In DPJ’s Street Style PHX series, we hit the streets in search of the looks that define our city style.


Curator, writer and artist Nicole Royse defines her style as classic, minimal, and chic. Photo by Lauren Potter.

Even if you don’t recognize Nicole Royse, you’d more than likely recognize her work. As the curator for Shade Projects at the monOrchid gallery in downtown Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row, this busy mother-of-three curates monOrchid’s two galleries, while also writing numerous articles for various Valley publications every month. I recently had the chance to sit down with Royse — a champion of local arts and businesses — at be Coffee to chat about her personal style.


The use of solid bold colors that can be accented with a great pair shoes is key to Royse’s personal style. Photo by Lauren Potter.

What’s your name?
Nicole Royse

What’s your occupation?
I am the Shade Projects Curator at the monOrchid. I’ve been running our two art galleries — the Shade Gallery and Bokeh Gallery — for almost four years now. I am also a freelance writer covering the arts across the Valley for AZFoothills Magazine, North Valley Magazine, SoScottsdale, and I’m the Visual Arts Editor of YabYum Music & Arts.  I am also am artist creating acrylic paintings focusing on abstraction of form through the use of line and color working with acrylic paint on canvas. 

Where do you live?
I live in the east valley in Chandler.

Have you always lived in the Valley?
I am originally from Orange County, California. I moved to the Valley with my grandparents during high school. I got married, graduated from ASU, and am now raising my beautiful family in the same area where my husband grew up. 

How would you describe your style?
My style is classic, minimal and chic. I keep accessories simple — I usually wear earrings, my rings and occasionally a necklace if I want to be fancy. I love solid bold colors that I accent with a great pair of shoes like fun textured flats or strappy sandals. When I am running the gallery, I wear a great pair of strappy wedges that have a foam sole. They allow me to run around the gallery all night and keep my feet comfy.

If you could raid a one style icon’s closet who would it be? Why are you drawn to their style?
I love old film stars’ style like Audrey Hepburn and Ava Gardner with chic pieces, classic cuts, and great fit remixed with a modern sensibility.

What are your favorite places in Phoenix to shop?
I typically shop at Nordstrom, Target, and local boutiques. I buy classic pieces that I can alternate throughout my wardrobe.

What brings you into Be Coffee?
I love the atmosphere at Be Coffee — it’s perfect for meetings and chatting with friends. Did I mention I love their coffee, teas, and the food is simply scrumptious! Today I’m finishing up installation and final preparations for our two new July exhibitions: “Gray Area” featuring the work of three artists AJ Nafziger, Jessica Palomo, and Travis Rice; and “Cleansing the Soul in India,” a solo photography exhibition of award-winning photographer Nick Oza’s time in India.  

What are you wearing today?
My floral dress is by ASTR. I am able to wear this dress during my normal busy routine with my three kiddos as well as to work. It’s lightweight, has pockets, and is super comfortable and flattering! My metallic strappy sandals are by Sam Edelman, and these silver hoop earrings are by Gorjana. My rings are the wedding rings that I received from my husband — We’ve been married almost 14 years. Everything I’m wearing is from Nordstrom except my wedding rings ☺


Simple rings and earrings are Royse’s go-to accessories. Photo by Lauren Potter.