Anthony Heimann is the genius mind behind the fashion label, Nicholas Anthony. Based in Denver, the brand is known for its avant-garde imagery which takes from a variety of inspirations. Heimann’s pieces typically rely on unconventional inspirations, such as amphibians in his most recent Spring collection for Denver Fashion Weekend Spring 2017. However, his refined taste is reflected in each garment, resulting in one of a kind creation.
With each new collection, Heimann starts with a story where he sets an environment with characters, struggles and triumphs. “Many times I sketch these initial ideas and get to work patterning. Once my patterns are developed I move to create samples, or in a time crunch directly to the fabric.” He’s then ready to showcase his designs on the runway or at a photo shoot and watch each creation come to life. Heimann’s most recent collection, RadioActive Amphibians especially caught our attention, so we decided to talk to the designer about his inspirations, history with fashion and feelings on being a male designer for womenswear.
303 Magazine: Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and your connection to fashion?
Anthony Heimann: My name is Anthony Heimann of Nicholas Anthony Clothing, an avant-garde fashion designer located in Denver, Colorado. My unconventional style utilizes recycled/reclaimed materials, addresses current events and delves into the imagination. Born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and raised in Casper, Wyoming, I always had an interest in theatrics and dressing in style.
At the age of 5, my mother taught me to sew in order to assist with theater costumes and holiday gifts. My childhood sewing projects also included movie replicas and prom dresses for friends. Initially interested in theater, my interest in fashion grew from a fascination in costume. A desire to create clothing which embraced an individual’s own “costume” led me to pursue a career in fashion.
303: Do you have an education in fashion design or are you self-taught?
AH: My knowledge in fashion design is both formal and informal. Beginning to sew at a young age influenced me to teach myself as much as I could. Apprenticeships also contributed to my understanding of recycled materials and helped me gain invaluable garment construction skills. Formal training in the fashion industry has led me to the pursuit of a dual bachelor degree. Studying business in Miami, Florida at Johnson & Wales University provided a foundation in professionalism and the business of fashion. My drive to know as much as possible about fashion and design has brought me to Denver, and coincidentally, to study fashion design formally.
“My designs are inspired by oddities in nature and in life. Crackling paint to unfamiliar cultures and alien-like landscapes. Such inspiration presents many design opportunities unseen by many.” -Anthony Heimann
303: Your last collection for DFW was extremely interesting. I heard it was about mutant amphibians. Can you speak more to it?
AH: My DFW Spring 2017 collection was inspired by mutant amphibians. The premise of this theme was to draw attention to the possibilities of mishandling our planet. Although amphibians are an odd creature, I was inspired by their incredible ability to exist on land and in water. And of course, I am always creating collections, this one included, with extraterrestrial and post-apocalyptic undertones.
303: Do you think fashion should reflect the times? If so, how does your work reflect the times? I heard one of your pieces from the previous collection was inspired by Hillary Clinton?
AH: Fashion is most definitely a reflection of our times. In the current political environment, I felt it was important to draw attention to nuclear fears and their mutating consequences. Additionally, with much attention being drawn to the Middle East, this collection intended to reveal the beauty in the culture’s way of dress and traditions. Hilary Clinton became a fashion icon for her modern way of dress in the development of my most recent collection. Opening with Nicholas Anthony Clothing’s take on “The White Pant Suit,” I was challenged to depict the strength of women through a collection without dresses.
303: What is your take on being a male designer for women’s clothing? What are you trying to portray through your designs?
AH: As a male designer in the fashion industry, feedback from women is key. Models, friends and followers play an inspirational role as muses when I create my work. While some of my clothing can be extravagant, comfort and confidence are always most important. When creating a new design, I always talk with my models to gain their opinion on comfort, functionality and style. Many times I find myself trying on my newest creations to see if they are at least partially comfortable and functional on my frame. As a male fashion designer of womenswear, I am trying to portray strength, confidence and a dreamy reality which highlights and celebrates female features, attitudes and personalities.
303: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
AH: It’s hard to tell where I will be in 10 years. Red carpets? Fashion magazine covers? High profile fashion shows? Hopefully all of them. I do know, though, I will still be designing and creating extravagant fashion. With things changing every day, I can only hold on to my passion of showing off my talents and presenting my point of view on the world through fashion.
303: What is your take on the current Denver fashion scene? What would you like to see more of?
AH: The current Denver fashion scene is a great community of hardworking designers, models, producers and hair and makeup artists. Since I entered the scene in fall 2013, Denver has established itself as a fashion force of the future! With so many shows happening nearly year round, an appreciation for the industry is beginning to unfold. To support the industry I would love to see more Denver fashionistas wearing their favorite designers. Denver’s fashion scene can only continue to grow and create a world-class experience with the continued support of the local fashion community.