Nina Transfeld is a young German fashion designer who runs her own boutique in the heart of Vieux Nice, Nina Transfeld Couture.
We recently sat down with Nina Transfeld and spoke with her of her journey thus far and where she sees herself in the future, but also of her love for fashion and the French Riviera.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Nina Transfeld, I’m originally from Cologne, Germany and after having lived in New York for 10 years, I returned to Europe and have now recently opened a small boutique with my own clothing line in the South of France.
Why did you decide to move to Nice?
Before I moved to Nice, I had only lived in very big cities like New York and Paris. For me personally, and also for the boutique, I think that a smaller city is better, it’s less stressful and it’s more like a community. I often meet people on the street that I know and it’s nice to stop and chat for a few minutes. On top of that I love the sunshine – more than 300 days a year, yay! – which is also great for selling my colourful summer dresses. When the sun shines, the colours of the buildings are stunning, very inspirational for me as well.
Can you tell us a little about your brand, Nina Transfeld Couture? What is the concept behind it?
Nina Transfeld Couture is a very small clothing line, with small and exclusive collections. Within the collection I only have approximately 15 different designs and only three to five items per design. If you buy a dress at my boutique, it is safe to assume that you won’t see it anywhere else, worn by someone else. Besides that, almost all items are handmade in France and I only choose high quality materials, while still remaining accessible.
What interests you about fashion?
I am a very creative person and I can express my creativity through fashion. I have always loved fashion, especially dresses and I only design items that I would wear myself.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration in many different places, in places I have travelled to and people I have met, from music, movies, but also from people on the street. Sometimes I see someone who wears an outfit I just totally love and I quickly snatch a photo of it, to keep it as an inspiration.
Which designers and brands have been your inspirations?
Of course I love Dior first and foremost, because he was an excellent designer, he designed collections which highlighted femininity to the fullest, but at the same time he was also an excellent businessman, which is equally important. Chanel of course as well, because she came from nothing and created her own universe with her collections, but I also find inspirations in small designers with their own small boutiques like mine who are brave enough to take that risk and who try to withstand big brands and create their own instead.
As a designer, what are your goals and ambitions?
I would love to develop my brand more so that it will become better known, also in other cities like Paris, London, Berlin and the like. But I will always stay true to my concept. I will always want my brand to stay exclusive and I will never compromise on quality.
What skills would you say are important for a successful career in fashion design?
I think the most important skill is creativity. You always have to design more items, more collections. If you are not creative you will quickly run out of ideas. Besides being a creative person, it is also very important to be a good business person. It’s important to know how to run a business as well, and which steps to take to make your business or brand successful.
What advice would you give to young designers who wish to start their own label?
I would say go for it and don’t let the doubts get to you. Do something fresh and original, it will take some time, but you will find your clients who will love what you do!
Finally, what do you like about the French Riviera?
Wow, too many things to list, the French Riviera is just an absolutely stunning place. It’s a dream to live here, like paradise. I love the sunshine, the sea, all the small hidden villages, the architecture…everything!
Many thanks to Nina for taking the time to talk to us. To find out more about her work, you can visit her website. Or equally, if you find yourself in Vieux Nice, do drop into the boutique and say hi from us!
Nina Transfeld Couture
5, rue Rossetti
All images courtesy Nina Transfeld Couture, © Alexis Clément