Island Girl

Fashion isn’t so serious for the Hilfiger house – it’s built for the consumer he speaks to: lighthearted and always up for a coconut.


My Instagram of the backstage buzz at Tommy Hilfiger’s SS16 show generated its own run of social media activism. Was the fun-loving, sun-loving seaside piña colada collection in fact cultural appropriation? Obviously, some commenters said of the woven red, green and yellow bucket hats. Where are the actual island girls? they said. I will admit that the particular frame I posted didn’t quite capture the full model line-up. First of all, front and centre, were show stars Gigi Hadid and Stella Maxwell. I’ll give you that. But, Tommy Hilfiger, like so many of New York’s designers, is a company I respect immensely for their non-artificial casting diversity – Imaan Hammam was by far the most jaw-dropping walker in the show, closely followed by Jas Tookes and Tami Williams. Further to that, Tommy has long been known for his extravagant shows, themed to the T (if you will). For all its Rastafarian novelty, tell me you haven’t once tucked a hibiscus behind your ear or increased your wardrobe incidence of floral maxi dresses during seaside locations. Fashion isn’t so serious for the Hilfiger house – it’s built for the consumer he speaks to: lighthearted and always up for a coconut.

That’s also a fairly accurate description of beautiful Fatima Siad, whom I met way back in April while she was working out in Sydney (we have been happy Instagram friends ever since – what a time to be alive). We managed to get a hold of a few looks straight off runway the morning after the show. What a mover! She had absolutely no problem with dancing her way up, down and across Canal Street at 7AM on a week day, switching between island goddess and one of the boys in new Tommy show looks that were so anti-city that it actually gave onlookers (and there were a lot of curious peak hour onlookers) holiday FOMO.

See the full story at Harper’s Bazaar Australia

  • wow this is awesome! <3

    Shall We Sasa

  • Absolutely adore your photography work!


  • AnneM
  • She’s divine!! You did a lovely job capturing her free spirit and beauty. I also think that the Tommy Hilfiger brand is about bringing those less attainable experiences to the us consumers. Obviously I’ll never be an island girl, but through fashion, maybe I can feel like one for a day. :P

    Ally | Aye, Sir! Ally

  • The model is totally stunning! The pink and white jacket is something I need, I swear.

  • As ever, your writing style speaks to the reader (totally referring to myself in third person here) in a way that very few standard “fashion blogs” do these days.

    Also, was that a cheeky allusion to Drake x Future up in para 2? :)

    Jasmine x

  • Nicole Avien

    You captured her beauty so well and all the looks look fantastic. Always enjoy reading and seeing your work x

    NCAVIEN //

  • Oh, my…. She’s so stunning and the island-girl-thing in the middle of New York is really working for me. Love the work.

    LP: Promotion Of Your Blog

  • Holiday mood <3 Love love love!!

  • Haha always up for a coconut! I love the palm tree detail on the back of the jacket.
    And it seems like you love IMG girls! X

  • Love the photography, the model is so great!


  • I remember loving her from ANTM, she’s still as gorgeous :)

  • Victoria

    The Harper’s Bazaar write-up is incredibly patronising: Margaret Zhang is not described as a photographer nor a stylist but a “clever little thing” and a blogger; Fatima Siad is not depicted as a model signed by IMG [the No. 1 agency in the world] who has nabbed big campaigns and runway shows but an America’s Next Top Model finalist, a reference to the frequently derided reality modelling show she took part in 7 years ago. I’m a little baffled. Margaret and Fatima are by this point internationally recognised in their fields. I wish there was a way to directly critique the article.

    • Elizabeth McMahon

      Well said x

  • Beautiful photos and stunning model :) – handmade minimalistic jewellery

  • Lovey Fleming

    This is so beautiful. I love the movement and writing of your blog. Thank you for your insight!


  • Shivan Patel (Gathum)

    love you and fatima!!.. please check me out

  • common princess

    Such a gorgeous girl! I wish I didn’t need makeup…..she is a natural beauty! and I love the photography :-)

  • Beautiful photography! Love the colours and textures combination!

  • viktoria

    amazing shots!

  • Honey

    wow that dress, that lighting! well done once again Marg.
    great work


  • jovana citic

    Wanna have tan and figure as this lady has. Lol

  • Refiloe

    Still a little bit concerned about the whole cultural appropriation thing. Cool, Hilfiger had some black models in his show, but that does not take away from the fact that he has taken ownership of something of cultural significance and made it ‘trendy’. The originators of the red, green, black and yellow knitted style, get no recognition. No understanding of the reasons behind this cultural attire is offered by the designer. As a person from South Africa, it just sucks to know that our people (black people. even Asian people actually) continuously have their identity stolen from them, with little to no credit given. The patronizing dismissal of the issue, is kinda disappointing. It’s kinda like that “I’m not racist, my best friend’s black” argument. Where do we draw the line between “fashion isn’t so serious” and policing people’s justified anger?


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.


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