How I Collect

Designer Nicole Miller on Her "Instinctive" Approach to Collecting

Designer Nicole Miller on Her "Instinctive" Approach to Collecting
Nicole Miller

New York Fashion Week has arrived, and the always artful designer Nicole Miller has has the eyes of fashion editors, celebrities, and buyers fixed on the debut of her new Spring 2014 collection at Lincoln Center. Miller, who is best known for her bright, vibrant patterns and feminine evening dresses, took some time out to chat with Artspace about her love of collecting art and how it influences her design.

How did you begin collecting art? Do you remember the first piece you bought?

I went to the Rhode Island School of Design, and so the first pieces I ever bought were by RISD alumni—a still life by David Frazer and a 3-D piece by Peter Buchman.

What kind of artwork do you collect today?

Many of my friends are artists, so I collect their work. I also tend to buy more paintings than sculpture, but I find myself drawn to 3-D painting at times, which combines both. Finally, I tend to buy on first impulse—a first reaction is very important for me. It's instinctive. The work has to have an effect on me.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

Damien Loeb, Eric Fischl, Bryan Hunt, Will Cotton, April Gornik, Ross Bleckner, and David Salle.

How has art influenced your design process?

I see a lot of art and sometimes an exhibition has struck me, but it usually has more of an indirect influence. However, I have often used Yves Klein Blue over the years and, yes, I have done Jackson Pollock- and Joan Miró-inspired prints in the past. But mainly it just makes me happy to be around art. 

You made some interesting selections in your collection for Artspace. How did you choose these works?

My eye went towards the line—they all have an architectural feeling. After looking at all of the works, these really stood out to me. I always like innovation in construction as I am also very concerned with the aesthetics of my clothes and the strengths and subtleties of the cut.


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