Talking about Pride: with Creative Director Nicolas Pendenza
Much of Pride is celebrated yearly around the world in the month of June. While Pride Month can represent different things for many people, we usually understand Pride to be a celebration of diversity and the uplifting of historically marginalised LGBTQ+ voices. Central to Pride Month is honouring all those who are at different stages of their own journey towards self-acceptance and expression of their true authentic selves. LXR is proud to have a diverse and inclusive range of people on our team. To talk about Pride this year, we invited our very own Creative Director, Nicolas Pendenza, for a little chat.
Who is Nicolas Pendenza?
Who am I? That’s a good question. For starters, I’ve been the Creative Director at LXR since joining the team in January 2021. I’ve always had a passion for luxury fashion and was so excited to join the team and help them build their brand identity. I have worked in the fashion industry for over 12 years as a stylist and fashion marketing expert. My vision and style are primarily focused on clean and contemporary aesthetics, which I always try to bring when approaching new projects. I grew up in the suburbs of Montreal but I always loved the action of the city. In fact, my dream growing up was always to live in New York City. I’m someone who loves to run, travel and do yoga. In fact, I’ve run 5 half marathons! I haven’t made the leap to a full one yet, but maybe one day! When I’m not being active, I’m catching up on the latest reality show or true-crime documentary. Lastly, I’m of Italian-Portuguese decent, which basically means that I’ve always been surrounded by my large family.
What brought you into the world of fashion?
My parents! My father worked in the fashion industry and when I was growing up I would always look up to him for my career aspirations. I still remember our family trips to New York City. We would take an hour away from the rest of the family and he would show me the New York offices of the company he worked for at the time. As a young boy, I always dreamed of being a fashion editor for GQ or Vogue. Whenever my mother would get ready for events or galas, I used to keep her company while she was getting ready and always be excited to see the final look. To this day, I still get facetime calls from mom to approve outfits before an event. My friends also love having a stylist on call for all their needs!
What’s something about your work that you appreciate?
I love that I am given the liberty to create in my current role. I love creating and starting a project or photoshoot with a blank canvas. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes of an image and I love putting all those puzzle pieces together. Also, I appreciate the fact that our work environment is so inclusive. We have so many amazing people that work on our team and it’s so nice to see that everyone comes from diverse backgrounds. I am super grateful that I can be my true authentic self in my work environment and don’t have to shy away from opinions or judgement.
What does Pride mean to you?
I remember witnessing Pride before I had officially come out to the world. I couldn’t wait to celebrate my truth, not only for myself but with my friends, family, and the community. My first Pride was so special because I finally felt reborn and I was living an authentic life. Pride is a tradition for me now, it’s an opportunity for me to celebrate how far I’ve come and feel a sense of joy and pride in my own journey. It’s also a moment for the world to celebrate acceptance and that love is love.
How do you celebrate Pride?
I usually celebrate Pride with my closest friends! We usually choose one night and go out! I’ve travelled during Pride month and got to experience Pride in different cities, which was so fun! I had a blast at the LA Pride with some of my friends and made so many new friends while being there! I think everyone celebrates in different ways and for me what’s important is to be surrounded by people I love.
What advice would you give to LGBTQ+ youth?
The most important advice anyone can give a person is to remain true to themselves, no matter how much resistance they encounter. Focus on the ones that love and accept you because those are the only people that matter. Also, don’t shy away from educating others. Most people fear what they don’t understand, so be patient and keep your heart open to the world, there are a lot more good people than you think.
Is there anything that LXR does for Pride that you are proud of?
Last year, during our Pride campaign, we partnered with LGBT+ Youthline (a queer, trans, two-spirit* youth-led organisation that affirms and supports the experiences of youth (29 and under) across Ontario, Canada. This organisation speaks volumes to me and I am honoured to share that we will be partnering with them again this year for Pride Month. I am so happy that LXR recognizes the importance of support systems for LGBTQ+ youth, which most of the time is unfortunately lacking. Especially with the rise of isolation due to the pandemic, it is nice to see our organisation celebrate Pride in a way that gives back to our community. I’ve always been an LGBTQ+ advocate and would love to volunteer more to speak to youth members of the community - to let them know that we are here to listen.
We heard you’re coming up with your own Creative Director’s collection. Care to share?
I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be releasing my own collection that will be available for anyone to browse on our website! I am currently obsessed with so many styles on our site! It’s such a good problem to have to work with such beautiful products every day. For now, here are my top 5 picks that I think everyone should be on the lookout for:
1- I’m currently loving all the re-editions of Balenciaga's neo-classics.
2- Celine monogram is so understated! I am especially eyeing their Boston bag.
3- I love how exclusive Goyard is. I’m so happy when we do have some of their gems on our site.
4- I’ve always wanted a Hermes Evelyne and right now we have some really cute options in different sizes.
5- Prada will always be a classic for me. The stunning Kristen Saffiano bag is on my list!
I’ve got way more to share with you all. The list of all of my favourite bags will be available for you to browse and shop.
If you’re interested in reading more of our interviews, we previously wrote about four empowered fashion influencers for IWD. For more reading, our last article was about Louis Vuitton’s history as a luxury travel brand.