This article originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of SMU Look.
By: Ali Mikles
Nicole Miller has reigned in the fashion world for 26 years. Her fiery red locks complement her fierce work ethic and passion for design. She takes a hands-on approach to her brand, and you can often find her drawing up sketches surrounded by reggae CDs, coffee table books and fabric swatches in her eclectic New York office.
The Texas-born designer was a pioneer in crossing menswear into women’s couture during the ‘80s, and she continues to weave it into her current collections. She’s mastered the cool-girl look to a tee, with designs adorning the silhouettes of Beyoncé, Blake Lively and Angelina Jolie.
SMU Look: Where did you get your inspiration for your new collection?
Nicole Miller: This season’s show has been a complete evolution. I started with a vintage travel and aviation theme for pre-fall —a little bit Amelia Earhart and retro. We moved on from any literal adaptation for fall, but I still had flight in my head so I came up with an eagle motif for the season and a menswear approach to women’s clothing.
SMU Look: How has the fashion industry changed from when you were in college?
NM: It has always been a very crowded space but now it is more crowded than ever, and there is just too much stuff at every price. People used to always dress in the trend of the season. Now there are so many trends going on simultaneously and things do not go out of style as quickly as before. Anything goes and individuality is more important.
SMU Look: Do you have advice for students who want to pursue a career in fashion?
NM: There are all kinds of different jobs from PR to merchandising to marketing and design. You have to find your passion and follow it.
SMU Look: You’ve been so successful for so long. What do you attribute your success to?
NM: I think that I try to not get stuck in a rut and do only one thing. I have to always be open to change and be flexible. You can never sit back and rely on your previous success.