Union Profile: Nicholas Daley



Nicholas Daley


Menswear Designer

Birth place:

Based in London

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “Home”?


What is your most treasured memory?

Most recently, going to the last show of Jah Shaka, who was one of the pioneers of UK sound system. I was so glad that I was able to witness his last session in London. It was such a spiritual moment and obviously hearing him play on the system and what it does to your body. That collective feeling and with his passing last year, a massive loss for the British Caribbean community and people within sound system culture.

What is your favorite way to spend a day off?

Karate. I started Karate because my wife, Nabihah Iqbal, she’s a black belt and encouraged me. Theres trainings on Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays so I try to go at least once a week. Being in the Dojo, forgetting about my worries and concerns. It’s been great physically, spiritually, and mentally to let it all out.

Bucket list location and why?

Being here in LA, in Union. This is definitely a bucket list. I’ve always wanted to come to the West Coast. It’s amazing that Chris Gibbs and the whole team here have opened up the doors.

What is the first food that comes to mind when you think of “Home”?

Rice and peas, or some sort of stewed dish with loads of vegetables something comforting.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would say, "It's like a labor of love" you gotta really love what you do and the labor of it. Mad respect to Chris Gibbs and the whole Union team because, you know, whether it's a store, brand, or both, you’ve got to really be passionate because no one else is gonna care more about it than you do. There might be people who are going to support you, but you know, it's very much like your energy, your time, your vision is what's going to drive it. But also, market research. Do your market research. Know your market, know your consumer, know what they want from the brand, what elements you feel should be celebrated-- that's something which is a constant and something that everyone should be aware of. And also, just like don't rush into starting a brand unless you feel like you've got the time, the energy and the resources to take it to a level. I go to Central Saint Martins, I've done stuff with at Parsons, talking about this to the next generation of fashion designers, always trying to give them a realtime idea of the pressures, like how much time commitment, finance, energy because it isn't easy. You got to have people like Chris who believe in the brand, and the people who are working who like the brand and want to buy into it. You got to nurture this, especially when you're independent, like myself. It's a constant battle every day. I enjoy it, and I'm fortunate that my work has brought me here to Union to have a night of celebration and meet people in LA for the first time.

What advice would you give to your older self?

Enjoy the moment, because not everything lasts.