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With qualifications in Visual Identity and Design, Business, Data Analysis, Global Sociology, and a specialisation in Identity Formation within South African Sub- and Counter Cultures, Nicola humanises data in order to better understand the delicacies and intricacies within diverse markets.


This has also gifted her a learned eye which enables her to investigate and identify the nuances, buying patterns, tone of voice or visual core identities of local and global consumers.


A contributor to creative, business and academic critical discourse, Nicola has dedicated her career to understanding how to develop the art and science of prediction into a valuable tool.


A firm believer in collaboration, Nicola consults with both brands/businesses and independent entities – from small to large. As the ‘mediator’ between Business and Creative, Nicola realises the highest quality of creative work, with the discernment of return on investment and the bottom line.


As a proud Africanist – more specifically in the Fashion, Lifestyle and Cultural spheres – Nicola is at the fore of new thinking on the continent.


She is strong-willed, analytical, logical and creative, and thrives on opportunities to push the boundaries of thought. Nicola Cooper takes necessary conversations into boardrooms in order to prompt change, encourage product development, or punt investment and collaborative opportunities.


She travels extensively for consultations and research, which she conducts with individual, group and corporate clients.


As a recognised voice in South African media with expert insights, Nicola regularly acts as a contributing writer for various publication, makes TV appearances and is featured on radio, lifestyle, entertainment, and business programs.


Despite her travels, Africa is still where it’s at for Nicola Cooper. As a specialist in identity formation through the anthropology of the sub/counter-cultures of ‘Post-Apartheid’ South Africa, Nicola’s expertise offers unique insights into the diverse African market and other similar global markets.


Through the humanisation of information and data, Nicola is able to find the common pattern – or in her own words, ‘The Golden Thread’ – that ties the behaviour and purchasing patterns of consumers.


The marriage between Nicola’s understanding of human connection and her skills ensures an innovative take on research and trend analysis, while providing cutting edge perspectives on a multitude of trends, insights, and creative conceptual problem solving for your business.


A respected keynote speaker, Nicola unpacks Research, Trends and Insights in an engaging and accessible approach. With over 20 years of experience in her field, she has the understanding and know-how of the value of data and business intelligence.


Nicola Cooper is also a seasoned lecturer at UNISA, the University of Johannesburg, LISOF Fashion Design School and the Retail Educational Institute. Additionally, she serves as a guest speaker across organisations, including academic institutions such as Harvard and NYU. Nicola’s work as a facilitator guides visual merchandisers, marketers, buyer, and directors within the Fashion, Lifestyle and Youth/Pop-Cultural sectors.



As we enter into the staged, easing of lockdown many are attempting to understand what the long and short term ramifications of COVID-19 will have on our economy, businesses and day to day routines.

There is an impact for consumers of all backgrounds, of all interests, of all age groups. And there are ramifications for every industry, the best we can do is arm ourselves with constructive insights to support in the steps into a better understanding of the present and to best prepare for the new future.



Nicola Cooper’s journey has been a broad and diverse one, across a multitude of different fields. However, the golden thread that ties everything together is the quest to understand humans, consumers, identity formation, and sub- and countercultures.

Read more about Nicola Cooper’s path in highly anticipated 15th edition of Standard Bank Top Women Leaders.


Are we advancing our educational faculties in sync with the pace of change that is required?

In today’s society, the youth are ageing at a faster rate than ever before. But are our educational facilitators ready for this, or are they in need of a reboot?


Nicola and her hand-picked team continue her work in the Fashion, Lifestyle, and Pop/Youth Culture space as a preferred supplier to both local and global research and insight agencies, through her satellite B2B firm,  Nicola Cooper & Associates.


The firm is a powerful support of businesses intelligence, street smarts and valuable research and insights for FMCG, Fashion Retail, Brands and Agencies wanting to better understand the global and local Trends market to identify and implement insights to the African consumer or assist businesses/brands to stay abreast with current cultures and the ever-evolving consumer landscape.