- Content Creator
Statuesque, striking and often futuristically dressed, you will know when you’ve shared a room with Zakk d’Larté – his absolute uniqueness electrifies any space he enters. A designer with nearly nine years’ experience in the industry working with print and digital media, his fresh and innovative approach has seen him work with major companies such as 20th Century Fox, Trelise Cooper, Resene and Cadbury. A scan of his Instagram feed reveals a life less ordinary; lived out loud, full of colour, diversity and equally distinctive individuals. It’s easy to see why Zakk is a leader in his field, one who innovates through disruption, unrestrained by societal norms. These days, Zakk is upheld by his peers for his eccentricities and celebration of androgyny, but his road to success was difficult, to say the least.
Growing up on Auckland’s North Shore, Zakk knew he was treading a singular path from a very young age, and that he held dreams and aspirations that were quite different to his peers. For this reason, he experienced intense bullying, and felt a lot of confusion about how to forge his future. After struggling for many years to “fit in;” to find himself and a sense of belonging in the world, Zakk came to welcome his uniqueness and began to focus on accepting his gender-fluidity. This was an evolution into a path of androgyny that became very liberating - he felt empowered to show the world exactly who he was; “I love the idea of transforming elements that are stereotypically ‘masculine’ and putting a new, feminine twist on them,” he says.
Through some difficult life experiences, Zakk found his purpose in being both an advocate and catalyst for change. He prides himself as being a young person with conviction and a vision to empower youth and encourage success through diversity. Zakk’s passion is making a difference by effecting attitudinal change within both mainstream society and the LGBTQI+ community. He constantly strives to promote and encourage success through diversity, and the core of his advocacy work is for minorities in the Rainbow community, with a focus on gender identity and self-expression. This activism led Zakk to join the Auckland Pride Festival Board and the Rainbow Auckland Executive.
Aside from design, Zakk uses his platform to showcase his androgyny, and has a group of creatives who inspire and motivate his gender-fluidity. “I’m not offended by people looking at me and being genuinely confused at what they are viewing. I’m happy to be an outlet where people can have those often difficult conversations,” Zakk says. He regularly receives messages from young people who tell him his authenticity has inspired them to live as their own truest selves. Zakk’s relentless goal is to equip up-and-coming members of the Rainbow community to deal with adversity using the tools he acquired on his own journey.
Zakk names his own inspirations as gender-bending stars David Bowie, Grace Jones and Lady Gaga. He says their messages of self-acceptance, and the idea that it’s okay to be an outcast, helped him feel like he had a purpose - and made him realise that he didn’t need to conform, nor fit any preconceived societal molds. He prioritises working with brands and businesses that align with his values, and advocate for diversity, inclusion and acceptance of minority groups. Always perfectly to brief and on deadline, Zakk brings his unparalleled originality, colour and creative flair to every project he collaborates on.