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NICK PROM DRESSES.....Windsor and Nick Verreos Head to the Prom

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PLEASE BUY MY CHICLE....at Windsor!! Almost a year ago since I appeared on the show, I have received hundreds, if not thousands of emails and requests by fans of the show wanting me to either make them a "Custom" dress for their prom, a pageant gown, or just a cocktail dress for a fancy event they might be going to. Because of my crazy schedule--designing my line, Nikolaki, teaching almost full-time at FIDM, plus flying out to various diffent cities across the US to make appearances and give seminars, I barely have time to sleep!! I do design custom gowns for private, and celebrity clientele, obviously, but usually the prices ($2000 and up) are out of reach for most women. Not long ago, Windsor Fashions, approached me to design a line of 10 cocktail dresses and gowns for the 2007 Prom Season. Well, of course I jumped at the chance , since this would be the way to reach the "masses" and allow that 16 year girl, or that future "Miss Teen USA" contestant, or the 35 year old mom, or that fabulous Drag Queen, to get a piece of "Uncle Nick". The label will say "Nick Verreos for Windsor". The dresses will debut in January and I have designed a variety of 50's inspired taffeta backless dresses, plus Grecian-goddess ones, featuring the draping, asymmetrical hemming and yes, some fishtails that are a staple of the "Nikolaki" look. California Apparel News, the well-respected Industry newspaper for the California apparel industry, just got the exclusive on the news and below is the article. I have also added some exclusive photos from the recent shoot I was part of for the Ad and Print/catalogue campaign. Windsor and Project Runway’s Verreos Head to the Prom By Alison A. Nieder Executive Editor Los Angeles–based young contemporary retailer Windsor will unveil a collection of dresses in January under the Nick Verreos for Windsor label. The new collection is designed by Nick Verreos, co-designer of contemporary label Nikolaki and veteran of the second season of Bravo TV’s hit fashion reality show “Project Runway.” The collection, which will be in stores in January, will include 10 styles in cocktail and gown lengths ranging in retail price from $99 to $149. The styles will feature many of Verreos’ signature details such as fishtail and high-low hems and asymmetrical necklines. The dresses will be produced domestically to allow for rapid reordering throughout the prom season, according to Ike Zekaria, Windsor’s president of merchandising.The idea behind the Verreos collection for Windsor was Zekaria’s, although the retailer only recently began watching “Project Runway” regularly. Zekaria first became aware of the popularity of the reality show after meeting with a group of students attending a fashion design camp. The students were on a field trip to a Windsor store when Zekaria had a chance to talk to them. They were a relatively quiet group, Zekaria recalled, until the subject of “Project Runway” came up. “These girls started screaming and I thought, ‘Interesting …,’” Zekaria said. The retailer had a chance to meet Verreos when they both were presenting scholarship awards at a graduation ceremony for the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, where Verreos teaches fashion classes. At the mention of Verreos’ name, the crowd erupted in applause. “I saw his work on “Project Runway” and thought he really understands our market, our girl,” Zekaria said. Plus, “He’s got this magnetic personality.” Still, the retailer wasn’t sure whether the partnership would work until Verreos sketched a few ideas. “In the end, it’s his designs that sold it,” Zekaria said. Verreos was confident that he could tap into the Windsor market. “I don’t think they realized what a perfect match we are, that I can translate the Nikolaki look for the upscale junior,” he said. Prom promotions and retail rolloutThe line will hit Windsor stores in time for the retailer’s peak prom season. To promote the line and the connection with Verreos, Zekaria said the retailer is planning to advertise the collection in prom-focused publications such as Seventeen and Teen Prom. Verreos will also be appearing at a few Windsor stores throughout the year, according to Zekaria. The retail chain is on a growth tack now with several new stores in the works. A store in the Dos Lagos mall in Corona, Calif., opened on Oct. 6. Three more stores are planned within the next month, one in the Arrowhead Towne Center Mall in Phoenix, set to open later in October. Windsor will also open its first Florida stores, one in the Westfield Brandon Mall in Tampa and one in the Florida Mall in Orlando, in November. By the end of 2006, the retailer will have 40 stores nationwide. And it has more stores planned for 2007, including a location at the upscale Westfield Topanga mall in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Capturing the Windsor look Zekaria and Verreos got their first glimpse of the collection as a whole when the retailer shot its upcoming Spring ’07 catalog and e-tail campaign on Oct. 3. The theme this year is “A Glamourous Affair.” Shot by Larry Bartholomew at the romantic La Boheme restaurant in West Hollywood, Calif., the campaign will feature Verreos and his designs. For Verreos, the deal with Windsor is a long-hoped-for opportunity. “Early on, I would say, ‘I wish a manufacturer would approach me to do a prom dress line because I think there is a viable market here,’” the designer said, adding, “I’ve been working in this industry for 15 years. I’ve learned how to translate a $2,000 gown from the runway in order to sell it for $200.”Verreos’ line Nikolaki, which he co-designs with partner David Paul, is a contemporary sportswear collection, although the designers also create one-of-a-kind red carpet gowns for celebrities such as Eva Longoria, Patricia Arquette, Brenda Strong and Nancy O’Dell. And while there is an age and income difference between the Nikolaki customer and the typical Windsor customer, Verreos sees an added benefit down the road. “The Windsor customer will be the Nikolaki customer in 10 years,” he said. But it was after appearing on “Project Runway” that Verreos realized how many fans he has in the junior to young contemporary age range. “I can go to Bergdorf’s and not many people will stop me,” he said. But I walk into an H&M and it’s like [“American Idol” finalist] Clay Aiken walked in. My partner David said to me, ‘This is your market.’”Since season two aired, Verreos has also received an avalanche of fan mail, much of it from teenage girls who became fans of his glamorous designs from watching the show. “I get so many e-mails from girls saying, ‘Can you make my prom dress?’” he recalled. “It’s sweet but it’s a bit na├»ve. I would love to make every dress, but I can’t. So now I can say, ‘Go to Windsor.’”

8 Responses to "NICK PROM DRESSES.....Windsor and Nick Verreos Head to the Prom"

Anonymous said...

Wow, I can't wait for your dresses to hit the stores. I am not a teeny bopper (I'm 60 year old) but I love the black dress with the straps across the neckline. It's a perfect little black dress!!! I live in Georgia so I guess I'll be making a trip to Orlando to buy it.
I'm so happy your designs are going to be priced for the "middle class" budget. I know I'm gushing but I can't help it!!! YEA NICK!

Anonymous said...

hey i used to work at windsor! anyway, this is kristen from your summer collection development class from last quarter.. just dropping by to show some love for mista verreos. :) oh, and jule$ says hi as well. we miss you!

Jay said...

Those are super gorgeous Nick!!! Love them, now can I play the devil's advocate and ask you to custom make me a suit? lol come on we need a male collection as well! Don't leave us hanging! lol Keep up the wonderful work! can't wait to see what you will do next. till next time
Gia
Jason (Iasona) (naughtymanolo@hotmail.com)

Raul said...

I'm going to be on Project Runway next season--and I'm going to win! Remember my name Nick, Raul Elizalde-Flores. I'm going to replace all the fashion designers that are getting older. The new generation is coming in!

Anonymous said...

wow...raul really knows what the f...'s up. that's cool.

hi and miss you

-jule$

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Verreos!

It's Denise from the summer quarter... the one who did all those pleats for my collection in collection development.... congrats on the Windsor deal! All of the girls I went to high school with in my hometown ALWAYS bought dresses there! I'll bet the girls at my old high school still buy dresses there. Well now that you've made designs for Windsor I'm sure more people are going to buy them, since they have the "Nikolaki" flair. Congratulations again! I'll always remember that lecture you gave in Santa Monica and you are truly a living symbol of hard work paying off.

See you around campus!
--> Denise

Mar said...

Gorgeous dresses Nick!

I'm beyond prom age but I'd love to own one of your dresses!

Congratuations on your line with Windsor!