Thirty years after founding a fashion label that still bears her name, Nicole Farhi walked away and did not look back.

“I’ll get there. I’m stubborn.”

What happens when you sell your name? Nicole Farhi, the woman, no longer has any involvement with the brand that still bears her namesake. Following three decades at the helm of a successful fashion label, Farhi walked away in 2012 in favor of transforming an avid hobby—sculpture—into her life’s work.

Initially, sculpture was a practice that simply overlapped with design, a pastime that necessarily had to be sidelined so that Farhi could power her business. Today, there is no other activity that can vie for her attention: Sculpture is the sole, impassioned nexus of her life. “This is it. This is what I wanted to do,” she says.

Her delight in sculpture is articulated through her devoted routine: She wakes up early and gets into the studio, working mostly on her feet. She pauses...


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