The Hunter Effect

The power of the Hunter. And Dirty Dancing.

Over dinner during my first time in New York, a friend of mine gestured dramatically over our back-wall table at my favourite Thai restaurant in the attempt of verbally materialising some crazy lady who’d thrown tea in her face after she’d unknowingly umbrella-nudged her shoulder exiting the subway further uptown. She was just your average New Yorker, she explained incredulously – just your perfectly average, Burberry trench wearing, Hunter Boot walking New Yorker.

This confused me greatly – firstly, because who is deranged enough to empty their hot beverage on someone’s head… seriously. Then, because both of the aforementioned labels are well and truly English bread and butter. And an average New Yorker? At the time, I had yet to invest anything but Tumblr admiration in the Hunter brand (and the same remains true for Burberry), so needless to say, my head-to-toe highstreet that day felt reasonably inadequate.

My friend’s Prada bag looked on.

But this is not even a conversation about diamonds. Two years later, with my inaugural pair of wet weather Originals in tow, I realise that the power of the Hunter brand is in its lifestyle. Far removed from the concept of a luxury monogram ‘saving’ a lazy outfit, these unexpected pin-friends (ba-da-bing) have evolved beyond their mud-rolling music festival connotations to something of a work-life balance definitive, without having to change their shape. Certainly, Hunter has gone on to develop more ‘fashion forward’ lines, but the classic knee-high and pragmatist continues to capture generation after generation of troublemakers who then go on to appreciate their muddied up favourites as the perfect balance between chic pragmatism and a little rough and tumble around the edges. The cool factor follows the boots and their wearers. Cool, open-minded and troublemaking wearers flock to New York City.

I rest my case.

Rough and tumble indeed – slightly bedraggled, rained on and sweating profusely after 5 hours springing sinews at the dance studio before legging it into the city for a meeting between exams*, I attempted to embody at least a little of this universal cool factor with a little Dirty Dancing and Christina Aguilera (circa Dirty) in the mix. One would think that without the python polish of a killer stiletto like these, this get-up would actually be rolling in dirt and body oil, but something about the gloss surpasses that – no passersby, and I least of all, had any problem with my knees-down, even when I did my sneaky pre-meeting shoe swap in the lobby downstairs, and walked into the boardroom with their sizeable presence under one arm. My coat has some competition.

So, it seems that my journey with my Hunters has begun at the wrong end of the spectrum such that I’ll have to Benjamin Button my way back down to Glastonbury and Coachella from hashtag fashion.

Any festival recommendations?

And now, back to this SULS End of Semester event (yes I’m finishing this post from the bathroom, yes the DJ sounds awesome), and then home to pack before our flight to Paris tomorrow.


ASOS Cropped Top – Nobody Denim Beau Jean – Hunter Original Gloss Boots – Givenchy Pandora Bag from MyNetSale – Aquazzurra Amazon Shoes from MATCHES – Viktoria & Woods Calypso Coat

Shot on Nikon D600 and 85mm from digiDIRECT

*I apologise profusely for looking so purple from the cold and #cuttingdiamonds… you know what I’m saying?


Margaret Zhang 章凝 is an Australian-born-Chinese filmmaker, photographer, consultant and writer based between New York and Shanghai. Since establishing her website in 2009, Zhang has gone on to work with global brands including CHANEL, Swarovski, YEEZY, Bulgari, Gucci, MATCHES, Under Armour, and Louis Vuitton in a wide range of capacities both in front of and behind the camera, while completing her Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws at The University of Sydney. Zhang’s directing, photography, and styling has been employed by the likes of VOGUE, L’Officiel, Harper’s BAZAAR, NOWNESS, and ELLE internationally. She has been listed in Forbes Asia’s 30Under30 and TimeOut’s 40Under40, and her work has been recognized as shaping the international fashion industry by the Business of Fashion BoF500 Index for four consecutive years. CNN has identified Zhang as a leading fashion photographer in Asia and ELLE named her the region’s most influential digital voice. She went on to be the first Asian face to cover ELLE Australia. In 2016, she co-founded BACKGROUND, a global consultancy for which she specialises in Western-to-Chinese and Chinese-to-Western cultural bridging for a range of luxury, lifestyle, and brand initiatives. In 2017, she exhibited a series of 39 unseen photographic works as a solo show in Sydney, and premiered her first short film – a 15-minute exploration of her visceral relationship with classical music on both performance and abstract planes – to critical acclaim. In 2018, co-curated the first annual FOREFRONT Summit focused on inter-industry problem-solving at all scales of business. From this king summit, Zhang developed FOREFRONT+ – a round table series of candid conversations covering subject matters of universal concern. In 2019, THE FACE Magazine engaged Zhang as Creative-Director-at-Large for Asia for its relaunch. Zhang is currently working on her first feature film.


For project enquiries
General enquiries