July artist spotlight: Nicole McLaughlin

Boston-based designer, Nicole McLaughlin, is making her mark on the fashion world by bringing new meaning to the term ‘upcycling.’ Although she currently works as a graphic designer for Reebok, on nights and weekends McLaughlin turns her creative mind towards integrating recycled materials into wearable fashion. The eccentric line pushes fashion boundaries by fusing logos and patterns of well known brands into versatile pieces. Her designs include various footwear prototypes, featuring reusable tennis balls, sweat bands, IKEA bags, balloons and more.

What begun as a footwear project quickly transformed into an apparel collection, with prototypes including a sweater made from Carhartt beanies and a bubble wrap jacket, complete with a transparent hood. McLaughlin continues to draw inspiration from everyday life, demonstrating that mundane products, like a Metro card holder, can be worn fashionably.

image-asset (3).jpeg

McLaughlin tells booooooom that she enjoys creating these designs “to experience a different process of expressing ideas. It sometimes helps [her] find solutions for roadblocks and generates ideas for [her] day job.” I love the way her work incorporates elements like balloons and packing foam, which are not usually seen as ‘wearable’ materials. She reminds us that fashion is not linear, and can be created with sustainability in mind.

As far as personal projects, McLaughlin’s recent web store launch has already sold out. She featured an exclusive line of bags and pouches fastened together from scraps of other projects. She also recently took her talents to the Adidas office in Shanghai, hosting a workshop inspiring other creatives. Guests were invited to learn from the artist on how to upcycle items in their own wardrobes, in order to continue guiding the fashion industry toward sustainability.

Take a look at some photos from the workshop:


Let me know what you think of McLaughlin’s work and the mark she continues to make on the design world. I want to continue spotlighting other artists making a difference in the creative community! If you are an artist, or know anyone who would like to be featured, leave a comment or submit them by email. Open to any and ALL creators, especially in the NY/PHL area.