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This week, Ann Taylor presented its Spring 2016 collection, the first from new creative director Austyn Zung. Zung has taken the reins at Ann Taylor after heading up design at its sister brands Loft since 2010 and Lou & Grey since 2014 — the designer now controls creative for all three brands. Zung's first effort for Ann Taylor is inspired by Ernest Hemingway and the 22 years the author spent in Havana, Cuba, according to WWD.
Zung describes Hemingway as "an alluring American figure who surrounded himself with...a glamorous crowd, but also lived this rough life," and the collection very much reflects this dichotomy. Certain silhouettes like button-up shirts, low-slung pants, and shirtdresses are safari ready. Other styles, like A-line dresses and long airy dresses, are printed with colorful, tropical patterns of pineapples, leafy greens, and flowers. There are also several heavy duty trench coats that Zung changed only slightly from its classic silhouette.
The collection as a whole is extremely wearable as Zung mixes pops of colors in with the more safari-inspired beige pieces, all on loose-fitting, flowing clothes for the type of busy women who Zung knows. "All of my friends are very busy—they've got a lot going on, whether it's a career or kids or an amazing social life," Zung tells Fashion Week Daily when asked who the Ann Taylor woman is. "We have to get dressed in the morning, but we don't want it to suck all of our energy. That's why we're here—to give her easy solutions, and feel very fashionable."