The world farewelled a beloved talent Friday, as fashion designer Richard Nicoll passed away in his Sydney apartment at age 39 after suffering from a heart attack. Born in London and raised in Perth, Nicoll is celebrated for his imaginative takes on the traditional button-down, even being dubbed by fashion insiders such as Suzy Menkes as the “King of the Blouse”.
After graduating from London's Central Saint Martins in 2002 - having completed a BA in Menswear and an MA in Womenswear, with Dolce & Gabbana purchasing the rising star’s entire graduate collection - Nicoll established his eponymous label in 2005, starting with womenswear and then adding menswear.
He then freelanced for Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton, Cerrruti as Creative Director of the womenswear in Paris and designed and consulted for a diverse number of brands that include Fred Perry, Topshop and Sportsgirl. Awards include the ANDAM prize in 2008, the Elle Style Award and twice being a British Fashion Council/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund finalist.
Nicoll closed his eponymous label at the end of 2015 to concentrate on varying freelance opportunities including a role at adidas under the moniker Nicoll Inc between Europe, New York and Australia where he was spending more time.
He was a dear friend of the Woolmark Company for a number of years, working closely together on the Richard Nicoll label. He has sat on the jury for the International Woolmark Prize – once when the prize was revived in 2012 and then again earlier this year, recently becoming a wool ambassador and a mentor for International Woolmark Prize finalists, inspiring those he met with fresh and creative ideas.
"Richard was one of the quiet stars of fashion," his family said in a statement.
"He was a true gentleman, a wonderful friend and a much loved son. Anyone that had the privilege of knowing him knew that he had a heart of gold, an innate kindness and a modesty and humility that sometimes didn't allow him to acknowledge his own exceptional creative talent.
"He loved his life in Australia. He had recently confirmed a new role at adidas and a collaboration with Woolmark both of which he was excited about. We will miss his handsome face, his sense of humour and his love."
Against a picture-perfect Sydney Harbour backdrop, P.Johnson and Bianca Spender take home the award
At an event in Mumbai, the winners of the International Woolmark Prize’s India, Pakistan and the Middle East regional final are announced