Well the first wave of award shows has kinda come to an end but the bevy of shows talking about the fashions from those award shows will go on for awhile. The Oscars was the last show of the awards season to have all the fashion pundits asking that age old question… ”Who are you wearing?”
One of my favorite shows to watch after the award shows to get all the dirt on “who wore what well,” is Fashion Wrap on the TV Guide Channel. I really like Nick Verreos, he’s hot, he’s talented and he’s very funny!
Nick has built an incredible career for himself and I was honored to interview him for the Military Press, I’m sure you will enjoy his interview:
Q. You have “styled” some very famous “A” list celebrities since and/or prior to being a contestant on Project Runway, who is the most famous person you’ve styled and were you “star struck?”
A. I was very excited when I found out Katy Perry chose to wear one of my NIKOLAKI dresses to launch her perfume line. Also, when Carrie Underwood wore one of my dresses on “The Ellen Show,” that was a big treat. I was watching it on TV and yelled “OMG! That’s my dress!.” In addition, I would have to say that I was very excited when I found out that Beyoncé wore one of my designs for one of her videos. I never met any of these ladies so unfortunately, I cannot offer any “star struck” feelings on my end. However, I do have to say that when Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin wore one of my gowns to the Oscars several years ago–that was really “MAJOR” for me. It was especially wonderful because I did meet her and assisted in helping her and her stylist pick out the gown. I was very honored that she chose to wear one of my gowns to the Academy Awards. I was so excited; I think I called EVERYONE from LA to the Republic of Panama!
Q. Were you a celebrity stylist prior to Project Runway?
A. I began my High-end line, NIKOLAKI with my partner — David Paul — in 2001, so prior to being on Season 2 of Project Runway in 2006 ( I know — SEVEN years ago!), I had been in business for about five years and my line was carried in over 100 stores including Nordstrom, Henri Bendel and Fred Segal back then. I had been working in the fashion industry since I graduated FIDM/The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in the early 90’s. Before Project Runway, I dressed several actresses and singers as well as Miss USA’s and Miss Universes. But NOT the likes of Heidi Klum, Katy Perry and Carrie Underwood–they came afterward.
Q. Do you recommend reality fashion shows as a good opportunity for aspiring/emerging designers?
A. It depends. Many people do these fashion reality competition shows to be “famous” — but many do it for the same reason I did; to have more women in the US (or the World) be exposed to the fabulousness of my designs! When I did “Project Runway,” my motives for doing the show were not to be “famous.” I thought that being on the show–and hopefully getting very far — would really take my design business to another level. After I did “Project Runway,” I did get lots of interest from women across the US wanting my dresses but since my gowns are very expensive, it was difficult for the “everyday” woman in America to afford them. Instead I got call after call to do TV and be a fashion commentator. I never expected that, but I realized that this was a great and unexpected “bonus” and could become an extension of my “brand.” Being on the show exposed me to many people, stylists, celebs and so for me, it was a definite bonus. And now, seven years later, I can finally provide women across America my dresses at an affordable price with my new Contemporary dress line “NV Nick Verreos” which I am launching in April. The dress line will be carried at Dillard’s and Lord & Taylor and will retail from $108-$158 and I am BEYOND excited about it.
Q. I know that you are a FIDM graduate, how did graduating from FIDM assist you in your present endeavors?
A. Being a graduate of The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising/FIDM helped me immensely of course. I had no formal training or real fashion education before then. I got my B.A. from UCLA in Political Science before attending FIDM. I had a natural talent to draw–and draw fashion well. But, I had no knowledge of how to take those drawings and CREATE the clothes. FIDM taught me how to do that, and gave me such respect for the pattern making, draping, sewing and construction of clothing. So much so, that many years later, I ended us being an instructor at FIDM and now I am the College’s Official Spokesperson. When I graduated from FIDM, I felt confident enough that I had all the training needed to go into the fashion industry and conquer it.
Q. Your wonderful sense of humor is one the reasons I tune in to Fashion Wrap during award season, how did you get this opportunity?
A. Right after I was “Auf’ed” from “Project Runway,” I did an interview for a show on TV Guide Network called “Reality Chat.” After that, they kept inviting me back, just to discuss fashion, and then before I knew it, I was the Fashion Expert on the panel of their Awards Show Fashion Wrap. And well, I guess, the executives really liked me, because here I am many, many seasons (and years) later. I hope I can bring a little of my “Nick humor” but mostly my expertise as a Fashion Designer, Fashion Instructor, and someone who has the fashion education. I want to respect fashion and hopefully–with a little bit of humor–educate the viewing public on fashion and the beauty of clothing.
Q. Would you say that LA is the best city to be a celebrity stylist? What about NYC, ATL, or DC — especially with all the Tyler Perry studios there and Michelle Obama’s influence on DC?
A. I think LA is one of the top cities to be a Celebrity Stylist–since this is a town of celebrities. I would say NYC would be next since it is considered the Center of the Fashion World. The job of a stylist really began in Los Angeles when the “Red Carpet” world exploded especially with Joan Rivers. Before then, the Hollywood Costume Designers would dress the actress/actors; or the celebrities would head to Rodeo Drive and actually buy their gowns and red carpet ensembles (Can you believe it?) So it’s natural that Los Angeles would still be the “Center of the Styling” Universe. With that being said, there is no reason why a stylist could not have a very successful business–and many clients — in Atlanta, Chicago, Washington D.C., etc.
Q. Do you know anyone in the military? What do you think about the military’s influence on some of today’s fashion trends?
A. I do not, unfortunately. But I have the highest regard for the military and everything it does to protect and uphold all that is the United States. I moved here from Venezuela and I have traveled all over the World. I know how good we have it here and how precious the US is. And I am more than grateful to the military. In terms of the military and its influence on fashion trends, I think it is fascinating that almost every other season; there is a “camouflage”/military collection seen on the runways. Every now and then, there is always a “military” trend for sure! And I need to add, there is nothing more sharp — or chic — than a man or woman in uniform; the perfect tailoring, the perfect “put-together” look. It looks effortless, commanding and well-dressed.
Q. Do you have any parting words to share with the readers of the Military Press?
A. Thank you for the interview and I am honored to share my “Nick Two Cents” here on Military Press. I enjoy reading all the great “fashion blogs,” but most importantly, I’d like to give a big Thank You to all our Service Men and Women including all the Veterans. Thank you for all you do.
Until next time my Veteran Fashionistas, as always, stay fashionable!
Jackie Thomas is a proud Navy Veteran. She has represented designers from Project Runway, Project Runway All Stars, All On The Line, etc. She produces celebrity fashion shows all across the country and abroad. She’s also a Guest Speaker for FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) in San Diego. Visit Veteran Fashionista on Facebook.