We invite you to discover The Collectors — our interview series that unearths the treasures, trinkets and thoughtful things that the most exciting creatives that we follow are holding onto. It’s here that we find out why collectibles hold such value and in fact, how value is so much more than a price tag. Introducing Nikie Lundquist, our first find for The Collectors .
Fashion consultant and buyer Nikie Lundqiust launched slow fashion brand Sigrid Maria in 2019 as a curated collection of unique vintage pieces, and quickly started working on her own collection of made-to-order blouses. Each beautiful blouse takes 5 to 6 hours to make, and her recently launched line of dresses take between 8 and 9 hours. It’s not uncommon for you to be buying a one-off piece!
As a Collector of special vintage pieces for over 10 years, Nikie is drawn to finds with a story to tell — with quality and craftsmanship as the opening chapter. In running thousands of clothes through her hands over the years, Nikie has trained herself to instantly recognise the good finds — natural fibres first and foremost. We tried on blouses and talked collecting with Nikie to discover more...
What’s the first thing you collected?
Nikie Lundquist// Super inconvenient as I move house so often but...I collect classic books and have done for years. I can’t go visit a bookshop without buying something, the more history the better. Old Penguins are great, first editions are gold dust. My favourite is The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford, I have to buy any edition of hers that I find so I have a fair few copies of all her titles!
"...collecting items differs from just consuming — you collect something with an intention and for the emotional connection, whereas it is easy to get carried away with the impulse of consuming things we do not need."
What is your favourite thing to collect today?
NL// Pretty obvious — but yes it is vintage clothing! The older I get the more I truly appreciate garments and if you have had a piece of clothing for a long time it becomes an old friend. I feel more emotionally connected to my items with a story, either of how I found it or of its previous owner. I bought a Hungarian blouse from a woman who had inherited it from her mother, who in turn had bought it whilst doing a ceramics course in Hungary in the 1960s. How amazing is that?
What is your favourite piece of jewellery that you own or otherwise?
NL// I love Art Deco jewellery, especially with the combination of Emeralds, Onyx and diamonds… I love green gems and am very partial to Malachite, Jade and emeralds. If I ever got engaged I would have very specific requirements for my ring and my worst nightmare is a brand new princess cut diamond from Tiffany’s! I also adore Ancient Egyptian jewellery — it would be a dream to collect that.
Do you like classic, forever pieces, or are you more into fun jewellery that you can change up everyday?
NL// I am definitely a classic jewellery kind of gal. I just don’t think I suit ‘out there’ fun pieces, and I actually don’t wear a lot of jewellery either. I have my classics and from time to time I will add to my collection, but I more or less wear the same jewellery everyday.
Are you working on any exciting launches or projects at the moment?
NL// Yes, as a small brand with limited edition stock there is always something new around the corner! I love the challenge of sourcing the right fabrics and to slowly grow my brand and create new pieces. We recently launched our first made-to-order dress collection, which is super exciting. Currently working on adding styles to the slowly growing Sigrid Maria collection!
Does your love of collecting inform your work at all?
NL// Absolutely, I would never have started my brand had it not been for my vintage collection. That collection inspires everything I do, from cuts that never go out of style to materials and techniques used. I also think collecting items differ from just consumption, you collect something with an intention and for the emotional connection, whereas it is easy to get carried away with impulse consumption of things we do not need.
Sustainability is at the core of your brand — what steps do you take as a business to ensure you’re being responsible?
NL// I try and stay local as much as possible, and of course I cannot have the entire supply chain in my garden, but I try and cut down as many steps as I can. Everything is sourced in the UK, down to the last button, and the fabrics we use are all vintage, deadstock or end of roll from local suppliers. The entire design process, pattern cutting and making of a piece is all done in London, so there is no flying across the world to check samples in factories and big orders of raw materials. As we are made to order we also don’t end up with unwanted stock, we only create what is sold.
What do you look for when sourcing a piece of fabric?
NL// Texture! It needs to be nice to touch, comfortable to wear and age gracefully. I love the raw silk sourced for my latest collection, because you can actually see the natural fibre in places and it’s imperfectly perfect — I love that. It’s authentic and with the right care it will last a lifetime.
NL// Right now I am dying to go back and watch a performance at the Royal Opera House, so I am listening to a lot of opera at the moment. La Traviata, La Boheme and Tristan und Isolde are favourites, as you can see I love a romantic tragedy!
NL// Absolutely obsessed with Sentimental in the City with Dolly Alderton and Caroline O'Donoghue, dissecting each season of Sex and the City. Absolutely brilliant.
NL// Love Casa Cruz in Notting Hill.
Favourite Swedish treat?
NL// Cinnamon bun, closely followed by a cardamom bun.
NL// Daily — Oat milk cappuccino. For the weekends — Campari and soda.
What are you reading at the moment?
NL// Just discovered a novel by Evelyn Waugh that I haven’t read before, The Loved One, and it’s really good.
Did you take on a new hobby during lockdown?
NL// I did take up knitting! But only made one hat and then lost interest…
NL// Love a Pasta Puttanesca! It’s perfect for when you are having friends over as well, pair with some red wine and a salad and you are there.
NL// Toasted hot cross bun with lots of butter.
How do you build your wardrobe?
NL// Slowly and with intention.
What perfume do you wear?
NL// Right now I wear Rozu by Aesop, it is rose paired with a smokey woodiness that I love.
Favourite thing about London in the Spring?
NL// All the blossom! Magnolia, cherry blossom and a bit later my favourite — Wisteria.
An underrated discovery you think the world should know about?
NL// Maybe not a discovery but charity shops really are the best.
Something you can’t resist?
NL// A glass of really buttery Californian Chardonnay.
Something people wouldn’t expect from you?
NL// I went to an agricultural university and have an MBA in Food Business Management...
Your ideal Sunday?
NL// Ideally in a long walk in the countryside, reading the papers and drinking Bloody Mary’s following a delicious Sunday roast.
This or That?
Carrie, Samantha, Miranda or Charlotte?
NL// Think a mix between Carrie and Charlotte.
Bicycle, tube or taxi?
NL// I cycle everywhere — it’s the Scandi in me :)
Heels or Flats?
NL// What are heels? I love flats but I can’t wait to dress up again.
North, East, South or West?
Coffee or tea?
NL// Ohh tricky. I am such a coffee addict but I also love tea - Lapsang and Earl Grey are my favourites.
Cats or Dogs?
NL// Dogs in general, whippets and corgis in particular.
What goes on first: socks or trousers?
NL// Trousers! I actually hate wearing socks so only wear them when forced.
Diamonds or pearls? Or neither?
NL// I love Baroque pearls but a small vintage diamond is never wrong.
Classic movie or something new?
NL// Classic, all my favourites are! I love an old Hitchcock or a musical like Singing in the Rain or Sound of Music.
Faceted stones or intaglios/cameos?
NL// Intaglios, I would love a Carnelian intaglio on a ring.
Lastly, which piece from our collection would you choose and why?
NL// The Oeuf Au Plat ring, the moment I saw it I fell in love! The egg is such a powerful symbol and carries personal meaning for me, so I bought the gold version and it is very special. Also currently eyeing up the Baby Egg Hoop earrings as well…
Make sure to visit Sigrid Maria's instagram for an insight into Nikie's world and the behind the scenes, and visit www.sigridmaria.com to see the collection up close. A selection of pieces are available to rent on hurr.com and in person at HURR x Selfridges.