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London Fashion Week designer Richard Nicoll has died

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

Oct 21, 2016

London - It is always unfathomable when somebody you know has passed away. London Fashion Week designer Richard Nicholl died in the early hours of Friday morning, his birthday, of which the official cause of death has not been revealed, but is widely suspected to be from a sudden heart attack.

Nicoll, who was 39 today, was a Central Saint Martins alumni, and came to London to pursue his dream of making it in the fashion industry from Perth, Australia. He graduated with an MA in womenswear in 2002, and his graduation collection was famously bought by Dolce & Gabbana. He went on to design for Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Cerruti Paris, as well as high street chains Jack Wills, Sweaty Betty and Topshop, for which he designed a bridal range in 2012.

Nicoll launched his own label in 2006 as part of the platform Fashion East and received the British Fashion Council's New Generation sponsorship the following season, a coup for any young designer to be recognised so quickly.

"I can indulge in what I learnt at Cerrutti and let it inform what I am doing in my collection"

Nicoll's own label was full of sporty references with the technical know-how to back it up. Nicholl, who was famously let go from Cerruti when the company was bought by Chinese investors and closed its womenswear division once said: working at Cerrutti "was really positive. Just to have experienced it, to have those resources that are available to you in Paris – the craftspeople, the pattern-cutters, the tailors – we worked with a tailoring factory that does the Chanel jackets … you know, amazing people. Now that I have some more time I can indulge in what I learnt there and let it inform what I am doing in my collection."

True to his words, he pushed the boundaries of fabrication, collaborating with London-based fashion and technology company Studio XO on an innovative LED dress for his September 2014 show.

During the sales campaigns in Paris, I would browse through his collections and see his talent first-hand, as we shared the same showroom. Like all of us, we would be pricing and tagging the collections at the last minute, which were often just fresh off the runway at London Fashion Week.

While Nicolls put his own label on hiatus after 2015, he was due to commence a new role as creative director at Adidas in January 2017.

Image: Richard Nicoll fall/winter 2008 London Fashion Week. Credit: Catwalkpictures.com