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In Nikki Khiran’s World

Interview News

In Nikki Khiran’s World


Nikki2A prime location, art gallery, fashion showroom, exquisite home decor. Welcome to a new genre of showroom that aims to encapsulate the lifestyles of its clients writes FUNKE OSAE-BROWN

It was half past noon when I arrived at the 7 Norman Williams showroom of fashion designer Nikki Khiran. I met her at the entrance, she was seeing off a guest. Her smile was there, sitting perfectly on her beautiful face. “Welcome,” she says as she walks me through the door.  It has been four years since I visited Nikki’s showroom. The place now wears a new look. Totally different from what it used to be.

The business of fashion has now taken a different turn for Khiran. She started her eponymous label 20 years ago as one of the pioneer designers in the Nigerian fashion industry.  Her signature style is ethereal opulence. Embellishments, floral prints, animal prints, drapes and layers complete her iconic pieces. Khiran is largely known for exquisite workmanship and pieces that fit perfectly.

She has taken her craftsmanship to a new level with the interior decor arm of her business. Under one roof, a client can be treated to the best of art works, fashion and the very best of home decor. For Khiran, it is all about lifestyle.

“People want to dress up and look good,” she tells me. “They want to go into their houses and feel comfortable. I want the Nikki Khiran brand to be about lifestyle, not just about clothes. I want it to be about comfort, specification and glamour. That is why I went into interiors and accessories. I don’t want people to think I am all about clothes. What I mean is that I want the Nikki Khiran brand to be about clothes and interiors. I am about life style. I love comfort. I clients to have comfortable homes as well as beautiful clothes.”

Soft furnishing, cushions, curtains, upholstery, flowers and more are some of Khiran’s offering when it comes to fine furnishing.  “I went into interior decor because a lot of my customers seem to like what I like. They always say they love my sense of style and taste. And so half quarter of last year, we went into it fully. So when you walk into the shop now, you will see all the home stuff on display. We are not fully open to the public yet. We just started about four months ago.”

Nikki works with her sister, an interior decorator, who lives in Abuja. “If my customers want their house done, she will come in and do that. She is my alter ego. She is like the interior décor of Nikki Khiran style or clothes. She is an extension of what I do. So we work together.”

A graduate from the London college of Fashion, Nikki came back to Nigeria ten years ago and launched her design studio. Her aesthetic sense is rooted in her African background, but a global western influence is prevalent in her work. Ethnic and abstract prints in spicy tones, sumptuous fabrics, silk crepes, tulle, silk dupions, taffeta, beaded georgette, always come together as dramatic but wearable.

Her drive to have an all encompassing lifestyle centre has led her to kick start ‘Object of Beauty’, a lifestyle show that is expected to be biggest fashion life style event so far in Nigeria . “It will be a good platform for manufacturers of garments, fabrics, hair and beauty, interior décor, and art and crafts products, to exhibit the best of African creativity. ‘Objects of Beauty’ is aimed at protecting the Nigerian rich indigenous culture in terms of fashion, accessories and design.”

The event which will take place at the Protea Hotel Ikoyi comes up on the 17th -18th of November.

Before, the Nikki Khiran label evolved into a lifestyle outfit, couture had been the focus. Today, Nikki does a lot of off the rack prêt de porte wears. “I do variety of things from casual wear to evening wear. I do a lot of dresses, skirts, kaftans, jersey, silk.  I do quite a variety of things. My collection is quite vast. We are trying to go into lifestyle label. What we have done is we have extended our range to a home wear line which is what we do on our ground floor. We also do fashion and accessories. Now we have a new handbag line that just came out. We have accessories. We are doing quite a lot of stuff. I don’t want Nikki Khiran to be too much of what you have seen for the past two decades or so. I want it to be a lifestyle brand where we do all sorts of things that clients can basically get all they need under one roof whether it is fashion or lifestyle.”

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