“…it’s not about spending a fortune. All you need is attention to detail and a great tailored fit and you can go into any situation with confidence.” - Nick Wooster
GQ named him “the alpha male of American street style.” Fashion blogs spread his sartorial inspiration across the length and breadth of the internet. A self-proclaimed “kid from Kansas,” Nickelson ‘Nick’ Wooster, known for his sharply tailored blazers, handlebar moustache and sleeve tattoos, has become a true fashion icon.
Wooster is an authority on menswear having spent over 25 years working with luxury brands such as Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, as well as fashion labels like Thom Browne. His love affair with department stores began at a young age in the small town of Salina, Kansas. His first exposure to fashion was a department store in Wichita, Kansas, which he would visit with his grandfather. As Wooster reached his teens, he realized that if the choice was between mowing yards or dressing up and working at the clothing store, he would pick the clothing store.
Wooster studied journalism and advertising at the University of Kansas and upon graduation, moved to New York to work for the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. However, it proved to be a poor fit. Not suited to the constant number crunching of being an Assistant Account Executive, he realized that his true love was fashion, particularly in the retail environment, and he soon managed to secure a position as an Assistant Department Manager at the elite Saks Fifth Avenue. Always searching for new experiences, in 1987 Wooster landed a position as Assistant Buyer at Barneys New York.
He would later leave buying, becoming Director of Retail Merchandising at Calvin Klein, which led him to becoming the Design Director at Polo Ralph Lauren, then President of John Bartlett. In 2010 Wooster made his biggest move yet, when he was named Men’s Fashion Director at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, two of the highest-luxury department stores in the United States.
As of April of 2011 Wooster took a surprising – and to some risky – move, taking a position as Senior Vice President of Brand, Trend and Design at the then-ailing retail giant JCPenney. While there, Wooster travelled frequently between the company’s headquarters in Plano and New York City.
Most of his time at JCPenney was spent rethinking the men’s department as a place where people want to spend time, “A place for education… A place where families want to be, where people want to sit, where there’s technology or toys to keep them occupied.”
Named as an Instagram idol by the New York Times, these days Wooster is a freelance fashion consultant, exploring online technologies such as Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and Fancy for inspiration, and the ways in which publishing and fashion will intertwine in the future.
No matter what Nick Wooster does, he’ll do it with style.