sHeros: Nicole Zabal is changing the world of athletic wear one woman at a time
“Perfection killed the entrepreneur”. I actually got this piece of advice from Shark Tank (I’m obsessed with that show). I always remember Barbara Corcoran saying: “perfection killed the entrepreneur” and I literally think of that on a daily basis when I’m stressing out trying to make my website look perfect or fix a typo, and then I tell myself, no one is inspecting my work, it doesn’t have to be perfect…move on!
I had the pleasure of interviewing Nicole Zabal, founder of NICOLE ALEX — a lounge wear line made in Los Angeles. After graduating from the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York, Nicole spent fifteen years honing her fashion industry expertise with the goal to one day launch her own brand. A self-proclaimed fitness enthusiast, Nicole fell in love with the concept of the built-in shelf bras she found in her workout tank tops — but those tops were often too tight, unflattering, and not ideal for wearing outside the gym. Nicole realized there was a need for casual apparel that had the comfort of athleisure and the functional support of a built-in shelf bra. Frustrated with not being able to find her ideal styles anywhere, she decided to take matters into her own hands, debuting her first collection in the Spring of 2018.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
My mom was very fashion forward and subscribed to all the glossy fashion magazines in the 80s and 90s. When I was a little girl, I would go into her closet and try on her amazing designer dresses and shoes just waiting for the day that they would fit me. She was an artist and interior decorator and naturally, I ended up loving art and all things creative. My dad was the founder and CEO of a software company, and I like to think I got his business mindset combined with my mom’s artsy side. When I was a freshman in college, I interned at an apparel company in New York City and it became clear to me that my goal would…