Thursday, September 01, 2011
meet nicole lebreux.
Nicole Lebreux was the very first fashion designer I've met in person ... and to be honest, she set the bar super high.
Our first inkling that we were going to fall in love with Nicole is when she was so excited to invite us to meet with her in her in-home studio. Our second was when we saw the piles and piles of vintage fabrics (swoon) lining her walls and our third was when she started talking.
Nicole comes from a creative family -- learning how to sew from both grandmothers and her mother. Obviously meant to follow her creative heart -- she ended up in New York City, working in the fashion field. While gaining some meaningful experience, she shared with us that she kept hitting a wall.
There aren't really that many truly creative fashion jobs. I was in a position where I had to be creative within restrictions that I was given. I finally had to just quit trying to make it work in NYC. I wasn't trusting how much I actually know. I don't have a desire to fit in the fashion industry, the way it exists. So much behind the scenes is actually more product engineering -- and my passion is fashion design. I want to have the creative freedom to make clothes that make you feel good wearing them.
Nicole loves the everyday girl + the environment -- and it shows in her work. She mainly uses (amazing) vintage fabrics in her designs -- piecing together patterns effortlessly. Each of her collections give her the chance to explore an entirely new direction. In all of her pieces - she creates simple silhouettes, working hard to not waste fabric and keeping the pieces beautiful and accessible for every girl.
I design for the everyday girl because that is who we are all. I like to say my clothes are "fit friendly." And overall, the fashion industry is not good on the environment and on labor issues - but it's hard to see because it is covered up with very pretty clothes. It's the disillusion of fashion. I want to see the potential of what a fashion company can be -- good on the environment, labor issues, self esteem, etc.
One of the most inspiring parts of our conversation was when Nicole told us about her travels to Asia. She had decided to make some changes in her life - and thought that the travels would help enlighten her and even lead to working for an international non-profit.
When I went to Asia -- I was enlightened, but not in the way that I thought. I was considering doing something completely different than fashion -- working for a non-profit or something. But what I realized on that trip was that the best way I'm going to change the world is to lead my best life. Being true to yourself will raise the people around you up and will be a light for others. I can lead by positive example -- and in my work, show the world what a fashion company can be.
While this is Nicole's very first Styleweek Providence - we know it is just the beginning for her and we are honored to have met her along the way.