Thursday, July 24th
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"I just want to make women look feminine, sexy and elegant, all at the same time."
Designer Nick Verreos is recognized mostly for his turn as the highly charismatic contestant on Season 2 of Project runway. Born in St. Louis, Missouri but raised in Caracas, Venezuela and the San Francisco Bay Area, Verreos spent a majority of his childhood traveling thanks to his Greek-American father’s diplomatic status. While in his early teens Verreos found he enjoyed looking through magazines like Vogue and soon caught himself inspired to draw his own collections. After high school he attended UCLA and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Political Science. He then enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles (FIDM) and received an advanced fashion design degree. After graduating he worked as a designer and pattern maker for various design houses in the Southern California region. In 2001, Verreos created his own line, which included his now signature piece; a backless angel wing gown. His line of dresses was immediately bought by the high end department store, Henri Bendel. Not wanting to go it alone, he and friend David Paul became business and design partners, thus creating the official launch of the label, ‘Nikolaki’. Verreos’ gowns blend Mediterranean heritage with Grecian style draping and are intended for the confident, sexy, ultra feminine woman who is about to have her red carpet moment. After the initial launch, ‘Nikolaki’ received attention in the print media and has since been featured in publications like Women’s Wear Daily, In Style, Lucky and Nylon to name a few.
By 2003 Nick Verreos became a part-time professor, teaching technical sketching and draping/pattern drafting at his alma mater, FIDM. Two years later in 2005, Verreos was talked into auditioning for the second season of Bravo’s hit television show, Project Runway; a beloved show with the MyCloset.com staff and its members! Within a few weeks of the shows airing, Verreos was both fan favorite and obvious top contender, coming fifth place. Thanks to his experience on the show he obtained the energy boost needed to revive his outlook on work and life. During 2006 he started to appear as a fashion expert and commentator on shows such as the TV Guide Network’s ‘Fashion Wrap up with Lisa Rinna’, SoapNet’s ‘Emmy Award Coverage’, MTV’s ‘The Hills’ and the WB’s ‘Crowned’. Verreos also co-hosted the TV Guide Network’s ‘Fashion Team’, covered the Winter Olympics for NBC and became a member of the Glam Squad on MSN.com’s Style Studio. Not only has he appeared on television but he is a featured writer for US Weekly’s Fashion Police and maintains a blog for People.com, Bravo.com and Frontiers magazine. In 2007 he teamed with the clothing store Windsor to design an exclusive line of prom dresses. Verreos continues to design a collection each year and has presented during LA’s Fashion Week and at the first ever Islands of the World Fashion Week in the Bahamas. His gowns are a continual hit with celebrities like Marlee Matlin, Eva Longoria, Heidi Klum, Kathy Griffin and Patricia Arquette; who have all graced the red carpet in a Nikolaki’ gown. All the while, Verreos has continued to teach at FIDM and is now their official spokesperson.
Nikolaki means “little Nick”. While on Project Runway, Nick Verreos won the now infamous Barbie Challenge, in which his designs were produced for the ‘My Scene Nick Verreos Barbie’ and sold exclusively at Toys ‘R’ Us (the Barbie doll quickly sold out and is now a collector’s item). In 2008, Verreos starred in the Sears Grant A Wish Ad Campaign and Holiday commercial. ‘Nikolaki’ sold in over one hundred department stores and boutiques throughout the US, Japan and Latin America.