24 Jan Fashion Designer to Watch: Meet Nick Perez of NICÓ
When we say that Texas Fashion is growing we mean it! Everyday, we get to meet creatives that are emerging from all over the state, and we get a tremendous surge of pride when we see the amount of talent that we have right here in the great state of Texas! We’ve been hearing about Nick Perez for some time now; a young Corpus Christi native with a vision that surpasses his age. Get to know the designer behind Nicó and how he’s elevating Texas Fashion with his creations.
SLTV: How did you get your start in the Fashion Industry? When did you design your first piece?
NP: It was kinda accidental. I always drew dresses as a kid but never thought much if it because I didn’t know people could actually make them. So, in high school I took a fashion design course mainly because my friends were in the class and it reignited a love I thought I forgot about. So, I would stay after school and teach myself how to drape and the art of dressmaking which is where some of my first trial pieces came from. The rest is history.
SLTV: You grew up in Corpus Christi, did you find it difficult to access resources that would aid you in your development as a fashion designer coming from a small coastal town in Texas?
NP: When I was first starting, yes. Very much so. There’s only craft stores there and the fabric choices were never what I was looking for. This lack of resources produced my love for couture. The majority of my textiles/embroideries are all done by hand with fabrics I find or repurpose and a lot of my beginning creations were usually made out of curtains I found or materials from old gowns from thrift shops. So, because of this trial period I no longer see any walls when it comes to the vision of the gowns being created. The scarcity of materials created a beautiful window.
SLTV: That’s remarkable! What challenges have you face and how would you suggest to make it better for up and coming artists in the same situation?
NP: I dealt a lot with the voices of others. I’m very lucky that I was brought up by parents who taught me how to keep my head up in situations involving negativity, so the criticism that came with entering the fashion industry (especially as a teen) never really upsets me now, but it did discourage me in my early career. I made a vow to myself that I would treat everyone I work around with kindness and encourage others to do the same. There’s room for everyone at the top and building each other up is the only way to build an industry.
SLTV: That’s very inspiring. We should all take note. What inspires you and your designs?
NP: I take a lot of influence from my Tejano roots. My brand name, Nicó, is an homage to my upbringing and I want each piece to carry that. When it comes to the design elements, I like to take classic silhouettes and modernize them. Each piece should be timeless yet fashion forward. My ultimate goal is to create a piece that someone in this world can feel special in, treasure, and look back on 10, 20, 0r 50 years from now and remember exactly how she felt in that gown.
SLTV: You recently moved! Why did you choose San Antonio, TX as your new home?
NP: There’s a saying from the film Mermaids that goes ” Life is change, death is dwelling on the past or staying in one place too long.”. It was time for change and I was craving big city life. My team and I also work here often and it’s an awesome central point for all of my Texas clients. There’s so much creativity in San Antonio and it’s an honor to bring my brand into a new world full of so much vibrancy.
SLTV: You’re fairly young, at a ripe 21 years old, yet you have some pretty impressive credits under your belt. Would you tell us about the opportunities and accolades you’ve received thus far?
NP: I recently left Corpus with so many wonderful accomplishments. My team and I put on the first every couture runway shows which were always sold-out, so that was an honor. Then I received the title of “Best Fashion Designer” by The Bend Magazine Local’s List, which allows the community to decide who’s the best of the best. That was probably my first award honoring my designs, so it was so wonderful. One of the coolest things that has happened though was being sent out to NYFW by Brandon Maxwell and MAC Cosmetics through their MAC It Happen project. This created a relationship between myself and MAC Cosmetics where I was also sent out to the CFDA Awards as their special guest. I got to meet so many fashion stars, I still can’t believe I kept my cool! It was something I have only dreamed of but never thought it would be a reality so early. But my latest accomplishments happened in November. I launched my latest collection and a week later I accepted the FGI San Antonio “Rising Star” Award, which has probably been the most special award yet. It’s an amazing time to be a young designer in American fashion and I am so humbled by all of the accolades that have come with the hard work.
SLTV: 2020 has received you in a wonderful way! Where do you see yourself headed in the next decade?
NP: I think the opportunities are endless. I wanna do everything and work with everyone. I’m just getting started and don’t see myself every slowing down. The goal is to make Nicó a lifestyle to countless lives all around the world and create confidence for anyone who makes my brand a part of their world.
SLTV: What do you hope for the future of the fashion industry in Texas?
NP: The fashion industry in Texas is growing very quickly and we have to move with it. There are so many hidden gems dying to be showcased and the only way to push innovation is to push each other into the right direction, support young artists, and listen to the voices of others.
For more, follow Nick on Social Media!
All photos provided by Nick Perez.
Model: Yayis Villarreal
Photography credit: William Roescher