Most good plays start with a strong first act, setting up the story motivation and introducing the characters, and hopefully the second act has a well-thought out denouement that resolves the action in Act I. This same concept applies in fashion. Emerging fashion designer Nikki DeMoneris has had a strong opening prologue. While at Parsons, she received the CFDA Honorable Mention Award, won the Gap Scholarship, and later interned with Nicole Milller, The Gap, and Shin Choi. In 2009, Nikki won the denim category at the renowned Supima Competition. By launching her own line, Kleonikh, Nikki DeMoneris is introducing an interesting Act I to her promising prologue.
In her debut collection, Nikki DeMoneris looks to dress the career woman on the go who needs high-quality, utilitarian clothes that are versatile and easy to wear. This is evidenced in great separates that can be mixed and matched, or worn throughout the seasons. “I like to give my customer variety, whether she lives in a warmer or cooler climate,” says Nikki. Standout pieces include a magnificent cotton side draped and pleated front pencil skirt, a luxurious linen jacket with cropped back, extended front and a silk velvet removable hood, a cotton slim relaxed low hung pocket pant, a cotton jersey draped calf length capelette dress, and a faux suede asymmetrical cut jacket with open front exposure.
Though the inspiration for this collection is an unusual source, Nikki’s discerning eye ingeniously distills her reference, never sacrificing her signature stamp and point of view. “This collection was inspired by scarification in the tribal tradition. I know that sounds macabre, but it is not a literal translation. You will see some variations on scarifications in the patterns and cuts in the fabric. Francis Bacon’s brush stroke and color palettes also inspired me. His color palette is very muted, and I drew from his color palette, reflected in my choices of rich eggplant, granite, and maroon red.”
Though Nikki infuses Greek culture in her designs, it is not a literal translation. “I would not say I specifically infuse my Greek heritage but my designs definitely express a European aesthetic. I am really against disposable fashion…I believe in making quality pieces that consumers would want to keep in their wardrobes for several seasons. In that way, I am paying homage to my Greek heritage because we believe in thrift and purchasing quality product.”
In spite of a challenging economic climate, Nikki DeMoneris has chosen to forego trends and create a great first act that plays well on any fashion stage. “When you are creative person and you have passion, you have to express that creativity. My family really believes in working hard to achieve your dreams and that was instilled in me as a young child. So, recession aside, I had to satisfy my muse.”
Kleonikh can be found in Eva’s in New York City, and at Rubee’s Closet in Jersey City, NJ.