About the designer:
VERMILLI'S ORIGIN STORY
We’re in a breezy, Hawai’i living room. Pattern pieces are strewn across the floor. Bolts of fabric are piled up in the corner, next to a well cared for collection of tropical plants. Though she doesn’t always work from her own living room, it’s where Nicole finds the most peace and inspiration.
Nicole grew up in a small east coast town and spent years sewing clothes for her Barbie dolls, taking sewing lessons from both of her grandmothers.
“My grandmothers inspired me to be creative, but also strive for perfection. If I made something incorrectly, they would make me rip it out and do it over again."
Outfits for herself soon followed the doll clothes…and of course, she made her own prom dress as well. Though we’re not going to include a picture of this creation…it was the early 2000’s and Nicole hadn’t quite polished the “flattering” part of her aesthetic yet!
Fast forward a few years…Nicole earned her BFA in painting from the University of Hawai’i in Manoa. A slew of random jobs proceed. A bank teller in Waiʻanae, a server at several local restaurants, a mannequin merchandiser at Forever21 in Waikīkī...to name a few. She is convinced that these experiences helped her acquire a variety of skills which would lay the foundation for the launch of Vermilli in the fall of 2013.
“I realized that I was happier sewing, not painting. A dimensional palette was more fun, had more options.
I wanted to design wearable art.”
And so, that’s exactly what she did.
As a surfer and nature lover, creating a brand which prioritized sustainability was (and still very much is) essential for Nicole. Local seamstresses and subcontractors were also a must for all facets of production.
In a world of fast fashion, Nicole intentionally created a slow fashion brand.
Maintaining a high standard of eco-consciousness is her way of paying tribute to the place which has provided her with so much inspiration.
“I like to design pieces that I need in my own closet. They are simple, yet classic. They're easy to dress up, or dress down. And they can be worn for years and years."
In an industry where it’s easy to get lost in the sea, Nicole’s designs stand out. Her island experiences have been translated into unique, timeless pieces. Using the softest fabrics, Vermilli designs are inspired by the cool evening breeze. The hand drawn and painted prints are inspired by all day surf sessions, salt in your hair, and tropical flowers.
When you’re wearing Vermilli, this isn’t just a cute outfit. (Although it is that too, for sure.) You’re wearing a piece that has a story. It was designed by one individual, quite possibly in her own living room. It was sewn by humans who live Hawai’i and made to share an experience of living in an incredible place.