By Khaleel Herbert
When Allison Nicole Berger launched Allison Nicole Designs in Aurora, Colorado in 2017, she knew her love and dedication to fashion had finally paid off.
Originally a native from Laurel, Maryland, Berger had an eye for fashion and creativity from watching both of her grandmothers creating. Her grandmother on her father’s side painted, hand sewn and hand-embroidered quilts, stuffed animals and teddy bears and gave them to her church. Her grandmother on her mother’s side taught Berger how to sew on a sewing machine. Berger received a sewing machine as a Christmas present from her at 12 years old.
Berger went on to study design at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia in 2012. She later decided she wanted to visit a college with a better design and production program. She transferred to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado and graduated in May 2017 with a B.S. in Apparel and Merchandising/Apparel Design and Production.
Allison Nicole Designs specializes in bridal and eveningwear for women of all shapes and sizes, plus professional alteration services. Since 2017, the company has also participated in the Bridal New York Fashion Week, Vancouver Fashion Week and Massif Fashion Week shows among others. On November 4, 2018 Allison Nicole Designs had the honor of participating in Denver Fashion Week for the first time.
Before hitting the stage, Berger had time to answer questions about her designing process, inspirations and the impact she hopes Allison Nicole Designs has on her customers.
Why did you feel a Bachelor of Science in Apparel and Merchandising/Apparel Design and Production was the right major for you?
I felt like this was the right major for me because all of my life I have loved sewing, creating and clothing. I also have not been very fond of the number and letter sizing that we have in our clothing because we are all shaped differently. I wanted to get into custom fit clothing.
After learning from my grandmother, watching Project Runway, sketching designs like crazy, getting my first sewing machine from my grandmother on my mother’s side and starting to work with different studios in high school and college, I knew that this was my path.
What were some of the skills that you picked up from your grandmothers?
I learned how to create, paint, how to hand-sew and hand-embroider. My grandmother on my mother’s side taught me how to sew on the machine.
What’s your process for designing clothes?
My process for designing clothes starts with my inspiration. My inspiration comes from the female figure, the fabrics and also floral and things that come from nature. Next, ideas/visions get jotted down on paper and then sketches are created.
After we have the sketch, we start to create the 3D version/mockup. After the mockup/prototype and the pattern is perfect, we create the final piece in all of the final materials/fabrics.
Do you remember the first customer you had for Allison Nicole Designs?
Yes I do. The first customer that I had was a custom bridal gown for a fellow CSU classmate. It was spectacular and I was so thrilled that she loved it. We had many fittings to make sure that it was absolutely perfect and everything that she had wanted.
So you specialize in bridal and eveningwear and you also have professional alteration services. What else does Allison Nicole Designs do?
All designs from collections are for sale. They are made to order and the price includes custom fit and everything is customizable. All you have to do is input a few of your measurements. You can rent any gown for $150 and we will take care of the dry-cleaning afterwards. All gowns for rent are samples and sizes are limited.
We also create custom apparel, which means we will create whatever your heart desires and it will fit you perfectly. Lastly, we offer professional alteration services as well as any of your sewing needs. For example, we make memory bears for clients who request them. They are teddy bears made from the clothing of their loved ones who have passed.
Please tell me a little more about your memory bears. What inspired you to do this?
A client inspired me to do this. She was the first person who requested it and I absolutely fell in love with the idea. After that, more and more clients were asking for memory bears. Clients will bring clothing from loved ones and we make teddy bears out of the clothing.
Where do you see Allison Nicole Designs in 10 years?
It would be amazing if Allison Nicole Designs were represented in many different stores around the world. But mainly also bringing some beauty to this world.
What’s the biggest takeaway you want people to have when they buy/wear your clothes?
I want people to be happy, feel good and satisfied and feel absolutely beautiful and confident. I also want people to realize how much better your clothes will fit/look and how much better you will feel when your clothes are created with custom fit or have clothes you already own altered to fit you perfectly.
For more information about Allison Nicole Berger or Allison Nicole Designs, visit: https://www.allisonnicoledesigns.com/