Interview: Nicola Lucas
Nicola Lucas has a love for vintage and fashion. I was lucky enough to have an interview with Nicola about her vintage style.
Hello! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?
I’m great thank you!
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I’m originally from South Wales but I’ve lived in London for about 15 years now. I live with my husband and 3-year-old daughter and I’m expecting baby number 2 in Spring. I have worked in the fashion industry for most of my career but I took a short break to have my daughter and whilst on mat leave I decided not to return to my full time role as a content manager and start up an Etsy shop selling vintage. I also began my blog Stylebynic.co.uk earlier this year, and I’ve recently trained as a personal stylist.
Describe your style.
Feminine, chic but with a bit of edge, I don’t like to look too done.
When did you start getting into fashion?
I think I’ve always been into fashion, since I was little my parents tell me that I was very decisive in my outfit choices, I would only wear pink and refused to wear pyjamas! I still love pink, but think I’ve toned it down a bit since then! I always wanted to work in fashion but I never quite knew exactly what I wanted to do, once I moved to London to pursue a fashion career I ended up trying a few different areas from design to marketing.
Where are your favourite places to shop?
I like high street brands like Whistles, Topshop and Zara and I like going to vintage shops and fairs. I also discover a lot of new brands and labels online through Etsy and Asos Marketplace. Instagram is great for discovering new shops too.
What inspired you to get into vintage fashion?
I’ve always loved shopping vintage and I always thought that I would own a vintage shop one day. For now I have my own Etsy store, so I have to store it all at home, but who knows one day a studio space would be great, then I could do styling appointments too!
Do you think it is an important aspect to make your own clothing?
Not necessarily, it’s great if you can make something from scratch, but just learning to alter things or know someone who can, can help when shopping for pre-loved items.
Do you have any tips for anyone shopping in vintage and charity shops?
Yes I would say a lot of the time you have to be open minded, chances are you won’t find something if you already have a particular item in mind. But popping into shops like these regularly means you’re more likely to pick up the gems when they come in. Also always try to have a bit of imagination, if you all see is granny’s old skirt you’ll end up putting it back, but think about the print, how you can style it and give it a new lease of life!
Why do you think charity shops are an important place to shop for clothes?
Not only are you helping the charity, but you are also helping the environment by investing pre-owned pieces.
Your style is very unique and wonderful; how do you go about styling different clothes?
I try to utilise all the items in my wardrobe so that I don’t get stuck in a rut of wearing the same things. Of course there are definitely basics, which I rely on, but I think accessories can go a long way. Also for those times when I do feel a bit uninspired I keep boards on Pinterest and collections on Instagram for ideas.
How did you go about finding your own style?
I think my style is constantly changing, as people we don’t stay the same throughout life so I think my style definitely went through a bit of an identity struggle after I had my first child. Once I had decided to work for myself rather than return to work my favourite midi skirts and heels were no longer part of my working wardrobe, so I had to find a balance between dressing comfortably for working from home but not sloppy. Just because I’m not in an office everyday doesn’t mean I should stay in pyjamas all day!
Have you always been into fashion?
Yes, pretty much! I did TV and media at uni I suppose because I didn’t really know what else to do, but by the end of university I wanted to study design. So I got place to do a fashion design foundation course and then I got a job as a design assistant and have been in fashion ever since.
What new pieces have you picked up for this autumn and winter that we haven’t seen on your Instagram yet?
I’ve just ordered a bright red chunky cardigan from Next, which I can’t wait to wear now that the weather is turning colder. I also have a vintage sequin jacket that I picked up at a vintage fair recently.
What are some of your current fashion obsessions?
Absolutely loving red right now! All the different tones of it, I think it’s such a great colour to wear and never feels boring as it makes your look stand out, even if it’s just a pair of earrings or a bag.
What are your favourite pieces of clothing?
I love ankle boots, they’re so versatile. I think they look great with a bare leg if it’s not too chilly! Blue jeans that just go with everything and midi dresses.
What could you not live without?
Tea and red wine – although I’m pregnant at the moment so I’m just sticking to tea.
Do you have any career plans?
Since completing my styling course I really want to focus on building up my profile and hopefully gaining some clients! I hope to be able to offer some kind of styling service that involves vintage. Of course I’ll continue with my blog and Etsy store and then I’ll be taking a short break once baby arrives!
Do you have a favourite fashion magazine?
Not really a favourite, I tend to read blogs or sites like whowhatwear.com but if I was going to treat myself to a glossy I would buy Vogue or Marie Claire.
Who was your first style icon?
Randomly as a child of the 80s probably Michaela Strachan, I used to love her crazy earrings!
Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?
Social media is probably the best form of marketing for start up brands and blogs and I find the community very supportive especially for women in business, which is great, and how it should be. Instagram for me has been the most useful.
What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your blog?
A little but of maternity fashion, hopefully more vintage stuff as I’m helping a charity source and style some pieces. Also some interior styling posts as I’m working on a few interior projects at home at the moment.
Do you have any advice for anyone who would like to set up their own blog?
Just go for it! Your blog will never be perfect when you start out, it will evolve as you and your audience do.
What’s the best piece of creative advice you’ve ever been given?
Be patient things don’t happen over night!
You can follow Nicola on her website and blog ‘http://www.stylebynic.co.uk’. You can also take a look at her Etsy shop here ‘https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LittleVintageStar’. Photography by Margarita Karenko.