Nicole Wesseling’s passion for making clothes began as a child engrossed in her Oma’s "craft cupboard". Taught to knit before learning to sew, Nicole was "the one granddaughter who decided to turn this interest into a career", and it is turning out to be a career with momentum.
As winner of the 2009 Newmarket Young Fashion Designer competition, Nicole travelled to New York Fashion Week with Karen Walker, and received a first year scholarship to study design at Whitecliffe. An internship in the Taylor workroom during Nicole’s first tertiary year has had a huge influence on her knowledge of the industry, and Whitecliffe HOD Belinda Watt has since encouraged her explorations of sustainability.
Nicole focuses on construction and carefully-chosen textiles, and places importance on sustainable methods in all stages of production, rather than restricting herself to a specific aesthetic. She aims to create a point of difference in her designs, "something that can excite viewers and customers and challenge their views". Her first collection, Vincent, was inspired by the art world and her Dutch heritage, displaying the craftsmanship that makes Nicole’s designs so distinctive. Striking silhouettes take precedence over unnecessary embellishments, and texture comes from materials and the use of rich, natural colours. The result of Nicole’s meticulous design process is a young label offering versatile, effortlessly wearable clothing.
Text by Arielle Walker. Banner image by Frances Carter © New Zealand Fashion Museum.
Last published October 2014.