The first time I met Nicole Fischelis, it was in Florence. She was Senior Vice President of Fashion Worlwide for Ferragamo and I was writing a story for Le Monde on the famous fiorentine family that continues to create fashion on the footsteps of its founder Salvatore Ferragamo. Nicole had left Sak’s Fifth Avenue where she was Senior Vice President and Women’s Fashion Director to come to Italy. She was the lively soul in this rather stuffy environnement of Palazzo Spini Feroni taken over by the Ferragamos since 1938. Not that she did not enjoy working there, helping to revive this historical brand. Nicole who was born in a family of furriers has always known how important the history of fashion is to fashion and will quote the great Yves Saint Laurent whenever is needed. In Florence, she also appreciated being closer to France and her family. Yet, History so present in a close surrounding can be at times suffocating. How many times a day to do you want to cross Ponte Vecchio…. To me, Nicole was somewhat of an anachronism there. Little did I know that I was right and that her future would bring her back to America where she is today Vice President of Ready-To-Wear at Macy’s and one of the most influent persons in the fashion industry in the US: On Tuesday Night, Nicole was honored by the High School of Fashion industries.
The Frenchwoman is calling New York her home. There she likes to always be on the move like the city itself, enjoying the youthful energy of Manhattan. “ I have always been curious.” Said Nicole, mentioning her first escape from Paris to London in the Seventies when Carnaby Street was still tinted with Mary Quant, but new kids were making a name for themselves – Claude Montana, Karl Lagerfeld or Jean Charles de Castelbajac. She knew how to recognize talents then, and still does today. This is why Nicole has been a supporter of the High school of Fashion Industries and a board member for many years now. “ She is passionate on youth and education” said Rose Marie Bravo, a fashion industry icon in her own rights, who earlier in her introductory speech praised the shrewd analysis of Nicole Fischelis on fashion trends always pointing at “ the good, the bad and the ugly”.
Yes, Nicole likes to turn her gaze towards the future, towards these students, designers of tomorrow who, on Tuesday night , showed their unique designs on the catwalk.
Little did I know, back in Florence, that I was going to make a real friend, – a rarity in the world of journalism! -. Nicole has been my best indicator at New York Fashion Week that I have been covering for the last 7 years. But above all, she has been a true , generous friend who I am very honored to have kept to this day.