Designers to Watch: Nicole Hanley Mellon

As I walk into the intimate and modern showroom housing the latest HANLEY MELLON collection, I’m greeted enthusiastically by Nicole Mellon and the president of the company, Frederick Anderson, helping me to completely forget about the weather outside and excited to sit down with the two of them so I can find out more about this travel influenced, staples-with-a-twist brand that has taken the fashion world by storm in its’ two collection life-span so far.

Recently launched with her husband and co-founder, Matthew Mellon, Nicole took from her design background (having spent a majority of her time at Ralph Lauren as well as a stint at Intermix) and brought her sensible design aesthetic to her easy-to-wear collection that rotates itself around a core of knits.

 “My husband and I lived in LA for a couple of years so I wanted to create staples that were both comfortable yet chic enough for a woman of NYC”. – Nicole Mellon

And while knits and comfort are a central idea for the brand, quality, sophistication and precise tailoring, are never lost in every single piece. Another aspect that separates HANLEY MELLON from others is their infusion of travel into each collection (as seen by their first collection, inspired by Kenya, for Spring 2015). Every season, each collection  will be based on a location or time period of the couples’ choice allowing for their passions to co-exist seamlessly.

As a pre-disposition for Fall 2015, the Hanley Mellon Pre-Fall 2015 line proudly shows a strong take from 15th century northern renaissance (like something out of an Anthony van Dyke painting) but with Nicole’s modern and sophisticated interpretation. The palette is muted yet rich, displaying colors of gold, black, olive green, royal blue, lavender and red in fabrics ranging from velvet and brocades to cotton knits, lighter than air silks, and leather. There’s an eclectic mix of fabrics and prints that are paired together so that no single piece is overly assertive like in a velvet brocade blazer with black ribbed knits, swirls of dancing florals in similar colorways, a silk chiffon dress coat with leather piping and fall-worthy dresses with inserts of chiffon. The collection is versatile in a way that each look can be taken apart to be worn by itself or layered/mixed and matched with each other while also providing styles that can easily extend into the holiday season. It’s a perfect way for the consumer to utilize the collection by having the ultimate ability to express their personal style and create the perfect ensemble for them. It’s a certain high-end accessibility that is hard to find and shows that Nicole’s pieces are not only stunning but intelligently designed.

Shop the latest collection at their stunning lifestyle website

About the Author

Jillian Magenheim is the Editorial Director and Director of Partnerships for She is also a digital media consultant for various fashion and beauty brands. You can follow her thoughts on Twitter @Magenhaz and on Instagram @jillianrose_m