Within minutes of the official Nicholas K’s store opening party, the space was swarming with photographers, stylists, influencers and longtime fashion industry followers of the brand.
Guests enjoyed the hors d´oeuvres and drinks that tied to the brands partnership with the Trade Commission of Peru (i.e. Tacama Pisco Chilcanos, Cusquena Beer, Peruvian delicacies provided by Surfish) while browsing the new collection and having the chance to mingle with the designers in their new space.
The new collection includes the brand’s staple styles and silhouettes as well as bold statement outerwear, high peaked hats, hat scarfs, boots and accessories made of horse hair. It consists of garments made of vegetable dyed sheep leather, alpaca boucle, silk, velvet, printed cow fur, lycra stretch denim, cotton, viscose, and colors ranging from off-white, black, olive, grey, and rust.
We had the chance to connect with the designers of Nicholas K, Nicholas and Christopher Kunz, to discuss their collection and new space.
1. First of all, congratulations on your opening! It was such a lovely event and great turnout. The space is well curated and really allows the clothing to take center stage. How did you go about finding the space and developing the concept?
“It was a serendipitous event actually. Our studio and showroom suffered a catastrophic fire from the downstairs restaurant last year and we were immediately displaced. The landlord of our store space offered to help us out as we have had a great relationship spanning a few years. He is also an artist and appreciates design and offered to provide a
temporary office space on the 2nd floor of the building. After staying a few months the retail store opened up and all the events aligned to create the ideal environment to share our vision.”
2. The parachute-esque changing rooms were a great touch. How did the idea come to you?
“We've had this white vintage parachute from WW2 in our office for a while. It was part of our Spring 2016 shoot and as we have continued to transition into sustainability we love the idea of applying things we already have into current projects. Vintage parachutes are beautifully crafted, provide division while also transmitting beautiful soft light. It's a perfect compliment to our draped ethereal aesthetic and sensitivity to utility.”
3. While familiarizing myself with the collection, I noticed the utilitarian and versatile aspects remain a component of your garments. For instance, leather jackets with detachable sleeves and the classic button down with corset hooks along the side of the shirt for the option to interlock them to taper the garment or leave them undone for a more relaxed fit. Do you tend to begin your design process with the intent to have these versatile features or do these features come to you as you go through your design process?
“That's a great question. While developing collections, it is always in our spirit. Versatility, wearability, longevity and comfort all play a focus on our thought process. Sometimes people can't anticipate what the day will bring them, we just want to make sure they can move gracefully and fluidly thru it. We have always had the concept of Urban Nomad associated with
the brand, not only is this a visual parallel, but also one of purpose. The idea of a Nomad is someone who is constantly on the move and has very few but important things; for instance the simple concept of a sarong can be used as a head wrap, skirt, dress, bag to carry things. It is something that you may use every day and can easily alter appearance. In the modern age we feel people appreciate convenience and ease of use but also have a developed sense of style. Our goal is to fill those needs.”
4. What was your inspiration for this collection and is there a particular piece that you feel represents the collection as a whole?
“Our inspiration was titled "Holy Mountain: Peru". It was a visual journey through the sacred valley and highland region of Peru. Our Novado sweater made in soft alpaca boucle from Peru symbolizes the collection in its entirety. It is simple but complex, dramatic but understated, comfortable but still luxurious. It can transform into 3 different sweaters in 3 different lengths. It's not only light and lofty, but warming to the touch and has backpack strap features built in for when you going indoors and don’t want to carry and of course, it has our iconic thumbholes so you can stay warm without using gloves.”
5. The select pieces of jewelry that were available for purchase were strikingly beautiful. Can you elaborate on the hand jewelry that was on display?
“It's by one of our favorite jewelers, Lisa Lindhart, who is also a sculptor; which is reflected in her creations. We believe jewelry should make a statement, be simple and be bold. Amazingly crafted quality and singular pieces that are wearable art. Lisa's jewelry has always resonated with us as it is exactly that, an art form.”
6. Among the garments, jewelry, shoes, and accessories, you included matches and candles for purchase. Is there a particular reason you picked these products and brands to be included in your store?
“Yes, of course. Designers and their style/vision is a filter for the consumer. We try and select things that share values and aesthetics that align with what we create. We look for other like minded sustainable brands that not only have a positive impact but make beautifully crafted things. Next season we teamed up with Trippen shoes from Germany to collaborate on exclusive colors of their iconic Metro F shoe.”
435 Broome Street, New York City