Love Nico started as a handbag.
The designer and creator (Corinne Alexis Hall) made a series of canvas handbags with cartoon paintings on one side, and an embroidered saying on the other. Corinne made one for a friend who happened to be promoting her new movie, and said friend (Rosario Dawson) wore it onto Regis and Kelly. You couldn’t pay for the promotional marketing material that came from that segment. It was outstanding.
Seeing this segment, Corinne was approached by a family member who wanted to invest in her, and the two bounced ideas back and forth until they came up with a business model- silkscreened t-shirts.
Corinne had zero experience with silkscreening, but learned quickly, and began playing around with designs. Inspired by Warhol, she made some repetitive prints out of everyday objects and Americana subject matter, which led to Love Nico’s signature look.
The company only had a basic (2004) e-commerce website, but still decided to become a corporate sponsor for the first annual Joey Ramone birthday bash at Irving Plaza in NYC. The other two corporate logos at the bottom of the flyers were Manic Panic and Trash n Vaudeville.
A clothing rep for the CBGB line spotted the logo. Her dog’s name was Nico. She squinted at the tiny images on the website and thought “gee, there might be something there…”. The rep, Carol Sadick, met with Corinne at the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash, and from there, the rest is history.
Working together they brought out the true grit of Love Nico’s designs, and soon the company was selling to chains and boutiques worldwide. The list included Hot Topic, Urban Outfitters, Canal Jean Co., Yellow Rat Bastard, Metropark, and of course, Trash n Vaudeville.
By 2010 the industry was going through massive changes and overhaul, and Love Nico closed down. It was resurrected again by the designer in 2014 with a focus on internet sales.