Interview: Roxanne Nikki

When you first step into Roxanne Nikki‘s quaint, sunny studio located at the edge of Downtown Vancouver, you can’t help but notice how much energy the place has. With its North facing view of the city, stark white walls and racks of one of a kind gems, as soon as you enter the space you know for certain — as if there were any doubt to begin with — that this is a place where creativity resides.

I first met Roxanne a little over a year ago, when I approached her about creating me some outfits for my trip to Japan Fashion Week, which was subsequently canceled due to the聽T艒hoku earthquake and tsunami. Back then she was in the beginning stages of her glorious Autumn/Winter 2011-12 Collection, and so you could imagine my delight when I received a note in my inbox last month inviting me to a private viewing of her results.

Nikki’s AW/11-12 Collection is a bold mix of tough and sexy — and is pure avante-guarde. These are聽show stopping clothes, and not for the faint of heart — just the way Nikki entends. Exaggerated, draped collars, embroidered plastics, luxurious faux furs, and custom fabrics are all聽prominent聽parts of her designs — and are all imported directly from Italy, France and Portugal. “I do tend to work with high end fabrics… they come first.”

“Tactile is most important [for me], as it sets the mood and direction,” Nikki tells me. “To have something individual, it needs to be a textile which is that, too.”

The AW/11-12 Collection also brings the return of Roxanne Nikki Men. “I’ve always enjoyed doing menswear,” the designer says. “10 years later, I think men are more willing to take risks. Men need me.”

“I feel like I set my own trends,” says Nikki, showing me the “Wrap Obi,” a romantic Kimono-esque signature piece. “If you don’t have a big budget, you can still work the trend.” While most pieces in Nikki’s line are priced in the thousands, there are a couple that might not break your bank entirely.

Her style is聽unmistakably cool, and聽unabashedly original. Attention to fit and cut are probably what make Nikki’s garments so unique, with each piece dawning聽meticulous聽detail and craftsmanship. And for Nikki, getting back in the swing of regular production has been a labour of love, telling me “This year has been a long time coming.”

If you weren’t a designer, what do you see yourself doing?

Design is something akin to breathing for me… I can’t imagine not聽designing, even when I m not conscious of it, I am somehow adding a design聽element to even the most mundane things! 聽It is my passion. In my other聽life, I would be a singer.

What time of day are you most creative, and why?

I don’t know if there is a particular time of day..Interesting as I’ve聽never really thought of it before . I am most focused in the mid-afternoon聽so probably at my most creative then.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My parents and their love are聽absolutely聽my biggest inspiration. They have聽always taught me to pursue my dreams, no matter what and to always be聽myself.

What’s the one luxury in life you could not live without?

Can I be decadent and have two? One is I love and need to travel, and聽two… gorgeous red lipstick!

Where do you see design heading in the next few years?

I feel the design world is becoming much more focused and ethical as聽people are much more in tune not only with their personal style and sense聽of identity but also with their conscious. It is a great time for fashion聽designers, the fashionistas, and the world.

What’s next for Roxanne Nikki for 2012?

Many exciting things are coming up ! My team and I are hard at work to聽bring you all kinds of treats. Keep in touch through our website for聽everything including online shops, runway events and more. Some things are聽still under wraps but don’t worry I won’t be embarking on that singing career anytime soon!

Learn more at roxannenikki.com

Our thanks to Roxanne Nikki for her time and contribution to this piece.

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