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Born into Nazi Germany in 1938, Christa Päffgen's early life was riddled with chaos. Her father died during WWII and at 13, Christa left school to begin working in downtown Berlin as a seamstress, and later in an upscale lingerie shop. When she was 15, Christa was 'discovered' by Herbert Tobias, an established photographer, while working at a fashion show. It was he who christened her 'Nico'. From there her rise to fame was fast - gracing the pages of Vogue, Elle, Tempo, and other fashion magazines of the time before she turned 17. 

A true Bohemian at heart, Nico would remain nomadic for most of her life, becoming fluent in German, English, Spanish, and French. Apart from Germany, where she grew up, and Ibiza, where she died in 1988, Nico lived in Italy and France in the 1950s, spent most of the 1960s in the US, and lived in London in the early 1960s and again later in the 1980s, when she lived intermittently between London and Manchester. She is best known for her time with the Velvet Underground, despite not being a 'band member'. Nico's career centered on her work as a solo musician, but she was also known as a model, an actress, and perhaps most memorably, as a muse. In the 1970s Nico developed an addiction to heroin that would continue for 15 years. Her overwhelming substance abuse would come close to killing her, but Nico got sober, and embarked on a new regime of healthy living. It was during a bicycle ride with her son, that Nico had an accident which resulted in her untimely death.

Here we remember her unique style that inspired so many.



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