When we first saw Nomadic Thread Society by stylist Nicole Gulotta, we felt like we had stumbled upon an insiders’ secret for achieving the glamorous “GYPSET” lifestyle. When viewing the collection, there’s a sense that if you own one of Nicole’s beautiful textiles you’ll suddenly be traveling to far away lands filled with white sand beaches and glamorous hideaways..or at least look like it. As FAB.com put it, the collection is perfect for “going off to indulge your wanderlust or just adding an element of exotic beauty to everyday life”. We were able to catch up with Nicole between her many adventures to talk textiles, travel and what’s next for NOMADIC THREAD SOCIETY…
BB: Why textiles?
Nicole: I love the stories behind textiles -‐ they’re woven, knitted, printed and
embroidered with centuries of tradition, innovation, and dedication. You can walk the streets in any country and get a feeling for their culture from the fabrics and colors people wear and use in their decor. They reClect all kinds of nuances, from vivid and bold character to quiet and subtle. The textiles create a visual cultural context that pulls one right in.
BB:What inspired you to start Nomadic Thread Society? Nicole:While on a solo outing to Tulum for some peace and inspiration, I spotted another solo NY’er dining on her own at a beach side cafe I was at with some travel acquaintances. I invited her to join us and we made friends. She was in a little black dress that evening, still looking+feeling like a city girl… She asked me, “How do I get like that?” referring to me and my get up! I was pretty lounge-‐y, wearing a kaftan, wrapped in some windswept textiles, barefoot, and quite relaxed. And the proverbial lightbulb went off. People leaving the city for some chill time in natural, beautiful, and stylish settings want to pack a few things to slip on which will immediately transport them into that reality. And I knew I could put those things together for them, all in one place.
BB: Travel seems to be a main inspiration behind the line, when did you start traveling? Nicole: When I was 7 months old! My mom is Italian and she was totally dedicated to having my sister and I know our family and our culture. She took us to spend summers with our grandparents in Naples and Capri. It was such a great gift, the constant and full immersion into a second culture.
BB:When did you really get the travel bug?
Nicole: I decided to spend my junior year abroad in Paris and that really made the exploration of different cultures and travel come alive.. I spent loads of time in England that year, too. It was all about Europe for me at that time, with an occasional foray into Mexico, South America, or the Caribbean. In my early 30’s I met a now dear friend who would open up the rest of the world to me; Sruthi invited me to see some of India with her in 2005 or so, and I returned many times after that. I was able to visit Thailand and Sri Lanka a few years ago. This year Columbia, Guatemala, Peru, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, and Romania are all possibilities..!
BB:What are some of your most memorable trips/travel experiences?
Nicole: In Columbia, I visited some waterfalls deep in the jungle that I will never
forget.. we dove from waterfall to waterfall in order to get down from the heights we had climbed to.. exhilarating and scary and majestic. I saw some incredible iguanas and parrots, lived out in nature for a bit, and made use of a good deal of my sarongs and wraps to clothe myself, sleep in, carry things in, etc..
In India I attended my friend Sruthi’s wedding in Hyderabad, and that was certainly one of my most beautiful experiences. Her family has a rather more subdued style than what many imagine when they think of Indian weddings.. The decor and energy at every event were elegant and sublime; elements like stone, ivory muslin, and simple painted gold motifs like the tree of life and lotus Clower were pervasive. Watching millions of blossoms being strung into Clower garlands was just breathtaking. And the bride’s different outCits were stunning; an emerald+gold sari for the welcome party, a yellow sari for her washing+blessing, an incredible safCire anarkali for the “rehearsal dinner,” and the most exquisite traditional red+gold sari for the wedding ceremony.
BB: What are you currently working on?
Nicole: I’m designing a little bedding collection for babies, kids, and adults with an
Italian company called Busatti. I discovered them in Tuscany just this November and was able to visit their three generation family-‐run mill. Incredible industrial revolution machinery is still in use there, in fact, the mill has been in operation since the 1600’s in various sectors of the textile trade! I was struck by the bold and unusually paired stripes in super elegant colors, which will make quite an eclectic chic collection! And they were as very gracious as you can imagine.
BB: What’s next for Nomadic Thread Society?
Nicole: Lots! I’ve got some contacts in Kenya who ‘ve invited me for a visit, and since I’ve been working with East African textiles for a while now, it will be great to visit some of the sources and meet the people.. From there I could investigate Mozambique as well, which has a very intriguing textile tradition, and Ghana which has had a Dutch presence and therefore a visually interesting combination of cultural inCluences in its fabric designs. I would like to return to Columbia to research its very bold and graphic artisan textiles, and to explore Peru, Ecuador and Guatemala for their ancient local weaving traditions and incredible and eccentric hats! I also have a Romanian friend who has asked me to collaborate on a dress line with her based on authentic Transylvanian folk embroidery. She is Nico de Transylvania, a sassy +gorgeous Balkan Beats DJ and spokeswoman for the preservation of Romanian forrest lands, currently working with the BBC to create a documentary on the subject. In the Spring we’ll take some time when they’re not Cilming and look for women’s embroidery collectives and small national producers of traditional textiles. We’ll start Cleshing out our ideas for what I call, an “electro folk” style. It’s going to involve some leather corseting to compliment and balance the sweetness of the hand done embroidery!
10 Things TO Know…
• Favorite travel destination :: For rest, Tulum. For lunch, Paris. For adventure, the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.
• Next destination :: Africa
• Most important thing you’ve learned during your travels :: that there are
zillions of realities and points of view out there, making mine only one of
many to consider.
• Never travel without :: adaptor plugs
• Less is more or more is more:: both
• Where did you grow up :: in NYC
• Favorite meal while away from home :: whatever is local
• Favorite Nomadic Thread Society piece :: My own “India Shirt” in grey+white
oxford like cotton cloth. Super simple and elegant, I can go anywhere in it.
• Beach or mountains:: Beach
• Words to live by :: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the
life you’ve imagined.”
Look out for the newest collection from NOMADIC THREAD SOCIETY launching this APRIL.