To definitely understand the Nicopanda world it is important to know its origin. The creative director, Nicola Formichetti, launched the brand by opening a pop-up shop in Tribeca, New York. The name came from his nickname, "bear"; he played around it thinking that a panda would be closer to his Japanese inspirations.
Growing up, Nicola was influenced by different designers; I was taking part to as many store events as possible stating: "Every event I would go to, I needed to leave with the memorabilia”. Whether it was a key ring, a lighter or a picture, Nicola needed to save a memory of the creative experience he lived. This habit went on for a long time, until he got the chance to share his passion for memorabilia at his own pop-up shop.
The Nicopanda logo took shape using inspiration from Disney characters, Hello Kitty and different Japanese cartoons and drawing those into something that very similar to his self-portrait in panda form. The brand grew blending the Japanese cartoons inspiration with London and New York exciting street-wear cultures. The brand became the symbol of the meeting between fashion and young creatives around the world.
For his SS16 collection Nicola Formichetti proposed a gender-fluid range that mixed romanticism and the “Japanese avatar, Hello Kitty street-punk concept,” he created gold metallic mesh mini-dresses, muted pink satin bombers for guys and other glitter athletic mesh jackets. He took classic sports elements such as MA-1 jackets and hoodies in a deconstructed direction. “We are producing and sourcing everywhere from Asia and Italy to locally here in New York”.
Formichetti’s unique interpretation of classics inspires the fashion savvy, including Lady Gaga, who attended the presentation and later tweeted “Nicopanda: my brilliant, rebellious friend”.