Written by Victor Barreiro Friday, 07 October 2011 00:00
Chances are you probably know fashion designer Nick Verreos from his numerous TV appearances. These include a stint as a contestant on the second season of Project Runway or the show stopping dresses from his very own fashion line, Nikolaki. When Nick isn't busy dressing some of Hollywood's biggest stars, you can find the multi-talented designer teaching technical sketching and draping/pattern drafting at FIDM in Los Angeles. However, before Nick began his career in fashion, he had his sights set on studying Political Science and International Relations at UCLA. I recently caught up with Nick and here is what he had to say.
What can we expect to see in stores this fall/winter?
Expect to see more than just black clothing out in the stores. Designers/manufacturers showed lots of color for fall and retailers embraced that, thank goodness, since I love color! Instead of the black or khaki trench coat, opt for one with color. Mustards, electric blues, copper browns. The Cardigan is big for fall. Layer it over a t-shirt and jeans, and finish off with some high-end sneakers and you're “Sporty Luxe”. The ManBag is back! Get one. And finally, plaid, plaid, plaid! Vibe in your inner “Brawny Man”/Russian River Cub/Bear and get one or two plaid shirts—colorful ones—not just the typical red ones. And pair with some skinny dark denim jeans, boots (worn with the jean tucked in) and Voila! You're ready to chop some wood in the city.
You've dressed a number of celebs. Who would you say has been your favorite?
Yes, I'm so humbled and honored that lots of models, actresses and singers have worn dresses from my Nikolaki line. I think my Top Five would definitely be Katy Perry, when she wore one of my sequined cocktail mini dresses to launch her Purr perfume line. Beyoncé wore one of Nikolaki dresses for her video “Best Thing I Never Had”; Carrie Underwood recently wore one of my dresses to the "Ellen Show". Heidi Klum has publicly worn several of my dresses and Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin wore my gown to the Academy Awards one year.
What is something that men should always have in their closet?
A pair of dark denim or black skinny or slim-leg jeans (Levi's Super-Skinny are my fave), a nice fitted dress shirt in several colors (H&M, TopMan, Zara are good brands), nicer “driving loafers” (I like them in bright colors from Gucci or Todd's), a pair of good boots, a couple of nicer t-shirts (TopMan make the best), and a fitted sports jacket/blazer, in black or silver-grey. And lots of colorful silk pocket hankies!
Aside from designing, you teach part time at FIDM. Do you prefer one over the other?
Yes, I do teach part-time at FIDM, but I'm also the Official Spokesperson for the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandise, so I attend a lot of their big events as well as travel to all their campuses meeting prospective students and giving advice. I love doing both designing and teaching, but if I have to choose, designing is my first and only love. I love everything about the design process, from sketching to draping, making the patterns to even sewing the samples. I especially love when it's done and you see it being worn. It's the culmination of a lot of work and it's great to finally see your vision come to life.
Is there something about you that people would be surprised to find out?
That I hate reality shows. I can't stand them! I know, it sounds weird coming from a person who did one, and arguably became “famous” because of one. I'm beyond thankful and humbled because of it and all the successes that have come from it. But yes, I cannot watch them. My partner loves watching them—I just go to my office in our house and do work as he watches them without me. I think it's the fact that I've 'been there done that”, and I “know too much” about how not real they are. I can almost hear the producer in the back saying “OK, now go stand here!” and that makes me be very jaded about those shows. With that being said, I still watch one, Project Runway!