Nicoletta Lyons: Doing it From the Heart

by Yaritza Pena.

For Nicoletta Lyons, style and creativity was not something that was developed but inherited. As the daughter of an artist and a teacher, she was exposed to the artistic world at a young age. “I would play with my Barbie dolls for hours everyday,” said Nicoletta, “I would make clothes for them and dress each one of them.”

After high school, Nicoletta took advantage of her college opportunity at the University of Massachusetts to study something that she always had an interest in: Theater. She initially wanted to become an actress but, after one costume design class, she was hooked. “I ended up dressing every campus show from then on. I loved it!”

After graduation, Nicoletta went on to teach Theater and Special Education at a number of Boston Public Schools. However, her creative endeavors never came to a stand still. In her free time, Nicoletta was always styling for photo shoots and designers and during the weekends, you’d find her selling her creative goods at the SoWa Open Market.

After 8 years of teaching, Nicoletta thought it was time to move on. Since she was 18 years old, she had been throwing around the idea of opening a boutique of her own and at that moment the time felt right to tackle her dream of doing what she loved as a full time job. In an effort to perfect her craft and pursue her business idea, she went on to take jewelry making classes at The Museum School of Art right here in Boston and even went off to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York to take styling courses. And with that, she was presented with the opportunity to join the styling teams for Baby Phat, Rock & Republic, Alexander Herchovitch and Abaete during New York’s Fashion Week in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

“A stylist’s life is not that glamorous,” shared Nicoletta, “there is more to styling than just having a good eye. You have to be educated. You have to know your period clothing, designers, materials, colors, everything! Do your homework. Study it. Know it.” Her experience with costume design and her courses at FIT definitely pushed her forward in the styling world and she said her edge for bargain hunting gave her a leg up in the industry. “Sometimes you have $100 to style a cast of 20 and you have to make it look like you spent $200 on each person. Bargain thinking is huge in this business! Not everyone can be a stylist. You either have it or you don’t. You have to have an intuition for it!”

Nicoletta’s styling career is still alive and strong with constant requests from photographers and runway designers alike. As for Lola’s Urban Vintage, Nicoletta keeps herself busy by creating and collecting new pieces for her unique collection. But beware; her design methods are far from traditional. “I’m not really a designer. I’d call myself an artist. I can’t operate a sewing machine for the life of me, but give me a hammer and some glue and I’ll make something that cost $100 look like it’s worth $500. I can legit make anything out of anything.”

She shared that when she goes about creating her reconstructed vintage pieces, she doesn’t really plan anything beforehand. “I just start creating and keep adding things on until I like the final product. I do it from the heart.” A lot of the pieces in Lola’s Urban Vintage boutique come from local resources such as Goodwill, flea markets and yard sales. Online shopping from stores in Korea and LA are also typical for Nicoletta as well as her frequent trips to New York in addition to pieces from her artist friends and family.

In the two years that Lola’s has stood at its Allston store front, Nicoletta has continued to make a strong fashion statement in the Boston community. “So many people come into my shop and love what we have but say ‘I could never pull that off’. People are too conservative here. I want to push people to be bold with their wardrobes and make a statement! Call me the next Patricia Field.”

So what’s next for Nicoletta and Lola’s Urban Vintage? “I want to expand to menswear and move to a bigger place in Boston.” In addition to a business upgrade, Nicoletta wants to continue styling and is working on a new line of reconstructed gas masks that she hopes to display in a local gallery (more on that in the near future). But for now, she hopes to use Lola’s as a place of inspiration for Bostonians to push fashion boundaries and create a more accepting and stylish community.

You can shop Lola’s Urban Vintage online at LolasUrbanVintage.com or in their storefront location at 187 Harvard Ave. in Allston.

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Comments

  1. Always has new product and alot of the merchandise is made by hand. Great place to buy a unique gift.

  2. Nicoletta (Lola’s Urban Vintage) is an amazing creative fashion maven ahead of the times. Boston needs her 🙂 and loves her unique, bold, creative take on everything fashion. Amazing designer. Love her style 🙂 🙂 Who says Boston is not a fashionable city? I guess they haven’t been to Lola’s. She sets the trend people not follows them 🙂

  3. foleyscottages.tripod.com says:

    Lola’s has to be the first stop for any young woman who is ready to urban-up and take it out on the town.

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