Nicole Bridger – yoga comfort, urban style
Many may want to – but there are only a few cities in the world where ‘yoga-wear’ is acceptable outside the yoga studio. It may pass in Boston and Vancouver but would never pass muster in cities like Tokyo or Barcelona. Vancouver-based Nicole Bridger has the answer; the fashion line for yogis who want the comfort and ease of (eco-)yoga wear but need flare and sophistication as well.
It’s no surprise that her legions of fans feel that Nicole Bridger Design offers contemporary style without sacrificing the planet; Bridger received her BAA in fashion design from Ryerson and interned at Vivienne Westwood before creating Oqoqo (the earth-friendly line) for Lululemon. She started her eponymous line in 2007 and has had success with maternity, yoga and lounge wear lines while moving forward with modern, refined collections, always in earth-friendly, sustainable fabrics.
We are absolutely smitten with the new fall/winter 2012 collection. “My new collection is about the death of habits, patterns, and ways that no longer serve us. It is about going deeper within to truly see what those are and then letting them go,” says Bridger. “I named the collection “Kali” because she is a powerful Goddess that can help us on that journey. It is not an easy process but the outcome is much lighter and closer to truth.”
To symbolize the journey of going deeper, the colour palette for the collection features deep tones of blue, grey-blue, berry reds and woodsy greens. Different shades of red portray the death of negative tendencies. This season marks the first Nicole Bridger fans will see a print, an abstract floral to show the sweetness that is waiting at the end of the journey. True to Nicole Bridger fashion, only ethical fabrics are featured, including ethically produced silk and Tencel, made from the fibre of eucalyptus plants.
We caught up with Bridger to talk about the collection and the growth of the brand, now home to two boutiques in Vancouver.
What came first ‘eco’ or ‘designer’
The eco part is just based on my personal values and morals. How I think we should be doing things, with respect to others and the environment. I guess its how I have always lived so I guess that came first. I realised I wanted to be a designer and have my own company when I was 16.
What does eco-fashion mean to you?
Its about creating clothing in a way that still respects the environment and the people on it.
What are your favorite fabrics to work with and why?
The tencel jersey is our main fabric, its so soft and comfortable and has a nice drape. I also love the drape of our silk georgette.
You have had a huge growth spurt this year: buying a factory and opening a second location, what do you attribute the growth to?
Just timing, the opportunities came up and we were ready for them.
What is in the future for the brand?
Another store or 2. Eventually, I’d like to have 60 stores all over the globe. Id like to diversify into men’s, baby and home, becoming an ethical lifestyle brand. I’d also like to open co-op style factories in developing countries that help restore the communities and quality of life.
If you could give advice to a young designer, what would you tell them?
Listen to your heart and be on top of your financials.
When in Vancouver, visit Nicole Bridger boutiques at 2151 West 4th Avenue or 208 East 12th Avenue or shop the collection online.