“I wanted to not only create clothes but to create something custom not even just the Garment custom but the fabric and making sure that each and every piece that I created for that person was not only reflect their body type but also their personality”
Happy Friday! This week’s feature is from Buffalo’s very own Fashion Designer and entrepreneur. She holds a degree in Fashion and Textile Technology and a minor in Fiber Arts at Buffalo State College. Her designs are so unique and absolutely stunning. Her passion for textiles began in 2013, which then led her to create her own fabrics and designs. She is so inspiring to other young women and students are working hard towards their passion. This young woman has so much success ahead of her, and I am so grateful to feature her story today! Grab a cup, and enjoy your Friday read! Get to know….
Profession: Full-time Fashion Designer, CNA, and running a vegan meal prepping service
Hometown: New York, NY
Current City: Buffalo, NY
Hi Naquasia! Thank you for joining us today. I love your designs and your website. Tell me about your fashion business NLFC, and how you got started working in the fashion industry?
Well my fashion business was started in 2016 where I start official selling my garments and fabric to the public the name was created in my Creative Studies class in 2011 . I wanted to not only create clothes but to create something custom not even just the Garment custom but the fabric and making sure that each and every piece that I created for that person was not only reflect their body type but also their personality and or if they borrow a a ready-made piece they were getting that was one of a kind and never duplicated.
I remember seeing your designs at the Buffalo State Runway Fashion Show. (is this the right show? Pls correct if its not, can’t remember which show it was!). What inspired you to create your collection?
Well yes it was RUNWAY 10.0 I also did four other shows for SUNY at buffalo state runway. The inspiration for that collection came from my first Garment I ever created for runway that was back in 2014 when I first did RUNWAY i created a woven top and a custom dyed skirt . I just wanted to piggyback off of that and also on the incorporate stuff from my previous exhibition it which was called blooming Shield which was used for my fiber art exhibition the idea behind this was to create wearable art and I created on flower shoulder pads using silk and leather. For runway i wanted to incorporate the two concepts but still getting the feel and Vibe of what I wanted the people that inspired me there were three artists I was looking into there was Alexander McQueen piece I was obsessed with that was a part of my inspiration there was also Nick Cave’s wearable art and London-based artist Rebecca Louise so taking all of that and my ideal vision was based around a silhouette of dior new look for the shape of the garment it went into the 1800s cage dress. I created two pieces well three two got into the show but it was all about transition it went from a full woven top to Half & Half until full bloom so kind of like the stages of life we go through we weave everything together trying to make it work and hold it together then we slowly bloom into the person we are meant to be.
Today’s age is all about ‘The Digital Age.’ With a powerful advertising platform such as Instagram, small businesses and brands can reach a wider audience. In what ways do you think Instagram helps you build your brand?
Living in the digital age with social media and having a platform where you don’t have to travel across the world to me in or Market your brand to somebody you have that platform that does it for you using that plus a hashtag it makes it easier. I sold my first piece i made for in 2014 for Runway and it was a woven leather Top by someone in the UK phrased so then in the UK i started building business there . Well living in Buffalo New York City made it easier to you know brand and Market NLFC and what’s going on it also allows your audience knows what’s going on constantly you can do stories you could share videos I mean it’s an Endless Marketing it’s easy to Market yourself and share what’s going on people like visuals and it makes it so perfect visual platforms for any brand I think it allows me to reach different people different audiences between different classes.
Besides Instagram, what other social media platforms do you use? Which platform do you find the most appealing for your brand?
Besides Instagram I also use Pinterest for certain things I use Snapchat I use Facebook a lot and I also use YouTube to promote I mean I am not a huge fan of Twitter I use wordpress as well.
Tell me about the most recent collaboration you’ve done. And are there any creatives in Buffalo (or outside of the city) that you’d like to work with?
Recent collaborations I did a photo I created a Garments I’m in Italy actually in September for a photoshoot in Italy that was my most recent collaboration in regards to collaborating with designers or anything like that I haven’t done any of that yet I was more or less collaborating with photographers and models. There are some I like to work with being a textile artist a few designers that I’ve been following for a long time and have become friends with Nathaniel White who is the designer for Nene La Shiro she wrote he’s huge and he’s just doing a damn thing and there’s two other designers that I’d like to work with small businesses but I think it’s more or less just working with models. I’ve also did a collaboration in New York City which was pretty cool I’m actually doing another one coming up and I am going back to Italy to do a photoshoot because I met a few models are there so that should be pretty fun also.
Who are your favorite Artists/Influencers that inspire your work?
Who are my favorite artists influencers that Inspire my work? I would say it depends. I mean Alex Alexander McQueen will always be my number one – on my lips with him I love Alexander McQueen. I love not even just his clothes, I think it was more the message behind this close every garment he created told the story he always told stories through his clothes and a lot of people didn’t know that but I mean he’s created a collections where he told the story of the rape of women in his country in England and literally the whole collection kind of talks about that on the death how death is beauty there’s a whole garment dedicated to that there . I would say i love nature is my biggest some inspiration honestly And in regards to artist I love Nick Cave’s abstract art surreal art.
Tell me one thing that most people may not know about you. It’s ok to share a little!
That I am vegan and that i started making pillow hand sewing them when i was ten
Are there any projects you are working on, and/or upcoming events that we should know about?
Pop up shop coming soon in Toronto / NYC, Photo shoots for my new collections, and working on a custom made wedding gown that I just created
Instagram account you follow: @nenelashiro
Band or music artist: hmm I love me Mr. Mars
Restaurant in your neighborhood: Ashker’s
Clothing boutique: Second chic
Lipstick: lip bar
Netflix show or movie: Big mouth on netflix and movie i love old 90 movies
And let’s get a little more personal, shall we:
If you won $20 million dollars in the lottery, what would you do with that money? I would put half in a saving account for and take the rest pay off college and buy a house and open a little quote from it i would create a vegan soup kitchen create a scholarship for young fashion entrepreneur like myself
How would you describe your best friend in 3 words? Soulful caring and loving
What is the last good book that you’ve read? The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k
What’s your favorite song on your current dance playlist? Hard question chris brown privacy and beyonce anything lol
New York City or LA? LA
3 songs on your current playlist? Some cardio B and bruno and C breezy
Who is your male celebrity crush? Michael Ealy, Idris Elba
3 things on your bucket list?
Thank you so much Nicole for joining us today, and sharing your story in my diary! So much gratitude. Be sure to follow Nicole on social media – all links below!