Meet Nikel Kiar, Your next favorite designer
Learn about the woman behind the forthcoming brand Dante Charles Collection. Learn about what inspires her and how she turned her love for fashion into a career.
“Everyone won’t be happy with your life and success so prepare yourself to leave some people behind.”
- NIKEL KIAR
Hi Nikel, thank you so much for getting in the flow and sharing with our readers a little bit about yourself, where you are from, and what was life like growing up.
My name is Nikel I’m from Baltimore, Maryland, growing up life seemed simple but not simple, if you can understand what I mean, I grew up in a typical hood area. My parents were determined by any means to get us out of the ghetto and not have us be a statistic. My grandmother was the neighborhood grandmother. Everyone came to our house she helped everybody, and that’s where for me I first got my love of people from, watching my grandmother help people.
Please share what it is that you do and how you got started.
I am a fashion designer and fashion stylist, I got my start at the age of six years old when my grandmother bought me my first sewing machine and I started sewing doll clothes for my Barbie dolls.
What was your driving force and motivation to become and entrepreneur? Why is that important to you?
I would say my aunt was one of my driving forces to wanting to become an entrepreneur. She wasn’t an entrepreneur, but every time I visited her house I always said I want a house like yours, another motivation was my brother, when he was living he always drilled in me how much he believed in me and I knew that I couldn’t let him down. That’s why being successful is so important to me, because I am not only making a name for myself but I’m making a name for my brother and grandfather as well who my newest collection is named after.
Tell us about that new collection and how did you come up with the inspiration, vision, and concept?
Dante Charles came about because I wanted to start a handbag collection because me and my grandmother shared a love of handbags. So originally, it was supposed to be called Liz Kiar, after me and my grandmother, but after a few months of sitting with it, I decided that I wanted my brand to have a more luxury feel so I rebranded, changed the name and designed my first sample and here we are…Dante Charles Collection.
How did you start styling clients?
My first very client I styled was a local artist in Baltimore, she gave me a chance, then after her I styled a few models for a fashion show, then got my big break styling my first celebrity client for a book cover in 2013, and the rest has been history, I’ve styled for the Stellar Awards, the Dove Awards and the Steeple Awards. I’ve also been a stylist for NFL athletes as well as actors and singers.
What else can we look forward to from Dante Charles Collection?
Dante Charles Collection will launch in the spring of ’23, and I am looking forward to launching a few more designs along with a unisex travel set as well.
What advice would you go back and give your younger self?
To my younger self I would say, keep going drown out the noise and naysayers, keep God first and everything else will fall in line.
What do you wish someone had told you about being an entrepreneur?
I wish someone would have told me that, sometimes in business you lose more friends than money, meaning that everyone won’t be happy with your life and success so prepare yourself to leave some people behind.
Please share anything else that you would like to share with our readers and community.
Stay on the lookout for Dante Charles Collection coming soon!
I can be found on ig @nikelkiar and @DanteCharlesCollection.