Nicole Gavrilles, One Magazine

Mar 17, 2024 | Muses, Sustainability


CC Muses: In Greek mythology, the muses were Zeus’ daughters and the goddesses of the arts, sciences, and literature. Today, in fashion and beyond, a muse is a source of inspiration. Next up in our “Consign Couture Muses” series we are pleased to hear from Nicole Gavrilles, the creative mastermind behind One Magazine

We love Nicole’s design aesthetic and sense of style, but more than that we admire her passion for environmental sustainability, for supporting small businesses and creatives, and the ways in which she quietly and creatively pushes back against the pace of the fashion industry. Read on! 

What’s your name and what do you do in life? Tell us about yourself!

Hi- my name is Nicole Gavrilles and I am the founder, Creative Director, and Editor in Chief of One Magazine – an online journal and annual publication dedicated to sustainable practices within fashion production. Based in New York City, I have been running and producing the magazine for the last 14 years. Founded in 2010, One’s mission was and still is today to spotlight and work with small up-and-coming creatives and designers. And for our 10-year anniversary in 2020, I brought on collaborators to help envision the next chapter of One with a mission towards a cleaner, greener, more inclusive feature. Environmentalism has always been a passion of mine since I was young and when we revamped the mission, I made it my goal to hone into highlighting small ethical brands who focus on traceability at its core. To be able to run the magazine, I have a full-time job as a product designer at Squarespace. I believe my passion for helping people and small businesses plays a huge role in the work I do at my full-time job and then back into the magazine.

What inspired you to start this magazine, and what is meaningful to you about it? 

When I was studying Graphic Design at Ringling College of Art & Design, I wanted to create something that involved all my passions – fashion photography, graphic design, and editorial design. And during the summer of 2010, One was born. The first few issues were for fun, showcasing friends’ illustrations and photography work in college. In 2011, I interned at a design agency in New York City and was so inspired to take One to the next level so I started reaching out to photographers and designers to feature that I admired. It always felt so meaningful when I’d feature a photographer or spotlight a designer and see them takeoff afterwards. Sometimes all a creative needs is someone to spotlight them to help them in their careers, and I felt like One was made for that. It goes back to my passion of helping creatives and small businesses.

What is something that you do differently from others in the field?

What makes One stand out from other publications is I’m not letting the fashion industry and calendar dictate when I publish an issue. I want to promote seasonless and slow-fashion forward because it’s the most ethical way we should be living. Of course the fashion industry has their rigid ways of running, but I’m here riding my own wave carving a sustainable path alongside it. I’m hoping the magazine is also exposing others to how sustainable fashion can be beautiful.

Tell us about a milestone for One Magazine or something that you’re especially proud of.

A huge milestone was acquiring global distribution. Running my own business by myself has always been overwhelming and very manual (like me pulling a cart of heavy boxes filled with copies of the magazine around Manhattan to see if stores would stock the issue). When a main fashion publication distributor reached out to me last year it was a wonderful feeling to have someone interested in helping me distribute but also take a huge manual workload off my shoulders. Creatively, I’m really proud of Issue 19 [available in limited quantities at Consign Couture!]. It was a year in the making in/out of country lockdowns, teams getting covid, shoots and interviews canceled or rescheduled a few times. The storytelling throughout came out more beautifully than I imagined and I’m proud of where the magazine’s editorial design is today. It took me a few redesigns and new typefaces to get it feeling the way I want it to.

What inspires you? Where do you look for inspiration?

Nature. I always go back to the beauty of nature, being in nature, the sounds, the calmness it brings. I’m a huge fan of eco documentaries, I watch too many. I’m so inspired by the incredible work people are doing for our planet and our future. I attended the Earthed Summit last November in London and I was so inspired by the incredible voices speaking within the regenerative agriculture/farming spaces to traceable fashion and beauty practices.

I also look at creatives I work with as inspiration. They take my creative direction and execute breathtaking storytelling through the images they capture.

What keeps you going on tough days? 

Moments of calm and rest. Small rituals of taking breaks to step away is so healthy. Read a book, listen to a podcast, make some tea, do yoga. If I don’t have the energy, I pause and pick it up tomorrow. I don’t beat myself up if I don’t have the energy. I make sure to give myself that time to heal.

Tell us your favorite secondhand shopping story Any great finds or cool places you’ve shopped or interesting experiences? Or a piece you’ve been given that’s meaningful to you?   

Shop Feels Good, hands down – I love her curation of pieces and they’re always in perfect condition. She sometimes does pop ups in the city and also sells through her site and Instagram. Runner up would be Seven Wonders, I got a lovely long wool coat from there that I love. Usually my secondhand shopping stories are like walking into a store and immediately finding that diamond in the rough. And it’s always when you least expect it. When you’re looking for something specific, it’s always harder to find it. That’s why I love vintage shopping, you never know what you’ll find and you might just end up finding something you’ve been looking for.

For things I’ve inherited, my grandmother gave me one of her vintage Fendi bags. It’s such a special piece in my wardrobe and I think of her everytime I wear it. I have sensory memories from when I was young touching the leather and feeling the texture. It’s so special to inherit one of her pieces that I’ll treasure and one day hand down as well.

Do you think about how to incorporate environmental sustainability into your business or practice? What challenges have you encountered, or successes have you had?

Always. Each year I publish business goals I want to accomplish and post when they’ve been completed. Last year I launched One | Ethical Resources an ever-growing climate database to give anyone access to climate or sustainable fashion books, podcasts, documentaries, new climate technologies to textile bio-materials, organizations to support and more. I also provide sustainable guidelines for every contributor that chooses to produce content for One.

One is a member of 1% of the Planet donating 1% of revenue to environmental non-profit organizations and Stripe Climate donating 1% of revenue to carbon capture technologies.

There are a number of challenges with running a small sustainable business. I think the biggest challenge is running it as a team of one. I’ve brought on help from time to time which has truly been super helpful. Financially it can be difficult. I want to be able to pay creatives that I work with. I can transparently say that running a magazine isn’t a sustainable business. I try to be mindful of what I physically put out into the world which is why I print a limited number of copies once a year. I don’t want our issues to be a throwaway piece that’s only relevant with current trends. I hope it evokes a sense of inspiration for the now and future of fashion and in result treated like an art book that’s a part of your collection.

If you speak to anyone, running a magazine is never easy. It’s the passion that keeps us going.

Tell us about your favorite outfit. What makes you feel your best, or the most “you”?

Vintage men’s blazers are my staple wardrobe piece. I feel the most like myself when I wear one of them. I feel my best when I dress for myself. There are a lot of trends that come and go and I’ve always stuck to timeless pieces that always end up making me feel the most comfortable which ends up making me feel the most confident.

What do you do in your free time? 

I love going to museums. I’m a member of the Brooklyn Museum which I live down the street from. Lately I’ve been getting crafty or cooking with friends. It always feels rewarding making something with your hands as a nice way to step away from a screen.

Three things: The best thing you’ve read, the best thing you’ve watched or listened to, and the best thing you’ve eaten lately? 

Read: I recently finished reading Total Ethics Fashion by Emma Hakansson, founder of Collective Fashion Justice which hones in on how the terms ‘sustainable’ and ‘ethical’ have become marketing buzzwords rather than meaningful commitments for a better fashion industry. She wrote a manifesto for a total ethics fashion system. It was super inspiring to me and I’m planning to apply her manifesto into One’s requirements and guidelines.

Watched: All of Us Strangers was such a great movie, I kept thinking about it the day after, it was so well done.

Eaten: Anything from Oxalis in Brooklyn

This one is a bonus question! What are some small businesses you love?

Oh my gosh there are so many! Here’s some local faves to name a few: