Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

An American fashion designer and businesswoman, who saw this world first through Texas and then grew up in Lenox, Massachusetts.

She went to Rhode Island School of Design and earned a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree in Apparel Design. For a year, she studied at L’Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. There she learnt the art of fabric drapery and classical method of dressmaking. She described the training sessions as “intense”, but the course gave much help in fabric manipulation, which soon became her signature style in her designs.

In her early years of her career, she interned with Clovis Ruffin (renowned dress designer) in New York. She then started working as the chief designer at P.J. Walsh manufacturer of dresses. Bud Konheim, who was the company’s president hired Miller obviously for her design and aesthetic sense, but also because Miller held the belief that business and design can be a triumphant combination. In 1982, Konheim and Nicole collaborated to start the Nicole Miller company. In 1986, her first store opened on Madison Avenue. The brand later grew into twenty boutiques in some major cities of America and the brand was sold in several popular department stores.

Miller’s mother and father met each other during the second world war. Her father worked at General Electric as an engineer and was a role model for Miller. Her tailoring abilities can be attributed to her father’s mind of engineering. According to Miller, engineering can be defined as a way to figuring out how to make something. On the other hand, her mother disliked America and insisted that her daughters should dress in styles influenced by the French culture and trends. Furthermore when Miller was approached by a toy company, Mattel, to design her version of the well-known Barbie doll, the designer claimed that she never played with a Barbie since her mother persisted Miller and her sister to only play along with French dolls. Once the Barbie was designed by Miller, since 2009 it has been displayed in a continuing exhibit at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and was titled, Barbie: The Fashion Experience.

Miller’s signature style has traditionally been bold colors or black – with interesting cuts on clothes. The designer’s key concern has always been necklines, curves and proportions. Her designs are considered classic and sexy at the same time. She creates cocktail dresses, lounge wear, wedding clothes and form-flattering gowns. She draws inspiration from a number of sources including contemporary art, cinema, 20th century cultures and architecture.

Her outfits have been flaunted by Beyoncé Knowles, Angelica Huston, LeAnn Rimes, Jennifer Stone, Eva Longoria, Susan Sarandon, Brooke Shields, Angelina Jolie, Lauren Hutton, Cindi Lauper and Sheryl Crow among others.

Moving on, in 1996 she married Kim Tiapale (financier) in New York. The two have one son and allot their time between two neighborhoods of New York. She is the member of Council of Fashion Designers of America and is also among its board of directors. Moreover, she is an ardent collector of contemporary art as well as modern French furniture. Her personal art collection has works by Le Corbusier, Andy Warhol, Ellen Gallagher, John Stango and Damien Loeb.

Additionally, Nicole Miller has appeared on many television programs such as Iron Chef, The Chopping Block, America’s Next Top Model, Holland’s Next Top model, The Apprentice, The Price Is Right, Miss Universe Pageant, and etc. She also appeared in Picture Me, a film by Ole Schell and Sara Ziff, as herself.


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