Our nautical inspired bag, Sandra, has finally arrived!
Friday, 3 May 2013
Westminster Uni meets Nica!
Recently, Nica was proud to open the doors to Nica’s HQ to the buying students from Westminster University.
We started the presentation off with one of the Nica Designers, Melissa Wong and Product Manager, Tracey De Sousa going through the intricate detailing and design that goes into each and every Nica bag.
After educating the students about the Nica brand, we asked them to put together and merchandise a range of our handbags and purses which they think could be suitable for our main department store customers for SS13.
The girls set to work and came up with some lovely ideas....
After putting together their range together, the students were asked to present their range and rationale for their decisions to the rest of the group. After seeing their creative flair in their choices, we then asked them to design what they think should be the next Nica handbag charm...
They certainly didn’t disappoint and gave us some great vintage inspired designs and sketches.
We would like to thank the students from Westminster University for coming to Nica HQ and taking part with such enthusiasm.
We wish you all the best of luck and hope to see you again soon.
Wednesday, 6 March 2013
Tucked away in the East End of London, in the effortlessly cool areas of Shoreditch, Spitalfields and Brick Lane, there is a lively, colourful and eclectic road, where 60 independent shops and a glorious flower market live. This is, Columbia Road.
On a sunny but chilly Sunday morning, my friend and I took a stroll to see what Columbia Road had to offer. From antique and vintage clothes shops, to small art galleries, English and Italian delis and traditional sweet shops. Of course the Flower market was a wash of colour and wonderful scents filled the air.
Columbia Road has delicious cupcake shops, this one in particular caught my eye. The edible sugar roses placed on the heart shaped cake look too good to eat. We had to treat ourselves to a cupcake with a hot drink, it was scrumptious!
The retro style sweet shop, ‘Suck & Chew’ had us in awe as the shelves were filled with jars of hundreds of different types of sweeties! Childhood memories came rushing back as that sweet smell took over our nostrils!
This vintage style bicycle looks just like Nica Play’s new logo! The sense of fun within the sweet shop captures the essence of what the Nica Play collection is all about. It’s about jumping on your bike and going to have an adventure!
I love making things, from cushions to baking cakes. Columbia Road is full of inspirations and the fabric shops are filled with row upon row of beautiful prints, colours and textures. Even the button collections are enormous!
- Among all of the food and fabric shops, there is a quaint book store. The type of book store that you could easily sit down and get lost in your own world for hours.
Although the shops and the market make a lovely day out, our experience was made by the people of Columbia Road. The warmth and enthusiasm of the market stool traders and the happiness of the shop keepers, kept a smile on our faces all day.
Street traders, known as Pearly Kings and Queens, have been part of London’s life for hundreds of years in the East End. They originated from 'Costermongers' and they provided an essential service to London's poor communities. They would sell anything from food, flowers, clothes etc mainly in small quantities from baskets or barrows around the streets & alleyways of East London. They then set up permanent stalls where the more populated areas were and then finally evolved into today's familiar and popular Markets. Pearly King and Queens use style and panache as their cheeky banter draws in their customers. They created what we know today as Cockney rhyming slang, to entertain and also confuse!
The Pearly King and Queen costumes originated in 1880s when a road sweeper, Henry Croft transformed a worn out dress suit and top hat with smoked pearl buttons. He incorporated patterns, symbols and slogans, the most famous being ‘All for Charity’. Henry Croft was a life long friend of the coasters and was influenced by their outlook on life and how they helped one another and those who were less well off. He joined the coasters with their fundraising parade and carnivals to help raise funds for their hospital. Soon after, all 28 boroughs produced their own Pearly costumes, which became a huge hit with onlookers and helped them to raise funds for their charities.
Today the Pearly Kings and Queens give up their spare time whenever they can to concentrate on charitable and educational work. And of course, not forgetting, spreading Cockney goodwill, spirit & cheer!
The Flower market began in the Victorian era as a Saturday trading market, but as the Jewish population grew around the area, a Sunday market was established. The Saturday market became no more, as trade became very slow around the 1940s, but the Flower market evolved into a flourishing market. Initially, the Flower market catered for the local community as many people in the East End had houses with small or no gardens. The market was nearly lost in the 1970s due to the economic decline. However, the locals fought to stop the market being demolished and they won. Since the 1980s the market has become a well loved and very popular market with an international reputation. Today a variety of unusual shops compliment the style of the market and add to the buzzing atmosphere.
Take your Mum on a special day out this Mother’s Day. Columbia Road will be an experience you will always remember.
Tuesday, 15 January 2013
Watch Nica's NEW Spring Summer 2013 video here!
Nica's creativity in designing handbags, purses and accessories has been captured by the old rhyme, "Sugar & Spice & all things nice!" From decidedly feminine military style and soft utility in colour blocks, to 60's revival prints thrown in to set off the summertime vibes. This collection is all about texture and vibrant colour combined with no-fuss classic handbag and purse shapes to create unique pieces that are not only distinctive and original, but also stand the test of time.
The 'Anika' handbag collection, which includes a tote bag and a grab bag, draws upon the military essence & rock chick style with strong robust shapes in transitional hues of red brick, green and mink. Structured panelling, chunky zip pulls and hardware allows for never ending love. Scallop trims and suede textures add feminine frills to the delightful range.
The pretty'Corrine' shoulder handbag has a softer rounded shape. An envelope flap over front covers the woven stitch pattern created on the outside pocket. An intricate weave joins the shoulder straps to tie in with the woodland style stitching. Nica adds her own playful twist to this bag in the form of a scarf! A charming bird print adds humour and style and its matching large purse completes the look.
Vintage style takes a new twist with the 'Vanessa' range. Beautiful large weaving is framed & set with fine light gold hardware. A delicious array of macaroon shades of coral & mint make this collection irresistible. Three key shapes, across body bag, grab bag with shoulder strap & tote bag all with flap over fronts will take you from day to night.
The 'Verona' handbag and purse collection uses hole punches to create a faint pattern across the main panel. A delightful belt and simple bow complete the elegance of this endearing collection. Edible plums a burnt oranges depict the irresistible sweetness of this range which can be enjoyed in a across body bag, shoulder bag, tote bag and large purse.
Explore! Dream! Discover!
Thursday, 13 December 2012
Clothes Show Live was the biggest it has ever been. Held at the NEC in Birmingham, the clothes show pulled together over 400 fashion and beauty brands each with special discounts especially for Clothes Show customers. Along with fashion and beauty stands where you can shop until your hearts content, there were also 4 large catwalk and demonstration areas.
In the Susuki Fashion Theatre dancers and models performed for 45minutes at a time. The catwalk show was hosted by Henry Holland and stylist Grace Woodward.
The Diet Coke Image Catwalk showcased graduate collections and the next generation of designers. The level of design was inspiring from the young talent.
Nica has teamed up with the Clothes Show Live's educational program to find an aspiring designer to create a print for our competition. Design a whimsical pattern inspired by nature, capturing the essence of Spring / Summer to be printed onto a satchel. If you feel you have the skill and design flare to become a designer then enter the Nica competition and get your foot onto the design ladder. Deadline line date is 1st September 2013. You must be aged 17 - 24. Visit the website for more details:
The Graduate catwalk show, saw the final year collections from students who have graduated from the Colleges & Universities that were present at the event located in the University and College forum.
Kicking off the show, was a block colour collection from North East Worcestershire College.
Barnet & Southgate College mixed layers and thick materials to create a wearable daytime range & rich velvets with satins for an evening collection.
University of Derby collection created elegance with sheer materials and used statement fabrics such as plastic added a depth to the collection.
Sandwell College had a raunchy side with fishnet tights, PVC skirts and berets! The woven pieces were interesting, but not something we would dare to wear out!
The University and College Forum
If you would like to know more information about the University & Colleges who were at The Clothes Show Live event and what courses they have to offer find the information below;
Burton & South Derbyshire College: Open days .Saturday 19th January 2013 10am - 2pm .Monday 11th March 2013, 5pm- 8pm .Monday 20th March 2013, 5pm - 8pm
Call: 01283 494400
North Hertfordshire College:
Foundation degree in Fashion & Textiles
Call: 01462 424242
Barnet & Southgate College:
BTEC Extended Diploma in Fashion & Clothing
Call: 0208 266 4000
Costume and fashion courses
Call: 01926 318233
University of Wolverhampton:
BA (Hons) Fashion & Textiles
Call: 01902 322 058
South & City College Birmingham:
BTEC, HND & NCFE courses
Thursday 24th January, 4pm - 7pm
Thursday 14th March, 4pm - 7pm
Thursday 23rd May, 4pm - 7pm
Call: 0800 111 6311
Textiles, Fashion, Art & Design
15th January 2013, 5.30pm - 8pm
Call: 01823 366 331
Art & Design
Call: 01527 570020
Liverpool Community College
Fashion, Retail, Merchandising, Fashion marketing, Art & Design
Call: 0151 2523000
North Hertfordshire College
Fashion & Textiles, Art & Design, photography
Call: 01462 424242
The Nica stand was buzzing with happy shoppers, snapping up the bargains and enjoying free Pop chips & exclusive Nica wristbands! We hope to see you next year at the Clothes Show Live event where we are already planning the layout and design of our new stand. If you have any ideas about a stand please let us know as we would love to hear from you!