As someone who had already had a successful corporate career, Nicholas wanted to create clothes that reflected the lifestyle of working women – pieces that looked good in the office but worked just as well after hours. .
In its small but considered space on Little Collins Street, there is a thoughtful selection of clothing.
I learned a lot about what women can wear and how to encourage women to branch out.
— Lindsay Nicholas
“I draw for the old me,” she says. “When I worked in the corporate world, I traveled 80% of the time. When you travel for business, you want things that go together well, pack well, travel well.
As a result, she works exclusively with fabrics that resist wrinkling, such as silk satin, crepe de chine and recycled polyester. “You can roll them into a ball, put them in a suitcase, and they come out fabulous.”
Also, the clothes are “not difficult,” she says. “I have a rule against annoying buttons or zippers. Everything has to work fine. And anything that can have pockets, has pockets.
When customers enter the store, Nicholas often does their hair herself. “I learned a lot about what women can wear and how to encourage women to branch out,” she says. “I know very well how to flatter a woman’s body.”
Four years after its launch, Nicholas was accepted into the Australian Fashion Council’s incubation program, in 2019 and 2020. Her mentor encouraged her to move her manufacturing to Melbourne.
It was the best business decision she had ever made, she said.
“The timing couldn’t have been better. I have found the most wonderful makers here. And when the pandemic hit, I didn’t have to worry about shipping or what was happening to my factory.
The only downside to manufacturing in Australia is, ironically, the lack of merino wool. “The majority of our wool is shipped to Japan and Italy,” she says. “So we struggle with that.”
From his adopted home, and with the perspective of being an outsider, Nicholas can see the distinctions between Melburnian and New York women. “In New York, we wore short suits to work,” she says. “But then American women will not wear our drop crotch pants. I think Australian women are used to this style because Bassike has been doing it for so long.
As for growth, Nicholas is keen to keep things slow and steady.
“My very first job after school was working in whole foods and I learned from them that slow growth is a much more sustainable pattern,” she says. “Right now I can spend time talking to clients, suggesting pieces…all the things I love about fashion.”