Parsons grads Nicole Noselli and Daphne Gutierrez founded Bruce in the mid-nineties. Since then, the dynamic design duo has garnered critical acclaim from downtown sophisticates who appreciate their precise, low-key approach to the classics. While they’ve maintained notably low-profile lives, the designers collected the CFDA's Perry Ellis Award for Womenswear in 2001. They took a break between 2004 and 2007 and returned to audible sighs of relief from editors and fans. Noselli and Gutierrez seem galvanized since their return. They’ve managed to sate their youngish urbanite audience with their self-assured cutting skills, notoriously wearable pants, and an attention to detail that stamps their runway with individuality.
Further evidence that Bruce is headed for the big league is that it's sales and publicity is being represented by Greg Mills. Besides being president of Isaac Mizrahi during that company's formative years, Mills was also an important figure at Perry Ellis, Stephen Sprouse and Isabel Toledo, where he met Nicole, who was then an intern.
Rising stars though they may be, for the moment Nicole and Daphne, who both turned 28 in May, are just two hard-working women trying to make it in a very difficult business. They share an apartment, which also happens to be their company's headquarters. They're cramped, but are investing their money in the company rather than in getting separate places.