In 2014, Nicholas had a concept to create a grunge and hippie style brand that was inspired by current fashion trends. Having worked in retail his entire career, Nicholas decided that for once he wanted to do things his way, not the corporate way.
Nicholas took the spare cash he had from his latest paycheck, and immediately began up-cycling vintage flannels to form a grunge and 90’s inspired aesthetic that he is still known for today.
Now, Nicholas has grown into a recognizable fashion brand seen on celebrities like Davey Muise, Sirah, Demi Lovato, Neon Hitch, Hanna Beth, Jeffree Star, Samii Ryan and DJ Wednesday.
When did you start designing?
I started creating when I was just 15/16 years old. I use to go online and follow all of the “trendy” brands that made it onto Warped Tour, and being so envious of them. I wanted to design so badly, but I didn’t have the tools at the time. I ended up reaching out to Chris Shelly, owner of ilovestud.com, who is now a great friend of mine, to help me launch my brand. Chris helped me come up with some designs and I put them out. Over time my brand presence became stronger and stronger. When I was 17 years old I bought my first MacBook and Adobe Illustrator and I just started designing more and more.
Did you go to school?
No I never went to collage. I always had recourses to use, and school never really interested me. I self taught myself, a lot of what I know with some guidance along the way.
What does your brand mean to you?
My brand is who I am. I think anytime you have a self named label, its a huge repressibility.
What is the drive behind your brand?
My customers and my supporters. The reason I get up everyday and design Is because as a designer, I’m trying to make a statement in this world. If I can help even just one person, then I’ve done my job.
Describe your work day
It’s sometimes really hard to motivate yourself, especially when you work out of your house. I usually love to blast music, and get to work. I have a design board full of current or upcoming projects, and then also recent orders. It’s hard to layout a workday, since everyday is something new haha.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get a lot of my inspiration from music or long car rides. I know that sounds kinda weird, but I love spacing out with music in the background and thinking of what I could come up with.
DD or Starbucks?
If you know me, you know the answer to this hahaha. Dunkin’s.
Have you seen your brand in public?
I have not, but some of my friends have haha. Its always a cool feeling.
How did you find out your flannel was in a Demi Lovato music video?
Its actually funny you asked me this because I literally had no idea until the day the video was uploaded. I made the flannel for my friend Sirah who was the featured artist in the video. Sirah texted me like two months later telling me to check Demi’s YouTube channel, and I saw the flannel had been featured in her music video, I lost it haha.
What’s your next step/goals?
Like my dad said, its always best to keep your next move on the down low until its time to release it. I have a lot of cool things i’ll be doing this year for sure.
@nickjmauro on socials