Nic+Zoe was born from a passion for designing against the grain.” With the lives of busy women in mind, Nic+Zoe’s founder and Chief Creative Officer, Dorian Lightbown, saw a need for clothing that would take women from day to night in a uniquely memorable way, and began designing purposeful and creatively inspired apparel that looks and feels good. Since 2006, their stylish and modern clothing line has complemented the modern woman’s lifestyle, staying true to their mission to make busy look good.”

As a brand, Nic+Zoe designs bold, versatile, and intuitive clothing worn by women across the U.S. Their brick and mortar locations, however, weren’t equipped to meet the company’s customer service aspirations, and inconsistently represented their brand identity. With the intention of building a deeper connection to their customers beyond the existing wholesale platform, Nic+Zoe explored a direct-to-consumer store model. Key to success was ensuring that every woman be able to walk into a Nic+Zoe location and find the look that fits her individual style; the essence of their brand position.


An overall look at the store and the conceptual prototype design where it started

Our retail design team was brought on to help identify the uniquely resonant attributes of the brand, develop a strategy for their retail environments, and ultimately a visual expression and meaningful touchpoint of their culture that would connect with their customers. Our client emphasized the importance of each store being able to accommodate different types of clientele, from women on the go, with limited time to spare, to those who had time and flexibility to engage in a more direct and personalized experience. First the team focused on creating an experience that responds to those varied journeys, then layered in a design expression reflective of the brand’s easy sophistication.


Integral to delivering on that directive, our team conceptualized a story-telling” strategy that would guide the action of finding the desired style solution for each customer. This guided shopping experience would be supported by key visual merchandising features, brand messaging, and custom fixture elements, empowering customers to discover inspired wardrobe solutions embodied in, and supported by, an environment that encourages a sense of collaboration and brand community.


This is amplified through outfitting fixtures that pull collection stories together, a centralized community relationship” table instrumental to building on the customer/associate interaction, and personally appointed fitting room experiences that enhance connections and promote easy shopping, all orchestrated to deliver a desirable experience regardless of her journey. 

As Dorian is fond of saying, Nic+Zoe is about building a strong knit-work” of women that makes it easy to live a creatively inspired life, and our new store design is the vehicle to allow their customers to do just that.

The Details

  • Collaborators
    • Fiskaa Engineering
    • Fleetwood Fixtures
    • Reflex Lighting
    • Retail Construction Services
    • Specialty Lighting Group
    • Van Stry Design
  • Photographers
    • Richard Cadan Photography

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