In Conversation With Our 'Girl Hero' Zara Martin
Most will pinpoint Zara Martin as the woman with the fiercely curated wardrobe who is not only seen on the pages of major fashion bibles, but is the master behind a fashion soundtrack, if you like, that has enabled her a credible title in the industry and played a significant role in sculpting her career. Her DJ wizardry has led her to mix for some of the biggest shakers in the industry such as Dior, Tom Ford, Valentino - to name a few - and her sound continues to leave a print throughout the ‘happening’ scene of London.
Zara's aesthetic, both visually and aurally, has led her to become a successful entrepreneur, becoming the first woman to forge her own audio collection when she collaborated with Skinny Dip to create the ‘Zara Martin Bling’ headphone range. Now it seems her horizons are broadening, as she recently teams up with Delores to create the ‘GIRL HERO’ t-shirt range in aid of the non-profit organisation Women for Women International.
We caught up with Zara to discuss the ‘GIRL HERO’ collection and why it was key to her to play a role in the cause.
You've made quite the name for yourself in the music industry and done an exceptional job in creating a renowned ‘Zara Martin style’ - so congratulations first of all - but did you ever have any struggles making it in the industry as a woman?
Zara: *laughs* thanks! Of course I struggled. I still am struggling *laughs*, but I suspect this would be the case if I also happened to be a man. The entertainment industry is a law unto itself, [and] it’s so hard to get to a point where you feel like you can call what you’re doing ‘a career’ and it’s even harder to sustain.
Can you try to explain to us what kicks you get from putting on a set?
Zara: When it’s a big party or event [and] people are really enjoying themselves and letting loose on the dance floor. It’s an amazing feeling, like a rush, because you are in control of that - I guess. When it’s a store launch there are no kicks *laughs*!
There's often stigmas around DJing in the music industry, did you ever have any struggles justifying what you were doing?
Zara: Yeah, but honestly, I don’t live my life like that so I don’t really feel the need for justification. If blogging is a career, then just let me have it *laughs*.
I once got shouted at by an angry old DJ at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after party because my mixing wasn’t as smooth as it could be and, in his opinion, I only got the job because I’m a model and I shouldn't have been there. [But] t was 4A.M and I had been DJing for about three hours, and I’d had a few drinks so I just agreed with him *laughs*.
Can you tell us when and where your first ever set was and what it was like?
Zara: It was at a London Fashion Weekafterparty and I was so scared I had about five people in the booth with me. I nervously sweated through the whole thing.
It seems DJing isn't your only forte as you've recently teamed up with Delores to create a range of women's tees in aid of the Women for Women International cause. Can you tell us how this opportunity came around?
Zara: I am an ambassador for the charity and have been for some time now. The work they do is so important because they have helped over half a million of the most marginalised women around the world in countries that have been affected by war, to rebuild their lives. By living in the UK or countries that aren't [directly] affected by conflict, we cannot imagine what these women have, and are going through. So I am, more than ever, passionate about helping!
I met Sophie from Deloresand she really connected with Women for Women International and what they do, so GIRL HERO was born.
Can you tell us how the GIRL HERO tees will work and how you feel they are going to raise awareness?
Zara: By people wearing them hopefully and starting a conversation. The message is all about empowerment because that’s really what Women For Womenare doing. They are empowering women who have been through some of the worst things imaginable, to reclaim their life and earn a living for themselves and their families. It is incredibly inspiring to read the stories of the women who are now flourishing through these programmes.
Not to say that feminism is or should be a narrowed concept, but what does being a ‘feminist’ mean to you?
Zara: That there is no such thing as 'the weaker sex.'
Feminism has almost become a swear word to people now what with there being so many different definitions and strands - it's quite sad to see that the bigger agenda is becoming somewhat unclear. Can you comment on this?
Zara: I don’t entirely understand why there are negative connotations. It’s pretty clear to me that most women just want equal rights (and pay) as men - it’s as simple as that. We are living through an extremely exciting time where there is a real possibility to make lasting change so let’s focus on that!
Girlfriend to girlfriend, what's your main piece of advice for nailing it as a liberated woman in this day and age?
Zara: Never accept less than your worth.
Lastly, how do we go about getting one of these GIRL HERO tees?
Zara: By visiting www.deloresdaywear.com
Words / JESSIE PINK
Photography / Sam Copeland
Styling / Karen Munnis
Make up / Nancy Sumner @Eighteen Management using Delilah Cosmetics
Hair / Lewis Pallett @Eighteen Management using Davines