Nicole Miller is the founder and designer of How to Succeed

Expressed opinions Entrepreneur Contributors own.

To designer Nicole Miller, fashion was all around her when she was growing up. He remembers the time when you couldn’t walk on 7th Avenue in Manhattan wearing Nines clothes or not looking glamorous while boarding a plane. Born in Paris and raised in the United States, Nicole became obsessed with fashion at an early age. She was inspired by an old photo of her French mother in Paris and her mother read a fashion magazine sent from France while her father ran a business in the garments district. Fashion was his world. As a child, Nicole aspired to be a model. She idolized the top models of the ’60s – Twiggy, Verushka and Jean Shrimpton, to name a few. Living in Western Massachusetts, she would jump at any opportunity to travel to New York just to shop and return to her small town with her new sharp dress. When she realized that she would never be tall enough to be a runway model, she pivoted and focused on designing clothes.



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Directly after high school, he joined the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Costume Design. There he studied 2D / 3D design, illustration, life and fashion drawing as well as anthropology and art history. He spent a year in Paris at the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, where he mastered the classic French technique of haute couture. During school, she had several internships, one of which began her legendary design career. Her internship experience was invaluable. Working for a popular, hip and trendy designer, she enjoyed the process, designing, manufacturing and most of all, fashion shows. Although her dreams worked, she felt a void. He went on to design raincoats, Miller’s personal passion because he was obsessed with details and hardware. One of his raincoat designs was eventually featured in New York Times Among other publications.

Shortly afterwards, Miller took a big break from working for a new contemporary and sportswear company, PJ Walsh, which was launched in the United States just a few years ago, and worked as chief designer. The company fold ends and Miller is forced to pivot again. This time, together with his business partner, they laundered $ 100,000 together and started his own company, Nicole Miller, founded in 1982 with his former colleagues.

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For Miller, sketching never stops because he is constantly thinking of new designs, ideas and techniques. However, through all the success, Miller has shared his frustration. In her first year in business, she had a production problem without thoroughly inspecting a beaded top that became different when customers tried. He had to repay all his profits. “Despair will come, and you have to be resilient and work through it. One day, you may think you did something great, but it doesn’t sell. It becomes a really big reality check. Then you analyze and why it didn’t sell.” Get it out. “

But rising from the ashes can be magic. After the production crash, Miller designed an Asian blouse dress with a smoky elastic hip, which was a bit of an avant-garde for his time. The garment was removed and the company’s revenue increased by several million. This is part of what the company got through its first year, and its versions were created by other designers. The best form of fake flattery. Trends go through some sort of renaissance and Miller realizes that old designs can eventually be replicated. What Miller disagrees with is copying the exact design and claiming it as “original”.

If he can advise young designers, then you have to create your identity first. “Although there are designers who are versatile, the more attentive you are, the better off you will be as a designer,” he adds. “Don’t be stubborn. Allow yourself to expand.” He credits his licensing business as part of his company’s success. Nicole Miller’s licensed products include glasses, footwear, handbags, home appliances, cooking utensils and more. “People did not want to do that. I’m licensed and I’m glad to be able to. “

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Having been in the business for four decades, Miller has gained quite a bit of notoriety, but he has earned this recognition. “Yeah, people ask if I’m Nicole Miller. I’m still surprised because there are so many people with my name.” He plans to eventually move away from the brand, but in the meantime, he will continue to enjoy the benefits. “My name is really good for restaurant preservation.”

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