Lola’s unique creations find their place in the central square


Lola is not for the faint of heart.

The Cambridge boutique run by Quincy native Nicole Lyons is aimed at shoppers who want to stand out with a mix of vintage, handmade and designer clothing.

Lyons is a designer and stylist by trade (and blood trader, she notes), working on her designs since childhood, assembling looks on Barbie dolls. The graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Boston majored in theater and later became the department’s resident costume designer, which led her to take an interest in collecting vintage clothing and accessories.

Since 2007, Lyons has overseen Lola’s many transformations, from her first store in Allston to a hot pink Lola mobile for sale online at a physical location, now on Mass Avenue. In its current iteration, Lola’s is connected to a medical marijuana dispensary, Revolutionary Clinics, after being granted the space by the Central Square Business Improvement District.

The space is small but vibrant: colorful works of art hang on the walls, masks hang from the ceiling, a Barbie by Jean-Michel Basquiat sits on a high shelf. Clothes racks are filled with ripped and painted denim, matching camo green sets, and flared patterned tops; some that she did, others that she organized.

Lyons says her style is inspired by everything she encounters – from graffiti to Tokyo street style to her first love, fashion history.

“If it’s something that doesn’t turn me on, I’m not going to work with it,” Lyons said of her hand-picked products.

Lola’s offers vintage finds unique to Cambridge.Jennifer rose

For Lyons, there is never a style or fashion choice that she considers too “out” for her work. She respects the mantra that if she loves her products, so will her customers. Lyons works closely with the customers who buy from her store, polishing and styling the items to find balance and personality in each custom look.

“A lot of my clients are artists: drag queens, dancers, singers, so I’m leaning towards that a bit. They know if they come over and want their hair done by me, then I’m not going to put them in something safe, ”Lyons said. (For Lyon, “sure” means boring.)

Although Lyons’ designs have been featured in Vogue Italy and spotted on the Instagram of her client R&B singer Erykah Badu, she says she feels more comfortable with Lola.

“I don’t have to be like a stylist for Vogue or a designer on Broadway because that’s where I live,” Lyons said.


Riana Buchman can be contacted at [email protected]

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