Nicole Farhi Designer British Clothing for Men and Women
View Nicole Farhi Fashion collections on London Fashion Review Blog
History of the Nicole Farhi Fashion Brand
Nicole Farhi, studied fashion in Paris before moving to London in the early 1970’s – where she would form a long-standing and personal relationship with Stephen Marks, founder of French Connection. After working for ten years as a designer for the French Connection brand, backed by her then husband, Stepehn Marks, Nicole Farhi set out to establish her own namesake label by establishing a womenswear line in 1982, funded by French Connection. The menswear line was added in 1989. During the 1990’s the brand expanded to include swimwear, shoes, accessories, home furnishings, eveningwear, and a series of concept restaurants.
In 2010, Nicole Farhi’s parent company, French Connection, was forced to undergo a major shake up after making a loss of £24.9 million in the 2009/2010 financial year. This involved scaling back its operations overseas and closing branches that weren’t profitable. As part of the shake-up, loss making, Nicole Farhi was sold to private equity firm OpenGate Capital for £5m at a reported loss to French Connection of £5.7 million.
As of 2011, Nicole Farhi had 5 stand alone stores and concessions in department stores Selfridges, House of Fraser and Harvey Nichols in the UK, as well as many international and online stockists. Nicole Farhi also has showrooms in London and Milan. Her collections have earned her many celebrity patrons that include, Claudia Schiffer, Colin Firth, Emily Mortimer, Emma Thompson, Chris Martin and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
- 1970’s: Nicole Farhi moves to London after studying fashion in Paris and a short period as a freelance designer in Paris for brands such as Pierre D’Alby, Bianchini-Férier, Elle, Marie Claire and 1966-circa. It was here in London that Nicole Farhi formed a strong relationship with Stephen Marks, founder of French Connection.
- 1982: Stephen Marks, her husband at the time, launches the Nicole Farhi brand.
- 1987: The Nicole Farhi diffusion line, Farhi by Nicole Farhi, was launched as a collection of sporty, easy to wear pieces at lower prices than the Nicole Farhi brand.
- 1989: The Nicole Farhi menswear collection is launched with a line of tailored suits and separates
- 1994: The Nicole Farhi flagship store and restaurant ‘Nicole’s’ opens on London’s Bond Street.
- 1998: Nicole Farhi is one of the first British designers to create a Home range, combining handmade glassware and ceramics with hand selected antiques.
- 1999: The Nicole Farhi New York flagship store is opened.
- 2002: ‘202’ opens in London’s Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, featuring the Nicole Farhi clothing lines, the home wear collection and an all day brassiere. Another ‘202’ soon followed in New York’s Chelsea Markets district.
- 2005: Nicole Farhi releases the brands’ the first fragrances- Nicole Farhi Femme and Nicole Farhi Homme.
- 2008: Nicole Farhi collaborates with artist John Keane to create a limited edition clothing line for Christian Aid to benefit the children in Angola.
- 2009: The Nicole Farhi e-commerce site is launched.
- 2010: French Connection sells the Nicole Farhi Brand to the private equity firm OpenGate Capital for almost £5 million. Later this year, a new head of menswear is appointed for Nicole Farhi and Farhi by Nicole Farhi, Massimo Nicosia – who was previously head of menswear at Pringle of Scotland.
- 2011: Massimo Nicosia debuts his first menswear collection for the Nicole Farhi brand at Milan Fashion Week.
Nicole Farhi Aesthetic
“The contrast of gentle femininity in chiffon and prints, set against minimal shapes with a masculine edge.” – Nicole Farhi
The Nicole Farhi woman is described as one who can express themself, and does not like to be dictated to in their day-to-day life in what they wear. The collections mix a Mediterranean sensibility with London influences to create a line with a blend of easy but functional tailoring with luxurious separates. Unstructured design is a distinctive feature of Farhi’s work – as is the importance of understatement, attention to detail, and subtle colours and textures
Nicole Farhi: Award Winner
As of 2011, Nicole Farhi had been a nominee for the British Fashion Awards 8 times, winning the British Classics Award in 1989 and the Contemporary Collections award in 1995, 1996 and 1997. At the 2000 FHM awards, Nicole Farhi was named Menswear Designer of the Year and at the 2001 Maxim Awards, she was named British Designer of the Year. It’s not only her fashion that has earned her accolades; the Nicole Farhi Homme fragrance has picked up a FiFi Award, the Oscar of the fragrance industry. In 2007, Nicole Farhi received and honorary CBE (Commander of the most excellent order of the British Empire) for services to the fashion industry. In 2008, she was also recognised by the Confederation of the British Industry (CBI) with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
To take a full look at the recent collections of Nicole Farhi, visit the official Nicole Farhi website.