Wonderland talks to Zara Martin about her life as a trailblazer, DJ-ing and her Skinny Dip collaboration.
DJ Zara Martin is quite the force to be reckoned with. As this generation’s coolest DJ/presenter, Martin and her unique rock n roll, devil may care image and a mental encyclopedia of musical knowledge, she’s got everything that the modern influencer needs. From jewellery collaborations and presenting talks to DJ-ing for Chanel, Martin has done it all.
Not satisfied with only a few projects, Martin has proved her skills in all kinds of creative and philanthropic spheres, from presenting her TV show “Show Me Your Wardrobe” to collaborations with Kiehl’s and BodyAmr and work with the charity Women for Women International. As an in demand brand ambassador and collaborator on design projects, Martin is one of the ultimate deciders on what is hot.
Her most recent collab is with irreverant creative accessories brand Skinny Dip, with whom she made our dreams come true and designed the cutest kitten headphones. The ultimate party animal accessory, Martin’s design, based around her idea of the Cyber Cat and Brat Cat are the headphones too cute to resist.
You’ve DJ’d for some pretty major names, including Fendi and Chanel! How did you get into DJing?
I got my good friend Adam, an incredible DJ, who at the time was spinning at all the London clubs, to teach me. And then just blagged it from there and here we are!
What made you move from music into design?
I don’t really see it as a move, more of a progression… Headphones are something I wear everyday for work so it made sense to me to be able to wear ones that I liked and went with all my outfits!
Is there a particular track that you love to play when you’re dj-ing, that gets everyone in the room dancing?
Predictably, Pony by Ginuwine. Still does it lol.
How was it dj-ing for Groove Armada?!
Warming up for big acts like that is always fun/awkward. Because people are there to see the headliner and I’m just banging out the old school hip hop tunes. It was a great experience though and something I won’t forget.
How did you find the process of creating headphones with Skinny Dip?
It was extremely exciting to hold the finished product in my hands, and see the product on the shelves of shops that I love. The process was something that ignited a desire in me to create more. I have so many ideas, Skinnydip were great at reigning me in!
The kitty earphones have cute feline ears. What inspired you to use cat ears in the design?
Always loved cat ears so tried to find a way of incorporating that into the design without making it too naff. Hannah Diamond (who shot the images) & got really deep into cat personalities lol … the result was Brat Cat and Cyber Cat which made complete sense at the time? Hahahah
Your first jewellery line featured designs created with the ethical brand MADE. How important do you think ethical approaches are in fashion?
Ethical fashion means that sourcing and manufacturing minimises the impact on the environment and maximises the benefit to people/communities – so yeah, I see that as pretty important.
You’ve been described as a trailblazer, do you think that being creative across several industries, music, fashion etc, helps you to express yourself fully?
Yes, definitely. I don’t think I’m the kind of person who could pick a lane and stick to it.
What do you like about collaborating with brands?
That’s funny, I just gave a whole talk at The Festival Of Marketing about this very subject! Well, in short, you get to create a tangible product from a thought in your head with their expertise behind you. If it’s a successful collaboration, both parties benefit. I’ve learnt a lot along the way, things you would never even think of – so hopefully when I eventually have the balls to do it for myself I will know what I’m doing.
Have you got any exciting collabs planned for the future?
Yes, but first… My new line of headphones for Skinnydip are available at Urban Outfitters worldwide!