FEATURED MEMBER – Nichole De Carle

Posted on December 17, 2010

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Nichole De Carle is a luxury lingerie designer who launched her career in the lingerie industry in 2001 after being awarded a first class honors degree in Contour Fashion at De Montfort University.  Nichole refined her tailoring skills working for celebrated designers such as Alexander McQueen, Donna Karan and Pleasure State before establishing her credentials as one of the most prestigious luxury lingerie designers of today.

   

As a result of her years working as a tailor and a model for the most illustrious brands, in addition to her collections, is able to provide a bespoke lingerie tailoring service for private clients.  She has already gained an international following of loyal and regular clients who are fully confident in her flair and put themselves in her hands.

   

In 2008 she founded and branded her own company, using her own name. Since then she has become one of the most promising celebrities within the global market for body contour and fit in lingerie.

   

The brand signature theme is mixing soft and hard fabrics to create extraordinary lingerie masterpiece that no one would ever hide. Nichole has been featured in numerous international publications and is certainly one to watch.

   

Q.  What inspires your design?
A.  Exquisite Architecture. I design and am inspired by iconic architecture located in fashion & historic capitals Worldwide including that of the Louvre in Paris, Westminster Abbey in London and the Chrysler building in New York. Drawing on the design, obscurity, elegance and sophistication of these buildings the Opal collection brings together its symmetry of bold and delicate lines with an enthralling effect. When designing the Onyx collection I drew inspiration from Dan Brown’s ‘The Da Vinci Code’.

Focusing on architecture in the book, and the essence of mystery behind the story, the collection captures the seductive mystic built into the story of the search for the secrets of the Holy Grail. Symbolic meanings hidden within paintings and gloriously coded architecture form the basis of the styles of the Onyx collection with exceptional attention to detail.   Who would have thought that high-rise buildings and the big city skyline could inspire a lingerie designer.

My design trademark has been balancing structure that has a timeless perception of the styles present in the era of “film noir” with a fresh, modern twist, using innovative colours, textures, and style lines.The current Signature collection, Onyx & Opal, feature an arresting mix of sophisticated blacks, virgin ivories and majestic gold, combined with rich flashes of colour that are sure to titillate the discerning palette. Nichole de Carle Lingerie is not a seasonal brand but represents a uniqueness and individuality promising continual innovation and clarity of design.  The Limited Edition collection, Inamorata is handcrafted in the UK by highly skilled tailors and is only available exclusively for a limited time period. 

    

Q.  What fuelled your interest in lingerie?
A.  I take pleasure in designing to a woman’s unique body shape, exploring how distinct line and contrasting colour can sculpt the female curves and compliment the slightest of imperfections.  My design handwriting is recognizable and consistent,having designed through the eyes of an architect.  I am a sincere fan of Norman Foster, who invented the Gherkin in London otherwise known as St Mary’s Axe. We share the same vision and influences throughout our work.  Building a unique structure, in this case Lingerie to create dynamic line and strength around a strong foundation, what we know as the female figure.  I believe that lingerie can change woman’s attitudes and perceptions towards their own body, it can reinforce confidence and self worth through the lives of woman.

Everywoman should enjoy wearing beautiful lingerie and should celebrate her body.

I am passionate about designing lingerie because I like to give woman the strength to embrace their sexuality.And today, I can think of no greater delight than to teach other women how sensuality brings not only great pleasure, but also transformative strength.  Feeling comfortable with your body is sexy.

Empowering woman.  

                         

Q.  Why have you decided to move from the catwalks to the factory?
A.  My love for Luxury and its Global impact on society became an interest of mine at a very early age prior to my working at Alexander Mcqueen.  Where I learnt how to cut and make tailored garments for catwalk in his London atelier.  Alexander McQueen gave me the strength and ambition to be independent and to start my own journey as a tailor.  It wasn’t long after that when I started to create handcrafted tailor made lingerie for woman.  I created couture lingerie for some of the most affluent woman on an international level.  A year later I was being approached to design a more accessible line to be stocked in store. To continue to make high quality, luxury designs it was important that I moved into a factory environment to meet the consumer buying demands. This was indeed the start of our extremely popular Signature Collection, which is available in luxury boutiques and multi-brand department stores worldwide, including Selfridges London.  We have also recently launched a unique collection with Net-A-Porter.  Our bespoke service will always remain the heart of the company for many years to come.

  

Q.  How do you think women perceive the word “lingerie”?
A.  Lingerie still is a word that brings up a lot of highly sexualized images and ideas. Most women don’t have the right information about lingerie and the availability of lingerie possibilities that exist. More to the point, they don’t fully understand the importance of wearing high quality, well-fitting and beautiful Luxury lingerie. Some women don’t feel worthy to wear exclusive and expensive lingerie; it’s just not something they think about.

What women seem to have a hard time grasping is the idea that fine lingerie can be a practical investment. Not only is this true because it’s functional and to be worn every day, but high quality pieces can also lift one’s sense of value and self-esteem. Once a woman accepts that concept and begins to live her life on par with the quality of fine lingerie she wears, her confidence goes through the roof, as it should.It is a not a journey of upgrading her wardrobe and personal style but changing her mindset.My experience of wearing lingerie is vast yet I only choose to wear my own…of course. Sure you can buy 4 sets of M&S basic t-shirt bra and brief range but you can’t compare that to the way you feel if you invest in 2handcrafted lingerie sets. It’s like going from eating fast food and treating yourself to fine dining. Everyone likes fast food, but would prefer the occasional treat of fine dining.

  

Q.  You also provide a premium fitting service / bespoke lingerie to your loyal customers. How do you assess a piece of lingerie is right for a particular woman?
A.  We at Nichole de Carle offer a unique bespoke design service.  We encourage the client to design their own bra with the designer herself in the signature handwriting of the brand.  We design the tailor made lingerie using state of the art software, in house in our London atelier.

A Couture lingerie designer understands lingerie fit, style, fashion and how lingerie can enhance the unique needs and desires of each woman she works dresses. Understanding lingerie is much more complex than clothing because it requires a keen eye, a comfort of the female form and knowledge about intimate apparel that can only be learned over time. I learnt a lot during my working at Donna Karen.  It takes a person who is passionate and willing to explore solutions for each woman she works with to satisfy the bespoke client. Women’s shapes are so diverse that a woman wearing a size 34B can range from being petite to statuesque. It’s no wonder that most women wear the wrong size, since they often select lingerie without proper guidance or with sub-par assistance.

If you look at the design process in two parts, the first part requires the observation skills of a detective. You must be adept in finding a selection of styles that compliments the woman’s body and flatters her personal style. I’d describe this step as tapping into your sixth sense in order to put a three-dimensional puzzle together. The second part requires the empathy of a good therapist and the confidence of a celebrity to hold space and stand for the woman you are supporting.Designing the best combination of products for each client is only the beginning.You relax and reassure your client through discussion in order to help them remove the resistance they’re likely to have about capturing their true beauty.

Fit is the most important rule to bespoke. It’s been said that 80% of women wearthe incorrect bra size.How a woman feels when she looks at her reflection speaks volumes.Does it play up her assets and flatter her figure? Does it match her personal style and is it age appropriate? More importantly did she make a conscious mental and emotional decision to accept custom made lingerie as her new way of life along the greater self-esteem that must accompany it. You tend to develop a sense for when a woman feels good in certain styles. The obvious signs are that her face lights up, she smiles, she feels playful and flirty. But over time you get a sixth-sense for what she’s experiencing on the inside.

  

Q.  What is the weirdest request you’ve received from a client during a fitting service?
A.  Do you think that will fit my husband?  I will say no more.

Q.  Who are your loyal clients among the starlets?
A.  We have dressed some very intriguing and aspirational heiresses and celebrities including a supermodel called Rosie and a wonderful starlet actress called Emma, who is acknowledged for her ability to create magic.

Q.  What makes Nichole de Carle different than other lingerie top brands?
A.  Nichole de Carle is a luxury lingerie brand that oozes innovation and precision of design.  We maintain a high level of quality and are recognized for our fashion forward approach to lingerie.  Reinventing the meaning of lingerie by creating the most talked about accessory to every woman’s wardrobe.

Nichole de Carle is Luxury personified.  In defining luxury, I will draw from an interview that Bernard Arnault the CEO of LVMH did with Harvard Business School about the features of star brands. Though he labelled these qualities as key for star brands I think they define luxury. In this definition, luxury is defined as something that is: unique, classic yet modern at the same time – creating timelessness, defined by its craftsmanship and something that makes you dream of owning a product. Additionally, I think that luxury is represented as a unique item that brings pleasure, tranquility, and esteem to the owner that everyone aspires to own.

   

Q.  What is your favourite piece within your collection?
A.  My favourite piece has to be the The Last Testament bra in black.  The perfect accessory to spice up a little black dress.  However the Westminster brief with braces are a close second in my wardrobe. I have been known to wear them in the office with a high waisted pencil skirt and crisp white shirt. The black braces are worn over the white shirt, adds a little edge to the office environment. The must have Bondage inspired lingerie that is selling out in Selfridges this Christmas’ as quoted by ‘Hillary Alexander’ the senior editor of the Telegraph newspaper.

Q.  What are your biggest challenges?
A.  My biggest challenge is myself.  If I can keep up with my ambitions then I am on top of the challenge.

Q.  What are you hopes and ambitions for 2011?
A.  I will continue to sell beautiful luxury lingerie into the lives of Woman around the World and focus on key territory specific areas of wholesale.  My ambitions for 2011 are to maintain the rapid growth rate of Nichole de Carle Lingerie at a sustainable level and to continue to deliver an aspirational product with unique UPS’s into a niche and opportunistic market.  The bespoke lingerie service will continue to remain unique, understated and not advertised.

   

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