Remember when dressing was fun and inspirational? The outfit you put on made you feel like a princess? Our latest designer, Nikki Wirthensohn of Narces, brings back glamour and sophisticated fun in after-five evening wear. Hailing from Toronto, Canada and of Persian heritage, Nikki has no shortage of experience to draw on for her collections – she has lived in Austria, Iran, and the UK, and learned design from her mother who worked as an accomplished tailor for Victor Edelstein, a designer for the British Royal Family. The strength of the Narces design aesthetic is evidenced by their presence in showrooms, boutiques, and events in Paris, New York, London and Toronto. The flattering waists and intricate shapes of the designs make you feel like the inner royalty you knew you always were, no matter where you are. Today we speak to Nikki about the Narces collection.
How and why did you (Nikki) start designing?
That is a tough question to answer. I have been illustrating, painting, and designing since I can remember! With Narces, I have been designing since 2011. If I had to dissect why I decided to be a designer it would probably be that, as a designer, if you manage to build a successful business you have a sustainable outlet for creativity and that, to me, is the most exciting thing!
What is your biggest hurdle building a brand today?
I think there is a lot of advertising and social media noise that customers have to deal with, so getting them to recognize our fresh new brand is not always easy. Some of the more traditional means of promotion such as fashion shows in combination with our social media and online presence have worked well for us.
What do you think about fashion today?
Fashion is too safe and there are too many rules that interestingly enough are set by various policing establishments. On the flip side, I love that we have designers that test new boundaries and offer individuality yet wearability at the same time. Designers that have a sense of humour and don’t make fashion all about strict, set rules, yet evolve, always fascinate me. Designers that season after season reinvent themselves and keep a fresh view on the art that is fashion continue to make the industry exciting. Fashion is fun….new is exciting…and moving forward is a part of this creativity!
What is your fashion philosophy?
My fashion philosophy is much like my thoughts on fashion today and what I am fascinated by. Fashion is art and it is about creativity. Part of this creativity is evolution, newness, and keeping an open mind. Everyone’s goal with fashion is different but ultimately we all want to be happy and how we express ourselves through fashion is a big factor. This expression is interesting, unique, and different for each person. By setting rules around this, I believe we limit ourselves in how we grow.
Where do you go and what do you do for inspiration?
There is no set rules around a specific place or a specific location. Travel in general – no matter which location – provides you with a new setting and a fresh point of view. Inspiration for me can come from anything. There is always a different angle you can take to give you a new view.
Any tips and tricks of the trade?
Planning, planning, planning. This is a long lead industry which needs at the same time constant flexibility to react to new trends and ways to do business.
What is your brand aesthetic?
I have been influenced by the 1940-60’s women and style. There is a very strong, dreamy and romantic aspect of the vintage that is in the background however for Narces all this is injected with the new, fun, innovative, and humorous. This right away leads to a strong, confident and creative woman who is not afraid to have some fun with dressing up. Our end goal is for all Narces women to feel incredibly confident, sexy, happy, and gorgeous in our dresses!
Want to feel like a princess again this spring? Follow Narces to be the first to get Nikki’s gowns and cocktail dresses when they launch!