LSU alumna Nicole Hogan follows her dreams and launches a clothing business in New York after designing for Michael Kors

You moved to New York in 2016. Can you describe how it’s been living in the Big Apple?

I moved to New York with like nobody, no food and no place to live. Then I worked at Michael Kors for two and a half years. It was a great job. I designed handbags and got to do some really awesome things there. But ultimately, my goal is to not have a corporate job. I wanted to do my own thing, have a little bit more freedom and, you know, chase my dreams. So I left my job and started my own business.

How was your experience working at Michael Kors?

It was very competitive—not just getting in but staying in, as well. I first started working there as a temp and was handling packages and making copies. Then I convinced some of the designers to help them do more stuff, and they got to see my talents. So they started giving me more projects. After three months, I came on full time. That’s when I started really doing more design work. I worked for all of the accessories teams, so I designed prints and worked on handbags for the stores and outlet stores.

In August 2019, you started your business, CoHo Fashion Show. Tell us about it.

CoHo Fashion Show is my online store where I sell vintage garments, used garments, shoes, whatever. I also sell my designs on there as well. All the images I’m posting on my website and Instagram about the clothes are real and authentic. I’m not photoshopping people. I’m not into the unrealistic garbage that people are selling to you. If I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do it right.

How would you describe your designs?

Something you can’t buy in-store. I do a lot of hand-painted prints, and I make my own trims by hand. I like to do things that are individual—something new, something weird. I like things that are fun, wild and brightly colored. Just playing with textiles and dying things is fun for me. I want my garments to be fun for the wearer.

How has life changed since moving to New York?

I’ve met so many people that I wouldn’t have met in Baton Rouge. There’s so many different kinds of people from different countries and lifestyles. I’m happy with where I’m at. I can wear whatever I want, and no one asks me why I’m so dressed up.

What do you miss about Baton Rouge?

The football games, of course. And going to The Bulldog.

If you could mail yourself anything from Louisiana, what would it be?

Slap Ya Mama seasoning and a po-boy from Darrell’s in Lake Charles.

What has been one of your proudest moments since moving to New York?

Ever since I decided that I’m going to start my own business, not sell myself short or say, ‘Oh, I’m just gonna work for this other designer,’ I am so freaking happy. I am working toward my dream, and I’m pushing myself. I’ve made more friends since I started this company than I have the entire time I’ve lived here. I feel like I’m finally living that New York dream.

This article was originally published in the November 2019 issue of 225 Magazine.