BPDCS: Nikki Cloud, Stylist // Creative // Social Media Manager (Free People West Coast) / by Kenwyn Alexander

 Photo by: Amy Paine

Photo by: Amy Paine

1.       Tell us a little about yourself.

Hello! My name is Nikki Cloud and I am a wardrobe stylist, art director, as well as Regional Social Media manager for Free People! I think people’s hobbies tell a lot about them as an individual because it is what we choose to do in our free time that we often find the most enjoyment in. So, I’d say my main hobbies are reading (primarily fiction, memoirs, and fantasy), playing with my two cats, Comet and Luna, and dancing. Oh and of course spending time with Patrick, my partner of 14 years! I’m not exactly sure what that says about me but there you have it.

 

2.       Tell me about where you live and what’s special about it.

I currently live in Seattle, Washington and have been here for over five years. I’m originally from Austin, TX so moving to the PNW was a big transition for me. I’ll be honest, it took me a few years to get used to the weather but once I learned to embrace it, I fell in love with the epic nature that makes up this area. I love the water and Seattle is surrounded by it so during the summer that’s where you will find me! Seattle also has a great food and music scene which are two things I am passionate about!

 

3.       You call yourself a daydreamer. Explain that to me.

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t day dreaming about something. I have two older brothers who didn’t always want their little sister tagging along on their adventures, so I spent a lot of my time entertaining myself and lost in my imagination. From imagining I was a fairy living in a tree in my front yard to winning the gold medal in the Olympics (I was a competitive gymnast for 13 years), that sort of thing. As I got older, I started day dreaming in the form of music videos and fashion editorials which is largely due to copious hours spent watching MTV (back when it was actually about music) and reading Seventeen and Vogue. Fast forward to the present, I day dream about all kinds of things like owning my own shop or I’ll hear a song or see a run-down building and an entire editorial will form in my mind. Sometimes it comes as a dream and I just HAVE to see how it ends. Sometimes I actively play out a story in my mind and see where it goes. It’s almost like a form of meditation now. I fall asleep every night to some form of day dream.

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4.       5 words to describe your personality.

Oh geeze, this is so hard! I’m just going to go with what first popped in my head…. Creative, Loyal, Sunshine, Silly, and Reserved.

 

5.       How did you get started in styling and social media?

I, like so many people, came to be where I am today through a roundabout sort of way. My momma taught me how to sew when I was 11 years old and I found a lot of joy in making clothing, so it was the only thing I could think of when it came time to go to college. I have a degree in Apparel Design from the University of Texas, so much of my education in design and fashion started there. It wasn’t really until I started working at a vintage boutique in Austin – Feathers – that I really began to explore styling, modeling, and social media. This was before Instagram when blogs and Facebook were the main social platforms and one of my responsibilities was to manage the store blog, which meant styling and photographing the product. It was an organic learning process that eventually led to other styling opportunities. I think of the five years at Feathers as a time where I not only made lasting professional connections really explored my style and found my path – both creatively and personally.

 Photo by: Amy Paine

Photo by: Amy Paine

6       Does your style translate to your fashion at all? What is your personal clothing style like?

Definitely! Though as I’ve hit my 30s, I find that I am drawn to more neutrals and softer shapes. I still like to take chances but they are subtler, more refined, which is also influencing my fashion.

 

7      What’s the biggest creative hurdle you’ve had to overcome?

Moving to Seattle was a tough move for me. I was part of a wonderful group of creatives back in Austin and when I moved, I knew no one. This was before Instagram where you could search a hashtag and find local talent. But the root of that struggle was confidence and fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of putting myself out there, it can be really intimidating. I was fortunate to have my role with Free People that opened the door to styling for social media and from there I met and have worked with some awesome people.

 

 Photo by: Amy Paine

Photo by: Amy Paine

8.   Favorite food

Avocado! Mac n’ Cheese is a close second. Okay I’m lying it’s Mac n Cheese.

 

9.   Favorite drink

Topo Chico!!! Which I cannot find anywhere in Seattle except at this tiny sushi restaurant … I know, it’s random.

 

10.   One band you could listen to forever

This is an impossible question! Gahh I have to choose?? If we are speaking forever-forever, David Bowie because his music is so diverse and I love everything about him.

 Photo by: Amy Paine

Photo by: Amy Paine

 

11.   One place you want to go before you die.

Again, with the tough questions! Croatia because there over a thousand islands and omg think of all the beaches!!

12       Favorite song.

This Must Be The Place – Talking Heads. It’s my happy song.

 

13       Most worn item of clothing.

My vintage Levis. It may sound boring but finding the perfect pair of vintage high waisted jeans is like finding the holy grail. I will wear them till they are patched and tattered and falling off my body.

 Photo by: Katy Shayne

Photo by: Katy Shayne

 

14       Personal hero.

That’s easy, my grandnan Bonnie. She was one of those people that you could see their heart and soul in their eyes. She was the light of the room and she saw the good in everyone. She was a painter and a writer and she is responsible for nurturing the artist in me. She taught me so many things about love, creating, and being a woman.

 

15       What artists, creatives, or individuals most inspire you?

I’ve always been a huge fan of Alexandra Valenti. I love her style and the evolution of her art and photography really inspires me. I also admire Leandra Medine, the founder of Man Repeller. Her style is quirky and risky and she has a great sense of humor. But it’s the people that I work with closely that really influence and inspire me! I’ve been very fortunate to work and become friends with incredibly talented creatives and entrepreneurs here in Seattle and back home. I could list them all out but I’d hate to forget someone and it would take up pages! The thing they all have in common is that we connected, had chemistry, whatever you want to call it and they trusted my art. They pushed me to be better, to challenge myself.  I think that’s vital when it comes to those who you choose to inspire you.

 Photo: Amy Paine

Photo: Amy Paine

 

16       What does “make your moments” mean to you?

I love that you asked me this. You asked me earlier what my biggest hurdle is and I said fear. But what I really mean is Me. I am the only thing holding myself back. So “make your moments” really resonates with me because it wasn’t until recently that I finally took ownership of my future. I am the one responsible for my moments, for keeping myself open to opportunity and taking action towards my goals. It’s been a lifelong dream to open my own store and there are so many excuses to why I haven’t done so yet but I finally, FINALLY, have started. I rented a studio space, I’m building a website, and it’s scary as hell but I’m doing it. Will it be perfect at first, no. But the thing that matters is taking the first step, making that first moment happen.

 

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