Nicopanda wants you to Come As You Are

After a first coming-of-age collection for LFW SS18, inspired by 80s films and high-school cliques, unisex label Nicopanda jumped a decade for AW18 with a playful rendition of the 90s, channelling yesterday’s youth in a collection tailor-made for the streets of today. A big change from the oversized varsity knits, pleated skirts and rebel mesh from last year’s collection, AW18 was heavy on prints, graphic tees, plaid flannel, leggings and neon colours. Streetwear on acid.

Fashion editor, stylist –behind Lady Gaga’s meat-dress moment– and creative director, now-designer Nicola Formichetti has worn many hats since starting in the fashion industry. Leaving his position at Diesel last year to focus on what he used to call his “weekend project”, Formichetti is now working full-time on his label, Nicopanda, launched in 2015, inspired by Formichetti’s east and west heritage –Formichetti is the son of an Italian pilot father and a Japanese flight attendant mother.

The front row was taken over by some of the coolest names in the music industry: musicians Amir Amor of Rudimental and Kara Marni, performer Alice Chater, decked out in a bright pink jacket, singers Betsy and Sinead Harnett. From the fashion world, stylist Soki Mak and British fashion designer Kyle De’Volle attended, along with model Joanna Kutcher who wore fishnet stockings and thigh-high bright purple boots. A good crop.

While the brand was born out of Formichetti’s love for Japan’s Harajuku and kawaii cultures mixed with New York’s streetwear and London’s punk scene, this season’s cultural collision, down to the soundtrack (with a mix of Nirvana and Lil’ Kim), was Seattle grunge meets East coast hip-hop. Collaborating with the iconic hip-hop and electronic record label Tommy Boy, matching plaid tracksuits, sweatshirts and bucket hats were emblazoned with the Tommy Boy logo, inspiring Formichetti to create his own “Nicoboy” imprint.

AW18 at Nicopanda was 90s club culture of puffer jackets, tracksuits and leg warmers, fluorescent pinks, lime greens and leopard print. AW18 at Nicopanda was old-school meets boujee, hip-hop with an underlying tribute to grunge. Smells Like Nicopanda Spirit with a Come As You Are attitude, Formichetti was able to permeate today’s youth culture, knowing exactly where streetwear is at in 2018: an expression of one’s individuality and boundary-pushing.

More than a fashion label, a lifestyle.


Words Cécile Fischer

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