Sure, it’s the fall, but most of us already have daydreams of life in 2021. Nicole Miller tells us how her Spring collection was created with positive vibes for the future in mind. The designer gives The Daily a preview of what to expect and how she put it together in unprecedented times. Plus! Get a look at the collection.
What inspired your Spring collection?
With a post-pandemic mind-set, I was looking for a spirit of optimism. I felt the times were paralleling the ’70s with the country’s unrest, so I started with that vibe. Also, I watched the Laurel Canyon docuseries, so we had a West Coast mind-set as well.
How will you be showing it to editors and buyers?
We’re all set up for Zoom meetings in the showroom, so it will be similar to what we did for Resort ’21. We’re also releasing a lookbook on the CFDA’s platform, Runway 360.
Have you missed the ritual of putting together a physical show?
It’s really not been all that different. We’re still doing looks and working on a set, like we would for a show. We won’t be having the extensive casting days and long fittings, which I’m happy to skip. Sadly, no post-show dinner!
What were the biggest challenges of putting the collection together during quarantine?
Not being with my team! I love the creative energy we have when we’re all together. It just isn’t the same over video calls.
What has been your greatest professional lesson in recent months?
Well, we are very DIY here and only became more so. Our tie-dyes, some done at home, have become best sellers. Also, we started the mask business at home, and this has become a big business, so a lot of things that were born out of necessity became great things for the business.
What are you looking forward to this fall?
I’m excited for our Fall collection to come out and for the new casual collection we just launched. I’m nervous about the fall and things shutting down again, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we stay on an upswing. If everyone keeps wearing their masks I think we’re heading in the right direction!
Was the casual collection inspired by people working from home?
We were starting it anyway, so it was good timing on our part. It’s an activewear collection. I feel like style-wise everybody has gotten more casual anyway. Everyone is into yoga and wellness and all these things, and then coincidentally timed with people not being able to go to parties. It was good that we had gotten this together well in advance and got it going. It’s also opened up a lot of new stores for us, too! This isn’t going to go away because people are into fitness. We were known for party dresses more than anything, though I’ve done a lot of other things in my career. Everything is timing. But it could have been started a lot sooner, to be honest!
What’s in the collection?
It’s leggings. It’s a lot of our prints. It incorporates the evil eye, which has become a signature thing for me and has become so successful. There are sweatshirts; there are some elements that we did from our Fall Rock ’n’ Royalty collection. We used inspirations from the collection for all these things.
Tell us about the Rock ’n’ Royalty line.
I was inspired because the royals kept being in the press for a lot of reasons. I was thinking of rebellious royals. Between Meghan and Harry and Prince Andrew, it reminded me of royals behaving badly and England and rock ’n’ roll. There are a lot of regal-looking prints. We styled it more rock ’n’ roll with leather and T-shirts. There’s a Maid Marian dress, and we put a leather jacket over it.
Obviously the garment district is a lot quieter these days. Where have you and the team been ordering lunch?
Unfortunately, a lot of places didn’t reopen. We were lucky to have Café Hestia and Frame open almost from the beginning. But now we have some great options—Empanada Mama just reopened; Pret a Manger has been great; for Chinese food, there is Bao Bao Café; Greek Xpress for Greek; and I can’t leave out Popeye’s!
This was a very different summer. What has been your best memory of the season?
I’ve really enjoyed spending time at home with my family this summer. I’ve had some great days wakeboarding and cooking exciting new recipes. And, of course, I’ve had some lovely outdoor lunches at Le Bilboquet in the Hamptons and some nice outdoor dinners at Gitano in the city. Tribeca is great now with all the restaurants open on the street.
You’ve been designing for a long time. How do you keep things fresh?
By listening to my staff…who are all young and savvy!
What do you love about New York City right now?
I love New York City, and I’m always inspired by how people come together in tough times. The city will overcome this and return to its great vibe and energy. As long as we’re all doing our part to stop the spread, we can get NYC back to its glory days.
Check out the collection: