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Nicolas was born in Moscow, Russia. Nicolas realized his designer potential at age 15 when he made a pleather tube top dress for his 12-year-old sister. An immigrant from Russia, Nicolas spent most of his childhood in San Diego, CA, and had only three weeks to learn English before starting school in America. Nicolas went on to study design at the Fashion Institute of Technology and received further training at Izquierdo Studio in New York.
Nicolas has had a number of works commissioned by W Magazine and Vogue, and some of his greatest fashion achievements include designing a dress for Marchesa and serving as the lead assistant to the costumer who makes the famous angel wings for Victoria’s Secret. Hence, he is the first designer to appear on the show who had designed something for the host, supermodel Heidi Klum wore in her professional life. In February 2009, Nicolas had also created a gown for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Oscars Design Challenge. Nicolas' favorite designer is Olivier Theyskens
Nicolas won one challenge: Episode 6 - "Lights, Camera, Sew!" Thus, he had received immunity for the next round, in Episode 7. Nicolas also had three lows during the season: Episode 3 - "Rumble on the Runway", Episode 5 - "Fashion Headliners", and Episode 7 - "The Sky is the Limit", where Heidi Klum had cited that he was 'very lucky', as if he did not have immunity from the previous round, he would have had a chance to be out. Nicolas had one "high" for the season: Episode 9 - "Sequins, Feathers and Fur, Oh My!"
His eliminating challenge was Episode 10 - "Around the World in Two Days". The designers were allowed to pick a location, according to their scores in the previous round. Nicolas was the second to pick. He said (during an interview) that he did not want to pick New York, the place he is currently living in, but had chosen Greece instead, stating that it would be a challenge.