Nicky DeRosa: Designer in the making


Trusting the Process: Nicky envisions a dress design for one of his fashion class projects.

Sarah Al-Jawhar, asst. features editor

At eight years old, junior Nicky DeRosa picked up a needle and thread for the first time. Sorting through newly thrifted clothes with his mom, they realized that many of the clothes were not the correct size, and DeRosa took on the challenge of helping adjust them. From that moment, DeRosa’s connection to fashion continued to grow. 

Graduating from small adjustments, Nicky began designing dresses in third grade and made his first full dress in fifth grade, Bella DeRosa, Nicky’s older sister, said. From t-shirts to prom dresses, Nicky makes almost anything, Bella said. Along with clothing, Nicky also creates decorations for their home and Bella’s college dorm room, like her curtains and bed skirt, Bella said. 

“If you need something made, he’ll [make] it,” Bella said. “[Nicky] is very open to new ideas, too.”

Having moved many times throughout his childhood, Nicky draws inspiration from the places he has lived. Mostly creating things for family and friends, making customized pieces for others has let him connect with fashion on a more personal level, Nicky described. 

“I made my sister’s prom dress, which made me feel really connected [to my work] because I could work with someone and make them feel really good,” Nicky said.

Being part of South’s fashion program has given Nicky another outlet to take his work to another level. Nicky incorporates new skills through each garment he creates, always going above and beyond, Melissa Pfister, Fashion and Interior Design Teacher, said. 

“[Nicky is] a self-motivated, very skilled, and talented designer,” Pfister said. “His passion is evident in the way that he designs. He puts everything he has into his garments.”

No one else in the DeRosa family has pursued a fashion-related career, but they still provide Nicky with support, Bella said. Inspired by his work, many of Nicky’s aunts have sent him materials and supplies, helping Nicky become more involved in fashion, Bella explained.

“He’ll work [all night] on a school night because he has such a passion for creating things,” Bella said.

Nicky’s ambition for fashion has guided him toward pursuing a fashion-related path after high school, Nicky explained. He has been looking into fashion schools and hopes to continue growing as a designer, Nicky said. 

“[My favorite thing about fashion is] the creative control because I can do anything and it’s up to me,” Nicky said.