A Designer’s Dream
Zionsville’s Nikki Blaine Couture Features Designs at Paris Fashion Week
Photographer / Ellie Sophie Photography
At Nikki Blaine Couture, a glam chic boutique located in Zionsville, almost everything is a one-of-a-kind original customized by Blaine herself. The self-taught fashion designer opened her free-standing boutique in 2011, after owning an Etsy shop since the mid-2000s.
“For the most part, if I were to describe who my client is, she’s typically a professional woman that’s on a platform,” Blaine says. “I deal with a lot of professional women who are CEOs or they are the president or entrepreneurs themselves. I deal with a lot of prominent professional people.”
Since she started, Blaine’s designs have been worn on runways around the globe and displayed in the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Nikki Blaine Couture has even made it to the Capital — the Neighborhood Ball at the inauguration ceremonies for the President of the United States.
Soon she will fulfill every fashion designer’s dream — featuring designs at Paris Fashion Week.
A Blooming Interest
Blaine has had an interest in fashion since she was nine years old. Her interest began to bloom while she was in middle school, after learning how to make a sweatshirt for a class project. Having a natural talent for design, she excelled at the assignment. The same couldn’t be said about her classmates.
“All of my classmates could not understand or grasp how to finish it where it looked very professional — clearly I wasn’t a professional at that age,” Blaine says. “I told them to take their shirts apart and let me fix it for you guys. So I helped them get a better grade on their assignment and I was so excited about helping them that I was like, ‘Oh, I really enjoy making clothes.’ It started to blossom from there.”
Her interest in fashion and designing clothes stayed with her throughout school. The North Central graduate had her first fashion show when she was in high school and even designed some prom dresses for her earliest clients — her friends.
“I was very passionate and very focused about having my own brand,” she says. “It was a passion of mine. In high school is when it really became established.”
After realizing her talent, Blaine’s educators let her take the reigns on her education.
“My senior year, I pretty much wrote my own curriculum,” Blaine says. “They were like, ‘OK, if you’re really passionate about this, then these are the classes you need to have.’ They kind of just cultivated my direction that way.”
After graduating high school, Blaine earned her business degrees and entered the corporate world. While continuing her education, she continued to foster her knowledge in fashion. After dabbling in the corporate world for a few years, she left to pursue fashion full-time.
“During my own personal research, I learned that a lot of businesses fail, a lot of fashion designers fail in their independence of being an entrepreneur because they do not have the business savvy to actually operate a business,” Blaine says. “They were talented as an artist but they were uneducated in the world of business.”
She finally opened her free-standing store, Nikki Blaine Couture, in 2011 after transitioning out of her Etsy shop.
Her Main Street to Paris Runway
In August 2019, Blaine hosted one of her last shows before she jets off to Paris for Fashion Week. It was titled “Her Main Street to Paris Runway” and was based on the popular 1986 film, “Pretty in Pink,” while merging together Paris and Indianapolis.
“My thought process was, Pretty in Pink, what would a high school girl want to wear and cultivate that thought,” Blaine says. “That’s kind of how that show came about.”
Most of her shows are local to the city. Whenever she does a fashion show, she always keeps her audience in mind.
“I’m very mindful of the audience who’s wearing the clothes and the image I want to portray,” she adds.
For this particular show, it was targeted toward high school girls. It included 16 pieces and was pieced together in just three weeks.
“I was able to create the show out of my pre-existing garments because I just did a show in March as well,” Blaine says. “I tweaked and made a couple of quick things. I can do shows fairly quick.”
As for her Paris Fashion Week show, it will feature eight Nikki Blaine Couture originals. The invite to Paris is called Flying Solo, which is a showroom in New York City for independent designers like Blaine. The show was September 28 and featured designs that are layered and glam chic, with the focus of a beautiful goddess. Paris Fashion Week ran Sept. 23 through Oct. 1.
When asked about her reaction to being accepted into the show, Blaine was grateful for such a prestigious opportunity.
Nikki Blaine Couture is located at 99 N 1st St #100 in Zionsville. For more information about Blaine and her designs, visit her website nikkiblaine.com or her social media accounts, @NikkiBlaineCouture.