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Behind The Scenes
nikki chasin

5 Things Nikki Chasin Thinks You Absolutely Have to See in Tokyo

Nikki Chasin’s thoughts after returning from a totally revelatory trip to Tokyo? “Lost in Translation is the most accurate movie I’ve ever seen,” says the diminutive designer—who, in case you were wondering, felt huge (physically) in Japan. She also came back to New York inpired by the vintage clothing she discovered and by the vibe of the city. “There’s so many people moving around, but it’s so quiet. It’s hard to explain—no one is yapping on cell phones, cars are not honking,” she explains. Here, her guide to the places and things that really spoke to her. —carly pifer “Stop into Okura. They have incredible indigo clothing and accessories—soft scarves and great knits—and an adorable cafe called Bombay Bazaar downstairs. I loved the denim decor throughout.”(20-11 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku) "This vintage shop, called Nincompoop Capacity, had movies playing in it—so cool! It was in the Koenji neighborhood of Tokyo, which has tons of vintage and DIY shops.”(2F, 3-4-11 Koenji-kita, Suginami) “Just walking around, we saw such impeccably groomed dogs. I loved these poodles most.” “Definitely eat at Chano-ma. I loved the raised tatami mats and the food served on trays. So peaceful and relaxing after a busy day of exploring the city.”(Nakameguro Kangyou Bldg. 6F 1-22-4 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku) “Another good spot is Harajuku Gyoza Lou. It’s nothing fancy, but they serve the most delicious gyoza. It has a super-simple and friendly atmosphere—worth the wait!”(6-2-4 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku) Snag this striped beauty for a comfy day of touring.
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Step Inside Nikki Chasin’s Ready-for-Anything Space

If you think working from home is a recipe for procrastination, you don’t know Nikki Chasin, who lives in and operates her line from a light-drenched, multi-tasking spot in Chelsea. “Dinners at my apartment inevitably lead to impromptu fitting sessions or photo shoots,” says the girl who has a real way with sophisticated-but-fun clothing. Oh, and she has no trouble getting out of the house: “My days are spent running around to meetings and factories,” she adds. “I get so much done in my studio late at night, so I love that it’s in my apartment.” —alisha prakash “My grandmother on my mom’s side never threw anything away. Some thought she was a bit of a hoarder, but I always found the most amazing things when I visited. On my last visit before her house was sold, I found these incredible horns in a corner of the basement—they remind me of her strength.” “I keep my current collection tucked away on racks that are really easy to pull out when I need to go into showroom mode and have buyers or stylists visit the studio.” “I always have a few boards for current inspiration and projects that I’m working on. Right now, I’m in the design and concept stages for spring 2015.” “This table has multiple uses—hosting sales meetings, sketching, and having dinner with friends. I love that the legs double as shelves for my rolls of fabric.” “Above the rack is a collage I made my first year in New York and a portrait of my mother from when she was in high school. The white frame contains sewn-together tobacco silks that I found at an antique market. They used to come in cigarette packets and were meant to appeal to women, who used them for quilting and other crafts.” “Léon Bakst was a costume designer and illustrator for the Ballets Russes. This illustration went perfectly with my leopard mask. I’m really lazy when it comes to costumes, and I tend to use this mask over and over.” “The purses are various vintage pieces that I’ve picked up at antique fairs and shops—the pink one on the bottom right is the most recent purchase from Pippin on 17th Street. I’ve also always loved hats! In the lower left corner is a little sheep that my friend brought back from Chile—it was her tongue-in-cheek way of calling me a black sheep.” Photos courtesy of Emily Adams Bode. Get the dress that Nikki designed right at that table—over here!  
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Nikki Chasin Opens Up About Her Two Cool Grandmas

Nikki Chasin’s grandmothers have had such a massive influence on her creatively that she based her Parsons thesis collection on them. But that’s hardly so say that these two ladies are alike: “Libby was into church, while Lila is bonkers and loves drag queens,” Nikki says. Now’s your chance to get to know them. —carly pifer LIBBY “My grandma Libby was very quiet and enjoyed simple things—she didn’t want attention. Her main loves were church, animals, and crafts, like knitting and quilting. She lived on Long Island, and during my final thesis collection at Parsons I would visit her and bring my beading and embroidery projects along. She loved to see what I was working on and give me advice—mainly to avoid designing short skirts or anything with cleavage showing!” “This lookbook photo shows a jacket I made with part of one of grandma Libby’s hand-embroidered tablecloths. I cut it out so I could appliqué it onto the back, and it ended up looking wing-like—which was perfect because she loved angels.” “Grandma Libby collected thimbles forever. I like having them in my apartment. Embroidery, beading, and hand-sewing are all important elements of my design aesthetic, and the thimbles are a great reminder of that.” LILA “My grandma Lila, who moved from Long Island to south Florida over 30 years ago, is basically the opposite of grandma Libby. She is an illustrator who still does cartoons for her local newspaper—about being elderly. She loves any type of theater or performance, and sometimes she sees a play every day of the week. She is super resilient and feisty and is rarely seen without lipstick. When I was growing up, she would dress up as a clown with her husband for birthday parties and draw caricatures of all of the kids.” “This is a photo of her hands, which always look amazing. She loves bright colors and nail art—and big jewels.” “Grandma Lila is also fond of hats. I fell in love with this mohair baseball cap with rhinestones on the brim, so she let me keep it.” Snag Nikki’s newest dress for all of those holiday parties!
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