The Hustlers: Nicole Loher

November 18, 2013 BY OBI ANYANWU

MG_5474Homepage photo and above photo from Nicole Loher's most recent interview with The Style Line.

What can be said about Nicole Loher that hasn't already been said? The young, style blogger turned Social Media specialist started her career developing her style right before our eyes via Tumblr and is now a part of a brand development team of one New York City's top fashion lines. She has written for major publications, modeled for several campaigns with the nation's top brands and is one of fashion's venerable influencers today, and she's not even 21 yet! Anyone that knows Nicole personally praises her for her level head and down-to-earth attitude despite her success at this young age, and the many young girls and grown women that seek her advice can also attest to that. We caught up with this week's Hustler, Nicole Loher, to discuss her early life, successes and plans for the future.

How was life growing up? I grew up in a small rural town in Northwestern Maryland mostly with my mom because my parents split up when I was really young. I didn’t have many friends, because I was always bouncing around my parents homes every week but I was really drawn to the Internet and editing photos. I loved that I could learn everything about anything at the click of a button, so I spent a lot of time isolated learning about a world outside of my own.

I think I was about 12 when I started to scheme how I could get out of my current life and into a new one. Around the same time as all of this I became really obsessed with street style and my love of fashion came about through reading magazines like Nylon and MissBehave and looking at real It-Girls like Sky Ferreira when she was the leader of Waffles & Falafels and Cory Kennedy when she was friends with The Cobra Snake. I was obsessed with the idea of becoming a prodigy and I really think that pushed me from my rural town to wanting something bigger and ending up in New York City.

When did you discover that fashion would be your path? I was about 13 and attending a summer seminar at Savannah College of Art & Design for fashion design when I realized that people could make a living off of fashion… I followed my heart from a really young age and learned as much as I could about every aspect of the industry possible.

Was there another career path that you considered following? Not really. As cheesy as it sounds, I think I was born to do fashion.

w627-h460-co-NicoleGANT Rugger x NOVH campaign for the GANT Rugger Cruise Collection in 2011.

That's a feeling we know all too well. So how did blogging come about for you? I started my Tumblr under the name “NiChe” - it was where I showcased what I made as a fashion design high school student. I applied to FIT when I was 15 and left high school a year early to attend the college. When I moved to New York, I started taking photos of my outfit with my MacBook and all of a sudden it made me this “fashion blogger”, something that wasn’t really heard of at the time. My parents had no idea what I was doing online until I told them the winter of my freshman year that I was meeting with Seventeen Magazine to shoot something with them.

Once I opened up to them about it they really started pushing me to make it into a business, supporting me throughout college. I ended up deciding that I would use my blog to leverage internships and then I got a job out of my blog. So, I didn’t intentionally plan on it happening. It sort of just grew organically!

From the first week I was in the city I was using the connections I had to get me an in with some sort of fashion internship. Luckily, one of connections worked very closely with Nanette Lepore and they she me a shot.

Do you consider yourself a success story? I actually try not to think about “success”; it makes me really stressed out. I think the word is so ambiguous and I really think success is what you make of it for yourself. I think I’ve done a lot but I definitely have not done enough and my career isn’t even close to being over. I want to be a Grace Coddington type, working and influencing in the fashion industry well into my 70s!

nicole-mudcoffeeNicole Loher in the Refinery29 x Timberland's campaign.

What are some of your accomplishments in the industry? Oh man… Well, I think everyday is an accomplishment (haha) and I try not to rank them. But I do think becoming a major asset to Nanette Lepore’s branding team at the age of 19 is something special and something I hold close to my heart. I also am really proud that I’ve been featured in international magazines, written for magazines like Lucky, and contributed to Teen Vogue. I grew up reading all these magazine and websites so to be “that girl in the magazine” really never loses its shine in my eyes.

How do you handle being that “it” girl, the girl that other girls aspire to be one day? I try to be as aspirational as possible, while still being real. I keep most of my struggles public (hello, Twitter) and I’m very open about how I feel about certain things. Life this day in age for a 20-25 year old is not glitter and butterflies anymore, it’s hard work. And I like to show girls that hard work pays off. In addition to that, I try to be as gracious and helpful as possible. I answer almost all of the e-mails I receive from readers who need advice and I leave the questions section open on my blog for general questions that girls have about what it’s like to work in fashion or wardrobe woes.

nicole-loher-hustlersOn left: Club Monaco FW13 campaign. On right: A recent interview and shoot with The Style Line.

What else do you hope to accomplish in the industry? You know, I try not to set goals which is why I think I’ve accomplished what l have in the amount of time I’ve been in New York. I just make sure I’m being as productive as possible at all times and making large steps to better myself. I really want to dabble in fashion branding on a larger scale and for luxury. I want to make the idea of luxury more accessible to the average person. I think a lot of good can come from fashion and I want to help people realize that.

What's the next step in your career? Well, I will graduate college in May so I’ve been talking to some of my mentors within the industry about what the next step is for me. I’m not sure what the next step is, as I said I don’t like to plan, but I know it’s going to be really, really big.