March 2017 Issue 13
LOOK -OUT Featuring Nicole De Gale
Questions with Nicole De Gale DESIGNER FROM ST.LUCIA
Photographed & created by Tameika Fletcher-Birmingham Edited by Dionne Baptiste
What inspired you to start design? I haveÂ always been a creative, but my Fiance encouraged me to tap into it... I was browsing through a magazine when I came across a swimsuit spread with beautifully crafted glass beads, I just had to have them! I found the necessary beads at a neighbourhood store and got to work... I wore them to a a party and was bombarded by persons wanting to know where I got them. I was...amused! Long story short, it wasn't long before I was receiving orders, sometimes as much as 150 at a time.
And the name NikkiBiedes, how did that come about? As the orders increased, my fiancé started calling me Nikki Beads and it just stuck. As the business grew, my sister became involved and the spelling was changed to NikkiBiedes.
Your jewelry incorporates mainly natural stones is that your preference and why? Yes, I do tend to use natural stones in my pieces, thats simply because it gives my pieces a richer more elegant finish. NikkiBiedes is all about looking rich without breaking the bank. It also sets my pieces apart as not many designers use semi precious stones like I do.
Where would you like to see your brand in five years? In five years time, NikkiBiedes should be a household name, not only here, but across the region.
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?
HAHA..... My old boss Mae Wayne the Owner of SHE Caribbean Magazine! She is a like a tug boat, small but very powerful , can move anything around despite her size. Mae is a strong ,powerful woman who commands your attention and Â I have admired her for years. She really got me to tap into my creative side. I was initially hired as a member of the sales team, but was recruited Â to help co- ordinate photo shoots and do make up for some models. Mae has taught me a lot about fashion and I hope she knows that !
A mermaid can be seen on the NikkiBiedes logo, what does it symbolize? Well the mermaid on my logo was inspired by my first collection, the Mexican Mermaid. The pieces in that collection were made using iridescent and solid coloured glass beads and were made specifically for beach babes. That line was all about layering...the more necklaces the better the look. To be honest,that's really how I feel about all my pieces...A mermaid can be seen on the NikkiBiedes logo, what does it symbolize?
What is your favourite adornment, that must have piece of accessory? Freshwater Pearls!!! I believe every woman should own at least one pair of pearls. My first salary bought me my first pearl set, which I still own today but of course I also wear a lot of the pearl pieces that I make myself . Pearls are classy...beautiful! I never leave home without it! How would you describe your personal style? Wow, that is a hard one... I have always just tried to look different from the rest , so I usually wear whatever no one else is wearing at the time. I have done a lot of shopping in my mothers closet over the years so I have been wearing the things she wore when she was my age. My mom was a singer and was very well known throughout the region... Her wardrobe was amazing !!!! Sequins...tassles galore... loose fitting pants...bellbottoms... 'Anything different... anything that made me stand out'
How do you see fashion influencing lifestyle? Fashion makes life less dull. It allows us to have fun, Â be different . Fashion allows us to be more confident and showcase our personal style. Our personal style in turn, plays a huge role in setting us aside from the rest. It allows us to say who we are without using words.
Any major accomplishments you would like to share? Major accomplishments hmmmmmmmm...Well I have received quite a few government awards for my contribution to sports in our country, mainly Squash. I entered the Miss St Lucia World Pageant in 2005 ...I was the 2nd runner up... I must say though, thay my biggest accomplishment to date has really been starting NikkiBiedes !
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WANT EVERYONE TO FEEL, WHEN THEY WEAR YOUR PIECES?
'One word. Chic ! I want them to feel special and stylish.'