Having started on his path toward professional artist, designer and teacher with a Certificate in Fashion Design at East Sydney College in 1973, Nicholas worked for a number of prominent fashion houses in Australia before starting to teach in 1979. He became head teacher of the Fashion Design Studio in 1990, a post he still holds.
Nicholas is incredibly dedicated both to his students and to his craft, freelancing as an artist and designer for prominent names such as Nicole Kidman and Elle and Vogue magazines while teaching. Nicholas initiated a partnership with Sydney’s Strand Arcade whereby the arcade annually holds a fashion parade as part of an industry competition. The best garments of the year produced by students of Sydney Institute’s Fashion Design Studio are selected for the parade, which serves as phenomenal exposure for TAFE’s budding designers.
Due to his dedication, Nicholas has received many honours and accolades in his field. In 1989 he was nominated for an Australian Film Institute Award for Best Costume Design for the film Sons of Steel and has been asked to be a part of the annual Jeans for Genes art auction for five consecutive years. Nicholas has won two Fashion Industry of Australia awards and was nominated three times for the NSW Government Fashion Laureate in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
In 2007, Nicholas was named one of The Sydney Magazine’s 100 most influential people and most recently has been nominated for a Fashion Group International Lifetime Achievement Award for 2011.
“As a student I thrived on being part of this wonderful institution, I had a ball! And when I was asked to come back and teach…wow! I couldn’t ask for a better job. Every working day I walk into a room and am surrounded by amazingly talented, innovative students who never cease to thrill me…it’s just fantastic…I am so blessed! Over the years I have had the great privilege of seeing many of my graduates achieve enormous success nationally and internationally. The students and the studio are my life.”