An entrepreneurial dad balances career and fatherhood by including his young son in the way he works and networks
Welcoming a baby into a family disrupts much more than his or her parents’ sleep. It can feel like a tsunami of change that affects every aspect of daily life, forcing new moms and dads to adjust how they socialize and work. For Virgil Nicholas, a Copenhagen-based fashion consultant and entrepreneur, becoming a father in 2018 meant a lot of change, yes, but it also meant an opportunity to include his two-year-old son, Vincent-Laurent (also known as Vinny), in the way he works, networks, and engages with the exciting world of Scandinavian design and fashion.
Along with launching his footwear brand ‘Vinny’s’ in 2019, Virgil Nicholas has spent the last decade working as a fashion consultant for menswear brands such as GANT, NN07, Tommy Hilfiger, and Les Deux. Whether directing photoshoots, helping to launch a new flagship store, or creating original social media content, Virgil’s work is, by nature, highly dynamic and intensely social. It is work that takes him to every corner of the city, from the offices of top menswear designers to VIP after-parties during Copenhagen Fashion Week. A self-described “people person” with a warm smile and an infectious laugh, Virgil makes personal, authentic connections wherever he goes. And, it would seem, little Vinny is cut from the same social cloth. “Less than two weeks after he was born, Vinny’s mom and I took him with us to a Fashion Week brunch and he has been coming along with us to every Fashion Week since,” says Virgil with a smile. “He’s so positive and open-minded, and he’s an amazing networker—seriously, you should see this little guy work a room.”
After Virgil’s girlfriend AK went back to work in 2019, Vinny had to wait about nine months for placement in the local kindergarten. During this time, Virgil decided he would bring his son along for whatever work-related events he had on his calendar. Vinny’s naturally warm disposition and lack of fear around strangers allowed the pair to move freely about town on an almost daily basis, meeting up for coffee with friends and colleagues, exploring Copenhagen’s historic center, and attending client meetings. “Since Vinny was born, I’ve found myself exploring Copenhagen more than ever before, and in some really fun new ways,” Virgil says. “The truth is, this is a city where I can bring my son along with me pretty much anywhere; I never feel that he is unwelcome.”
As they’ve explored Copenhagen extensively over the past two years, Virgil and Vinny have developed a kind of rhythm that regularly takes them back to a few favorite places around the city. “If we want to stick close to home, we almost always head to the beach near our apartment,” Virgil says. “Winter or summer, Vinny loves everything about the waterfront: the sights, sounds, and smell of it all.” Not far away, in the bustling center of Copenhagen, the pair has several spots that they frequent. “Typically, we load up the stroller, hop onto the harbor bus, and head to one of the city’s amazing parks, where Vinny can climb, slide, play with other kids, and splash in puddles for hours.” After playtime, the guys will usually head to a favorite bakery or cafe for a midday pick-me-up. More often than not, the pair will end up at The Union Kitchen, a beloved local hotspot renowned for its weekend brunch. “Aside from serving the best truffle fries in town—which are Vinny’s favorite food in the world—this is a place we love coming back to time and again,” Virgil says. “Vinny feels at home here; he enjoys interacting with the staff, meeting up with my friends, and then, inevitably, he’ll fall asleep for a while and give me a chance to socialize with some adults.”
Now that he is two years old, Vinny attends a local kindergarten while his mom and dad are working. Naturally, this means Virgil brings his sidekick along for fewer weekday meetings and work events than he used to. But it doesn’t mean that this father and son team has given up their shared love of exploring the city together. “We still make time for adventures,” Virgil says. “Often, when I pick Vinny up from daycare, we head straight to the beach, take off our shoes, and run around until he’s exhausted.” Weekends also have a new special quality. “That’s when we have more time to be together; AK and I love to let Vinny be a part of the decision about what we’re going to do as a family.” Whether it’s a trip to the beach or a spontaneous weekend outing to one of Copenhagen’s colorful neighborhoods, Virgil and Vinny Nicholas have an ever-growing love for the city and its people. “One thing is for sure: both of us are explorers to the core,” says Virgil. “For us, any full day spent inside is a day wasted.”