Who We Are
Kathryn Subic Designs and Zeega brands have been created by Kathy Subic and Kim Gerdsen. Our head office is based in Flinders, a quaint seaside village on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia, pictured above.
We use manufacturers in Melbourne who have the capability to produce to our high standards and are certified ethical manufacturers. We create our new collections, limited editions and patterns in our workroom at the back of our retail boutique. This is because we utilise our boutique for research and development so any garments we offer for wholesale have already proven to be good sellers. We like to be in touch with what people need and want, not to create senseless designs that very few people can actually wear.
Kathy Subic, pictured right, is the designer. She first came to Australia as an 18 year old in 1969 from the former Yugoslavia. Her grandmother was an exceptional seamstress and inspired her passion for fashion. An avid reader Kathy was aware of the vibrant fashion industry in Melbourne Australia and in Yugoslavia her dream was to one day work with Australian Designer Norma Tullo.
Immediately upon arrival in Melbourne she went to Flinders Lane and asked everyone in the rag trade for a job of any sort. Mr Martin from Exmor Creations recognised her passion and employed her. It was not long before he realised that Kathy had a talent for design. He therefore nurtured her skills and ensured she was fully trained in pattern making, designing, garment construction and tailoring to the highest quality.
Kathy will never forget Mr Martin’s words...
“To be a designer you need to be able to draw, to be a better designer you must know how to make a pattern
but to be a true designer you also must know how to cut and tailor a garment." Mr Martin
Very quickly Kathy’s childhood dream came true. All her hard work culminated in her becoming Norma Tullo’s head pattern maker. She then worked as a freelance pattern maker and designer for the entire fashion industry including many well known Australian designers and labels for over 30 years. Some examples: Topwear Fashions, Dominex, Jag, Country Road, Sally Brown, Autumn Clothing, Hilton Stores, Burda, Blue Illusion and many many more smaller brands, designers and department stores. She also made patterns for Laura Ashley in Australia for over a decade and handled production for Zandra Rhodes and Sterling Cooper RTW for Australia.
When the fashion industry was decimated by the majority of companies moving their manufacturing offshore, Kathy made a sea change and moved from the heart of Melbourne to the Mornington Peninsula. Utilising her pattern making skills she specialised in soft furnishings making fully tailored loose covers. It was at this time that Kathy met Kim and they realised what a great team they were.
Hence Kathryn Subic Designs and Zeega were born. It now gives us great pleasure to be selling truly Australian made garments to the world and being able to do so in a way that reflects and promotes our ethics which we are also very passionate about.
Integrity and Transparency. We build trust in our relationships through honest and ethical behaviour with a truly transparent supply chain.
The hemp fabrics that Zeega uses are blended with certified organic cotton or silk and yak hair. The organic cotton is from Turkey and is non-GMO Certified by SKAL and the Chinese factory is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and OCS (Organic Content Standard) certified.
One of Zeega’s fabric suppliers has personally visited the textile manufacturers head office and factory in China and seen, first hand, the operating and working conditions of their employees.
A small town has grown around the factory to supply its 3,000 staff and the 5,000 people living on the premises. Some employees live there full time with their extended families, while those who live further away are given accommodation during the week, and travel home to see their families on weekends and holidays. The grandparents who have retired help look after their grandchildren while the parents go to work. Three is a modern kindergarten and primary school located in the factory grounds. The working conditions at the factory are good with employees working an 8 hour day. They are entitled to regular holidays and maternity leave. Management are university qualified and a job at the factory is highly sought after in the area. The Company President is extremely proud that they run a chemical free plant.
We work together with our associates to support each other to make a difference. We gravitate towards other “like minded” businesses with similar ethics to our own. We believe that all business networking should be fun and enjoyable with a positive can do attifude.
We respond to the needs of our communities and we have a duty of care to others less fortunate than us. We believe that anyone who is prepared to work has a right to earn a decent living. We support our local charities and give away clothes to locals in difficulty.
We wish to support young Australian Designers and nurture them under the Zeega brand until they are ready to fly solo. Kathy has skills that are not readily available to learn now, even in schools, as we have so little industry left that many of the “old school” skilled workers have retired. This is a huge loss of knowledge and we cannot afford to loose any more. We therefore hope in time to develop free Internet Teaching Videos recording Kathy’s skills for future generations to use to grow and learn.
It is well known that the fashion and textile industries can be highly detrimental to the environment which is why we only use natural fibres that do not require heavy chemical processing and dyeing. We love natural dyes and where necessary use low impact dyes. It is important to us that our garments are safe to wear. We also follow the three RRR’s “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” as much as we can in our own work and home environments. Our packaging and swing tags are all reused or recycled. Our ongoing commitment to environmental practices is integral to Zeega.
We are always looking at ways to improve our products, business practices and supply chain. If there is a better way, we will embrace it.