Quietly spoken Namibian designer Nikola Conradie, from Windhoek, has been setting the catwalks alight with her home-brewed fashion over the last few years.
Her rise to fame started with a childhood passion for fashion and a little girl’s love of dressing up, which when coupled with her structured outlook and goal-oriented drive, proved to be much more than a passing phase.
Nikola studied fashion in Polimoda, Italy before returning to her homeland where she has been creating an impact with inspired designs centred on luxurious exclusivity. Comfort is her number one priority when designing a garment and her love of Africa appears in the contemporary use of local prints in her designs.
Her rise to fame began in 2013 when she came out tops in the Swakara – Namibian Young Designer Award. Her simple elegant outfit consisted of a cocktail waistcoat and shorts. Created from figure-hugging swakara fur, a signature Namibian fabric, Nikola’s design came out tops among all the entries, earning her a fellowship at Kopenhagen International Centre for Kreativity (KiCK), in Denmark.
Here she mastered the art of working with ecologically sound fur products, in the company of world renowned fashion designers in the fur industry, and has brought her skills back to Namibia with her to feature in her latest fashions.
Last year, 2015, was a whirlwind of successes. Nikola’s designs were showcased at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Berlin during January, in the Miss Namibia pageant in August and an appearance at Mozambique Fashion Week in December.
Her softly feminine and fun designs, with just a hint of drama, stood out at all three events, winning her much acclaim amongst her international peers. Despite her apprehension at working with the satiny fabrics to suit the pageantry of the Miss Namibia competition, her outfits were a hit with contestants and spectators alike, particularly in the case of second princess, Unongo Katuko.
Her latest exploits involve a project which has been featured on her Facebook page for some time – her ‘Fashion vs Nature’ campaign. This project has taken her to some of Namibia’s most scenic spots to model her simple African themed designs and capture these images on social media.
These creations will now be offered up for sale all over the world, at an upcoming exhibition. Keep track of the progress of this quietly spoken young Windhoek born entrepreneur on Facebook, on Instagram @nikolaconradie and @NikolaFashions on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss this exciting show.