When a designer says that she is curating for “a modern-day Jane Eyre with a dash of Fran Drescher,” then we know that we are 100% kindred spirits. Sydney Ziems, founder of Serendipitous combines her curious, vivacious nature with her creative know-how which ultimately translates into a line that is an absolute original. The collection is crafted sustainably and Ziems prioritizes manufacturing pieces and selling curated vintage that will stand the test of time(less style).
Things are a little different right now, we’re in an unprecedented time…where are you getting inspiration from and how are you staying motivated these days?
Sydney: The thing that always has inspired my brand is nature. I live in the city so I enjoy going to the waterfront or even going on a bike ride to the park. It allows me to reset which sparks creativity. I also enjoy just browsing Pinterest or my collection of art books.
Speaking of, what are you wearing in quarantine? What’s your daily uniform? Are you still accessorizing with your jewels?
Sydney: I love getting dressed up! Whenever I have a meeting, I make sure to look fabulous. Since it’s all about dressing from the waist up, I think it’s a perfect time to let my accessories shine! I’ve also been really drawn to bright colored voluminous dresses. It’s perfect for around the house because they are comfy and easy!
Serendipitous Projects has a different method for manufacturing—everything is ethically sourced and sustainable. What inspired you to take this approach?
Sydney: Sustainability is so important to me, I find it outrageous the human rights violations that take place in the fast fashion industry and the environmental impact that comes with mass production. I didn’t want to contribute to that. I think we all need to be more conscious shoppers. We need to put our money into things that reflect our values. We have to hold companies accountable for issues like diversity, fair wages, the environment, and more. Our money talks and it’s a major way we can be the change we want to see.
Your aesthetic is so evocative and is truly reflected in your line. It has such a distinct feeling! You also are a master mixer of vintage and modern. Are you vintage hunting / designing with a particular person in mind?
Sydney: Thank you so much! I’m glad that it translates well because the past is such a big source of inspiration for me. When I’m curating, I imagine someone that is a modern-day Jane Eyre with a dash of Fran Drescher. A sophisticated and ethereal vibe with a splash of loud. I love remixing classical elements like pearls and giving them a modern twist like asymmetrical designs or funky colors!
Shells and treasures from the sea figure heavily in your current work. Are you a water sign? Big lover of the ocean?
Sydney: Yes! I am a Pisces! I honestly feel like a displaced mermaid at times because I just love the ocean so much! Not to mention it is a big source of inspiration for me and I miss it so much! I hope we can start traveling soon. *sigh
Who are your style muses?
Sydney: Zoe Kravitz, Christian LaCroix, Florence Welch, Olsen Twins, Vivienne Westwood, Tracee Elis Ross.
Who was your last Zoom / Facetime with?
Sydney: My last zoom was with Emma Zacks founder of @shopberriez we are working on a collaboration! So stay tuned!
What are some of your daily particulars that you always put on (jewelry, accessories…etc.)?
Sydney: I always gravitate towards earrings. I love them because it draws focus to your face and I believe the bigger the better! Especially when you have to compete with hair as big as mine!
The beach seems like it’s the perfect place to wear something from Serendipitous Projects. With summer officially here, what’s next on the horizon for you and the brand?
Sydney: I am looking to broaden our brand and hopefully work with more retailers. In regards to the upcoming collection, we are definitely shifting from the beach for our fall/winter collection I am going to focus on ornate architectural elements and different stones that are more seasonal. It’s going to be a little different from what you have seen from us so I’m excited!