As vice president of marketing for Elevate Textiles, Kara Nicholas helps craft the stories of a suite of textile trailblazers.
For two decades, Kara Nicholas served as the vice president of product development and marketing for Cone Denim—a name that requires no further introduction for denim industry insiders.
The storied denim mill rose to prominence over more than a century milling America’s favorite denim, and Nicholas brought to life the company’s coveted vintage selvedge styling and its newest eco-innovations, paying homage to denim’s history while paving the path to its future.
Now, as vice president of marketing for parent company Elevate Textiles, Nicholas helps craft the stories of a suite of textile trailblazers, from denim to performance materials and other functional fabrics.
What will the denim industry be like in the next 18 months?
We are currently in uncertain times and I think we can expect that to continue for a while longer. I think this time is driving the denim industry to rethink how we can be better—more transparent, more sustainable, more conscious of the environment, and more mindful of each other. The denim community has always been engaged and passionate. During this time we’re all striving to be better, and I think we’ll see more innovation and creativity as brands look to differentiate themselves.
What change would you like to see in the denim industry as a result of Covid-19?
The experiences of this year have resonated with each person and have impacted every facet of our lives. I hope we move forward with an even greater sense of community, collaboration and mindfulness, and the belief that we’re all in this together—and together, we are stronger.
How do you define sustainability in a post-pandemic world?
The pandemic forced all of us to pause, reflect and take stock of what is really important in our lives. Sustainability is synonymous with our future—environmentally, socially, and economically. My belief and hope is that the concept of sustainability will be greater, more encompassing and embraced in all that we do.
Describe your dream jeans.
My dream jeans are authentic, crafted after original constructions but with contemporary performance, comfort and sustainability.
What is your most worn pair of jeans, and why?
My most cherished pieces of denim are my jeans and jackets made with fabric from Cone Denim’s iconic White Oak Mill. I treasure them; they are beautiful and reflect denim’s history, Cone’s history and my history. I have a special denim jacket that I’ve worn in from a rigid, unwashed state. It was made with selvedge denim that was part of the first dye run of natural indigo produced in the U.S. in over 100 years. I also have some special pairs of LVC repro jeans that I live in, also made from White Oak selvedge.
Name one word that best describes denim.