collections this season, you can see how sports have made their way into the essence of the brand just as much as Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Photography by Patricia Brochu