How London Fashion Week Is Honoring One Of Its Own This Season

Photo: Courtesy of British Fashion Council.

Designer Richard Nicoll's passing in October surprised and saddened many of those who knew, had worked with, or felt inspired by the 39-year-old. Since he graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2002, he emerged as a member of London's new wave of talent, receiving accolades like the NEWGEN sponsorship and showing his sportswear-infused collections as part of the city's Fashion Week. It was an incredible loss to the English fashion industry (and the global community as a whole). So, this season, London Fashion Week partnered with Pantone to celebrate Nicoll's life with a new color, chosen by his close friends.

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The entrance to LFW's new central hub location, The Store Studios at 180 Strand, has been painted in Nicoll Blue, the late designer's custom hue, to honor the London-born, Australia-raised designer's legacy. "Modest and humble, yet at the same time lively and playful, it embodies the elegance and sensitive spirit of this much beloved designer," Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, said of the new shade. When thinking about what color would best reflect Nicoll, Pantone considered "innate kindness, loving soul and good natured sense of humor," Pressman explained in a statement.

Nicoll, who was best known for his menswear, showed collections in London for nearly 10 years. Outside of his eponymous label, which he launched at London Collections Men (now London Fashion Week Men's), he brought his aesthetic eye to Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton, and creative direction to brands like Fred Perry and Jack Wills. Nicoll was preparing to take a creative director role at Adidas before he passed.

"Richard was a designer whose talent and character inspired all around him," Sarah Mower, the British Fashion Council's ambassador for emerging talent, said. "He registered his affinity for the spectrum of blues hundreds of times in the collections he showed in London." She noted the profound effect the designer had on not only his colleagues, but also an entire generation of fashion enthusiasts based in London. To have Nicoll Blue be an integral part of the optics of London Fashion Week this season, she explained, "is a way to remember and celebrate a great London friend and to convey our respects and eternal gratitude to his family."

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In addition to the color-coded venue, a minute of silence was held before the Central Saint Martins show on Friday to honor Nicoll. A retrospective exhibition of the designer's work is expected to debut later this year.

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designed by Anna Jay; Photo: Courtesy of British Fashion Council.

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