Fashion Week is in full swing, inspiring young designers all over the city. One of them is a New Jersey native with a brand new clothing line that's getting a ton of buzz: Nicki Cozzolino.
This season Cozzolino launched her clothing line, Nicolino. She says the sleek city looks are a far cry from her tomboy youth.
"My mom remembers me always cutting up my clothes and trying to make them differently," she says.
A local girl from New Jersey, Cozzolino says her Montclair roots helped her design aesthetic.
"It's so rich in culture and ethnicities and diversity," she says.
It was that upbringing that inspired Cozzolino to travel abroad, a move that has influenced most of her collection.
"I design my prints from scratch, and they're usually from my photographs from my travels, or my time in New York, which I'm so inspired by," she says.
Cozzolino first started her love affair with New York City in 2006 when she moved here to study fashion at parson's school of design.
She then worked for designer Richard Chai and other fashion houses before branching out on her own.
And it paid off. She's gotten major press, even being called "a new designer to know" by InStyle in 2012.
She says her line's simple and sleek direction is perfect for the woman on the go--of all shapes and sizes.
"You can easily wear this in an office all day, then go out to dinner, to an event, to an art gallery opening," she says.
Cozzolino has bet tens of thousands of her own dollars on the versatile looks, a risk that she hopes will pay off big.
She hasn't presented in the main tents of New York Fashion Week, but hopes to someday show with the heavy hitters. But right now, she says she's focusing on what's most important.
"That's building a business, and having sales, having representation, and having people actually wear the clothes.
Cozzolino's designs range anywhere from $175 to about $1,500 for leather goods.
Right now Cozzolino's designs are available online, but she says there is also interest from major department stores such as Barney's.