Studio Nicholson is one of those labels where you could happily discard your entire wardrobe and start fresh solely with founder Nick Wakeman’s collection, and it would work. Very well. Nick’s vision for the East London-based label is one of minimalism balanced with exquisite detail; from the cuts and silhouettes, down to the impeccable fabric choices. Studio Nicholson’s collections are comprised of comfortable, paired-back statement pieces inspired by Japanese simplicity, and we want every single thing on the rack.
Jessie: How did Studio Nicholson come to life?
Nick: A complete need to express myself really. I’d been consulting for other brands and wasn’t enjoying the work. I also had another brand years ago that was mainly sold in Japan – I guess I also wanted to see how I’d developed, how I’d grown and learned from all the mistakes I’d made with my previous brand. Ultimately, I wanted to work with the best materials available and make a garment at an accessible price point whilst retaining quality of make. I think the result is a modular wardrobe that is really considered.
Jessie: Your collections are grounded by classic silhouettes and beautiful fabrications. What’s your process when approaching a new season’s line? Do you travel? Research?
Nick: I research heavily. I collect Japanese books on architecture and interiors – the lines found in the images and the materials used by the designers always provide a glimmer at the start of designing a new collection. I also take snaps on my iPhone of ordinary people in daily life – I quite often stop someone and take a pic of their worn-out pants or jacket that they have had for years. The older generation always inspire me the way they hang on to items of clothing for such a long time. My major obsession are old men in Tokyo.
Jessie: What’s the most satisfying aspect of running the creative aspect of your own business?
Nick: Seeing my fabric choices work so well in my silhouettes – its the marrying of the two that brings me the most satisfaction. I cannot express in words how it makes me feel.
Jessie: And the hardest?
Nick: Not having enough down time, I just seem to get busier and busier. I made a promise to myself at the beginning of this year to always take one extra day for myself on business trips. That’s working out really well so far!!
Jessie: Any pearls of wisdom for those wanting a career in fashion design?
Nick: Be very sure of your intentions and with what you want to say, stick to your guns when the whole world is doing something different.
Jessie: Do you and your team have any Friday night studio rituals?
Nick: No, but we have a Friday lunchtime lunch out all together. Usually at Leila’s next door for homemade soup / salads and tarts.
Jessie: You recently made the move to East London. What inspires you in the neighborhood?
Nick: East London is OLD! I love the oldness of the area.
Jessie: How do you pack when traveling for work?
Nick: I’m a militant packer, everything is pressed within an inch of its life (I wear a lot of crisp shirts).
Jessie: When you see someone wearing Studio Nicholson, what goes through your mind?
Nick: Who are they and why did they choose my design. I want to know all about them and what makes them think. Are they like me, do they have the same wants and needs from their wardrobe and their life?