Nicky Vankets was born on May 12th 1979 in Belgium. He knew at a very young age what he wanted to become when he grew up. All of his childhood he had been playing with his Barbie dolls, while other friends were having fun outside. Nicky could be seen hanging around and about in the ateliers of his parents family business. He literally grew up between the bulk of fabrics and the scissors & needles.
After finishing his high-school degree, graduating in Economics and Mathematic, Nicky decided to take the future in his own hands. He applied at the Royal Academy of Arts in Antwerp, Belgium. Here he was declined his application without any further explanation.
Confused and disheartened by this result, he spent the weekend with his family at the Belgium Coast. It was here Nicky woke one morning and advised his mother of his desire to go London to study. London was the place where famous designers such as Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano started their careers. Nicky left Belgium for London and did the exact same thing.
At the age of 18 he moved into his London apartment, near Waterloo station. Here Nicky began his studying at one of the most prestigious schools of Art, the London College of Fashion. It was four years later when he presented his Final Assessment Project on the catwalks of London Fashion Week and graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Design and Technology for the Fashion Industry.
Returning back home, Nicky wanted to go global and so he applied for a job at the most famous designer houses in the World. Going to Milan in 2002, he managed to get an appointment with the Human Resource department of Armani. Thinking he would start working there soon, Nicky returned from a cold trip back home, only with the advice of one of the Armani co-operators who told him he’d better return and with all the knowledge Nicky possessed, he’d better start his own brand and label… and so he decided to do just that.
Already designing for his parents company in the years prior, Nicky branded his name into a designer label, and so NICKY VANKETS was born. Nicky started his career only designing wedding dresses but then he decided that there was more to give to the world. Bursting out of creativity, Nicky created new collections and new lines within the secure walls of the family business.
Wanting fame as it applies to every young person trying to make it into the world, Nicky started designing for Belgian celebrities, most of which were mainly in the music business and later on for almost the whole star scene. Even the comite of Miss Belgium approached Nicky to design the evening gowns for their Miss when she would go to the elections of Miss Universe and Miss World.
In 2005 Nicky was commissioned by the Belgian Government to open the Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week and returning home he was given the opportunity to create one of the most expensive gowns (at the time) in the world. For the ‘Nacht van Exclusief’, he designed the famous spider dress, worn by Belgian celebrity Kelly Pfaff. The dress was designed around a spider web holding 2.476 diamonds, worth more than 1.5 Million euros.
In 2004 Nicky was awarded the prize of ‘World’s Top Designer’ at the Miss World election for the dress he made for Ellen Petri. And the same year Petra de Groodt was given a similar prize for his designs at the Model of the Universe competition.
Rewarded with great success, Nicky was approached the year after, in 2006, by the same organizers of the ‘Nacht van Exclusief’ to again create the splendor of the evening for the most prestigious gala evening of the year. So in 2006 Nicky created a dress for Ellen Petri inspired by the masked balls, such as the one from the Phantom of the Opera. The luxurious gown was embellished with black and naturally colored diamonds.
The same year he was given the chance to design a dress for one of the greatest divas in the world...Barbie. Barbie was the host a special competition where young creative children would get the chance to explore a little the fashion business, Nicky dressed his childhood muse in a red and gold dress. This was sure one more dream come true.
Then 2007 got even better! Again for the ‘Nacht van Exclusief’ Nicky designed the eye-catcher of the evening worn by another Belgian Celebrity, Joyce De Troch. This piece held more than 6.000 colored pearls and over 16 meters of pure silk, inspired by the Roaring Twenties.
Thinking that this would be the highlight of the year, Nicky really had it going. As Disneyland Paris asked him together with other great designers to restyle their famous Princesses. The goal here was to raise money for Unicef. Nicky chose to give Cinderella a makeover and with more than great success. As it turned out, after an auction at Christie’s in Paris, Nicky’s gown brought the most at the auction. The dress was bought anonymous and raised over 15.000 Euros to go to Unicef, proving to be the most worthy of them all.
But Nicky really received his fame when his name appeared all over the world on the front pages over ever newspaper when Kim Clijsters, one of the top list Tennis players in the world, asked Nicky to design her wedding gown. It seemed that within a second all the world knew who Nicky Vankets was and what was expected from him. Not only the bride herself but even the groom, Bryan Lynch, and all of the family where dressed by what was so far… just a Belgian Designer.
As his name was destined to be written in the stars, Nicky opened 2008 with something less expected. Nissan Cars commissioned Nicky to restyle one of their most famous models, the Micra, into a fashion must have for all the women out there. The Press went wild and in January of that year, all headlines were the same: “Nicky Vankets opens the International Brussels Car Show 2008”.
Some months later, Miss Belgium 2008, Alizée Poulicek, went straight front page in Vietnam, where she set foot on to the stage of Miss Universe, wearing a dress representing one of the most known Belgian specialities, Belgian ‘chips and mussels’.
2017 stands for celebrity weddings again, with in the beginning of the summer Belgian tennis player Yanina Wickmayer and her husband Jérôme in a custom-made design by Nicky Vankets. He also dressed to perfection the bridesmaids and groomsmen for the big day.
Then in September the whole NICKY VANKETS team went to Ibiza for a star-studded wedding. The world famous top DJ Dimitri Vegas and his Dj wife Anouk Matton were styled and covered for their big day of dreams, by Nicky. Once again a picture perfect wedding, a dream come true..
2019 was time for a new romantic fairy tale, one set in Sweden, where celebrity actor Louis Talpe said 'YES' to the love of his life, the gorgeous Tiffany Ling Vanerus. A romantic dress in nude and ivory tones was created to make her shine as never before.
2022 was the year that o,ne of the most exclusive weddings took place in Belgium. Colleague designer Cilem Tunc and the king of the night life Vincent van Trier said yes in an incredibale setting in Antwerp. The bride dressed in a Grace Kelly inspired wedding couture gown with cathedral train and veil, completely hand beaded and embellished with thousands crystals of Swarovski.
And that Summer Nicky Vankets his creative mind took center stage at Tomorrowland where BMW comissioned him to create these fairytale thinkle bells to match their own forest in Boom.
2022 and 2023 also put the spotlights back on showbizz-land. Singers, tv programs, actors, ... they all ligned up to be dressed by our designer (Picture: Camille Dhondt - singer).
And the story continiues...