nick pini StyleWeek 2

Norfolk native and current Attleboro resident Nick Pini walks the runway with a model wearing one of his creations last month at StyleWeek Northeast in Providence. (Photos courtesy of StyleWeek Northeast)

Last month, StyleWeek Northeast took place at the Providence G Ballroom and featured many up-and-coming designers from New England.

One of them was local product Nick Pini, who is slowly but surely making a name for himself in the fashion industry. His West Coast-inspired designs have gained much social media praise, including some gushing words from actress/celebrity Lindsay Lohan.

Recently, Pini, who turned 26 this week, spoke with The Sun Chronicle about his fashion journey so far and where he'd like to take his designs in the future.

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GO: How was your experience at StyleWeek Northeast?

PINI: I loved it! It's an awesome networking event for creators and people who want to become designers. I've been attending for a while and it's been great every time. I've met some of the greatest people, so that's probably the biggest part of it for me.

It's also cool because I've been in this area all my life. I'm from Norfolk, I live in Attleboro now, and I went to school in Boston. I've been making art for almost my entire life and it's nice to connect with other designers and see that stuff like this actually does go on here. When you're in school you're sort of told that you have to be in L.A. or New York to find success and you can lose hope. Now with these events and with technology, you can kind of do whatever you want from anywhere.

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GO: When did you know that fashion design was what you wanted to do?

PINI: I went to MassArt and at first I thought I wanted to focus on sports photography. But some of my art was focused on exciting images of women, so people would tell me that I should do something in fashion. Even in high school I remember my art teacher telling me some of my drawings looked like fashion sketches and that I should go with it. That was probably the first spark for me, but it wasn't until college that I realized I couldn't picture myself doing anything else.

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GO: What steps did you take to get to where you are now?

PINI: I'm actually a very shy person, so it took a lot of people pushing me to do different things. I wouldn't have gotten in contact with any of the people that have helped me if it weren't for my friends pushing me. At first I didn't even know where to begin, but I think you have to face your fears and hit the ground running. Just start from anywhere.

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GO: Your work is described as being made for, "the new California girl." What does that mean to you?

PINI: I'm super inspired by artistic and creative women, women who dress for themselves and their creative pursuits. The thought of women who go out to California to chase their dreams is a big inspiration for me. The women who are getting out there and trying to make their dreams a reality, those are the women I design for.

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GO: Where do you want to take your fashions in the years to come?

PINI: My dream has always been to have stores in Miami and L.A. I want to make an impact and sell to creative people, but I still want to keep it intimate and personal. I like the idea of my designs being unique to the person who wears it, which is why I rarely make more than one of each piece. Right now I sell a few of my accessories through Flaunt Boutique in Smithfield, R.I. Everything else is done through my website pini.co and on my social media. But if I can have at least two tiny stores in my lifetime, I'll be happy!

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To learn more about Nick Pini and his designs go to www.pini.co. To learn more about StyleWeek Northeast you can visit www.styleweeknortheast.com.

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Jenna Noel is a freelance writer living in Foxboro. Contact her at JennaNoelWrites@gmail.com.

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