As a child, I was always immersed in my own art projects. My career trajectory began with a Stanford degree in Art and Art History and a minor in Philosophy. I continued my education with fashion training at the Istituto di Marangoni and subsequently worked as fashion designer for Giorgio Armani in Milan and then Zac Posen in New York. It was in my first-time collaboration designing shoes with Manolo Blahnik for Zac Posen that I decided to move back to Italy and launch my own eponymous women’s luxury shoe line, Nicole Brundage (debut FW2006).
Several years later, I launched another line called Acrobats of God, a line made strictly of elastic bands and P.V.C., in what I called “the search for the extraordinary in the ordinary” (debut SS2010). During this period I also consulted for the De La Valle and Ferragamo groups to name a few. In Spring of 2015, I decided to merge both my brands under one umbrella. The new line was named Marskinryyppy and debuted for AW15, offering the possibility to personalize a shoe. In this sense, Marskinrryppy was unique in that it connected with its consumers on a creative level by allowing them to say something about themselves.
This aspect of connecting on a more personal level congealed in the creation of my portraits and books.
With the onset of Covid and the birth of my daughter, I left shoe design to take on other interests. The i-photos I took of her led to printing them, making collages, and finally incorporating these collages with acccompanying text into books. Each new book has taken on a different theme, and although the visual content might be personal to me, the images and content are relatable to anyone. My intention is that these books might resonate with readers on a personal level. That readers might hopefully be left with a sense that, although our lives differ in terms of culture lifestyle or interests, the feelings behind our diverse experiences are all the same.
My commissioned portraits have been called magical, an alchemy of sorts. In creating them I hope to materialize the sentimental characteristics of my subjects, while portraying them in a simultaneously earnest and playful manner.
My portraits as well as all my collages are mostly artisanal; they are not digitally created in the traditional sense. I use filtered images taken from my iPhone, images from Google, an HP color printer, scissors, Prismacolor markers, colored pencils and a permanent glue stick. Each image is an eclectic synthesis of content across the creativity board–fashion, design, art. As per my books, the collages come together to address a particular theme, with accompanying commentary and quotes from diverse thinkers and authors. All in all, each book is an engaging smorgasbord of philosophy, psychology, and a sense of humor together with design elements of sophistication and intrigue.