Several years ago I received an invite from Sarah Murray of Fashion Capsule to attend a media open night for a pop-up shop by designer Roxanne Nikki. I had never heard of this locally based (but internationally sold) designer before and was intrigued by the promotional pictures sent. Strolling into the Tinseltown location, I was not disappointed and have been a huge fan of this designer ever since.
Nikki has created a truly cutting edge label that has caught the eye of celebrity clients and customers world-wide. It features luxury faux leather and furs, edgy silhouettes, separates with a twist and a great palette. The standard black is there, but there are also neon furs, mens suits out of unusual fabrics and some truly unique pattern drafting. At one of her annual sales, I managed to snag three fabulous pieces, including a fabulous black pleated faux leather shrug that is truly to die for. All three are cherished pieces in my wardrobe.
This is another talented artist I haven’t had a chance to sit down with yet for that one-on-one coffee/interview, but I am determined to correct that in the new year. Roxanne – let’s make this happen in January!
8Q Spotlight Roxanne Nikki
What is your current career(s) – paid and unpaid?
Can you share an interesting thing (or two) about your journey to reach this moment?
I’ve been designing since I was 3 years old. My mother was very creative and stylish. She especially loved design, fabric and sewing, so I grew up around those things. She started making clothing from my toddler design scribbles and it continued on from there. Designing is something that I have always done. I never thought of it as a career nor a job. In fact, during grade school, I often got into trouble for designing and passing my sketches around during class!
It wasn’t until I was cramming for my very last university exam (archeology) at the University of Winnipeg that I had an epiphany – I should become a fashion designer! I am very single minded and spontaneous once I get an idea, so I went on to eventually receive my fashion design degree at College Lasalle, Montreal. In my early career days, I worked as fashion illustrator, designer and pattern maker for various Montreal companies, but my own designs remained my full-time obsession, and the Roxanne Nikki label was born.
What 3 things would you like people to know about you to give them a sense of who you really are?
- I am an extremely creative type of person, and a free thinker who likes my independence.
- I am always creating and need to do my own thing, it doesn’t matter about what or where.
- I am not good at following rules – I like to break them. Perhaps that is why my design philosophy is focused on individuality. Inherently am a rebel who likes to invent. I create my world as I see fit.
Highest moment so far?
I’ve been so blessed to have had so many great memories in my career that it’s honestly hard to pick just one. Some major milestones include among my earlier awards – MFF/ TFI Best 4 New Canadian Label 97 , the prestigious MFF Grant reserved for Canada’s top talent 2000 , 2001 2002 – my celebrity clients, having my designs featured in major motion pictures, on the runways and in showrooms here as well as internationally. But in the end, I would have to say my favourite moments that stand out are the times when I’ve seen my designs inspire someone to feel great about themselves.
What are you working on right now? In the next 6 months?
Currently I am working on the 25th anniversary edition collection for my brand ROXANNE NIKKI. It will be available for the Autumn/Winter 2016 season. It is my all-consuming obsession for the time being. Leading up to that, and as a tribute to our fans, we have launched ROXANNE NIKKI GO ALL
OUT.ROXANNE NIKKI GO ALL OUT, which runs through November 30 2015. It is a multi-channel promotion including special promotions online, prizes, giveaways,and our upcoming local pop up shop, ROXANNE NIKKI GO ALL OUT ROBSON on November 12,13,14th 2015.
Who and/or what inspires you?
My parents and my favourite city – Paris, France – inspires me the most. My parents always encouraged me to go for my dreams and to be myself, regardless of anyone or anything Whenever I am in Paris I feel like I am living that dream to the hilt. It’s like I am in a non-stop artistic deja vu bliss. My soul knows it ’s home and my inspiration explodes there.
When I lived in Paris during my hiatus from design, everything changed. It was a turning point in my life. Parisians make everything look effortless. To me that is the epitome of chic. Anything can be an inspiration , it is not about being literal ,nor necessarily about fashion. it is perspective seen through the artist’s eye.
How do you personally define success?
Success is really about feeling content with who you are and where you are right now. I feel amazing these days and loving every moment. This may be some of the best days of my life and I know it is only getting better. That is success !
Advice for someone wanting to embrace this career?
Work hard and believe in possibility. Push yourself harder when you think you’ve already delivered your best, and be open to chance. The most important thing your will ever know is that you will never know it all! Unless maybe you are dead,and then are you coming back?
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