She is Nigerian American of Yoruba-Igbo descent and from Maryland, based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
Her name Nikki Billie Jean is inspired by her nickname “Nikki” and Michael Jackson’s song “Billie Jean”. In 2009, she adopted the stage name after changing her name on Facebook, in remembrance of Michael Jackson. She also added Billie Jean to her name because it is the only Michael Jackson song that rhymes with the name Nikki.
Nikki became passionate about ankara print fashion in college while being a vice president/event coordinator, member, dancer and model for Penn States’s African Student Association (ASA). In 2013 she launched her fashion line Billie Jean Bowties (which is now Nikki Billie Jean) at Penn State’s “Touch of Africa: Africa Alive!” and NABA’s fashion show. From designing bowties, Nikki started designing slim fit suits, combining vibrant ankara patterns with formal menswear-inspired silhouettes.
Recognizing that there weren’t enough platforms solely highlighting ankara print fashion, Nikki used her passion for ankara prints to create a platform that highlights ankara print fashion and showcases its relevance in global fashion and entertainment.
Founded in August 2012, Nikki initially created and launched All Things Ankara as a social media platform. All Things Ankara has developed into a go-to source and one-stop-shop for ankara print fashion. All Things Ankara is a multifaceted fashion and entertainment brand, consisting of an online publication, shop, marketplace, and special events (ball, pop up, fashion week & brunch).
Nikki has been nominated for Maryland Fashion Awards 2013 Accessories Designer of the Year, DMV African Entertainment Awards 2014 Best Blogger & Media Personnel, and AYOO Africa 2020 Top Ten D.C. Curators. Nikki has won Penn State’s Ashe Awards 2013 Miss Vogue Award, and RAW Artists Washington, D.C. RAWards 2013 Accessories Designer of the Year. Nicolette was featured in Okay Africa’s Badass Black Women Moments of 2015.
Nikki was a guest speaker and curated a fashion show at Yale University’s Africa Salon in 2017. In 2018, Nikki was highlighted as an innovator and trailblazer by Macy’s at their Washington, D.C. Metro Center Black History Month event.
Nikki has been featured in publications such as on New York Times, Huffington Post, Yahoo, Forbes, Allure, Essence, Afropunk, Bella Naija, Pulse Nigeria, Fashion Bomb Daily, and Leading Ladies Africa.
Nikki’s work has been spotted on BET, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Fox 5 Good Day DC, and ABC 7 WJLA Good Morning Washington.
Nikki has worked with celebrities and influencers such as Jidenna, Cardi B, Yemi Alade, Akon, Cynthia Bailey, Kelly Rowland, Nadia Buhari, Spice, Gizelle Bryant, Mame Adjei, DJ Tunez, Sky Landish, Ronke Raji, and Izzy Odigie and Kollin Carter.
Nikki holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biobehavioral Health with a minor degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Pennsylvania State University (Penn State).