Fifteen-year-old San Antonio native, Lauren Nicole, has spent the past five years mastering her craft; designing, modeling, attending fashion workshops, like Fashion Camp NYC, and most recently having been selected for the Marisol Deluna Foundation as a 2014-2015 recipient. During her time with the foundation, Nicole was instructed by the San Antonio designer herself, Marisol Deluna, and assisted with production, styling, and dressing for the Marisol Deluna New York 25th Anniversary Runway Show.
Now ready to show Austin’s fashion scene what she’s made of, Nicole is taking a break from her school work to showcase her Fall/Winter 2016 collection at Austin Fashion Week. This 20-piece rocker chic collection features texturally rich fabrics and sleek metallics with modern silhouettes that any woman can wear not matter what her age.
Read our Q&A with the young designer to learn about her design process, and how she balances both work and school life. For more information on Nicole’s Austin Fashion Week showing, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the interview for details!
Q. How did you get your start in fashion?
A. I started drawing and making clothes at a young age. When I was about 7 or 8, I would doodle and draw on sketch paper. Then, I began learning how to sew and put together clothing. My first pieces were gifts for my friends or younger cousins.
Q. What is your creative process?
A. I begin with a color palette and brainstorm what type of designs I envision. Then, I narrow down one main piece and continue to build my collection from there. Once I start building, the designing process comes naturally. From my fabric selection, I drape on my dress forms. Some designs don’t make it to production, but pieces from my designs may make it to another collection in the future.
Q. Who/what inspires your creativity?
A. My music selection is quite eclectic like my designs and depends on my mood. When I’m designing, I listen to everything from dance, pop, hip-hop, R&B, and Rap music. But my main inspiration for my designs come from my surroundings, my models and who I design for, which are everyday women that are confident, smart, and put together.
Q. How would you describe your style?
A. I have a very eclectic style. Some days it’s preppy, other days it’s very glam, old Hollywood Chic, but I’m all about the comfort!
Q. What item or collection are you most proud of?
A. I love all my pieces, but I am so proud of my Yellow Old Hollywood Glam Dress. It has a plunging neckline, the cut is very classic, it hugs all the right places and the color is amazing!
Q. What are your interests outside of fashion?
A. I love hanging out with my friends. I am also a Senior Girl Scout and have been for 8 years now. Being a Girl Scout keeps me grounded. I have a business, but I still love being a Girl Scout and selling cookies of course.
Q. Is it all work and no play, or are you able to balance following your dream and enjoying being a teenager?
A. I have been super busy with school and designing, and sometimes I find there isn’t enough time in the day to complete everything. However, I am lucky I have family and friends who truly support my passion. I do enjoy time with my friends, learning how to drive, and even doing school work, but I love pouring my time into sewing and learning more about design. Creating these designs and seeing my visions come to life make me so happy.
Q. What’s your next goal?
A. I have so many goals. One of them was to show at Austin Fashion Week, which is so exciting for me being a Texas Girl. I do hope to continue to design and have a major line being sold at retailers, and maybe a celebrity or two loving and wearing my pieces.
Q. What advice would you give to aspiring designers?
A. When you are inspired and driven to do something, it could be anything, you can’t let critics get to you or stop you from following your dreams. Keep going and just remember you are your biggest cheerleader. Surround yourself with positive people who support you and you will become unstoppable.
Catch the debut of Nicole’s collection at Austin Fashion Week’s RUNWAYS & GALLERY event tomorrow, Friday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m. Purchase tickets here.