Q&A: Richard Nicoll On His Hot New Job At Jack Wills


As the new Creative Director of Jack Wills, London Fashion Week designer Richard Nicoll is putting a high-fashion spin on one of our affordable faves…

Thought Jack Wills was all preppy shirts and logo hoodies? Well, that was before catwalk heavyweight Richard Nicoll came on board. A fash pack favourite and regular on the London Fashion Week show schedule, Richard’s first collection as Creative Director for Jack Wills drops this week, and we love the new look. Staying true to JW’s quintessentially British heritage but adding a dose of grown-up cool, Richard channels a mix of 60s mod and 90s Britpop with easy-to-wear staples – think parkas, skirt suits and Peter Pan collar shirts in tweed, denim and bold prints. Oh, and each piece can be customized with cool patches – letters, cartoon imagery and retro logos – in store.

We caught up with the man himself to talk the catwalk, Cara and designing for the high street…

We love Jack Wills’ new look Richard. Why did you want to work with the label?

I like their youthful approach to British dressing. I thought it would be a fun challenge to take on a big brand and work to refresh its DNA.

Has it been fun to take a brand with such a signature style and put your own stamp on it?

Yes absolutely, I’ve always been good at working to a brief and it’s an enjoyable challenge to balance newness while respecting the brand heritage, it’s an evolution. 

How have you made it your own?

I’ve embraced key elements like the branded sweats and other signatures like the pink and navy stripe and made them an important part of the seasonal collection – it’s this youthful mix of heritage pieces and laidback dressing that is unique to Jack Wills .

Describe the new Jack Wills girl…

She’s smart, playful and stylish but not a fashion slave. She puts outfits together with irreverence and charming authenticity. She likes timeless classics with a youthful spirit and respects affordable quality. 

Ricard Nicoll for Jack Wills

There’s a real retro feel to some of the pieces. Tell us what inspired that vibe…

The inspiration for the first collection was a mash up of two British youth movements, the 60’s Youth Quake and 90’s Brit Pop. It’s fun, fresh, graphic and there’s something for everyone. 

Did you enjoy designing for a different customer?

I like designing for a youthful market, I can be more playful and I think the way that 18-25 year olds dress is interesting with their mix of pieces influenced by sportswear and British heritage pieces. 

 Is it different to designing your catwalk line?

It’s totally different and that’s how it works. 

 Are you a fan of the British High Street?

Yes I find it fascinating that it’s so powerful and it’s quite unique to Britain. 

 What is your favourite piece from the collection and how would you style it?

I can’t pick one favourite but I think a really strong and playful piece is the bubble gum Mac. I’d style back with a stripe shirt, grey crew neck top and faded denim jeans. 

 Could you see any of your celeb fans wearing the collection?

Yes! I’ve already had some requests for pieces from the collection. There’s a lot to like in this range and there is something for everyone. 

 Who would you most like to dress?

Jamie Dornan is a fan of the brand so would be great to see him wearing the product –  he’s perfect for the menswear suiting. For women’s, I’d love Cara or Alexa to wear some of the daywear. They would look great in the monogrammed parka!

Ricard Nicoll for Jack Wills

By Gemma Gow