“To be honest, I don’t remember when I first met Nicholas,” writes Don Letts via email, “but that’s because I can’t remember last week. Having said that, I do remember meeting Nicholas ‘cause it was like meeting a younger version of myself, which was a trip, ‘cause y’all know there’s only one Don Letts!
“With music n’ style as his weapons of choice, Nicholas has carved out a distinct space of his own that speaks volumes about what it means to be black n’ British,” Letts adds, “so I got nothing but love for the brother and apparently he likes me too. Hey, it’s all about taste and he’s obviously got some. The duality of our existence i.e being Black n’ British meant we had an automatic connection, so collaborating with Nicholas was easy, rewarding, and a great example of cross-generational creativity.”
Along with his creative versatility and, as Letts put it to me, a “love for a good bass line.” Daley is also an immensely talented designer. A Nicholas Daley garment is a unique combination of his heritage, worldview, and myriad sensibilities. A wide and cropped Japanese-style trouser, or multi-pocketed workwear vest in Scottish tartan, or patchwork corduroy. The baker boy hats, interpreted in leather with Mulberry. “Patchwork rasta tans with Mulberry!” he says with a laugh and a look of faint bemusement. Shoes have been made with Tricker’s, a reference to his Midlands upbringing, while he’s more recently looked towards the quilting tradition of the American Deep South. It’s all refracted and put to a soundtrack, a film, a party, a space and feeling that you want to get involved with, or just bob along to. Clothes and an accompanying lifestyle that are fun and vibrant and sort of kinetic.
“It’s the way he channels his dual heritage into his design in such an authentic and interesting way that makes Nicholas such a great designer,” says Joe Warner, the Head of Buying & Trade at the influential Shoreditch retailer, Goodhood, one of the earliest stores to pick up the brand. “He can seamlessly find inspiration in subcultures and music culture both old and new and such the finished product is referential but wholly fresh at the same time.