Sunday, May 29, 2011

Skinny Nelson

While most of us were still living a life full of teen angst and turmoil, Jacqui Alexander was busy being the youngest designer stocked at Harvey Nichols. These days Jacqui has teamed up with Zachery Midalia for their label Skinny Nelson. Their latest collection holds onto youth, simple cuts circa "Smells like teen spirit", combined with chunky cable knits in Grape and Grey show that Skinny Nelson are more than just a basics label.

You accomplished quite a lot at a young age. What was it like being a designer in your teens?
It was pretty unreal, in the literal sense of the word, starting so young. So much of what I was doing was very unusual for someone my age and I guess, because I had nothing else to compare it to, I had no fear of failure which pushed me to just leap in and take a chance. The older I get the more I realise I have learned. Starting so young, there had been a massive learning curve very quickly. Whist I was always very fearless, there are definitely things I would've done a little differently or things that I would've taken more control of, but I'm so happy to have experienced so much so young, with time ahead of me now to work and act more effectively.

When you started Skinny Nelson how did you find the shift from solo to collaborating? How do you share roles?
It seamed pretty natural. I guess working alone I had always longed to be able to share the responsibility of sharing a business. It definitely frees up the creative channels to share that load.

Some of your basics are in organic fabrics, what inspired Skinny Nelson to lean towards a greener alternative?
Basically while I was working on my previous brand I came across the organic cotton and simply thought wouldn't it be great, wouldn't it be a cleanse, to wear something that not only looked and felt good contributed positively to the world as well.

What influenced your latest collection?
The current collection was inspired by nostalgic memories of skiing holidays. I chose the Swiss Alps as a point of reference because there is always an underlying Scandinavian aesthetic to each collection. So I included cosy cable knits, stripy long johns and a colour palette that reflected the silver snow and forest green trees of a ski trip memory.

It's often hard not to complicate things in order to strive for difference. How do you keep things fresh but simple?
I just try to keep designing for myself. As I grow and change and my style slightly alters, so do the ranges. That's how I keep them genuine and relevant I guess.

What's next?
We've jut launched our online store which will sell core collection pieces and eventually other products that we love. We're also going to be hosting a serious of intimate studio collection sales during the month of June every Friday at out studio in Collingwood which is pretty exciting.

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