Exclusive: A Chat With Soo Buchanan, Neiman Marcus’ New Star

Jessica Rubin

Watch out fashion world, there’s a new design house in town and they’re headed straight for the top. Buchanan & Zavala was born from a combination of industry veterans and powerful executives and has the backing of one of the biggest department stores in the United States; Neiman Marcus.

Every piece in the collection is made in the USA and emphasizes easy-to-wear elegant silhouettes that are perfect for the hectic lifestyle of the modern woman. founder and president of the line,Soo Buchanan, shared some insight into her brand, which is available for purchase on Neiman Marcus’ website. Keep reading for an inside look at an up-and-coming fashion star.

When you were putting together the concept for the brand, what inspired you?

My inspirations were Chanel and St. John Knits, which I’ve been a fan for many years. However, as a fashion designer (and having left the industry for several years), I always had a dream of creating a collection of my own that reflects the visible changes in today’s women – in how they dress and their multi-tasking lifestyles, all in luxury knits.

How did you land on knitwear as your focus?

I’ve done quite a bit of traveling during the past five years to Europe and Asia for business, and the comfort and ease that only comes with knits is irreplaceable. The tight jeans days when we all used to breathe in to snap or button are no more. It’s all about looking fabulously chic and still having the effortless comfort that only comes from the knits — and that’s where my heart is.

Who is the woman that wears Buchanan & Zavala? Is there a celebrity or fashion icon that you envision when you imagine the women who purchase your clothes?

Right away Michelle Obama comes to mind. She started the national craze of bare arms with her out-of-this-world toned biceps that have inspired a whole nation of women to work out. The women that wear Buchanan & Zavala are doctors, lawyers, business women that juggle their careers we well as families. While multi-tasking throughout the day into evening, looking and feeling great is what Buchanan & Zavala is about.

How did your relationship with Neiman Marcus come about? How do you think being featured on Neiman Marcus’s website will impact your brand?

The B&Z team is made of the best in the luxury knits business and industry veterans. Neiman Marcus e-commerce stepped out and gave us a chance as a new brand, and we are very grateful for the opportunity. The credibility that comes with being amongst the premier designers at Neiman Marcus is priceless, and it will have a very big impact on our brand going forward.

What do you envision for Buchanan & Zavala in the future? Do you have a goal in mind for the next couple of years or something in particular that you hope to accomplish?

The goal is to continue to create and innovate a brand that has a fresh and new approach to modern luxury knits for today’s women. The customers will be the ultimate judge if what we are doing is the right path, and I do believe we have something special here. For instance, Frances Kahn in Virginia took a chance on a newcomer designer and introduced our collection to its very established loyal customers of high-end fashion, and the customers’ reactions have been out of this world. Our fresh designs in knits and quality are turning heads of all their customers, and we are very, very pleased.