Q&A: LA Designer Nicolette Mishkan

For those of you who have been following Via Los Angeles, you already know that Mishkan is a brand that we have carried since the beginning of 2015. While our last few Q&As have all been with the creators of our latest additions, I couldn't resist interviewing Nicolette Mishkan, the designer behind those sexy-but-sophisticated strappy swimsuits.

I admire Nicolette because it is rare to come across a designer who can merge emotional expression with visual aesthetic. Nicolette is dark and sexy;  she is confident and unafraid. All that comes across in her designs. How many people would dream a three strapped bikini bottom? Perhaps an artist who credits S&M, glamorous Palm Springs and solitude as her inspirations. 

Today, I am so excited to introduce you to Nicolette Mishkan, the story behind her line, and give you a peek into her studio.

Tell us a little bit about your history before starting Mishkan.
I grew up in Los Angeles near the beach. I remember watching The X Files with my big sister religiously. I used to ask my parents what they dreamt every morning. I was pretty shy. I started sewing at a young age because either clothes were too big for me or the things I wanted didn't exist. I always hated school and I'm not a morning person. 

How did you decide to start a swimsuit line?
I just needed to start something new for myself. 

What is the story behind your latest collection?
"Dominatrix enjoys posh holiday in Palm Springs alone." 
I was at a point in my life where I was coming out of a depression and so I needed to make big changes. With the changes I felt a part of me dying and I was sad. At the same time I began feeling other extreme states of joy. I learned a lot about listening to myself and embracing feelings. It's very corny but true. This first collection is all about choosing the way you want to feel, celebrating your body, and being relaxed. 

Do you have a favorite piece?
I love the [Bandeau Top]. I personally wear it as a top all the time. Those big lines turn simple outfits into interesting statements. 

What are your plans for the future?
I'm an idealist. I hope to integrate more sustainability into the label.  Go in any thrift store and it's filled with fast fashion brands like Forever 21, BCBG, H&M, etc. When I see that, I see rivers in China being poisoned so some spandex jeggings could look distressed. I hope to keep the label an extension of what I love. I want to make considered pieces that come from a place of inspiration instead of pumping out collections just to keep up with trends or the sales calendar.

 Do you have a place in LA that you go to for inspiration?
I love an LA hillside. 

What is your favorite place in LA?
Driving home on the freeway in the middle of the night blasting music.