Three years, a baby, and a pandemic have gone past since we last caught up with fashion darling Nicole Warne. And the global influencer’s life (and social media feeds) couldn’t look more different these days, now that she’s officially moved to the Big Apple and settled into work and family life with her photographer/artist husband, Luke Shadbolt, and their daughter, Sakura Peach.
When we last spoke to Warne, she had just gotten married and was trying to establish roots in New York City. However, like everyone else, she too had her life plans derailed by Covid-19 and spent most of the last few years at home in Australia playing Happy Families. “It’s been quite strange because, like many people, our life was just put on hold,” she recalls. “I went back to Australia to give birth, and obviously, we did not anticipate the pandemic, so we were stuck there for two-and-a-half years. We recently moved back to New York, and it feels like nothing has changed—yet everything has changed,” she reflects.
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Living in New York is a dream come true for the 32-year-old Australian. “Moving here fulfilled a part of my soul that I didn’t realise I wanted to explore. New York just made sense because of the extensive industry opportunities, and it feels like the centre point to me. I’m so much closer to Europe now, and it has opened me up to travelling around and experiencing new things professionally, and as a woman,” says Warne.
While there may have been a two-and-a-half-year delay, her return to the US is timely. In-person fashion
weeks have resumed full force this year, and Warne made a Milan Fashion Week comeback with BOSS after almost five years. “It was amazing! Not only because the show was spectacular, but Milan Fashion Week has always been one of my favourites; the energy is so contagious,” she explains. “It was very special because the BOSS show was incredible. They constructed these larger- than-life metal domes and had motorcyclists zooming around inside while the models worked the runway. I think it’s a great reflection of the direction BOSS is taking. It’s very youthful, fresh and contemporary,” she says of a brand that she’s been working closely with for almost 10 years now. “It has always been about creating beautiful storytelling around key moments for BOSS. For Milan Fashion Week, as we’ve done together here with BAZAAR, it’s about creating these beautiful editorials.”
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As a young businesswoman and working mum, it’s easy to see why she would gravitate to the fashion house. “I identify so much with the BOSS woman; I think many women do,” says Warne. “It’s very empowering when I put on a typical BOSS suit with the sharp tailoring and layering. I think it’s such a gift that clothing can transform you or make you feel closer to yourself.”
It’s fitting that Warne has embarked on a New York chapter in the same year that BOSS has rebranded with a #BeYourOwnBoss campaign. Motherhood has been a transition for the influencer, but now she’s also her own boss in one of the toughest cities in the world. “I’m experiencing a new side to the city as a mother that I was completely oblivious to before,” she says. “It’s been very beautiful, but it’s really finding the balance between being a working mum, keeping up with the demands of the city, and just being present for my family.”
It has not yet been a year since her big move, but the last few months have been a huge learning journey for the influencer. “I don’t want to sound clichéd, but honestly, I think I’ve learnt resilience. I lived in a very small town outside of Sydney. It’s very quiet and beautiful, but nothing really changes,” she admits. “In contrast, in New York, something is thrown at you on the street every hour, so it was such a mental show of strength.”
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Of course, Warne recognises that she doesn’t walk this path alone. Her greatest pillar is her husband, whom she calls her “backbone”, along with family and friends back in Australia. “It’s really a community of people that I trust completely and have helped me stay sane through the journey of motherhood and becoming a woman as well.”
Now with little Sakura, or Suki for short, growing up, we get to see a more multifaceted Nicole Warne—still very much the style influencer who never puts a foot wrong in the style department, but also the loving mum who shares some of the sweetest moments with her daughter and husband. Which brings her to a new moral dilemma that she has never had to face before: Deciding how much of her daughter’s life she should share on social media.
“There are days where I don’t upload anything because I’m sitting behind the screen questioning, ‘do I upload this?’ I want to share my everyday life, but most of the time, it’s of my family, and you always want to protect the people closest to you,” she shares.
“Suki is just two-and-a-half now, but she already has boundaries. She says to me, ‘no photos’,” Warne says with a laugh. “Day to day, I’m still trying to find the balance. Am I sharing her too much? What do I post online? But I do think the key to social media is just being your authentic self, and Suki is such a huge part of my life. But yeah, ask me again in five years.”
Photographed by Natsuko Teruya
Styled by Windy Aulia
Makeup by Mara Cifronti / Etoile Management
Hair by Emanuele Vona / Etoile Management
Photographer’s assistants: Stefano Mattiocco, Enrico Tabacchi
Stylist’s assistant: Giacomo Dini