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NICOLA ON THE SIDE: It’s not as though Nicola Formichetti doesn’t already have enough to do as artistic director for Diesel and styling such VIPs as Lady Gaga and as of late “his new muse” the artist and musician Brooke Candy. But that didn’t deter him from turning his Nicopanda label into a full-fledged 70-piece fashion collection from a cult cartoon label. Completely separate from his Diesel gig, Nicopanda is something he started as a hobby three years ago with more of a manga spin. The designer’s new take is “Harajuku meets downtown New York,” and he would know as someone with a Japanese-Italian heritage who divides his time between New York and London.

Opening Ceremony and Colette are among the first to commit to carrying the spring athletic-inspired unisex pieces. “Sports never go out of trend and they are something that boys and girls can wear. There’s just something in the air with sports, and people want to wear it, which is cool,” he said. “I twist it with Harajuku princess details like bows and girl ruffles.”

This story first appeared in the September 9, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Striving to keep prices reasonable, shoppers will pay $95 for T-shirts and $195 for specialty sweatshirts. “The great thing about the price is that I want to keep it on the lower side. That is important,” he said. “I didn’t want to do anything expensive just for the sake of it. I think it’s cool that everyone can get it and wear it.”

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