Designer Profile: Nicole Miller
Nicole Miller has long been one of my favorite designers. As far as her beginnings go, she was born in Fort Worth, TX and raised by her father, a GE engineer and her Paris born mother in Massachusetts. She studied at L'Ecole de la Chambre Syndicate de la Couture Parisienne and the Rhode Island School of Design before moving to New York City to pursue a career in fashion design. She began her career with a focus on dresses, working with mentors and employers such as Clovis Ruffin and Bud Konheim (president of P.J.Walsh, a dress manufacturer) directly out of college. In 1986, Miller opened her first store on Madison Avenue. She has since married her financier husband, with whom she's had one son with. They all live together in New York City.
With an engineering degree, myself, I can't tell you how much easier it has made sewing and designing. It is just a way of thinking that focuses on the structure beneath a beautiful creation, that plans ahead for unexpected or unthought of creative additions to a project. Nicole has spoken about how growing up with a father who taught her these concepts was extremely beneficial to her creative development, and how "figuring out how to make something" is in a very simple form, engineering.
The Nicole Miller brand launched in 1982 and caught traction when she designed a line if progressive and graphical men's ties. By 1986 the brand had it's first boutique opening on Madison Ave. where it remains today. The following years held the first NYFW (New York Fashion Week) runway show, magazine and newspaper covers, and fragrance launches. Top models like Kate Moss and Gisele Bundchen started being featured in the runway shows and by the end of the millennium, Nicole Miller launched her bridal line.
Fast forward to present day
With countless successful collections under her belt, an affordable line available at JCPenny and countless celebrities, magazines and blogs following her, it's easy to see how successful she's become. In 2012 she was presented with an FGI(Fashion Group International) Lifetime Achievement Award.
Nicole Miller as a brand can be summer up into one word: bold. Nicole Miller, the designer, is very consistent, never straying from her roots and her vision. By using gutsy prints, vivid colors, and bold silhouettes, she creates an aesthetic that is both practical and fun. Conservative dressers can spice up their wardrobe with some of her basics in a fun yet minimalist print. Adventurous trend seekers love taking advantage of her fearless use of color, and more modern fashionistas liven up their wardrobes with some not so ordinary black pieces she always makes sure to include. Her brand includes everything from novelty iphone cases to leather goods to wedding gowns, and of course everything in-between. My personal favorites are still her dresses. She has a special way of having fun with her design while reigning in the creativity enough to create approachable, un-intimidating pieces at a variety of price points.
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