Interview – Nico Design

NICO by Nicolas Bilodeau, Founder and Creative Director.

What is the story behind your brand? And how would you describe it?
The idea for my brand was born at the pattern table of my fashion school (Cégep Marie-Victorin). At the time, I wanted to revolutionize the world of men’s fashion with a more human and warm approach. It was in 2015 that NICO was officially launched. On this occasion, I presented a collection entitled Urban-Hunter that was military, funky and colorful. My brand is graphic, urban and edited.

What is your creative process?
It all starts with the search for a fabric that inspires me; a process that can be difficult when you want to be unique. Once the fabric is determined, the conception of the collection and the illustrations come naturally to me. Then I make fabric combinations, find appropriate finishes and refine the whole thing. I love talking to my team about my world and my vision. These discussions push me to surpass myself and design an even more extravagant universe.

What has inspired your latest collection?
There are two things that inspired my collection. First, while looking for inspirational photos, I noticed a pleat on a piece of clothing. So I continued the idea by pushing it a little further; where could the pleats be to make it look like NICO. Secondly, I found a metallic jacquard with abstract patterns in my search for fabrics, I immediately imagined a chic baroque universe for my next collection.

What are your influences?
Architecture inspires me on a daily basis: the colors, the shapes, the layout of a building in an environment… Another thing that inspires and directs me in the vision of my brand is the human (who will wear my creations?), comfort and style. Whether it’s for a chic evening or to go to work, graphic elegance and versatility remain essential.

What is your signature piece?
The colorful suits of my Spring-Summer 2020 collection.

Who are the NICO woman and man?
NICO women and men are eclectic and elegant.

What is your fondest fashion memory?
The launch of my first collection. The feeling I had at the end of my fashion show when I stepped out onto the catwalk to greet my friends, entourage and guests. WOW! An incredible adrenaline rush.

How are you coping with COVID?
All right! Finally, I take the time to conceptualize, sit down, think and reflect on the things I love and the things I need to let go of. As a full-time nurse, it’s a luxury I didn’t have very often. We have just launched NICO masks and I am putting a lot of emphasis on marketing them. The future is still uncertain, but I remain positive about the future of fashion in Quebec.

On a different note… Which book is on your nightstand at the moment?
“Beautiful People – Saint Laurent, Lagerfeld : splendeurs et misères de la mode” by Alicia Drake.

Which song are you listening to over and over?
“Forever” by Chvrches.

Which television series are you binge watching?
“La Casa de Papel” (Netflix).

What is your favorite recipe of the moment?
Poutine and pizza.

What movie inspires you?
“Valentino: The Last Emperor” directed by Matt Tyrnauer. WOW!

Andrew McNally

When asked what it is that I do for work, I like to joke that I am a fashion hybrid. I am lucky enough to work in various ways within this industry which I am passionate about. I am a fashion columnist at Journal de Montreal for which I write for different columns, including Mode de stars (Fashion of the Stars) and Dans la garde-robe de… (A Glimpse In His.Her Closet…). I also do image consulting for several performers and actors in the Quebec entertainment industry. In addition, I work behind the scenes as an Artistic Director at many fashion events and fashion shows. The rest of my time is spent teaching fashion at LaSalle College.