I am often in search of the male perspective and point of view. That changes today, with my interview with Steve Nicoll. This fashion-forward Brit has made his life with his family in The United States. In this eye-opening exchange we talk about his background, his relationship with fashion and why American men are aging themselves before their time. Here is Steve…
MKG: Can you share a little about you, where you grew up and how long you have lived in The United States?
Steve: I was born in Chiswick, a borough of West London, England, but I am 3/4 English and 1/4 French. My paternal grandmother was originally from Paris.We stayed in and around the London area until I followed in my father’s footsteps and moved to Grasse, France, at age 19, to apprentice as a Perfumer. After my training I returned to England and spent five years working in Manchester where I met my wife Deborah, before returning to work in London. We spent two years on assignment in South Africa shortly after that. We then transferred permanently to the US in 1993 and started our family. Life is hectic but good; I stay fit by exercising and playing competitive soccer regularly. Once a year I take a few days of personal time in the outdoors to decompress with the guys.
Today I work as a Perfumer for functional products with International Flavors and Fragrances, which means that I create the fragrances that are sold to customers who Continue reading →
Cally is a fashion designer with purpose and a point of view. We met because she happens to have graduated from my Alma Mater, though I am older, but that doesn’t matter, right?! What strikes me most about Cally is not just her warmth and spirit, but also her commitment to her designs and the message she wishes to convey: That women can be every bit as pulled together as a man, and that we can make choices in our wardrobe that empower us and help us stand strong. Cally calls upon the image of a classic male dandy (definition: man devoted to style and fashion) to inspire her collection. In fact, every season she has a dandy inspiration to keep her designs focused. This year’s dandy impetus is the main female character in the classic movie, In the Mood for Love. I sat down with Cally to hear more about her extraordinary story …
Mel: When did you launch your company?
Cally: I launched Kal Rieman in 2009. My first delivery was Fall 2010.
Mel: Did you always know that you wanted to be a fashion designer?
Cally: No. I was going in to the business study program and became an East Asian Studies major. I wasn’t raised in the arts. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and was one of five kids. We were into sports and my fashion look growing up was preppy American – Ralph Lauren sportswear. Before J. Crew and Banana Republic modernized their lines, the big store for me was The Limited. It was a cool place to shop! Continue reading →