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Women Making History: Nicole of Nicacelly


Many people don’t have the courage to strike out on their own, looking towards others to give them the opportunity to grow. This is not the case with artist/designer Nicole Markoff who started Nicacelly in 2002: a high-end women’s street savvy boutique apparel line that looks fresh and timeless both in kicks and stilettos, blending rare world fabrics with urban sensibilities and sexy cuts for women- a perfect combination of image, material, and silhouette. Markoff’s idea was to create a new business with a strong personal aesthetic and methodology that is fully reflective of the fashionista with social and intellectual depth. With this in mind she began Nicacelly, a brand that allows her the creative freedom that she craves personally and wants to inspire in others.

More on Nicole and Nicacelly (and her super-fresh survey…wait till you see it!) after the jump!

Born in 1978 in Philadelphia, Markoff was infused at a young age with music and the arts. Having to decide between visual arts and clarinet lessons at 13, she chose to move forward visually and subsequently learned about fibers and fashion, interning at DKNY in WomensWear at 16. She also explored fine crafts- ceramics and fiber primarily, often times making her own handlooms from painting frames. She entered NYU in ’96 and studied for a year in the Chelsea School of Art’s public art program in London. Designing her own educational focus, Markoff graduated cum laude in 2000 with a self-designed major of “Speaking Visually: Public, Craft, and Othered Art.” She has been exploring these concepts ever since, most notably through the Nicacelly line.

Though raised in the East, Markoff had a fantasy of the West Coast, thanks to the lyrics of Joni Mitchell and Christopher Wallace alike. After graduation she left the bustle of Brooklyn for Oakland, and began work with Hieroglyphics—one of the longest-running artist-owned hip hop record labels in the country—managing and expanding their merchandise line and doing product development. In beautiful California she was granted an art studio of her own, and she began refashioning dead stock hip hop merchandise as well as returning to her fiber projects. As it would turn out, her fabric dj’ing would soon take precedence.

In 2001, Markoff made a solo journey to Thailand. There she found a beach, a hammock, and a fabric market. Upon her return, she possessed a newfound awareness of a visual conversation between the hip-hop based streetwear in her own country, and the streetwear she observed in southeast Asia. Thus, Nicacelly was born.

Exploring memories and social issues through a fashion medium, Markoff has managed to create a public art project with both intellectual and visual depth. To the consumer, each piece is a visual and tactile treat full of color, line and design that reflects something rare but intrinsically known. Her work beckons the independent woman inside to come to the fore, and reflect the diversity of her inside on the outside.

M.I.S.S. Nicole—an original rockin’ an original!

Photo by Robyn Twomey

The “Nicacelly Girl” is just like garment she’s wearing—one-of-a-kind!

The Nicacelly Kimono…view more styles at Nicacelly.com!

Also, visit the sites below for more info or to inquire about the limited edition apparel Nicole crafts:

Nicacelly on MySpace

Buy Nicacelly @ TheGiantPeach.com

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