Remembering fashion designer and friend Richard Nicoll, 1977–2016

Richard Nicoll, an Australian fashion designer, has died at 39 in Sydney. Nicoll joined us for our 200th issue celebrations last year, sitting for a portrait in our photographic space at the Selfridges Hotel.
(Image credit: Jamie McGregor Smith)

The Australian fashion designer Richard Nicoll has died at the age of 39.

Nicoll – who was based in London for much of his career – was a stalwart of the London fashion community. After graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2002, he created designs for a number of esteemed houses (Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs among them), worked as creative director at Cerruti Paris and was a frequent exhibitor at London Fashion Week for almost a decade.

His practice was multifaceted, also encompassing collaged graphic works with artist Linder Sterling from A/W 2009 onwards, a 2012 bridal range for Topshop and S/S 2015 collaborations with Sweaty Betty and Disney.

He closed his eponymous label in 2015 to start the next chapter of his career as creative director at Jack Wills, a position he left earlier this year, returning to Australia to work on a number of projects. He had recently accepted the job of creative director at Adidas in Germany, which was due to commence in January 2017.

In 2015, Nicoll contributed to Wallpaper* Handmade, creating a pair of globe-shaped, Bohemian-style decanters with Czech glass masters Moser. Earlier this year, he created a futuristic reflective dress, conceived to offset Philippe Rahm's 'Spectral Light' in our W* Design Awards 'Best Bright Ideas' photo shoot (W*203).

Wallpaper's thoughts are with all his friends and family.

futuristic reflective dress

Earlier this year, he created a futuristic reflective dress, conceived to offset Philippe Rahm’s ’Spectral Light’ in our W* Design Awards ’Best Bright Ideas’ photo shoot. 

(Image credit: Ash Kingston)

globe-shaped decanters

For Wallpaper* Handmade last year, Nicoll ventured beyond the fashion realm with luxury glass manufacturer Moser. He delved into the archives of the Czech brand to design these globe-shaped decanters, inspired by the brand’s hundreds of floral patterns. 

(Image credit: John Short)

women in pastel-pink dress

For his brand’s tenth birthday and spring/summer 2014 collection, the designer offered a rose-coloured view of the future with his diaphanous pastel-pink layers mimicking the show’s bubble-gum hued benches, scooping a 2014 Wallpaper* Design Award for his efforts. 

(Image credit: Dima Hohlov)

S/S 2015 womenswear

His practice was multifaceted, encompassing a number of collaborations including with activewear company Sweaty Betty (pictured, for his S/S 2015 womenswear offering). 

(Image credit: Jason Lloyd-Evans)

models in grey outfits

Nicoll jumped right into the sporting swing of things for S/S 2015. 

(Image credit: Jason Lloyd-Evans)

Nicoll’s menswear collections

Nicoll’s menswear collections sway between almost jailbird uniformity and opulent dandyism – his S/S 2015 offering struck a happy balance between the two.

(Image credit: Jason Lloyd-Evans)

A/W 2014 presentation

’Easy opulence’, ’textured simplicity’ and ’modernist romance’ were the attractive contradictions that the designers threw about for his A/W 2014 presentation. 

(Image credit: Jason Lloyd-Evans)

Men A/W 2014

At London Collections: Men A/W 2014, Nicoll demonstrated a punchy bravado that was a departure from previous shows.

(Image credit: Arnolt Smead)
Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*, joining the team in 2022. Having previously been the digital features editor at AnOther and digital editor at 10 and 10 Men magazines, he has also contributed to titles including i-D, Dazed, 10 Magazine, Mr Porter’s The Journal and more, while also featuring in Dazed: 32 Years Confused: The Covers, published by Rizzoli. He is particularly interested in the moments when fashion intersects with other creative disciplines – notably art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and reporting from international fashion weeks. Across his career, he has interviewed the fashion industry’s leading figures, including Rick Owens, Pieter Mulier, Jonathan Anderson, Grace Wales Bonner, Christian Lacroix, Kate Moss and Manolo Blahnik.