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Rising Stars: Meet Nic Hyl

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nic Hyl.

Hi Nic, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I started my fashion journey in design school. After graduating, I moved to NYC with $300 and 5 suitcases to be an apprentice to a Norma Kamali. I learned so much about building a brand and being a designer from her. After about a year with Norma, I got a job at Ralph Lauren in Global Sourcing, Product Development & Production. At the time, I had no clue what I was doing; especially because production isn’t typically taught at design school. So I paid attention and learned on the job VERY quickly. This skill helped me so much once I had my own brand because it taught me how to create premium products.

After about seven years at RL, I branched out and started my own brand. At first, it was just local markets and shows. It evolved to e-commerce during the pandemic, and last year I began building out my wholesale division and manufacturing in Los Angeles.

Today we have retail, wholesale and even a program (Nic Hyl Fashion University), to help emerging designers, fashion industry professionals and organizations MASTER their product development, production and commercial garment manufacturing.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
No. It has not been a smooth road. I’ve had every struggle you can think of: health, financial, personal, professional you name it. But it’s part of being an entrepreneur. I’ve learned that the people who “make it” aren’t immune to problems; they just don’t give up in the face of them.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m a fashion designer that doubles as a businesswoman. I’m really proud of that because so many artists are bad at business and I’m one of the few that can straddle both worlds.

I’m really great at fit and quality of product and started out with swimwear, taking a page from Norma’s playbook. As the brand is growing, we’re getting into resort wear and ready-to-wear. Our swimwear roots really help to make our clothing fit beautifully. I’m currently working on our first ready-to-wear collection with resort wear inspiration. I also love that while making our beautifully crafted pieces, we only produce in America; helping the economies of the communities we’re made in and we source our raw goods as sustainably as possible so that we’re not destroying the planet in the production of our beautiful pieces.

I’d say what sets us apart from other brands is that we really want the people wearing our pieces to feel beautiful and acknowledge that beauty in ALL people-not just the traditional stereotypes of beauty we’re often shown. We impart beauty in every part of the process and really take pride in the work we craft and create just for the beauties wearing them.

How do you think about luck?
I’m really spiritual so I like to think of them as blessings. I’ve been so blessed during this whole journey; even if it didn’t always look like a “blessing” when it happened.

Moving to NYC with $300 and 5 suitcases and 10 years later having a brand is a blessing. Even though it didn’t always feel like it when I was working 90+ hours per week and sacrificing so much time away from my family. I’ve been fortunate enough to also meet the right people at the right time and be protected from the wrong people and have them removed from my life when they were no longer part of my destiny.

I’m currently battling breast cancer and have been blessed by not be affected by the side effects of the chemo that I am on; literally no side effects. That is rare and a huge blessing. Some people would look at a diagnosis like that as bad luck, but I don’t. Everything happens for a reason and considering what my body is going through, the blessing is that I am still healthy, my body is winning this fight, my attitude is great and I’m going to be ok. That is the blessing.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Photographers: Jon Last, Nic Hyl, Marc Sharma

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