richard nicoll's friends pay tribute to the beloved designer

One of London’s most cherished designers, Richard Nicoll was a friend to everyone who met him. With news that he'll be honored at London Fashion Week, we ask a few of his closest friends share their fondest memories.

by i-D Staff
15 February 2017, 3:59pm

Lulu Kennedy MBE, founder and director of Fashion East
"Rich was so incredibly generous. With his time — he'd always make time for friends, especially if something was bothering them. He'd call days afterwards with new solutions to your problems. He'd always be thinking about you. With his friendships — he loved to share people around. His wide group of friends all know each other through him. There was no hierarchy or boring boundaries. His home was an open one, he was definitely The Party, but it wasn't ever sceney and he was the most fun to dance with. He was generous to a fault. My home is full of little gifts for Rainbow and my wardrobe holds many of his beautiful creations. He was just so great at loving. You felt love emanating from him. People were drawn to him like a magnet and it was joyful and refreshing to be around that energy. However generously he gave of himself and his love in his lifetime we will all still be craving more. He was the most morish person ever."

Jonathan Saunders, Chief Creative Officer DVF
"It's enlightening to think of the countless times that I say 'That's so Richard.' I see a grey cube at an exhibition, or a shade of blue on a chair, or a canvas corset, or a rock-climbing hook on a belt, or a white porcelain sculpture and I think of him. It happens all the time. His work wasn't just the clothes, it was the world he created around himself. His home, the way he dressed, and the things he collected were as perfectly curated as his collections. This identifiable creative vision is what we all strive for as designers and creative people. It came so naturally to him. I will continue to be inspired by him for the rest of my life. I love and miss him."

Louise Gray, artist and designer
"Richard taught me so much about love and how to look at things, and myself. He felt like a brother, the connection was very alive. His vulnerability was his access to people, it really was and why so many people feel the loss because he gave so much in his exchanges."

Kate Brindley, best friend and fashion PR
"It's hard to know where to start (or stop) when it comes to Richard. We met through work ten years ago and he had me the moment he looked at me with those endless blue-green eyes. We quickly became friends and then close friends; encouraging each other to engage in ludicrous high jinks on a global scale. God, I love him! He showed me so many incredible things and we shared so many of the things we both loved. He designed with an intrinsic understanding of what women wanted to wear, creating beautiful timeless pieces that are as relevant today as when he first showed them. He bought a plethora of amazing people into my life, connecting us all together, such a wonderful legacy. He packed so much into his life and was so exquisite, as well as often being an exquisite 'punish.' To quote Talking Heads (your favorite band) 'Remain in Light,' Richie, you'll always remain in all of us."

Read: We look back at the work of our dear friend and contributor Richard Nicoll on the pages of i-D.

Photography Tim Walker. Styling Jacob K.

Roksanda IIincic, designer
"I met Richard 15 years ago in front of CSM where we both studied at the time. I still remember it very vividly: first there was that incredible smile, so warm and irresistibly charming. I loved it when he burst into giggles and we shared so many laughs together. There are a few people whose outside beauty is so strongly connected to the one that is inside. He was like a gift to all of us that were lucky to call him our friend."

Christopher Shannon, designer
"Richard was the first person I saw at CSM, he was in his final year and I was waiting for my course interview. I remember thinking, 'if everyone here looks like that then this is the college I want to come to!' He was in signature grey, carrying two oranges in a black string vest. Our lives overlapped from then on. Working on styling jobs together, then years of moaning to each other about running businesses, his Australian breezy dry wit snapping me out of my northern sarcastic pessimism. Many late nights at his studio too, which was for a time was the hottest dance spot in east London. His show was always the one I looked forward to the most: integrity, taste, and a lightness of touch. A congratulatory message from him post my show would mean more than he realized. He showed me that the way I worked was valid and was crucial in my cementing so many important friendships. We love you darls and all of your colors."

Linder Sterling, artist
"Creative collaborations between artists and fashion designers are still too few and far between. Richard was a creative collaborator par excellence, his fall/winter 09 collection literally fleshed out decades of my practice. We worked together to liberate photomontage from the walls of the gallery and to relocate those images onto the bodies of men and women instead. Richard was always pure joy to work with. He had a lightness of touch and an inherent elegance. Our i-D shoot in 2009 captured the essence of our first creative collaboration and also our friendship. Tim Walker's photographs, as souvenirs of a moment in time, are suddenly very precious memento mori."

Martine Rose, designer
"The first time I met Richard, he was still working with Kylie. Christoffer Lundman introduced us at the George and Dragon and we all ended up going to Dirty Fairy. I couldn't even look him in the eye, I remember thinking, 'this is the most handsome boy I'd ever seen.' He danced really stompy, like a little crusty... I was smitten from that moment. I will always love him."

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