I was going through my business cards and I found Nikia Nelson's business card...my first official fashion department internship at REDBOOK magazine. She was the first experience from a fashion closet to a sample bin. That summer I learned how important a steamer was and now Nikia, the person who started my story in the fashion industry is now taking on a whole new facet of the fashion industry-Costume Design. I thought it sounded too interesting to pass up, so I asked her a couple of questions about work, fashion and a little more.
F: How did you get into the fashion industry?
NN: I went to FIT and I studied fashion, business and marketing communications. I went to fashion school because I wanted to open my own boutique, which is still a distant goal. (We will have to keep a look out for that:) I started out interning at magazines and showrooms when I was at school, so I learned a lot about the business by osmosis. I was fortunate on my internships with Interview magazine and Jane magazine to have good bosses who allowed me to do a lot more than what my job title required. (As did I, thanks Nikia)
F: Which area of the fashion industry do you prefer working, magazines or movies?
NN: I like doing both; I started out working at magazines, doing fashion market work. But to be honest, I really do love doing movies. I like creating a character by using wardrobe, props or furniture (to create their apt, work place etc). So I guess I prefer film to editorial just a little better.
F: Where do you shop?
NN: I shop everywhere; I love Bergdorf Goodman and Barney’s; But I also love H&M, Target, Zara, Forever 21, Anthropologie, French Connection, Urban Outfitters, J. Crew, Club Monaco, and Old Navy etc. I love all those cheap little shops downtown; you can always find great things there. I also love a lot of the smaller boutiques in my neighborhood (the east village/ LES) and of course thrift shops, Salvation Army too.
F: What are your favorite fashion websites?
NN: I don’t really shop on-line; most retail stores have websites now. Plus since I live in NYC, I have access to pretty much everything. But you can always find great stuff on ebay.
F: Where do you find new/ developing trends:
NN: I don’t really follow trends, but I am always observing what’s going on in the street. So I guess it’s what people are wearing in the city. That always inspires me. I also read all of the fashion magazines (American and foreign), but I feel that the magazines are always taking stuff from the street anyway, in the past trends were dictated by high fashion (like a trickle down effect, it would take a long time for trends to get to mass market), but now a days I think that it’s more of a trickle up effect.
F: Thoughts on the concept of high low dressing?
NN: I love it! I have always dressed like that, I think it shows more character and personal style than someone who just goes to one store and wears one look from head-to-toe. It’s such a shame because you see so many people on the red carpet that look so styled and you can tell that they basically borrowed the whole look from the look book.
F: What are my favorite fashion movies?
NN: There aren’t any good fashion feature movies. Lots of people have tried, but it never works. The best one was the documentary Unzipped. Devil wears Prada was all right, it got the industry right, but the industry is actually much worse than the film. But if you want films that are great fashion/costume type films then check out: Clockwork Orange, Klute, Angels & Insects, Funny Face; The Cook, the thief, his wife & her lover; Belle De Jour, Young Girls of Rochefort, Over the Edge, In the Mood for Love, The Long Goodbye, Curse of the Golden Flower, The Women, gosh I could go on forever:o)