Katie Sue Nicklos stared at the hands of Jill Biden when Joe Biden was inducted into office as US President in a formal ceremony last January.

A few weeks earlier, the new First Lady's stylists had contacted Nicklos with a special request: They needed several pairs of gloves to match the looks Jill Biden would wear the night before and on the day of the inauguration.

It stands to reason that they would turn to Nicklos with this assignment.

The New Yorker is the boss of Wing & Weft, one of the last manufacturers of tailor-made gloves in New York and one of the last remaining regular stores that makes unique accessories for the New York theater, show and film scene.

Now, of course, no plays are currently being performed, and filming has also become complicated and rare.

Katie Sue Nicklos: "Jill Biden's team is as nice as you think it is"

Source: Wing & Weft / Cid Roberts

The fact that Jill Biden appeared in front of millions of TV viewers with a pair of Wing & Weft gloves on January 20th was not just a welcome advertising appearance for Katie Sue Nicklos, but a significant, emotional moment that gave solace after the fears and worries of the past year.

“It just feels great when you are shown such appreciation,” she says.


It is not as if Wing & Weft have not already had experience with the White House.

The company, which was originally called LaCrasia Gloves and has existed since 1973, was handed over to Katie Sue Nicklos in 2017, a costume designer who was a customer of the house and wanted to keep it going when the original founders and owners retired.

Jay Ruckel and Lacrasia Duchein, a couple Nicklos describes as "eccentric, wonderful New Yorkers," made gloves for Jacqueline Kennedy and Laura Bush, and later for Michelle Obama.

Wing & Weft's custom leather gloves start at $ 500 and can cost up to $ 5000 depending on the materials used

Source: Wing & Weft / Cid Roberts

There are only a few companies like Wing & Weft left in the USA.

“Crafts are simply not taken as seriously here as in Europe, but we have so many incredible talents who can really do something.

But even learning a trade is difficult.

Where do you go if you want to become a glove maker?

There are hardly any training courses for such professions here, ”says Nicklos.

In addition, fine gloves are not really considered to be a big money maker.

Nicklo's predecessors became aware of this early on.

“LaCrasia Gloves survived because the owners eventually focused on high fashion and show business.

They made gloves for New York's luxury designers, for photo shoots and film productions, for Broadway, ”says the entrepreneur.

This white pair for the evening celebrations also comes from the New York glove studio

Source: AP / Evan Vucci


Wing & Weft is continuing this business model.

The studio with attached glove boutique is located in New York's Garment District, where many production facilities for the fashion industry are located.

Customers can buy gloves from the existing range or have made-to-measure models made to order.

When the pandemic completely paralyzed the city, Nicklos also had to rethink quickly.

Her employees soon made masks for large customers and gloves made of antimicrobial materials.

"It was an incredible amount of work, but so far I haven't had to lay off any of my seven employees, and that was my main goal."

Nicklos has even hired three more sewers since then.

Your company is involved in several initiatives that draw attention to the difficult situation of New York's small costume manufacturers and collect donations for their survival.


“All of these small businesses that work for the entertainment industry, it's like an ecosystem.

A costume designer needs me for his gloves, and I need him.

We are all dependent on each other, so we have to help each other, ”says Nicklos.

The former theater costume designer bought the company in 2017 when it was still known as LaCrasia Gloves

Source: Wing & Weft / Cid Roberts

That someone like Jill Biden supports American producers like Wing & Weft is particularly important symbolically against this background.

Biden wore a total of three pairs of gloves from the label: a purple pair on the evening before the inauguration, a bright blue model for the actual ceremony, and white gloves for the evening celebrations.

Cabretta leather was used as the material - this is obtained from the skin of a long-haired breed of sheep and is a by-product of meat production.

Each pair matched the color of the looks Biden wore, all of which were from American brands.

The fact that the First Lady supports local fashion designers is seen and expected as a sign of patriotism.

Melania Trump was less committed in this regard and preferred clothing from European houses like Dior and Dolce & Gabbana.

"Jill Biden and Kamala Harris made the conscious choice to wear American designers and by doing so they are sending out an important message," says Katie Sue Nicklos. She is certain that both women will continue to commit themselves to fashion “Made in the USA” in the future. Her own experience with the White House at least suggests that even if she did not meet the first lady personally, she was enthusiastic about working with her team. "They are just as nice as you would imagine."