According to multiple reports, Nicoll died from a heart attack in Sydney. Nicoll was taken by ambulance this morning to St. Vincent’s Hospital from his apartment in Kings Cross, Sydney.
Born in London in 1977, the designer moved to Perth with his family at age 3, departing again for the U.K. 14 years later.
“He loved his live in Australia,” the Nicoll family said in a statement. “He had recently confirmed a new role at Adidas and a collaboration with Woolmark, both of which he was excited about. We will miss his handsome face, his sense of humor and his love.”
An Adidas spokeswoman confirmed Nicoll was preparing to assume a leading creative role at the company’s headquarters. “Adidas is deeply saddened to hear the terrible news about Richard Nicoll,” the company said in a statement. “He was an incredibly talented individual, and we felt honored that he would be joining our team in January. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.”
Nicoll graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2002 with a BA in menswear and an MA in womenswear, and established his eponymous womenswear label in London in 2005, debuting at London Fashion Week the following year. In 2008, Nicoll won three Association Nationale pour le Développement des Arts de la Mode (ANDAM) prizes and took the Best Young Designer category at the Elle Style Awards in 2009. He was a two-time British Fashion Council Vogue Fashion Fund finalist.
Nicoll was the creative director of Cerruti’s womenswear label from 2009 to 2011. Between February 2014 and October 2015, he served as creative director of British clothing brand Jack Wills.
Nicoll closed his own label in late 2014 to focus on freelance projects under the Nicoll Inc. brand name. Projects included a Sydney-based surfwear brand called Double Rainbouu in collaboration with Toby Jones and Mikey Nolan, which was unveiled off-schedule during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia in May.
Celebrities and friends of the designer took to social media after news of his passing broke.
“We are all deeply saddened by the news that the wonderful, kind-hearted and talented Richard Nicoll passed away,” said Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council. “He had been part of NEWGEN, Fashion Forward, shortlisted for the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund and BFC/GQ Menswear Fund, and showed both at London Fashion Week and the first few editions of London Collections Men. He had many friends here and in the British fashion community and he will be truly missed.”
Fabio Piras, Central Saint Martins MA course director, said, “It is with immense sadness that I heard the news this morning of Richard’s passing. My thoughts are with him and with his family and many friends. Richard will be remembered as both a very talented designer and a charming and elegant human being. I knew him first as a kind-hearted, sensitive and gifted student, and he took these qualities with him throughout his successful design career. Richard was one of these special alumni who touched and inspired his fellow students. He showed them that to find an original and audible voice you do not necessarily have to shout. He will be greatly missed.”
“Richard Nicoll was a perceptive and extremely sensitive designer. He was versatile and had the most acutely honed sensibility for color of all the designers of his generation,” added Willie Walters, Central Saint Martins BA fashion course director. “As an individual he was reserved and wore his talent lightly. He was thoughtful and had a great sense of humor. I am very saddened and shocked by his sudden death. It is difficult to believe he is gone.”
Nicoll is survived by his parents and sister. Plans for a memorial and tributes to the designer have yet to be announced.