Inside Iconic Designer Nicole Miller's Factory In The Middle Of New York City

nicole miller factory tour

Photo: Meredith Galante/Business Insider

On a Wednesday afternoon a month before Fashion Week, iconic designer Nicole Miller is hard at work in her Garment District office.

An employee waltzes into Miller’s colourful, cluttered space with a black halter dress on. She suggests the dress, which had a sheer cover, become a garment that’s short in the front and long in the back.

Miller loves the idea. She gets to work pinning.

That’s the way it works at Nicole Miller, the fashion house best known for its playful dresses. Management encourages ideas from everyone.

Today, the company is one of the few designer labels that still works and produces its collections in New York City. A majority of the clothes it sells are made in New York, too.

Nicole Miller takes up the 19th and 20th floors of the building on Seventh Avenue, in the heart of the Garment District. The reception area is modern and colourful.

The company has been in this space since 1991.

The hallway is filled with art, photos of Nicole and celebrities, and famous looks from past lines.

The showroom is a major part of the space. These looks are from the upcoming Resort collection.

When we stopped by, buyers were visiting the office to check out some of the latest designs.

In one corner of the showroom, dresses from Nicole Miller's bridal line are displayed on a rack.

There's a loose dress code in the office. Employees are encouraged to wear at least one Nicole Miller piece a day, and Miller prefers the women in heels.

The showroom almost looks like a department store, with racks filled with clothing.

It's not all garments. Miller's iPhone cases are prominently on display. She also makes accessories like belts, handbags, and jewelry.

The tags identify the season, type of fabric, and whether the garment is in stock.

On Wednesdays and Fridays, a chef prepares lunch for the staff. The kitchen feels very homey.

Sometimes, you can even find Miller in the kitchen cooking.

The seamstresses are all on the 20th floor. Most have been at Nicole Miller since the company's start.

Each seamstress gets her own station. All of Miller's collections come together here, and many of the clothes she sells are made here as well.

There's an entire wall of fabric in the seamstress room.

Take a sneak peek at some colours for fall!

Miller is in the office every day, draping fabrics and lace herself. She said she believes her success comes in part from the fact that she has remained involved with the namesake brand for so long.

There are several rows of sewing machines.

Clothes, fabric, and cuttings hang everywhere.

There's a fun portrait of Miller hanging in the hallway. The real Nicole Miller can be seen wandering the hallways throughout the day.

Nicole said she still takes time to sketch every day.

Here are some of the patterns displayed on the walls, which serve as inspiration for future lines.

One fun perk: the company's 125 workers may try on garments at any time, and tell Miller and her team why they would or would not wear the outfit.

Downstairs on the 19th floor are the e-commerce, public relations, and marketing crews.

The 19th floor also has a smaller cutting room.

There are racks and racks of cutouts hanging through out the offices.

The company has a constant influx of interns, and Miller tries to give them creative projects. She recently asked them to buy flowers in Chelsea, then photographed the flower and used the print on a dress.

The accounting department has an office with standard cubicles. Hard to believe this is part of a fashion company's headquarters.

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