Nicole Miller to be honored by Philadelphia University

Nicole Miller waves after her Spring 2013 collection was modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Sept. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

New York-based designer Nicole Miller will receive the 2013 Spirit of Design Award at the Verizon Philadelphia University Evening of Innovation on April 27 at the Academy of Music.

"She is an inspiration and role model for our students, who are the next generation of fashion designers" said Clara Henry, Phila. U's fashion program director. "[Miller] connects with a broad range of customers, and her body-conscious designs are artfully shaped to best flatter a women's body," Henry added.

There are two Nicole Miller boutiques in Philadelphia - one on Main Street in Manayunk, the second in the Bellevue nestled between Williams-Sonoma and Teuscher Chocolates. Both are considered shopping destinations for Philadelphia's social set, with owner Mary Dougherty making a pointed effort to engage the local community in fashion events, including the lauded Nicole Miller semi-annual sale.

Miller, a formally-trained designer who launched her company in 1982, has expanded her fashion empire into a full-fledged lifestyle brand, encompassing everything from wedding dresses and womenswear to home furnishings. The designer's apparel is also carried by high-end department stores like Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, and Nordstrom.

Past recipients of the Spirit of Design Award include Tommy Hilfiger and John Varvatos.