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An eye for fashion and a nod to family: designer’s new collection honors CLE’s garment history

The year 1996 had a profound impact on fashion clothing designer William McNicol. He was nine years old and designer basketball shoes were the hot item. That year, the Air Griffey Max 1, Nike Air Penny 2, Reebok Question, Air Jordan 12, and Nike Air More Uptempo all were released, and McNicol, who already showed an interested in design, knew what he wanted to do with his life.

“[It] inspired me to not only begin sketching sneakers and clothes, but also helped me realize the importance of developing a personal style,” McNicol recalls.

Today, McNicol, 33, is a successful clothing designer and founder of William Frederick, creating designs out of his Cleveland Heights home. Last weekend, he launched his latest collection, F20W2 (Fall20Winter21), which features 24 unisex pieces that are designed to be rooted in casual elegance and sophisticated ease—while expressing one’s own style.

“My goal is to create wardrobe essentials and staples that live in people’s closets for years and then are passed down to future generations,” he says. “When an article of clothing is worn for years, it becomes part of your story.”

And, staying true to Cleveland’s historical place in the fashion and textile industries, McNicol manufactures all his clothing in Cleveland.

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