Up and coming designer Tori Nichel, a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) in New York, has worked for such notable designers as Dana Buchman and Kenneth Cole. Her experience with leading design houses has fine-tuned her design expertise and eye for detail culminating into the launch of her own label, Tori Nichel. Her sleek and sophisticated designs, with collections like Frida: A Love Story, makes her a designer on the rise.
The Chic Spy: Tell us about your new label, Tori Nichel, and what motivated you to launch your own line?
Tori Nichel: My ultimate goal as a designer was to have my own collection one day. So my dream was sheer motivation, but timing was key.
TCS: What kind of creative process is entailed when producing a new collection?
TN: For me, I have to become my concept. I have to live it, breathe it and love it. I have to be able to take the key elements from that person, or period and put my tailored chic sensibility to it.
TCS: Have any fashion designers been a source of inspiration for you?
TN: Tom Ford in his Gucci days; he lived, breathed and was Gucci. He is a visionary with the ability to execute, which ultimately made women across the world buy into the whole concept of sex & sexiness at Gucci.
TCS: If you could design a piece for any woman in the world, who would it be?
TN: Oprah, enough said! Also, Charlize Theron and Angelina Jolie.
TCS: Have there been any particular fashion trends that have inspired you?
TN: Trend or no trend the 70’s will also inspire me! I think I should have been a designer at the peek of my career in the 70’s.
TCS: If you could design the wardrobe for a character on television, who would it be? (i.e. Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria) on Desperate Housewives, Joan Clayton (Tracee Ellis Ross) on Girlfriends, etc.
TN: Am I allowed to say Thelma Evans on Good Times! I love the 70’s! Fast-forward to now and it would be Joan on Girlfriends, I’d love to dress Tracee Ellis Ross in real life too. I like to dress women who have their own sense of style, I’m just there to complement.
TCS: Please list three of your favorite pieces from your latest collection, Frida: A Love Story and tell us a little something about them.
TN: The Diego Pinstripe Jumper, the Fire Paisley One Shoulder Jersey Dress, the Diego Pinstripe Hi-Waist Mitered Trousers and the Fleurs embroidery Hippie Dress.
TCS: What is your next goal for Tori Nichel? (i.e. Launching a men’s line, etc.)
TN: Continue to build the brand by expanding distribution on the east coast and partnering with a style savvy e-commerce retailer. Down the road launching a leather goods collection.
TCS: Where can we find your designs?
TN: Now in Manhattan- Yamak in the West Village, Saada on the Upper East Side, and Lola y Maria on the Lower East Side. For Spring, Sienna on Melrose, Aura in West Hollywood, Otte in New York, Tangerine in Chicago. Visit torinichel.com in January for more locations throughout the country.
TCS: What words of encouragement do you offer to aspiring young fashion designers?
TN: Work for someone else first. Learn the business, ask questions, watch and absorb. [Have] patience, perseverance self discipline and consistency.