That’s Sew Nicole

From Baesianz FC to her star-studded dinner party line up… why is London-based artist Nicole Chui embroidering football jerseys?

By Glorious

We sat down with the fabulous Nicole Chui, a London-based artist whose freestyle hand embroidery is as bold and colourful as her personality. Not only is her artwork influenced by the world of football, but she’s also diving headfirst into the beautiful chaos of the sport itself, co-founding Baesianz FC, a team that celebrates women, trans, and non-binary people of Asian heritage on the pitch.

Nicole wears a Weavers Fields (where Baesianz FC initially trained) inspired shirt. Photography Bobby Tsang

Glorious: What was your route to becoming an artist?

Nicole Chui: I moved to London over 10 years ago with the aim of studying fashion design. In short, that dream was crushed and I went through the route of fashion media and communication, which lead me to working as a creative and graphic designer for independent and luxury fashion houses and creative agencies. I was always stitching on imagery throughout my jobs and uni degree, specifically stitching in fashion magazines over photography I felt inspired but not represented by… ultimately I just wanted to release inner emotions I couldn’t put in words, through hand embroidered illustrations (similar to the nostalgic action of doodling over my old notebooks.) Ultimately it was a fun way to cheekily insert my identity and voice into a space that I didn’t see myself in. When I started sharing my pages with industry colleagues, Instagram, and meeting other creative artists in the intersection of illustration and fine art, I started to take art more seriously and believe in myself enough to pivot this into a professional career. I’ve learnt that it is a very fluid pathway, and that’s what I love.

Baesianz FC personal series in collaboration with Wendy Huynh. Photography Felicia May

Glorious: You’ve worked with lots of brilliant commercial clients – from Nike and Ugg to Victoria Beckham and Converse, have any been particularly significant for you?

Nicole Chui: I think all of them have been extremely fun to be honest. I particularly loved working on a piece I did for Sports Direct football, as I got to embroider some artwork on Lionesses striker Ellen White. Seeing my work on a football player hits different from anything else… including the small patch I did for United where Marcus Rashford was featured. It’s something I would have never imagined my practice going in the direction of but I am so grateful the two worlds have come together.


Glorious: You note that you’re currently exploring ‘the integration of your identity in football culture’. What have you found?!

Nicole Chui: I’ve discovered the significance of the community in my own identity through football. Everything I’ve created is based off of something related to a feeling, conversations, or generally the vibe of lived experiences interacting football on and off the pitch, particularly with Baesianz FC. It’s also given me a sense of nostalgia in a way that has made me reflect on how having a close-knit bond with my sisters growing up has influenced the love I have for bringing people together, and collaborating rather than solely competing. I’m learning that playing to win means a whole different thing to me now, compared to when I was a lot younger.

Ellen White for Sports Direct, Marcus Rashford for Manchester United


Nicole co-founded Baesianz FC

Glorious: How did you get into football? Did you play when you were younger?

Nicole Chui: My dad! He took me to a Saturday football club at my primary school when I was 8 and I started to play from there. Tackled everyone on the pitch and was called a nightmare by all the boys and girls which was fun!

Glorious: Tell us about the football club you co-founded Baesianz FC.

Nicole Chui: Baesianz FC is a football team for women, trans and non-binary people of Asian heritage. We started in 2022 after a conversation in the Rowans bowling alley, and quickly decided to name it after the OG asian art collective “Baesianz” as a way to build their community beyond the arts, and into a sport space. Two of my friends, who are the original co-founders of the art collective (Sami Kimberley and Sarah Khan ) were eager to try a new sport, whereas I had wanted to grow a football team with a strong element of community, and regularly playing. Now, 2 years later our organisation has changed a lot where we have at least 12 core organisers, 2 league teams, and a community of 99 players who have all showed up wanting to be part of the community. We’re so grateful to the baes for everything this football community has become!

"I’m learning that playing to win means a whole different thing to me now, compared to when I was a lot younger.”
Nicole is known for her intricate hand embroidery

Glorious: Which women’s (or mens!) football team do you support?

Nicole Chui: Spurs!

Glorious: SAME! If you were to have dinner with 3 people from the world of football, sport or art, who would you invite and why?!

Nicole Chui: Three is so savage so I’ve got to invite more people!!! Hope Solo, Son, Saka, Modric. Sam Kerr, Jose Mourinho, Emma Hayes, and Grealish (for the personality). I feel like these footballers/gaffers are so unattainable and it would be chaotically entertaining for me. Son and Saka especially would be so funny to see them in the same room together. I love chaos!

A hand embroidered shirt inspired by Weavers Fields in Bethnal Green (where Baesianz FC initially trained.) Photographed by Bobby Tsang


'CONCHA Embroidure' a collaboration between Nicole and Meseme Studio

Glorious: Your work has been shown in some amazing places, including NOW gallery, Somerset House, London Design Festival and The MAC Belfast- where’s next?

I’ve got an upcoming show in November in Cornwall which will be announced later on in the year, but for now, I am showing my piece “BAE-BAE” which is a hand embroidered, Yokai-inspired umbrella influenced by the tiger symbol of my football team Baesianz FC at the Young V&A in Bethnal Green. I’m doing a few workshops during the Euros including a private one for Systemarosa’s event at the end of June in Berlin, and at the Tate Britain on July 12th which is open to the public. You can keep up to date via my Instagram.

I’ve also been working on my first ever interior design related project with the brand Meseme Studio. Our piece is called CONCHA Embroidure and the embroidery is inspired by a Baesianz FC player’s running pattern during a match. You can order it on Meseme’s website.

Nicole's BB bag

Glorious: You were part of Camden Open Air Gallery’s football pop-up for England’s opening match against Serbia. How was it?

Nicole Chui: It was my first pop up this year for the wearable creations I’ve been producing so it was definitely a learning curve! The BB bags (opposite) had a really positive response and have sold out, they’ll be back and are available for pre order on my site. I’ve got a number of pieces (including a great Scotland shirt!) for sale so check them out! Coincidentally the shirts I’ve been embroidering for over a year have manifested into this display of my signature style and voice which was great to see in a really nice space. In the middle of the hectic high street it felt like a mini oasis, I’m never usually in Camden but that was a nice space where we ended up watching the England vs Serbia match. During the pop up, I met a designer who owns Mayde by May (she remakes football shirts with a feminine vibe which is so different from my style and I love it). We both got along instantly, so that was a nice reminder of how football has brought together so many random people in my life!

Glorious: Sounds brilliant and sad we missed it! How do you think England are playing?

Nicole Chui: I don’t think England are playing well, they could do better and they need to be scoring more goals!  I think Southgate got extremely lucky with Cole Palmer and Jude Bellingham who  are my standout players. Walker has been consistent, but there’s just no synergy in the England team. I’m quite disappointed with Kane’s performance and disappointed that Madders (James Maddison) wasn’t selected for England… so it has sort of soured my mood because he’s a great footballer! I’m not sure if I trust Southgate fully, but I am hoping for the best!

Glorious: And who do you think will lift the trophy and win the Euros?

Nicole Chui: As a massive Modric fan, I was initially was rooting for Croatia but sadly they’re out!  So i’m going with Spain. They’re consistently so excellent.

Once A Bae, Always A Bae…

Follow Nicole: | @thatsewnicole | @BaezianFC

Photo Credits Jess Govinden @jess_govinden | Bobby Tsang | Felicia May @feliciamay00 | Wendy Huynh @wendyhuynh

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