Nikita’s roots lie within the small boardsport (snowboarding/skating/surfing) scene in Iceland. In 1994, designer Heida Birgisdóttir was one of the owners of boardsports/clothing store Týndi hlekkurinn (The Missing Link) in the old city center of Reykjavik. Inspired by boardsports, its influence on street clothing, and the lack of it available to women, Heida began constructing a selection of hand-made clothes for herself and friends. The clothing quickly drew further interest from outside the immediate circle so a local workshop was hired to take care of the production and sales continued to be done through The Missing Link store. Demand for the clothing grew quickly and in 1999 over one thousand pieces of Heida’s designs, that did not yet have a brand name, were sold in Reykjavik. Her clothing became an important part of the product mix in the shop and the idea of marketing it internationally soon entered her mind.
The name NIKITA sounded good, looked good in print and everybody in the world could easily say it! The slogan “street clothing for girls who ride” was added to the name in order to define what Nikita was and for whom. Plans to introduce the concept internationally were realized in the year 2000. Since then, Nikita introduced two streetwear collections annually, marketed the brand extensively and set up international distribution. Nikita clothing, both streetwear and outerwear (each winter) is now available in over 1,500 specialized boardsport and streetwear stores around the world. The introduction of Nikita Selekzion, a smaller design focused line, began as a pet project and has since been launched and introduced worldwide. Nikita Snowboards is the latest edition to fold and launches for FW12-13. Nikita sponsors a team of world-class riders; snowboarders, surfers and skaters that all help to promote the brand in various ways to a growing crowd of “girls who ride”. Company offices can be found in Hamburg,Germany but NIKITA HQ is still based in the Iceland capital Reykjavik.
Over the last ten years NIKITA has established itself as an independent, rider owned streetwear clothing company designed for girls who ride. Founder and head designer Heida Birgisdottir expanded the line a few seasons back by introducing an outerwear collection to complement her streetwear designs and ensure girls had style and function when shredding the slopes. Now the time has come for the next chapter in our story: here begins the adventure of NIKITA SNOWBOARDS.
This has been a project bubbling on the back burner since the very beginning. Being a snowboarder herself, Heida’s introduction to designing clothes was through snowboarding. Since establishing her own clothing brand worldwide, represented by snowboarders and available in snowboard stores, it was a logical progression that NIKITA would one day tap into the hardgoods market. Launching for Winter 2012-13, NIKITA SNOWBOARDS will comprise of a mountain freestyle board called the Sideway Sista in sizes ranging from 138 – 156 and a loose edge slopestyle board in sizes 135 – 152 called the Nikita Chickita.
The freestyle board is designed to carve smoothly, but still be loose enough to try any trick on the way down the mountain, while the slopestyle board is designed to handle a bit softer, making it easier to do tricks in the park or slide some rails downtown. The graphics and colours are by default a bit girly, but with a Nikita twist. First ambassador for NIKITA SNOWBOARDS, team rider Gabby Maiden confirms, “Nikita is more artsy and cool than hearts and lollipops.” Heida’s academic background in fine arts and her personal fascination for how boards (snow, skate and surf) function as a canvas for so many artists in the industry has always been a testament to the
connection between art and snowboarding. Check out the funky logo design on the Nikita Chickita and detailed and illustrative graphics from Icelandic artist AC Bananas on the Sideway Sista board.
The boards are designed in Iceland but manufactured in Austria using top quality materials and technology. The roots of NIKITA run deep and we’re proud to launch NIKITA SNOWBOARDS for girls who ride. We now can serve you the sushi with the sticks.
Heida is a key and inspirational figure in the snowboarding industry and known to many. Having founded and headed the designs of all-girls Nikita Clothing from day one, the brand has grown a very respectable reputation within snowboarding and has firmly established itself as a standalone brand choice for girls who ride. Alongside two collections of streetwear each year, Heida and her design and graphics team create one technical outerwear collection for winter, seasonal party wear collections known as Nikita Selekzion and launching for FW12-13 will be Nikita Snowboards. All ideas are shared, from initial design stages right through to the final cut, which of course Heida has the ultimate say on. It all began when Heida owned and worked in the old city centre of Reykjavik, in a clothing and boardsports store called Týndi hlekkurinn (The Missing Link). Inspired by boardsports, the lack of street clothing available to girls in the industry and her background and interest in fashion design, Heida began making clothes for herself. Heida’s circle of friends started to notice and take a personal interest so immediate mates production began!
When this grew further, she decided to rent a workshop to handle the production of the garments whilst using the shop to sell them. Heida continued to wear and sell her clothes until 1999, when over a thousand pieces had been sold before a brand name had been established. That’s when the thought of marketing on an international scale began. ‘Nikita’ was decided upon, after all “it looked good in print and everyone in the world could easily say it”. The concept of ‘street clothing for girls who ride’ was added to define who the brand was for; the international launch would follow in 2000. Since then the brand’s global appeal reaches to over 30 countries, with around 1,500 specialized boardsports and streetwear stores stocking it worldwide. At Nikita, the team has always made clothes that they would themselves want to wear and Nikita’s success and support from like-minded girls worldwide is a natural result of that.
Adding a technical outerwear collection into the line made a lot of sense, combining Heida’s passion for snowboarding and love of clothing design. Function and style are both important and a visible influence from the streetwear line can be seen through the outerwear. Heida remains at the helm of Nikita and a typical day involves everything from designing, drawing, selecting graphics, checking out artists to collaborate with, overseeing the product development, trying out samples, planning the next photoshoot and catching up with the team riders…..plus she is a fantastic mum.. Nikita HQ continues to be based in Reykjavik where Heida is based and she has a close knit team who are like family; everyone gets on and everyone respects one another…and they still don’t miss a chance to go riding.