Don’t think you can make your dreams come true while you’re still in college? Nigel Crow is here to prove you wrong. When he’s not in class working toward his degree, he’s designing accessories and opulent headpieces that are red carpet ready.
When did your love affair with design begin?
I decided one day to open an art supply box from high school and started playing with fence wire. I shaped the wire to make a headdress, and from then on, I started decorating the frames for photoshoots. I had several photographers contact me to incorporate some of my accessories and headpieces in shoots.
What draws you to create headpieces?
I feel that headpieces make a big statement for anyone wearing them. The head and face are what we naturally draw our eyes to when we communicate with others. So adding big bling and jewelry on someone’s head will catch anyone’s attention in a photoshoot or any event. A headpiece can tie a whole look together for that eye-catching image.
What inspired your Valentine’s Day piece?
I always work with supplies I already have in my storage, so I was able to come up with a design based on what I own. I know I wanted to incorporate my beadwork, because my hand-sewn work is what I’m also known for as a designer. I initially wanted to add white and pink, but the ruby red materials were what I already had in my storage, so I just worked with that. I don’t know what inspired me, but I just made things up as I designed.
The fashion world is ever-changing, how do you stay current and ahead of the curve?
I base my designs on inspiration of ancient art as well as modern art. I definitely like other headdress artists online as well as Lady Gaga’s designs. But now I rarely look at anyone’s work because I want to be able to stretch my own creativity and to make up designs as I go. I also never follow trends, because I feel a trend is “following everyone else.” The most important thing for me is to keep changing my style, but also adding new and unseen concepts to make my work different from others. Who knows, maybe I will make my next headpiece out of Starbucks cups.
As a designer, what keeps you driven and motivated?
I’m very thrilled when I see my work published or worn by stars. It is very cool to see my artwork in action on a model. Getting paid, of course, also motivates me to make more designs. My business is starting to pick up, so I can never complain about a paycheck.
What’s coming up for you?
As a designer, I get bored with certain design techniques, so I keep switching it up. I want to work with more beads again as well as antique and baroque materials. Burning Man will be a good season for me to design more horned headpieces too.
Photography by Jono Photography
Hair, Makeup by Timothy Ro
Model: Chelsea Klikunas