Other, Visual Arts
Nicole Stokes is an enterprising crochet designer. What began as a hobby, has evolved into a business and a growing philanthropic mission. As owner and operator of HGE Designs fashion-company, the spoken word artist turned designer has steadily built her reputation and brand. As one of the new faces revolutionizing people’s mindsets concerning crochet fashion, Nicole has been featured in Fashion at Artscape, The S.T.A.R.E Show, La Musee da la mode at Towson University, the 2019 launch of The Dollhouse Boutique in Los Angeles and countless other fashion and hair shows. HGE Designs has also been a selected vendor for the 50th anniversary of The Americans for the Arts Convention in Baltimore, The Towson Heritage Festival, Artscape, multiple Juneteenth Festivals with Dovecote Cafe and The 2019 Maryland Art Summit. She is constantly improving her craft and skills. Since teaching herself to crochet, the collection has grown from simple hats and scarves to one of a kind dresses and designs. The “Do It Yourself” series takes existing patterns and alters them to fit all shapes and sizes. She currently is a crochet designer for The Dollhouse Boutique in Baltimore and Los Angeles. Her latest designs can be viewed online at www.hgedesigns.com.
Crochet sometimes can feel like the step child of fiber arts. Bored with this attitude, Nicole found a way to take her skills to another level and created artwork. Her work was hand picked by DJ Clark Kent for "The Only Christopher We Acknowledge is Wallace" Art Show at The Bishop Gallery in Bedstuy, Ny. She was also a featured artist for the R.A.W. artist show in Baltimore. Since then she has been able to get her work to renown artists such as Mr. Curtis "50 cent" Jackson, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Pusha T. and several private collectors. She describes her work as thrapeutic integration between creativity and stress management. It includes portriats, free form and wearable art all crocheted by hand. Pairing the centuries old discipline with modern musical influence and fashion trends is an irrational juxtaposition. However, it works to expand the art and skill set of crochet by challenging traditional presumptions and applications.
Philanthropy has been instrumental in spreading her brand. Nicole’s love of giving back began at the St. Ambrose Outreach Center, where she was the Program Leader for the Youth Program. She was responsible for the development of the art curriculum for students ages 5-15. The project that she is most proud of is the Puzzling Disorder charity event. Puzzling Disorder is a fashion show sponsored by HGE Designs to promote autism awareness. The success of the event contributed in Forbush Therapeutic Pre-School at Towson being able to build a playground for its special needs students, and purchasing iPad's for the preschool. Her project for the pre-school inspired Sheppard Pratt to have a fundraiser to purchase technology for all of their schools.
Nicole’s passion and commitment to the fight against autism is unquestionable. Her forteen year old son, Roman, is her living inspiration. He is living with autism and was diagnosed at age two. She was recognized for her community service and inducted into the Women of Power in 2012. Currently she is using her art for sensory integration therapy with her son and seeking opportunities to share in a community setting.