Chicago fashion designer Nicole Maret finds her muse in a trailblazing, two-wheeled cross-country adventure.
Red Rocks in Zion National Park (Photo courtesy of Nicole Maret)
She’s known for her edgy, lingerie-inspired, jet-black aesthetic, but for Pilsen-based fashion designer Nicole Maret of The Order, life is anything but monochrome. Walking the line between feminine and fierce and toying with the attraction of opposites is at the core of Maret’s story-led collections. “I live for the defiance of expectations,” she explains. “The driving force behind my work is the exploration of the unknown, both conceptually and aesthetically.” So when the opportunity arose to embark on an entirely new adventure for her spring/ summer 2019 collection, the designer embraced it wholeheartedly.
Taking a cue from one of her favorite books, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, the designer hit the Pacific Coast Highway on the back of her boyfriend’s Harley Road King motorcycle with nothing but a backpack and her iPhone to snap campaign shots. “It was an immensely empowering and freeing experience,” she says. “It gave me a new perspective, inspired by the constant mobility and unbridled essence of the journey.”
Shadow play in Santa Barbara (Photo courtesy of Nicole Maret)
Chasing through sun-drenched vistas, lush coastal scenery and parched panoramas of Death Valley all the way to East Memphis, for Maret the journey was about seeing the world through a different lens, a perspective that is evident in her new work. “If previous collections have been more delicate and occasion-specific, for SS19, simplicity and wearability are paramount,” she explains. Curating an effervescent edit of luxe, silky athleisure, recycled leather and graphic patchwork—predominantly black with a few lighter cotton pieces—each item is a little mile of Maret’s road well traveled, and all play to that quintessential Kerouac mindset: “There’s nowhere to go but everywhere.”