Inspiration Sources: Nicholas K Takes Us on a Tour of Nolita’s Most Inspiring Spots

Every wonder how designers get inspired? We took a tour of Nolita with Nicholas K to see what she sees.

15 photos
Catherine Bliar Pfander
The source of designers' inspiration is often asked about, but rarely captured in the moment. Just what, exactly, do designers see in the everyday? For this installment of our "Inspiration Sources" series, New York designer NIcholas K took us for a tour of Nolita, armed wtih her digital Leica camera and instructions to snap anything she found uniquely beautiful or inspiring.
NIckholas K
Our journey started at the mysterious Elizabeth Street Gallery, which passerby might know better as "that giant sculpture garden in Nolita." Explains Nicholas, "owner Allen Reiver has such a distinct vision, he has created a space that brings you back in time. He has been a constant inspiration to us since our Fall '07 presentation in his space."
Catherine Blair Pfander
We followed Nicholas around the dimly-lit gallery as she snapped photos of Alan's unusual finds from around the world, including original carnival equipment, elaborate tool boxes and peculiar sculptures.
Catherine Blair Pfander
Though the public is not typically granted access to the gallery's monolithic sculpture garden, Nicholas was able to pull a few strings.
Catherine Blair Pfander
Riddled with spectacular marble and granite sculptures (as well as some classic Harley Davidsons), the garden is a true New York gem.
Nicholas K
"This life size wooden horse is one of my favorite pieces," says Nicholas. "Its mane, tassels and bridle are hand woven with horse hair."
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Nicholas spent time shooting the stone Sphinxes at Elizabeth Street Gallery.
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Nicholas' photo of an antique Harley motorcycle belonging to gallery owner, Alan. It's easy to see a connection between this sweet ride and Nicholas' tough-yet-lovely designs.
Nicholas K
Nicholas shoots a nearby fashion shoot on Crosby Street.
Nicholas K
Nicholas' photo of a spraying fire hydrant provided some visual relief on a sticky summer day.
Nicholas K
Our next stop was BBDW, a mega-luxe furniture and home design showroom on Crosby Street. "BDDW is the perfect mix of modern and traditional elements," explains NIcholas. "The style is so refined and perfect, it is what we strive for in creating clothes."
Nicholas K
A plethora of colorful arrows stuck into a bale of hay caught Nicholas' eye. "Architecture, interiors, eclectic art, and nature are a constant source of inspiration for us."
Nicholas K
A quick taxi ride brought us to Kabinett and Kammer, an unusual antique shop on 2nd and Avenue A. "I think i go to Kabinett and Kammer every 2 weeks," says Nicholas, who owns a cabin upstate near their original location. "I always find something that inspires me, whether it is an old medical tool or a picture frame."
Catherine Blair Pfander
"After meeting with the owners, Sean and Rick, i was so excited to learn they were opening their doors in NYC," says Nicholas. The designer gravitated to smaller, quirkier finds.
Nicholas K
"A paper machet bat made for Isabella Rosellini's short film, 'Green Porno.' You would only find this kind of thing at Kabinett and Kammer," says NIcholas.
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