A Crochet Catch Up With Nikki Chasin
"Smart, independent, funny, timeless." That's how designer Nikki Chasin first described her customer when we met with her last September. Amidst the craziness of fashion week we were able to catch the designer in a quiet moment at her studio. Now almost a year later, we found ourselves back in the fabric-laden space - only this time with a brand new capsule collection in tow.
This week Nikki officially launches her Crochet Collection which will be available exclusively at the celebrated Lower East Side boutique, The Rising States. It was inspired by the beautiful Irish seaside and designed with an intent of offering resort-wear that could be worn all year round. The collection itself also includes three core silhouettes that pay homage to a few of Nikki's distinct design characteristics. With summer soon coming to a close, we wanted to catch up with Nikki and find out more about this particular collection's inception. During our visit, the talented designer brought us up to speed on the latest happenings at her studio, along with her thoughts on how the Crochet Collection enhances the Nikki Chasin brand overall. Find out more in our conversation below, and visit The Style Line for a second part of this interview.
Please reintroduce yourself!
I'm Nikki Chasin. [Since we last met] the collection has grown and evolved, and I've gotten to know my client base more - both in person and online.
Congrats on this new collection! Walk us through the design process for this. How do you think Crochet enhances or contributes to the narrative around the Nikki Chasin brand?
The crochet pieces are a new medium to express the DNA of the line - confident, feminine, but with a bit of a rebellious air.
Talk to us about The Rising States. Why do you think this shop is the best vehicle to sell the collection and how do you think they foster support for the contemporary design community?
Meagan, the owner, and Emily, the buyer (and my friend from Parsons!), both know the community and their customer very well. It was my first account in New York City and they've offered constant support. They're known for carrying exclusive, one of a kind pieces, so it's a great partnership for me. If there's an item that I can only make a few of, I will always offer it to them.
From a design point of view what was the most interesting aspect of working with crochet? How would you personally suggest incorporating these pieces into a summer wardrobe?
I often work with woven textiles, and my aesthetic has typically been boxier and oversized. I wanted the crochet pieces to feel a bit sexy, as they're see-through, but I wanted them to feel like they offered coverage as well. The ruffles are festive and look great with denim and a big straw hat for late summer!
As a fashion designer do you ever find yourself being curious about other forms of design and what about design in general resonates with you the most?
Of course. I find interiors to be inspiring, as well as installation art and architecture. The idea of creating an environment goes hand in hand with designing the clothing that we live in.
At this point in your brand's life what do you assemble daily?
I'm always building upon different systems that I have in place - the design process, the schedule, the overall presentation of the brand. I often try to step back and make sure everything is cohesive. I'm also assembling my friends in design all the time to get an outside perspective on my work.