– Khahlil Louisy and Brittany Christina Waugh
Canadian-born designer, Nick Graham, never fails to keep his audience engaged with the formats of his shows and presentations – usually a hybrid of the two. This season was no exception. At his New York Fashion Week Men’s Spring Summer 2019 presentation at Cadillac House, a crowd of well-heeled women and sharply tailored, suited men – a reflection of the brand’s aesthetic and for which it is known, filled the room to witness not just the collection, but also to see what Graham had up his sleeves for the season. The “space” visual, a theme that was hinted at for the collection on the invitation, played continuously from the large screen in the Cadillac House space, setting the mood for the presentation, with the additional touch of a “one of a kind” Cadillac, Graham offered, from 1959 that was brought in from Detroit just for the runway show.
The collection itself was themed “1969” because, as Nick describes it, was a transformational year in our history, not only because of the first landing on the Moon by Apollo 11, but also the hosting of Woodstock, both of which he counts as pivotal events in our culture.
“I told them about the space theme and they brought this out of their designer center archives which is amazing,” said Nick of the car. He also recognized Cadillac as a major sponsor of New York Fashion Week and his brand.
Knowing Graham’s history in the industry, from the founding of Joe Boxer in the U.S. to his more dressy ‘Nick Graham’ brand, we asked Nick who he credits as his biggest supporter throughout his journey in fashion, to which he unhesitatingly responded “The CFDA. I’ve been a member of the CFDA for 26 years, they were the biggest help I’ve ever had. The CFDA has always been a big help, even when I was in San Francisco.”
Although Nick Graham has had a vast career with stellar credentials as a designer, fashion wasn’t his first career. “I don’t know what I started off doing. I didn’t go to design school or college or anything like that. But I knew I wanted to create.”
The biggest advice he says he would give to anyone who wants to be in the fashion industry or who wants to design is “make one thing that you like. People these days, I think are so stuck on being big and wanting to make all these different products, but I always say the big picture is made up of a thousand different pixels. Each one of those is a decision, so don’t try to overreach those, just do and make what you love.”
Getty Images for Nick Graham
An interesting dynamic of the show was the inclusion of young boys to both open and close the presentation with a dance routine and dressed in shirts stating ‘Future Martians.’ “The kids will be able to go to Mars in the next 20 years and will reach and discover what some will never be able to in their lifetime.” Said Graham
It is always riveting to witness designers have fun with fashion. The Nick Graham’s brand is forward thinking and his presentation are a breath of fresh air, especially during a week of men’s collections which can border on the banal. Seeing the models, of different ages and heights, strutting down the runway with their bright faces and wide grins, lightened the feel of the room and brought an energy. We are all excited to see which dimension Nick Graham takes us to next!
Getty Images for Nick Graham