Nikki Gal – The Inspiring Model, Designer, Mental Health Advocate and Artist
Nikki Gal is an American fashion model, designer, mental health advocate and artist. Working in the fashion industry as a model for 10 years, she has appeared on the covers of 20+ international fashion magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Glamour, and Grazia. In addition to her modeling career, she has also been featured in Vogue, L’Officiel and Vulkan Magazine. Gal started her entrepreneurial journey as an artist in 2019 at just 20 years old. After one year of launching her art company, she had reached over 10 million impressions via social media. She has launched digital art campaigns and works pertaining to societal issues in advocacy for change and awareness. In 2021, Gal also launched her nonprofit organization and platform Raw Talk with Nikki Gal pertaining to raw conversations of women’s mental health and wellness. The platform has reached international audiences, hitting 40 countries. Gal’s mission is to inspire others to follow their creative dreams by sharing their authenticity with themselves and with the world.
1. What inspired you first to pursue a career in modeling, and how did this translate into your successful entrepreneurial journey?
I have always been drawn to the fashion industry from an early age. I signed with my first agency when I was 15 years old, then a second agency by the time I had turned 16 years old. The fashion industry provided me with opportunities to meet many creative people, but I felt like my own creativity was being limited. I wanted to change that, as I wished to be in the driver seat of my own creative process, ability and vision which led me to pursue entrepreneurship at age 20 in 2019. I launched my digital design company, See Thru Nikki, which quickly grew clientele in the entertainment industry and influencer culture. By 2020, See Thru Nikki had amassed millions of social media impressions, which motivated me as an entrepreneur to build and transform my entrepreneurial passion into a multi-faceted career. Over the last 4 years, I have launched a multitude of creative companies including two fashion lines, a content consultant company, a photography company, as well as a nonprofit platform and podcast pertaining to mental health advocacy. For me, entrepreneurship means being limitless by never limiting your creative growth and passions.
2. How do you seamlessly combine your various passions like fashion, art, and mental health advocacy into your career?
As an artistic individual, I wish to amplify my own creative growth as an artist. Combining my creative passions into one career has been both easy and challenging. I am a visually oriented person, which guides me through the process of developing and brainstorming ideas along with maintaining balance. Within pursuing multiple outlets, maintaining balance has been key within myself and my career. By practicing a multi-faceted business approach, I have learned it is crucial to accommodate flexibility combined with a cohesive approach.
3. Your digital art company, See Thru Nikki, went viral with 10 million impressions just a year after its launch. How did you achieve this incredible success?
In 2020, I launched a digital art piece, titled “Say Her Name”, honoring six women who lost their lives due to police brutality and racial injustice in the United States of America. The piece gained over 10 million views on social media, and was shared by prominent figures including anti-racist activist Ibram X. Kendi, rapper Ice Cube, as well as actresses Amber Riley, Tracee Ellis Ross and Zoë Kravitz. As an artist and human, the impact of this piece has greatly impacted me as an artist, as I am grateful my art work holds the ability to educate and spread necessary awareness.
4. Can you share more about Raw Talk with Nikki Gal and why you felt it was crucial to create this platform that covers raw conversations on women’s mental health and wellness?
I found my nonprofit Raw Talk with Nikki Gal in 2021, in mission to spread awareness on women’s mental health and wellness. Through the platform, I have had the opportunity to host interviews with women of all different backgrounds and professions by having candid and raw discussions pertaining to their life experiences. Through the years, I have met many women who feel muted within their own mental health. Due to this, I made it a mission to create a comfortable space and platform where all women could be themselves and feel heard, seen and understood.
5. How has your background as a fashion model influenced your work as a fashion designer in creating sustainable apparel?
As a fashion model, it was always a dream of mine to create a fashion line that was comfortable, sophisticated as well as sustainable. Sustainability within the fashion industry hasn’t always been present, hence why I decided to create a fashion brand that focused on the importance and mission of sustainable practices. I exclusively launched Gal Intimates in 2022, where I only launched one collection to promote a minimalist and sustainable approach. Quality over quantity combined with comfort promotes the decline of disposing intimate apparel after one year of wear. In addition, Gal Intimates is a 100% cruelty-free and vegan company. Being an animal lover and witnessing fur being popular in the fashion industry, creating a vegan and cruelty-free fashion brand is a top priority of mine as a fashion designer.
6. You’ve been featured on the covers of Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Glamour, and more. How have these experiences impacted your perspectives on the fashion industry?
Every magazine cover I have shot has been a different experience. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to work with so many creatives in the fashion industry who believe in myself and my creative ability as a fashion model. Every cover holds a different story and meaning for me, which is in reflection of the fashion industry as it is always evolving.
7. Advocacy for various societal issues, including mental health, wellness, and women’s self-esteem, is a significant part of your mission. Can you share a few instances where your advocacy work resulted in substantial change?
I believe in advocating for various areas, all pertaining to health and wellbeing. Raw Talk with Nikki Gal has truly become a candid diary for a diverse audience of women, reaching listeners in over 40 countries. With an international reach, women’s voices were amplified and heard on a wide scale, promoting mental health awareness to a great degree. I have also had the pleasure speaking with other female advocates within our society, by becoming a voice for adolescents specifically speaking on topics such as self-esteem, body image, as well as mental health visibility in the education system within the United States of America. In 2022, I also launched a multi media art series titled, “State of a Woman”, in advocacy of women’s mental health and the art of raw emotion. The art series has been featured in international contemporary art exhibitions in Barcelona, Madrid, and Lisbon, promoting mental health awareness and visibility across Europe.
8. Balancing personal life and career can be challenging. How do you prioritize, and what advice would you give to other women aspiring to build their own empires?
The healthy balance of personal and professional life can be difficult, but is possible. For me, I stay organized by following a daily schedule, while also giving myself the needed breaks to rest and recoup. My biggest piece of advice for women is to always set boundaries and give yourself needed breaks when necessary— listen to your body and never neglect your own self care regimens!
9. You’re known for your multi-dimensional lifestyle and dynamic work ethic. How do you manage these diverse roles, and how does one complement the other?
From my own experiences, it all comes down to balance while also staying focused and motivated for reinvention. Pursuing a multi-dimensional lifestyle accompanied by strong work ethic is complemented by flexibility and adaptability. Giving yourself time to adapt to new business ideas and experiences allows your mind to reinvent and improve.
10. Finally, what message would you like to send to those who wish to follow in your footsteps by sharing their authenticity and pursuing their creative dreams?
Keep going. You hold the power of reinvention, whether it be yourself, your ideas or your career. Embrace the process of trial and error and never stop wanting to gain education and practice within the abilities of your own craft.
Find Nikki at the below links:
Nikki’s Instagram: https://instagram.
Nikki’s Website: https://www.nikkigal.