Building a brand on hard work

Designer Nicola Macintosh (centre) with models in her designs. Image supplied.

Nicola Macintosh was 17 years old when she first started to give consideration to what she wanted to pursue as a career once high school finished.

“I thought long and hard about things I enjoyed, and things I could see myself doing, when I realised I loved sewing,” says Nicola.

That was Nicola’s lightbulb moment, and she decided to pursue her love for sewing and, in 2014, she enrolled in Fashion Design with the Design & Arts College of New Zealand (D&A), now part of Yoobee School of Design’s Christchurch campus.

Nicola graduated from D&A in 2016 with a Diploma in Fashion Design Level 5, and Diploma in Fashion Design Level 6 and she has already achieved so much for an emerging designer.

“My proudest moment in the industry would have to be showcasing my graduate collection at New Zealand Fashion Week 2016. I entered into the Miromoda Competition and was selected from there to show my collection. It was a huge achievement for me and the best experience I could get to learn about the industry.”

Since completing her qualifications, Nicola has launched her label Mack Designs.

“Starting your own label at 21 years old is a huge risk, and I’m not a risk taker. But I am so passionate and determined to create my own label that I just had to jump in,” says Nicola.

Aside from building brand recognition for her label, Nicola aspires to make it back to New Zealand Fashion Week as well as debuting at iD Dunedin Fashion Week. She already has plans to branch out into men’s and children’s fashion, but spends most of her time focusing on her women’s range.

“D&A have got me to where I am today. If it wasn’t for the course, I wouldn’t have the huge amount of knowledge that I do now, and I wouldn’t be striving to create my own label. The tutors that mentored me are the reason I can focus on my brand.”

And for those considering a career in fashion design, Nicola has the following advice: “It’s a great course and the tutors have the best and most current knowledge for Fashion Design that you could ask for, but you must be willing to work hard. It is not easy, but if you can manage your time and work hard, you can do it. Same goes for the industry – you’ve just got to work hard.”

Images supplied.

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