Nikita – Being sporty equal being stylish

Heida Birgisdottir wanted to design fashion for girls who live an active lifestyle and want to look nice, fashionable and also feel comfortable in what they wear. So she founded Nikita Clothing about ten years ago.
For a label designing everyday clothes it is important that the designer has a passion for fashion and has a certain amount of design skills. Same goes for a surf/skate/snowboard label but here it is vital that the designer actually slides sideways once in a while – or how else can you offer authentic products to your sporty customers? Heida Birgisdottir, mastermind of clothing label Nikita, is addicted to riding and that’s probably the first reason for the Icelandic label’s seemingly effortless success. Nikita is a 10 year old skate/streetwear store in achingly cool Reykjavik pimping up the style of ride enthusiastic girls in over 30 countries and 1500 stores. »I was co-owner of a snow/skate shop in Reykjavik, which is where Nikita was born,« explains Heida. While working there Heida started making her own clothes, which caught the attention of style-seeking girls. They asked if they could buy it at the store, which they couldn’t but it got Heida going. »I made a few extra pieces, which I then sold and realized I wanted to design for girls who live an active lifestyle and want to look nice, fashionable and also feel comfortable in what they wear.« Instead of treating boarding girls like tomboys who don’t care about their looks, Heida knows that being sporty doesn’t equal being unstylish: the current Spring/Summer collection includes swishing flowered skirts and vibrant baby doll dresses, which are anything but practical for boarding.

There is a charming non-chalance evident in the label, which becomes even more apparent when I find out Heida is a self-taught designer. »I’ve always had a keen interest in fashion,« she explains as if that was a legitimate reason to become the designer and founder of a worldwide successful clothes label. A more legitimate reason might be that Heida has a clear picture of what she wants her label to be: »Streetwear for all occasions, from basic logo tees and hoodies to more fashion forward styles including skirts, dresses and jumpsuits.« The collections are comfortable, colorful and along with introducing new designs each season Heida stays true to old favourites like plaid shirts, cotton dresses and knits. »Fabrics need to be soft and comfy but bringing out a cool, new fabric each collection is important too.« The current collection is an artistic collection of energetic styles: »It takes you on a journey through the metropolis and out on the road to rugged and volcanic terrain,« explains Heida. She provides her customers with versatility enabling the interchangeability of looks: “Slim fitting leggings and tops are softened with layers of oversized tops, earthy tones contrast with more vivid shades whilst black and white are still a staple basic.” A unique element is Nikita’s collaborations with artists: »We work with a hand-picked selection of talented artists, integrating their graphics, prints and patterns through the collection. There’s something for everyone whether your influence is sport and street or more fashion forward.« If you’re lucky enough to be a beach babe then Nikita caters to you with colorful bikinis and board shorts.

Not just a fashion label Nikita also secures talented riders that make up Team Nikita. »We have a great team of girls who just love riding. Most are snowboarders but there are also skateboarders, surfers, downhill and motoX riders. They have a lot of other talents too like playing music, painting, photography and designing«, so Heida. Though the girls are busy riding and being, by the sounds of it, multi-talented they share ideas with the Nikita design team. Yet another element that makes it a real authentic label as it’s not only catered to riders but influenced by riders too. Not to forget, Heida is still a rider herself. »I ride as much as possible. Snowboarding is my favourite and one of my favourite places is Hlidarfjall, Iceland. I also love going to Serfaus in Austria where we held the Nikita Chickita Europe contests.« The labels philosophy? »Live an active lifestyle and have fun doing it«, and with Nikita you can do just that while looking pretty damn fly.