Nichole de Carle London is a British lingerie brand that prides itself on body contour design.
Technique and meticulous attention to detail are symptomatic of Nichole’s career to date, she had stints at both Alexander McQueen and Donna Karan New York before launching her eponymous label in 2010, which has underpinned her position in the industry.
It is said details – across signature, lingerie and limited edition collections – that evoke a real sense of luxury, allure and empowerment.
For us, it’s all in the architectural design aesthetic because what is underneath absolutely counts when it comes to navigating our everyday.
Read our interview with Nichole below to find out more about the latest addition to Push’s fashion division.
What lured you into contour design?
Contour design was the perfect balance between science and art within couture. Working with a discipline that requires precision whilst being able to explore my aesthetic vision is the challenge I love.
Biggest learnings from your time at Alexander McQueen and Donna Karan New York respectively?
My time at Alexander McQueen was the inspiration for my lingerie brand. Originally a bespoke service, I was purely creative and that enabled me to work with both high-net-worth individuals and celebrities putting on fashion shows and travelling the world. My time at Donna Karan was a lesson in the commercial side of the fashion industry; this was valuable as I knew it was important to create a successful business long term.
Both were very different experiences, both were essential for my entrepreneurial journey.
What does being a businesswoman, designing luxury lingerie for women, in 2018 mean to you?
The lingerie market has evolved since I started; women have become more expressive through their lingerie styling than ever before. Leading a team of women in making beautiful garments for other women to enjoy is a privilege.
Is Nichole de Carle London a label for every woman?
Although I started out in bespoke design, there are many layers to the brand now. Our customers can buy something decadent for a special occasion or something that is high quality for more regular wear. Confident, worldly and expressive – my customers definitely make their own rules.
Most common misconceptions about lingerie?
Generally women are told to wear neutral t-shirt bras or shaping underwear for the daytime (separates considered more suitable for the workplace), then go home and wear something uncomfortable for their partners in the evening.
For me, lingerie is an extension of self-expression and once you understand this you can find lots of surprising ways to dress in a way that truly makes you feel good. Lingerie is not just the base to an outfit but a mind-set you step into each morning when you get dressed.
What is it about your designs that instill confidence?
Over the years I have designed for celebrity performers, corporate professionals, new mums and women who have overcome personal challenges such as breast cancer. It is knowing how to design for the changing female body, as well as understanding the relationship women have with their bodies, that enables me to create pieces which make them stand tall and look at themselves in a more positive way.
Storytelling and experience are notable buzzwords in the luxury industry at present; what are your thoughts on this, and how are you steering your brand accordingly?
As a luxury brand, experience has always been important to me.
Take, for example, the escapism felt when watching a performance by stars such as Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez, the glamour of a lingerie catwalk show, or the intimate experience of doing a personalised customer fitting. My brand has always been about capturing the lives of the women who wear my pieces, which has evolved over the years.
How does wearing your collection make you feel personally?
For me it’s important to leave the house wearing my inner suit of confidence. Visually striking, beautifully made underwear has always made me feel invincible and ready to take on the day’s challenges.
How do you want it to make women feel?
I would like to think that wearing this product gives a woman permission to experiment with her style a little more and build that inner power suit. I think we all need this to tackle the crazy lives we lead.
Favourite London landmark and why?
I love our city’s varied architecture – from the Palace of Westminster, which informed my early collections, to the mysterious M16 building. I’d love to be a fly on the wall of such a powerful landmark. Maybe in another life I was a secret agent?
Last exhibition you saw?
Jeff Koons at the Newport Street Gallery – an absolute favourite of mine. I am in love with the artistic spin he brings to popular culture subjects. He plays with the idea of taste, pleasure, celebrity and commerce. Always guaranteed to leave me feeling inspired.
By 2020 you want to have achieved…?
To have built a viable business model for long term growth with a strong brand identity, and commercial reach. I don’t ask for much really!