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Issue 66 / Fashion Designer Nikki Lund Is A Multi-Media Triple Threat

Fashion Designer Nikki Lund Is A Multi-Media Triple Threat

Nov 14, 2016

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Fashion designer Nikki Lund doesn’t limit herself to the runway. She tells us how she expands her fashion vision from the ramp to music to television. 

Los Angeles-based fashion and celebrity designer Nikki Lund has been in the industry for 20 years. She started designing at the age of six, and though it wasn’t a career Lund actively pursued, fashion design has been in her roots from day one.  The former rock queen has killer design skills and has clothed some the world’s top Billboard artists like Kelly Clarkson, Demi Lovato, America’s Got Talent’s Nicole Scherzinger,  Steven Tyler and Jon Bon Jovi.

She’s launched quite a few fashion labels, Eccentric Symphony, Uknighted Denim, White Trash Beautiful and Nikki Rich with Bon Jovi guitarist and former partner Richie Sambora. Lund is set to launch two reality shows in the near future but the hot topic is original series Queen On 34th set to premiere on fashion moguls Daymond John and J. Alexander Martin’s FUBU TV.

Lund took time to sit with ANOKHI to discuss her journey and future plans for her budding empire.

Tessa Johnson: When did you first fall in love with fashion?

Nikki Lund: The first time I fell in love with fashion. That’s a good question. I would say probably when I was a young girl. I loved Madonna and I loved seeing her Blond Ambition tour. Jean Paul Gautier designed all the clothing, and I think that was probably the first time where I started getting into the design and the correlation between music and fashion. And seeing the synergy between the two. It was so exciting for me.

TJ: Did you study at a design school?

NK: I didn’t. I’m home taught. I learned from my mother and grandmother. I began design when I was very young. I did patterns, sewing and everything when I was probably about six years old. We come from a long line of Swedish seamstresses.

TJ: So, your mother was a seamstress?

NK: Yes.

TJ: And, your grandmother?

NK: Yup, both. We come from a long line. We’re all Swedish seamstresses. It’s in the family. It wasn’t something I thought would be a career, believe me!

TJ: Have you worked or sought out a mentor from other fashion designers when you decided to start your fashion line?

NK: To be honest with you, I didn’t because I worked with Jill Stuart in NYC by way of luck but I never [sought] it out.  [Fashion] wasn’t something I thought as a career. It was just something that we did. For my birthday if I wanted a dress and it was it was expensive. I would go and get the fabric and make the dress myself.

Nikki Lund -Spring/Summer 2017 Photo Credit: Jelo Pecaña
Nikki Lund, Spring/Summer 2017. Photo Credit: Jelo Pecaña
NIkki Lund - . Spring/Summer 2017 Collection Photo Credit: Jelo Pecaña
Nikki Lund, Spring/Summer 2017 Collection. Photo Credit: Jelo Pecaña

TJ: Let’s expand on that. How have your family values helped you today?

NK: A lot, because it grounds you. There is a stability and a familiarity, that I can always rely on, in being swayed in different ways as to who you are as an artist. I look back at drawings I was doing at 10 years old and what was distinctly me as an artist. As I started becoming a designer and known for certain designs I was doing. I wanted to get push in a certain way, a little more edgy or little bit more feminine you get confused at times. Whether if it’s music or fashion, I always go back to my family roots of what it was I did best as a kid.

TJ: When did you decide to start your own namesake label?

NK: I was touring with my brother in a band called Secret Minds. We were on the road and were about 17 to 18 years old and I decided we’re making all our own costumes. My little brother sews as well and we made some really cool band shirts and [it] got picked up at a store called M. Fredric. Thirty-five of their stores liked this particular shirt that a bunch of people started wearing around the scene, that I was friends with. Before I knew it, we had orders from stores [and] we’re like “Why don’t we have a clothing line?” That’s when I actually was like okay, we have to actually have a label now and it was called Eccentric Symphony and Uknighted Denim.

NIkki Lund - . Spring/Summer 2017 Collection Photo Credit: Jelo Pecaña
NIkki Lund, Spring/Summer 2017 Collection. Photo Credit: Jelo Pecaña

 

NIkki Lund - . Spring/Summer 2017 Collection Photo Credit: Jelo Pecaña
Nikki Lund, Spring/Summer 2017 Collection. Photo Credit: Jelo Pecaña

TJ: When did you decide to branch out and start Nikki Rich Clothing?

NK: Nikki Rich clothing was in 2012 and I had a custom line before that [which] started in 2009 called White Trash Beautiful. I started [it] with Richie Sambora [and] we wanted to do custom clothing for artists. This lead to the demand for a more mass produced line which turned into Nikki Rich.

NIkki Lund - L.A. Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2017 Collection Photo Credit: Jelo Pecaña
Nikki Lund, L.A. Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2017 Collection. Photo Credit: Jelo Pecaña

TJ: How does fashion and art influence your design aesthetic? And what music era inspires you the most?

NK: Art and fashion go hand and hand. What inspires me with art is structure [and] a lot of architecture. I love geometric shapes. I also love the fragility of hard shapes. For example, I love metal sculptures, so doing a zipper vest but making it look almost like a flower like the hard [meets] soft juxtaposition of feminine and masculine; that inspires me. As for as music, I’m inspired by everything. I love all different kinds of music. I’m a pop kid though at heart. I love Prince, Madonna, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, etc.

NIkki Lund - . Spring/Summer 2017 Collection Photo Credit: Jelo Pecaña
Nikki Lund, Spring/Summer 2017 Collection. Photo Credit: Jelo Pecaña

 

NIkki Lund - . Spring/Summer 2017 Collection Photo Credit: Jelo Pecaña
Nikki Lund, Spring/Summer 2017 Collection. Photo Credit: Jelo Pecaña

TJ: Do you have a favourite fashion designer in the industry today?

NK: I love Yohji Yamamoto. I love, rest in peace, Alexander McQueen, Gucci’s new direction and Tom Ford.

TJ: What are your plans for the Nikki Lund brand?

NK: I am the host of a new television show called Queen on 34th which is coming out in January 2017. I think that is a fun little launching pad for the line. As well, I am also working on a reality show with Rock Shrimp Productions, Bobby Flay’s company; so, you’ll be able to see the day to day of what it is [like] behind the scene of a fashion designer and working with my clients. Not just the glitz and glamour, but what it actually is to have a business with sewing, cutting and deadlines.

Queen On 34th - Photo Credit: Nikki Lund
Queen On 34th. Photo Credit: Nikki Lund

I’d also like to open my own stores in 2018. I also have some exclusive partnerships with a few department stores which I can’t talk about right now. But I will be launching in a major department store.

TJ: Will you be launching in Canada?

NK: Yes, we will be. [she laughs]

Main Photo Image Credit: Jelo Pecaña

Tessa Johnson

Tessa Johnson

Author

ANOKHI Magazine's fashion editor, Tessa Johnson is a Fashion Business Management graduate from George Brown College who started as an intern at ANOKHI Media in the fashion department, then started to test her writing skills writing travel pieces for Online Exclusives: Hotspot! Five years la...

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