New Designers: Misha Nonoo

Interview by Marylou Luther. Luther is the creative director of Fashion Group International.

Photo Credit: Christopher Sturman

Misha Nonoo, seated, with muse/lingerie designer Marissa Montgomery.
  • The jacket is constructed to fit the same, closed or open.
  • Flirty touch: The hem's shorter in front.

Chain-fringe wool bouclé jacket, $695, strapless wool dress, $595, Nonoo. Viola Lovely, Wenham, MA, 978-468-1775. Snake-print leather "Quinn" pumps, $195,

HER BACKGROUND: Nonoo grew up between Bahrain and London, then worked for a Paris denim label in 2006. After moving to New York in 2008, she launched her first collection last year.

WHY WE LOVE HER: The cool, sexy tailoring and easy-to-wear pieces have a lady-with-an-edge vibe.

MLL: Initially you wanted to specialize in jackets and coats, but now you have a more rounded-out collection. What made you change your mind?

MN: I think from a business standpoint it made sense to have a more complete collection. But philosophy is that it's better to be very good at something specific than to be generally good at multiple things. I think it's important to maintain the integrity of tailoring. There was a real niche in the market when I started that I felt needed to be filled, and that’s become my trademark. People come to me now for my jackets because that's my specialty.

MLL: It's great to have a trademark. And that tailoring is what you’re known for.

MN: Still, when I'm designing a new collection I always start with the jackets. A well-cut jacket makes your shoulders look slimmer and just smartens up your entire look. I've worn jackets my entire life, whether they're in or out of fashion. When I lived in Paris, I would always look at the women and think, what is it about them? And it was their fantastic jackets. Your jacket can be your ultimate accessory.

MLL: Let's talk about the fall collection. How did you put it all together?

MN: I still begin with the jackets. Right now, I think suiting is a big thing so I created the underpinnings, and three different pair of pants in different fabrics—is a high-waist flare with a cuff, a high waist cropped pant that you might wear with flats. The other pant is a slim leg trouser with lace detail down the side.

After that I added dresses in lace so that it all went together. Beautiful fabrics are really important to me. I'm in my mid-twenties, but I'm from the school of thought that I want to be able to wear something for the next 5 to 10 years. I'm not throwing it away, I'm not giving it away. So that's my emphasis when I'm designing.

MLL: What was your inspiration for the collection? 

MN: English aristocrats and the wonderful old homes they roam around in. I'm from England, so I thought, what would I want to wear if I was home in the country or if I was in the city? 

MLL: Where did your interest in fashion start?

MN: Growing up in London and Paris, I kind of drank everything in. I learned what clothes that gave me that slender, elegant look that I loved and it always had to do with a great jacket and everything else underneath it being nicely streamlined. I was completely fashion obsessed when I was young.

MLL: To be a successful designer you have to adore what you're doing. You don't care if you're working morning, noon and night. You've got that passion and you're only 25!

MN: I do love what I do. And I know that I'm extremely fortunate. I can't imagine doing anything else. 



more on

The Perfect: A Statement Watch For Every Style

Elegant but edgy, Hermès’ studded, flip-face design is our favorite way to stay punctual.

15 Celeb Hairstylists, Makeup Artists And Nail Pros To Follow On Instagram

No FOMO here: these glam squads' Instagrams are so good, they'll almost make you feel like you're getting ready for the red carpet with the celebs.

The Fall Shoe Guide: Plaid Low Tops

A little bit punk, a little bit prep—your favorite weekend-ready shoes get the tartan treatment.

Hair How-To: Eight Ways To Upgrade Your Bun

Pretty twists spotted on this year's runway put a couture spin on the go-to bun.

The 15 VMA Nominees That You Need To Follow On Instagram

Long hours on the tour bus and crazy music video costumes means musicians are the best people to follow on Instagram.