A lazy afternoon is the perfect time for an interview with Norbury-based designer and stylist Kelly-Jade Nicholls following a busy, yet successful morning at Lewisham People’s Day.
Nicholls has already accomplished a great deal at the age of 27, including winning the Tyler Media Youth Award (now known as the FDC Young Designer Award) at the tender age of 17.
The achievement brought a lot of desired attention and gave her an unbelievable opportunity to create a dress for singer, Kelly Rowland.
With Rowland’s name attached to her portfolio, Nicholls was determined to reach new heights, constantly creating new designs and grabbing any opportunity to showcase her designs.
She caught another break when a stylist slot opened up unexpectedly at ‘I Love Brick Lane,’ a fashion show that ran in Shoreditch.
“I received a call from a friend who explained a stylist had cancelled. I was asked to style and it just went from there. I thought, ‘yes! I get to put great outfits together.’”
Nicholls later teamed up with designer and former Big Brother contestant, Jay Wilson, to create Awake Past Midnight, the success of which led to a partnership with Sony to style the British girl band, Little Mix.
She said: “Sony were in love with us and pitched us Little Mix. We worked with them for a year and I loved styling the girls.”
Despite her styling success, Nicholls’ main passion stretches beyond styling and into design.
“I have always loved drawing and creating graphics. It has always been my main passion.”
This encouraged her to launch her brand, Pretty Girlz Rock (PGR), with products ranging from backpacks to activity books.
The brand is aimed at young girls and seeks to reflect a positive image of ethnic minorities and help them to build self-confidence and self-esteem.
“I always wanted to make products with interesting pictures on them, but growing up I didn’t see positive images on products,’’ said Nicholls, who grew up in Norbury.
‘‘I really wanted the pictures on my brand’s products to reflect the community.”
Since launching PGR, Nicholls has received plenty of encouragement, which continued at Lewisham People’s Day last Saturday (July 12).
With sun forecast, crowds of festival-goers headed to the event, and in turn, Nicholls’ stall.
“The afternoon was really busy and we sold lots of products,” she said.
“I received a lot of great feedback. Lots of parents thanked me and believed the concept was great.”
While there is a growing demand for her products in America, Nicholls is currently content to see PGR succeed in the UK.
“I want PGR to be in Sainsbury’s, Tesco and ASDA, and all major stores across the UK,” she said.
Information about the PGR range can be found at www.prettygirlzrock.co.uk.