Another Dimension: Designer Nikki Wirthensohn of Narces Speaks Inspiration and Gets Real

The Narces brand is quickly becoming a fashion-fan favourite at Toronto Fashion Week and beyond.  The Narces collection for the Winter 2016 season is one more testament to the designer and creative director of the design line’s skill and impeccable foresight as to what it is that women truly want as an ensemble for upcoming events that warrant purchasing evening attire.

Nikki Wirthensohn, the brand’s Designer and Creative Director, has been notably inspired in her design by her varied roots and cultural upbringing. As is noted by the brand itself on http://www.narces.com, Nikki has been “Inspired by the romantic glamour and elegance of mid-20th century,” and her designs are fast-becoming popular on a global scale, mainly in the Middle East, Europe and Asia

Nikki took time to chat with Shespoke about her inspiration for the Narces Winter 2016 collection, particularly mentioning that when designing for any season, she seeks to arrive at a one-of-a-kind piece that entices the customer based on its beauty, craftsmanship and originality.

“We get into darker colours and your blacks and your reds and holiday colours, sometimes I feel like I want to put all my dark clothes somewhere and not look at them again. I think it changes your mood when you add colour to your wardrobe. I love to do colour because we were seeing with our collections that black actually wasn’t doing as well. We work on texturizing fabric if we are going to go black and simple. We like to make them unique. A different kind of love goes into every garment. We want to make it stand out so that people can see that it can’t be bought anywhere else. It’s all about standing out and being a different piece that people say ‘Hey I don’t have that. I want that.’

This skilled and creative designer, along with business savvy talent, additionally shared about her journey in the fashion industry. Noting her beginnings as the proud daughter of a talented designer and tailor who designed for royalty, Nikki explained how she came to such success simply by way of the experience offered her by her own mother.

“I don’t have a formal fashion education. My background is business and arts/ media but my education comes from my mother who has always been a fashion designer and tailor and that whole influence has always been in my life. I’ve just been raised with someone who has been in the industry. In every element I’ve been involved in a sense. For me the biggest thing was seeing the challenges right from the beginning. My mother had her own business and had her own line.”

The gorgeous mother-of-two also was honest and open about the challenges that go hand-in-hand within the designer’s world, as in any business. Nikki reminds that the world of fashion seems glitzy and glamorous from the outside looking in, yet there are harsh realities that continually keep any designer in check.

“With any business selling is the biggest challenge, especially as a start-up because you really need to be able to survive, I need to be able to be financially sound and make sure that it takes off. It’s not just about designing and creating. At the end of the day, someone needs to buy it in order for you to keep being able to do what you love.”

It is of no surprise that when Narces shows at Toronto Fashion Week, attendees can expect to be wowed by, not only incredibly beautiful and luxurious evening wear and flirtatious pieces, but also by the bridal additions to each collection that Nikki sends down the runway. From her vantage point, bridal and evening wear are a natural intertwining focus and although she does not intend to focus entirely on bridal in the future, she has shared that each season will include these show-stopper pieces.

“We’ve been doing a lot of custom bridal, but one of the reasons that we actually did a mini collection is that when we do red carpet events during awards season we get requests for gowns that go in the direction of bridal wear, such as off-white gowns. We also had so many brides coming in requesting that it not be too over the top bridal, and brides that wanted to be able to wear their gowns again.  So it was kind of organic that we wanted to get into designing mini bridal collections and my mother’s back ground is also bridal, my influence has been both evening and bridal. Evening wear is the height of dressing up and bridal is another height to dressing up, and it’s just a colour difference at the end of the day.”

As a successful and respected designer internationally, it is only natural to wonder what words of advice and wisdom this veteran has to offer any bright new stars that are attempting to make their way on the designer fashion scene. Nikki happily offered up sound advice that, once again, reminds of the broader spectrum that running a successful design business involves.

“I do think everyone can come from different channels and different roots , but what I can say from my roots and from my view, what’s been helpful is get a lot of experience either working for a retailer or designer before you get into what you want to get in to, in terms of putting all your money into it. And make sure you’re financially sound. Also know who you’re selling to and that your product appeals to them.”

Beyond the pages of Shespoke, Nikki’s breathtaking collections can be found by visiting  Narces’ website at http://www.narces.com.

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