Fashion Files

Misha Nonoo

For any young designer, being nominated for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund is a career-altering experience. We first met Misha Nonoo, one of this year抯 nominated designers, back in October when she was competing for the Fund, and we were immediately blown away by the designer and her beautiful collection. Misha抯 label, Nonoo, is produced exclusively in New York City抯 garment district but pays tribute to the designer抯 British roots, travels and lifelong love of art. Misha talked to us about how she got her start as a designer, her Fashion Fund experience and what inspires her.

How did you get your start as a designer?
I was born in Bahrain and raised in London by an Iraqi father and English mother. As a child, I spent my holidays traveling around the globe, traversing between Europe, India, Asia and the United States, providing me with a diverse collection of references and a vibrant education of global artistry.

Whilst growing up in London, I found the bespoke tailoring process of Savile Row romantic, and was deeply moved by its historical representation of aristocracy and gentility. Discovering these coats and jackets constructed with the utmost quality, craftsmanship and precision I unearthed my true passion for design.

My parents, aware of my desire to establish a fashion label, strongly advised me to attend business school before launching my collection. In 2003, I enrolled at London抯 prestigious European Business School, and continued on to the Ecole Sup閞ieure du Commerce Ext閞ieur in Paris, where I studied International Business and French.

Upon graduation from business school, I moved to New York City and apprenticed with a local tailor in the garment district who specialized in construction and tailoring. I would spend hours in fittings, making patterns and learning about subtle distinguishable details, from the height of a shoulder pad to the interfacing. I launched my label Nonoo in February 2011 the collection is quintessentially British at heart suffused with signature tailored separates and an adventurous spirit for everyday life.

Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?
Personal experience. From places I've travelled to contemporary artists shows I've seen and books I've read about historical figures, my inspiration always comes from firsthand experiences.

How would you describe the Nonoo customer in three words?
Composed, culturally curious

Who are some of your favorite fashion designers?
Coco Chanel and Phoebe Philo

How would you describe your personal style?
I always make sure to wear a colorful piece from the current collection. My personal style is equal parts comfort whilst inherently British and composed.

How do you like to style your hair? Do you have a hair routine?
This summer I went very blonde. I am obsessed with Oribe Soft Dry Conditioner Spray. It smells incredible, and my hair has never felt so soft. I feel like it helps keep the color longer as well.

Why did you decide to produce your collection in New York?
I decided to produce my collection in New York City because I am inspired by the close proximity between designer and production, which allows for detail-oriented communication, serious workmanship and uncompromising collaboration.

What do you love about New York?
I love New York抯 entrepreneurial spirit.

What was the inspiration for your Spring Summer 2014 collection?
The inspiration for the Spring 2014 collection was artist Gerhard Richter抯 iconic squeegee series. Richter抯 technical precision, coupled with a sense of freedom, inspired powerful soft dressing with an inherent feminine twist.

What抯 your favorite part of fashion week?
Being able to tell my design story. From the models to the music to the set design, it is a beautiful moment being able to see your collection come to life on the runway.

Love it? Share it!