Niki Taylor: “There is more to unite us than to separate us”

11.01.2017

photography by EMILY SOTO / style by ANDREW GELWICKS

story by ZOE FARRELL

Throughout the nineties, it was hard to pass a newsstand without being dazzled by Niki Taylor’s iconic smile. Landing the covers of massive publications, such as Vogue, at only 15, Taylor soon became one of the most recognizable faces in fashion. Now in her forties and some time away from the spotlight, Taylor is dipping her toes back into the world that made her a household name. MONROWE took the time to speak with Taylor about the enormity of her career and what she hopes will come in the future.

 

Luxe Wool Sweater Bomber with Feather arm details by Kobi Halperin

Zoe Farrell: You rose to a supermodel status by the time you were 15, landing your first Vogue cover at the time, how do you feel this amount of success at such a young age has affected/shaped the person you are today?

Niki Taylor: I think everything you do affects you in some way, but I always kept it simple at home, and that never really changed. The traveling did give me a perspective on the world that I would not have had if I stayed in Florida. Meeting all these creative people was a constant source of inspiration and joy.

The greatest lesson I learned was that there is more to unite us than to separate us. Fashion, music, the arts, cooking, family and friends, and the desire to be happy: these are all things we share.

ZF: You were one of the first supermodels to enter the Chinese Fashion market. What did you find to be the most interesting aspect of that experience?

NT: It was not until I got there that I realized what a big deal it was. This was the week that Hong Kong went from British to Chinese control [1997], and the press was making it sound like the army would be moving in, and that it was this big scary thing. In reality, it was nothing like that; it was amazing!

 

Black and white photo of model Niki Taylor by Emily Soto for MONROWE Magazine

Luxe Wool Sweater Bomber with Feather arm details by Kobi Halperin

 

ZF: The week you opened Hong Kong fashion week was the same week that Gianna Versace was murdered. What was it like to be such a prominent figure in the fashion industry when it lost one of its greats?

NT: I had just landed in Hong Kong and was informed of his death, but there weren’t a lot of details — just that he had been shot. I was on my way to the big convention center to meet my hosts and was immediately cornered by TV stations starting with CNN international and soon everyone else. They all descended on me, and I had no real information to give — just the fact that I knew him, really admired him, and was shocked and saddened about his passing. The magnitude of the loss hit me a few days later.

ZFWhat’s the greatest change you’ve seen in the fashion industry over the past 20-or-so years?

NT: I think fashion has become a lot more corporate in recent years, which I guess was inevitable. Thankfully, there is still room for up-and-coming designers and new ideas. 
 I love to see good hard-working people be able to make it to the top!

 

Black and white photo of model Niki Taylor by Emily Soto for MONROWE Magazine

White blouse dress by deux A Nude suede pumps by Paul Andrew

 

ZF: What is one of your favorite memories from the early stages of your career?

NT: There are so many highlights, but getting my first cover and walking in my first show are definite milestones. I do remember a day where I had to serve detention after school, and I had a whole photo crew waiting for me to get out so we could do a shoot. Looking back on it, it is a bit surreal and funny! I want it said, whatever I did, it wasn’t me.

ZF: What’s next for you?

NT: I love to work and I missed it, but I am also a full time mom. So the question is, can I do this again while still spending the time with my family that I want to. I attended my first complete fashion week this September, and it was so great to see so many of my friends and get reacquainted while meeting new people. I guess only time will tell what will happen next. But I know one thing, it will be fun!

 

 

Black and white photo of model Niki Taylor by Emily Soto for MONROWE Magazine

Luxe Wool Sweater Bomber with Feather arm details & Wool pants by Kobi Halperin

 

Niki Taylor | Team credits

Photographer: Emily Soto
Stylist: Andrew Gelwicks @The Only Agency
Styling Assistants: Rianna Henkel, Jamie Finnegan, Brittany Bryant
Featuring: Niki Taylor care of Rhiyen Sharp at Art and Fashion Group