Before you dive into everything that is Nicopanda you must know its origin. Nicola Formichetti the creative director brought the brand to life by launching at his pop-up shop in Tribeca, New York.
It was his nickname "bear" that he played on. Thinking a panda would be more true to his Japanese heritage, Nicola Became Nicopanda.
Growing up, Nicola was inspired by the experience of different designers and store events often stating "Every event I would go to, I needed to leave with the memorabilia” Whether it was a lighter or a key chain, Nicola felt compelled to take a memory of the creative experience of being at show. This went on for many years until he had the chance to share his love of memorabilia at his own pop-up shop. Working on the pop-up concept, he wanted to give the opportunity to his fans and customers, who may not have the money to buy high-end, to go home with the piece of him. He remembered the times where he himself did not have the means to buy high-end but still wanted have a sense of belonging, being a part of the store of the brands and stores that he loved.
The Nicopanda logo began with a self portrait. He started using inspiration from Hello Kitty, Disney characters and various Japanese cartoons transforming it into something that very much looked like him in panda form. Think of it as his personal Avatar.
After the great success of the pop-up shops online platform Tumblr played a large part in evolving it into a collaborative, viral phenomenon where different young designers would remix their version of nicopanda. Lane Crawford in China and Selfridge's in London were two of the biggest supporters, opting to showcase the brand.
Taking Nicola's spirit and adding inspiration from Japan, London and New York's vibrant street wear cultures, Nicopanda found a unique place in the scene where fashion meets the lifestyle of young creatives across the world. A place from which it has come to dictate style and art.