Fashion Designer Nicole Miller on Her Passion for Building a Lifestyle Brand
Nicole Miller is recognized as a global fashion and lifestyle brand that international consumers love for the signature graphic prints, luxe fabrics, and innovative silhouettes. We met up with the American fashion designer and businesswoman to talk about her inspiration, building a lifestyle brand and creating amazing designs.
1. When and how did your career begin in fashion, Nicole?
When I graduated from high school I went to the Rhode Island School of Design and
majored in Apparel Design. I had always been a huge fashion buff because my mother
was from Paris. I also spent a year at The Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture
Parisienne studying haute couture. I think between the creative environment of RISD
and the technical training I got in Paris it was the perfect combination. After I
graduated, I moved to New York and had a variety of assistant jobs. I finally got the
head design job at a company named P.J. Walsh. That led to me opening my own
business in 1982.
2. What inspires you to create?
I am always excited about a new idea. I always feel like I work in a candy store with all
the beautiful fabrics and colors. Every day I can make something new. I get inspired by
lots of things, from travel to art to old movies. Design requires discipline because there
are always too many ideas, but you need the ones you are most excited about.
3. Why did you choose fashion?
As a child I was always obsessed with fashion largely due to my mother’s French
influence. We always had French fashion magazines at home, and I just pored over
them until they were worn out.
4. Why did you decide to branch out into perfume, furniture, and luggage?
I have been very fortunate to have become a lifestyle brand. Over the years, we have
branched out into accessories, perfume, cosmetics, watches, a rose wine, eyewear,
luggage, children’s wear, bedding, and many categories in home. We have great
partners that we work with to produce everything.
5. What are some of your upcoming plans, or projects?
Currently, we are working on celebrity dressing which always works well for us. We will
be planning some events with the rose wine for the spring. Also, I will be mentoring a
class at FIT. We will be having a retrospective fashion show in the near future. The date, as
yet is to be determined. We are also anticipating expanding globally in the next couple of
6. What is most important in creating your designs?
I like it when my designs are recognizable. It’s always important to me that my clothing
looks unique and special. I also want everyone to feel beautiful and confident when
they wear my dresses. I start with a blank canvas and try to create a piece of art.