Nicholas Daley graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2013 and launched his eponymous label in 2015. Since the brand's genesis, Nicholas has continually explored his dual-ethnic heritage, being of Jamaican and Scottishdescent: he widely questions and reflects the notion of multiculturalism within the British identity.
Placing great significance on craftsmanship, all production is retained within the UK and Nicholas works with internationally recognised manufacturers such as George Cox, Glenisla and Christys' London to name a few; creating bespoke textiles that redefine a vision of what we might associate with British heritage. For instance, for Autumn Winter ‘18's collection ‘Red Clay,' Nicholas investigated the relationship between tweed and its assimilation into jazz culture. Through developing a bespoke herringbone tweed with Scottish mill Lovat, Nicholas subverted the cloth's ar- chetypical associations, whilst portraying his interest in underground music as a cultural form of inspiration andexpression. For his Spring Summer '19 collection ‘SLYGO' Nicholas paid homage to his family's role in Britain'sreggae sound system culture.
Nicholas' individual design approach is evident and runs through the DNA of his brand. This was primarily demonstratedin his earliest collection, ‘Culture Clash' Spring Summer 15, where Nicholas established his nuanced referencesto style and nonconformity; as he looked to the varied and volatile landscape of Britain's post-war subcultures. He worked with the acclaimed DJ Don Letts to inform his research and the pair subsequently created a mix tape toaccompany the collection, something that Nicholas has continued to do with a different artist each season: in turn expanding his design practice.
For S/S ‘18, A/W ‘18, S/S '19, A/W ‘19 and S/S ‘20 Nicholas was supported by The British Fashion Council's NEWGEN program as part of London Collections Men. The presentation format enabled Nicholas to organise live music performances, creating a sensory space of music, culture and fashion. For his Red Clay presentation, Nicholas worked with the UK's finest contemporary jazz musicians Yussef Dayes, Mansur Brown, Alfa Mist and Shabaka Hutchings who played a rare live jazz session together. For his SLYGO collection he added pivotal London-based musicians Cosmo Pyke and Obongjayar to his list of collaborators. For his A/W 19 show Nicholas looked at thewider dissemination of dub music which has ultimately impacted the way we hear and approach modern electronicmusic and many other genres. For the first time Nicholas presented a runway show in London, collaborating with music legend Dennis Bovell and musician Puma Blue on a live music gig. Most recently for Nicholas' S/S'20 show during London Fashion Week, award-winning avant-garde jazz group Sons of Kemet walked the runway wearing the Astro Black collection and later played a rare extended performance with all attendees encouraged to joinin and dance. In such a way, the label has been able to authentically cross the boundaries between music and fashion. This is reflected through the breadth of press received. Within the UK, this varies from entities such as i-D, Dazed and Confused, ShowStudio and Hypebeast to the likes of Jazz FM, Vogue, GQ, The Financial Times and The Crafts Council. On an international basis, Nicholas has a strong following in Japan where he consistently receives press from GRIND magazine, Popeye, Eyescream, Silver and Brutus and has hosted events in Tokyo, working with his stockists such as Ware-mo-Kou. Nicholas is equally stocked within notable stores such as Inter-national Gallery Beams, UnionMade, Goodhood and Dover Street Market.
For the very first time Nicholas presented a runway show during Paris Fashion Week with the adidas Originals MakerLab in January, blending his design knowledge with the craftsmanship of Parisian ateliers. Nicholas has been a recipient of the 2018/19 International Woolmark Prize London Semi-Final Award, going on to present a custom collection titled ‘Reggae Klub' in the final. The newly-opened V&A Museum in Dundee currently exhibits two of Nicholas' designs for their Scottish Design Galleries permanent collection, and a solo exhibition for Studio Nicholas Daley will be presented from 6 September until 7 February 2020 in the museum.