Written by Lucas “Lukey Lenz” Ballard
Contributions by Imani Wj Wright
Photo by Lukey Lenz
What a fashion forward age we live in. Kids line up around the block to get the latest items from Supreme, women sell out the boutiques, and men spend their entire Saturday morning on the SNKRS app. Fashion is one of the most important forms of expression for many. The color, material, style, and simply the way it is worn can tell you a lot about the person. Everyone’s style differs from the next, albeit many are quite similar. These similarities have caused a large influx of people to design their own clothing and start their own brands. People have always sought to be different and throughout history, different garments have been donned to set themselves apart from others.
Nicole Hanson, also known as Coley, is a clothing artist specializing in making pieces you would not traditionally see, and created with the goal of sustainability in mind.
Hanson recognizes the importance of expression through fashion. “I feel people are able to express themselves in a way that is easier than talking... It’s already a statement within itself,” Said Coley. Many people “speak” with the price tag of their items by buying expensive designer clothing, whereas Coley thinks that there are other ways to stand out with your wardrobe.”When you create something really cool and really different, it separates you when you are wearing it... Even if it’s not a thousand dollar piece it’s still a really cool, hand-made, custom item,” Coley said enthusiastically.
Her pieces have been worn by musical artists such as Famous Dex (rapper), Rookxx (Drummer for MGK), and Daniel Seavey (Singer-Songwriter) as well as Youtubers like Sam Golbach and actor Adin Kolansky.
One of the main aspects of her designs is the patchwork. Cut and detailed from new and recycled materials, she assembles the pieces based on customers’ specifications or from any new idea she is contemplating. Seeing as fast fashion uses a lot of resources, Coley tries to limit herself from buying beaucoup amounts of new clothing. “I’m still learning so I’ll take people’s old clothes. I’ll ask my friends for their bags of clothes before they go and get rid of them,” she stated. Most of her pieces are pants and quite often have a distinct layering and fraying along the legs. Many items also incorporate iconic characters such as Spider-Man, The Rugrats, Pokemon, and even Winnie the Pooh characters.
Coley is inspired by the initiatives put in place by people like Jaden Smith, ranging from his clothing affiliations to his Just Water brand. This inspiration has allowed her to really appreciate items even after they’ve been used or worn. With the high production of today’s industries, it has become apparent that alternative methods need to be implemented if we seek to maintain a sustainable future.
Coley plans on continuing to make new designs and collaborating with fellow artists.
If you are interested in commissions check out her Instagram @coleycustoms or her website at www.coleycustoms.com.