This past week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Philly designer (born and raised) Nicole Fisher. Nicole, in many ways, is much more than a fashion designer; she is also a creative consultant, educator/mentor and new mother. I am honored to share with you our conversation and style session. Thank you again Nicole!
This Q&A also covers the topic of sustainable fashion. Through her unique, Convertible Jumpsuits, Nicole has been able to find an alternative to buying more, more, more. As you will read and see below, the pieces become a creative expression of one's style- there isn't just one way to wear it!
For more information, please visit: www.NicFish.com
What was your introduction to design?
My introduction was when I was a child. I was fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of fashion growing up. My family was a family that was heavily into fashion. My great aunt, Mary Upshaw, was a designer. All of her things were very sparkly and sequined and dolman shaped. She also wan an entrepreneur. She produced fashion shows and pageants in Philadelphia back in the 70's and 80's. So as a child, I was always around that world- shows, designers, models...It was just natural.
Who is your style icon?
Mine have been consistent since the inception of NIC*FISH. They are all of the 70's period: Diana Ross, Bianca Jagger, Halston, and Wilona of Good Times. The glam, yet simplistic style of my references have greatly inspired the aesthetic of NIC*FISH.
Who is your favorite designer?
Designers that I really do admire for their simplistic style sensibilities: Catherine Maladrino and I love Norma Kamali. I think NIC*FISH is Norma Kamali's baby, with the versatility of the collections and the simplistic pieces that can transition seamlessly from day to night, that any woman can wear.
Who do your clothes represent? What market are you looking for?
Well, the label has evolved a great deal. When I initially started designing, my designs were geared towards the entertainment crowd. I was designing for music videos and artists in the industry, so my designs were a bit more "out there". But as life moves on, so does NIC*FISH. I am a new mom of a baby boy, and mommy hood has simplified my lifestyle a great deal. NIC*FISH has simplified in that same manner. The convertible jumpsuits are so simple, chic & timeless. Moms can wear them, women who are pregnant can wear them, women in the corporate world can wear them, women who are into fitness & dance can wear them, and women who are jet-setting travelers who wish to pack one great transitional piece for their travels can wear them. The jumpsuits are also suitable for women of all shapes and sizes.
What is the one thing you would say is very unique about your line?
I would say the versatility in the collection. And the emphasis on draped silhouettes. I love draping! One of my most favorite things to do is stand in front of my dress form and create new & interesting shapes. One of my first lesson from my childhood design mentor, Sayida Hafiz, was to study shapes because you will always know how to design, even without a pattern. So many times, I'll just stand in front of my form and try to figure out new styles organically. That's how the convertible jumpsuit collection came up. I had always seen "the convertible/infinite dress"- Everyone had done that, but I had never seen anyone tackle convertible jumpsuits in varied pants silhouettes. It's so funny because you never know who is watching- Victoria's Secret now has one.
Now, looking towards the future, can you reveal any new themes for the winter or spring season?
I typically don't work in seasons. The collections is season less. I will be doing more transitional pieces that can be worn a bunch of different ways. I love the idea of convertibility because it gives women so many personal styling options.
Does that mean outerwear? How does is compliment?
It will be separates: jackets, skirts and pants.
Where do you envision your line going?
I want NIC*FISH to be an internationally recognized designer collection. I want it to be sold globally, in both high end boutiques and department stores.
What would be your ideal situation in the future?
So far NIC*FISH hasn't had any type of financial investors. I would love to explore viable investment options to assist in the expansion that I foresee. I'd also love to have a freestanding boutique. Additionally, I'd love to continue building STARFISH BLOOM, a fashion, beauty and arts program I founded, which exposes girls to creative careers, and encourages them to use their gifts and talents to achieve whatever they wish in life. People can go to www.starfishbloom.com for more information.