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Nikki Williams, Class of 2009

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Barely a year after Nikki Williams ’09 inadvertently typed “B” into her search engine and “bow ties” popped up, she has designed dozens of items for Foreign Öbject, her rapidly growing fashion line.

This business administration major, former basketball star and aspiring fashion stylist is using social media to promote her designs. And, it turns out that the leather bow tie with gold zippers she designed for a friend – and learned to make by following a YouTube tutorial and then nervously posted on Instagram – was an instant hit.

Williams has expanded her hip-hop–inspired, edgy and sometimes controversial fashion line to include T-shirts, hats, jackets, jerseys and leggings. Rappers Bow Wow, B.O.B. and ASAP Ferg, as well as singer-actress Teyana Taylor, have worn Williams’ designs. Stephen Hill, president of music programming and specials for BET Network, requested pieces from her fall-winter line last year, and fashion designer Angela Simmons – daughter of Run DMC’s Rev. Run – has included Williams’ creations for sale on her website.

on her website. “What I design is what I feel like creating that day,” Williams explains. And her spring-summer line this year is undeniably Nikki – vibrant and bright, mixing bold patterns, foreign flags and vivid colors that practically dance off the fabric. Her favorite items from her fashion line so far are plain shirts with very telling, yet simple messages: “Menace II Mediocrity” and “The Proof.” In those phrases, Williams is pushing herself and her brand away from the expected – and closer to her ultimate goal of being “a household name in fashion.”

Read the full article from the College of Charleston Magazine.