Nicole Farhi enters its 27th year of business in 2009 as an established and thriving British designer brand.
A truly fashion lifestyle brand, Nicole has extended her reach to include Menswear, which in 2009 celebrates its 20th Anniversary, FARHI by Nicole Farhi diffusion lines, own brand stores, showrooms and concept restaurants in London, Milan and New York. In addition to the Ecommerce site, the collections are also available in concessions, department stores and boutiques worldwide.
Born in Nice and trained in fashion design, Nicole began her career in Paris as a freelance designer. In the early 1970's she moved to London to begin her long and close association with Stephen Marks. First they worked together at French Connection, for whom Nicole was the principal designer for over a decade. Then in 1982, Marks launched the Nicole Farhi label, giving Nicole the opportunity to design a collection which more closely reflected the clothes she herself wanted to wear.
Five years into the life of the new company, Nicole launched a collection of sporty, easy pieces, a diffusion line under the name FARHI, recently re-launched as FARHI by Nicole Farhi. Since then, the Nicole Farhi brand has grown to include shoes, small leather goods, perfume and jewellery.
When Nicole launched her now renowned menswear collection, it seemed an effortless transition. Softly tailored suits and separates have now made her menswear as coveted and popular as her women's.
In September 1994 Farhi opened her flagship store on London's New Bond Street and underneath that, the first restaurant, Nicole's. Nicole's is contemporary and minimal in design and the modern European menu downstairs has an emphasis on fresh seasonal ingredients.
'202' was born in October 2002 in London's Westbourne Grove. 202 is a concept store that creatively combines all aspects of Nicole's business; the clothing range, homeware collection and a chic all-day caf/brasserie. 202 was such an immediate success that it was followed up quickly with a second store in New York's fashionable Chelsea Market.
2009 also sees the 10th anniversary of Nicole Farhi Homeware. Nicole Farhi became one of Britain's first fashion designers to create a Home range that grew from her love of sculpting. Nicole sculpted unstructured handmade glassware and ceramics embodying her signature style of understated elegance. Each piece is beautifully designed but with its own character and touch of humour. The Clifford Street store is dedicated to home displays her homewear and other specifically selected labels along with collectable antiques which Nicole personally buys on her extensive travels.
Nicole Farhi now has 9 free standing stores internationally, concessions nationwide and wholesale customers in the US, Italy, Russia, Spain, Australia, Scandinavia and the Far East. There are also showrooms in London, New York, Paris, Milan and Madrid. Due to demand, April 2009 saw Nicole Farhi launch an ecommerce site to satisfy customers in the furthest corners of the globe.
Nicole Farhi has won many awards during her career, including in 2008, a Lifetime Achievement prize at the First Women Awards - which recognise female "glass ceiling breakers" in business and public life, Entrepreneur of the Year at London's Francais of the Year Awards and was presented with an honorary CBE (Commander of the British Empire) by Culture Secretary Andy Burnham in recognition of her services to the fashion industry.
Nicole Farhi supports talent in art, music and theatre and is married to the playwright David Hare.
Nicole brought her Turkish heritage, French chic and sophistication to England in the early 1970's and fused these influences with British eccentricity to create a style that is internationally recognized for its relaxed tailoring, knitwear, layering and chic detailing in the most luxurious fabrics.
Actors Colin Firth, Emily Mortimer and Emma Thompson, plus Coldplay front man Chris Martin.