Nomadic Thread Society is the brainchild of style guru and jetsetter extraordinaire Nicole Gulotta, who used her jaunts to far-flung locales such as Capri, Vieques, Montauk, and Tulum as fodder for her line of perfectly patterned scarves. The label?s Zig Zag Ikat Dupatta is our fall must-have; teamed with a cashmere tunic and moto boots, its multi-tiered print is an edgy transition into the new season. In addition to the brand?s sartorial prowess, it?s committed to sustaining fair trade?its patterns are ethically sourced from around the globe and manufactured in NYC. Recently profiled in high-street fashion publications such as The Zoe Report, the brand?s ultra-chic wares are clearly gaining industry attention.
What inspired you to shift your career from being a stylist to designing your own fashion line?
A fortuitous moment with a fellow traveler and woman-in-fashion in Tulum.. When I met her, she had just arrived and was still feeling citi-fied in her little black dress. She asked me earnestly how she could just "get like that," meaning more like I looked at the time.. barefoot, in a kaftan, and with some leisurely beach shawls draped around. The good old light bulb went off - why don't I assemble all that in one place? So people can access immediate beach+leisure exotic chic, and be ready for their barefoot holiday in one go. This laid back feeling extends beautifully to home decor, too... so the collection on the whole is about elegant and exotic lifestyle accents for vacation, wardrobe, and home.
What inspires your designs?
The things I am most drawn to have an authenticity to them.. they look and feel like they come from a place, and have a story. I'm attracted to fine artisanship, traditional weaving and manufacturing techniques, and exotic colors and details.. I'm fascinated with local culture and flavor, and find that touches of exotic textile and dress custom can really enliven the modern cosmopolitan language of style.
How have your travel shaped your personal taste?
Incredibly strongly. From birth I spent summers in Italy with my grandparents. Capri certainly had an effect on my sense of style; simple hand made sandals, printed cotton bikinis, elegant shawls in the evening - all with the effortless and understated chic that was Capri's signature for ages. It's gone a bit bling-y now, but I prefer the old way! Travel to India has brought an endless stream of discovery both in craft, color, and design.. South+Central America's rich handcraft brings a simple, earthy, and tribal perspective. England's traditional weaves are impeccable and quite quirky.. and Turkey's hammam tradition has added a really fine cotton touch to my bath and beach life! I've added flourishes of all these elements to my own wardrobe and home.
What is it like working with small producers and artisans from all over the globe? What do you like best about that kind of relationship?
It's great fun seeking out local artisans, like a sort of treasure hunt and/or wild goose chase each time. Real character often emerges, some regular folks sharing rich family histories around the craft at hand, some in vivid local dress and with great entrepreneurial zeal! Connecting over how textiles are made is a pleasure. Artisans and small producers are proudly upholding their craft and delivering their products through time and tradition, and I am there actively appreciating it all, so it's a great exchange. Here's the tricky bit - keeping in touch with them and working with them on a steady production schedule... I met several different weaving collectives in Peru when I was there in the Spring and even engaged a project manager who's working up there in the mountains with an NGO dedicated to facilitating business development for these groups.. Well, it's been months now and the hand dying that was supposed to happen has not, so the weaving can't happen, and the samples are super late, etc.. So, local hand weaving projects are a real challenge!
Which are your favorite scarves from Nomadic Thread Society? Where are they from? What is the story behind them?
My favorite scarf at the moment is a hand woven netted cotton bandana from Colombia. I met a lovely lady weaver in Bogota in April and she was able to reproduce a piece I had just picked up at the textile museum.. It had been made in Boyaca by a different weaver who only comes to town several times a year and has no phone! So I asked the weaver I met, Ana, if she could do it, and she produced it perfectly. It is a cream colored netted square that I tie around my neck in a triangle or on my head as a kerchief.. it has a bit of a South American cowgirl vibe. It'll be available in SS13.
What are your favorite travel destinations? What is unique about those locations?
My sweet old favorites are always Capri, Tulum, Vieques, Montauk.. for their assured seaside chill factor and special+distinct natural beauty. Morocco is on the agenda this winter - very excited, and possibly the Philippines for a huge artisan trade show.
What are your three favorite pieces from L-ATITUDE?