AFC MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
MEET | NIQUE
Nadia Jones, Creative Director
With 8 retail stores across Victoria and NSW, including their newly opened Chapel Street concept store in Melbourne, we caught up with Nique’s Creative Director, Nadia Jones!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR OWN INDUSTRY BACKGROUND AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO ‘FASHION’?
One day I just decided that I wanted to do Fashion – I hadn’t really known what I was passionate about until then and didn’t even know how to get into it. I studied it alongside my A levels in a room full of Julie Vorhoeven’s John Galliano sketches and that was it. After finishing my degree at Kingston University - I realised I wanted to work in the UK – and my personal mission was to bring great design to the High Street.
I was the Creative Director at Oasis for nearly 14 years and enjoyed the creativity of the brand – we were one of the first to introduce sub brands and collaborations as well as having a unique warm and welcoming workplace culture.
I worked as a consultant for various brands post Oasis including Richard Nicoll who I then joined as Commercial Director before being headhunted for Marcs in Sydney and then Nique which I am hugely excited about and enjoying greatly.
HOW DID NIQUE COME TO BE? WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
Nique began its life as a graphic design agency founded by Nick and Lucy Ennis in 1998 making a full transition to a fashion label in 2003 opening its first boutique in 2008. I came on board the beginning of 2018 to elevate the brand.
Nique designs are inspired by a subtle luxury that have an everyday practical element - elevating basic, and seasonal statement collectables with an emphasis on natural and luxury fabrications in effortless silhouettes. Our vision is to create timeless pieces, minimal and modern statements with an edge.
The new collection features signature prints and luxury fabrics, creating a stronger and more powerful vision for the brand, building on the DNA with influences of architecture, Japan and street.
Made with premium fabrics, the new collection features a mixture of silk, cotton and linen designs such as lightweight shirting, luxe trousers, silk dresses, forest green, unique signature prints and crinkled habutai.
TELL US ABOUT NIQUE’S DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING PROCESS, AND THE TEAM BEHIND THE BRAND?
We work closely as a team to create the mood and overall theme for each season, each month has its own palette and mood that build through the season over both genders – our Men’s designer is based in Melbourne and the Women’s team in Sydney which works thanks to the wonders of technology.
Our factories have worked with us for many years either with Nique or previously and are small independent businesses. We already do use a lot of sustainable fabrications but are working to improve our practises at every level, as it is given that we will all have to adopt better business practises.
We are a small team of focused and driven individuals who are passionate about Nique and excited about the adventure we have started.
HOW HAVE YOU FOUND THE JOURNEY OF BUILDING AND GROWING A BRAND IN THE AUSTRALIAN MARKET?
Australia is both an rewarding and challenging market to work in – one that really appreciates luxury fabrications, style and quality and one that I feel has the eyes of the world looking at it, given how well brands have travelled overseas.
The seasonality difference can be a challenge – Northern / Southern hemisphere in peak seasons – High Winter and Summer which we look forward to solving as we grow internationally.
We have had a lot of exciting opportunities recently with broadening the collections, adding new categories and interesting approaches in the last few months from music, food and wine to name a few - so watch this space.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR NIQUE?
Our new concept Nique store is about to open any day now at 551 Chapel Street, Melbourne, designed by Herbert and Mason and inspired by functional utilitarian aspects of building contrasted with abstract sculptural elements. We are super excited to see the collections in this incredible space.
We have just launched our swim collection in collaboration with Cuva Swim – edgy modern cuts in a power stretch fabric offering SPF50+ and stretch mesh lining. The collection includes exclusive khaki/ black paint splash inspired print with a palette of blues and greens to compliment, reversible styling and modern gunmetal trims. We will be showcasing this on the runway at the Perth Swim and Resort series.
November sees the launch of our luxury European leather accessories to compliment our clothing. Crafted in full grain leather and performance nylon the range consists of a leather shopper, a relaxed tote, a structured shoulder bag, a briefcase, a multi purpose pouch, an everyday nylon shopper and a wallet.
In March next year Nique has been invited for the first time to be part of VAMFF runway shows. We are looking forward to being a part of Australia’s largest fashion event.
WHAT DOES ‘AUSTRALIAN’ STYLE MEAN TO YOU?
Australian style is effortless, modern and relaxed with an emphasis on luxury natural fibres and easy silhouettes that suit the climate.
Having visited Australia since 2001 and seen the rapid transformation of the fashion industry here and the unique creativity of each brand here – I am excited and delighted to be part of it.
There is something magical about the light and the energy here, as well as the stunning natural beauty that is very inspirational.
YOUR LOCAL TEXTILE & FASHION GO TO’S?
1. MUD ceramics – they have recently opened up next to our Surry Hills store but I have been a fan since discovering them when I got here – the colours and shapes are just stunning.
2. Dinosaur Designs – their stunning sculptural Jewellery is always on my wish list
3. Koskela – this inspiring store always takes my breath away as well as being able to always find the perfect present – I really love their work with Australian makers.
4. Double Rainbouu – the youthful energy of this brand is addictive – vibrant prints, great unisex concept no wonder they are taking over the world
5. Parlour X – Eva’s perfect edit of the hottest designer brands, an incredibly stunning store with impeccable service make the perfect retail showcase.
6. Natalie Wood’s new label “Wolfgang Scout” is one to watch. Taking the idea of sustainability to a whole new level. I can’t wait to wear one of her merino wool sweaters.