At such a young age Nikita Karizma received a 1st class honours degree from London College of Fashion in 2011, and her graduate range 'Fashion v Abuse' was a hit instantly.
Her success in her graduate range led her to a proposition by Laury Smith to create clothes for Amelia Lily, Little Mix & dancers for the X Factor finals in Wembley Arena and the 2012 tour.
The young designer's second commission was for the JLS 4th Dimension tour in 2012, Karizma customised her hard edged armoured fashion pieces from Collection Riot for stage performances.
Fashion's Finest takes a look at what makes this young designer tick, and we ask her for handy little tips for all you aspiring designers out there.1) You come from a family of fashion, so was that your inspiration to pursue a career as a fashion designer or were there any other contributing factors?
Growing up my parents introduced me to different aspects of the fashion industry from fabric sourcing to product development and the media world. It definitely opened my eyes to enter this realm for higher education where I started learning about the western fashion industry.2) Tell us a little about your time at London College of Fashion.
It was a beautiful creative experience. My design & technical tutors really inspired me to push the boundaries & I was studying amongst the most talented driven young designers in the world. Creating a graduate range at the institute dipped my mind deep into the creative realm, an intense experience I am so grateful to have executed under the guidance of LCF.3) What was your inspiration in doing the 'Fashion v Abuse' piece?
1 in 3 women in the UK experience a form of domestic violence and it is a very unspoken problem in society. I wanted to use my creativity to bring awareness to the matter and create garments that imply that women have no say while being abused, yet it shouldn't be this way and they can stand up strong. Each garment in this range represents a part of abuse and I collaborated with the very talented young filmmaker Marta Tucci to execute the concept with a fashion film.
Here is a link to this piece: Fashion V Abuse 4) We understand that your 'Fashion v Abuse' piece caught the attention of the industry and was featured in Grazia Daily, Volt, SCHON!, IDOL, Papercut, Disorder Magazine & on air at BBC London Radio -how did that feel?
Absolutely incredible, I feel so grateful to have worked with such incredible magazines & stylists straight out of university. I was unaware of how much London support, young talent and quickly learnt about the industry. My graduate range was being pulled by celebrity stylists before handing my work in for assessment which definitely caught me off guard as a student.5) Did you expect your work to become such a hit in a short amount of space?
No. In all honesty unlike other designers I am a little unaware of what is happening in the fashion industry and keep myself focussed creatively within so it has been a shock to look back in the last few months to see what has flourished since stepping out of university. I am still experimenting and developing my design sense so am hoping I can share many more moments & thought provoking concepts with you all.6) As a young designer who is clearly going far by the looks of it do you have tips for the fashion students who are desperately trying to get a foot into the industry?
It is a very intense and competitive field. I suggest getting experience while you are a student as it will fuel your learning. Be conscious of creating your own unique style and make sure you are very passionate about the arts because it will become your life & the industry is ridiculously cut throat. It is very different being a student and working in industry, if you want to eventually have your own label it is vital to learn all the business aspects and not simply design or product development.7) Fashions Finest understands that you are working on a new collection which will be ready in the upcoming months and was inspired by the London Summer Riots, can you give us some more information regarding your new piece?
I am currently working on Collection Riot which is my next concept of design work inspired by the London riots. This creative concept is exploring the shock that London received by our own youth, a moment in time that I believe shouldn't be forgotten any time soon. Pieces within my range include 'shattered' clear spikes, 'Attention Anti Riot Garment' slogans, & armour influences. I am launching The Porcupine shoulders as worn by Little Mix as my first product very shortly & working on this range until I feel this concept is fully executed.8) And lastly tell us who your favourite designer is?
Good question! I love Marc Jacobs, Viktor & Rolf, Mary Katranzou, Christian Lacroix, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen so a real mix. I admire Marc Jacobs for his business and commercial success as well as being an incredible luxury designer.
Nikita's 'Collection Riot' piece will be available from February, so do keep a look out. The Porcupine from the Collection Riot, is already available for order. This young designer is aiming to get her product into the stockists shortly and will continue to work until she have finished exploring this concept thoroughly.
We have a little firecracker in our hands whose work you will be seeing. For further information on this wonderfully talented designer please visit her website www.nikitakarizma.com