Misha Nonoo is one of those bold, badass women that makes you want to be more of a bold, badass woman. She’s an accomplished fashion designer who got her start unexpectedly: “One day, I was having lunch at Prune, and a stranger at the next table complimented me on a coat I designed. As it turns out, she was a buyer for Intermix and ended up placing an order for a full collection. It was after that coincidental meeting that my label was born!”
But her eponymous line is about way more than just beautiful clothes. Misha’s a serious trailblazer when it comes to sustainability. She switched from a wholesale to direct-to-consumer model to reduce her carbon footprint and then took it a step further going on-demand in the manufacturing process a year later. She was also the first designer to ditch New York Fashion Week for Instagram to present her Spring 2016 collection. (It was a smashing success.)
And while you’ll never hear her talk about it, she’s a close confidante of Meghan Markle. (Rumor has it she introduced her and Prince Harry.) Together, they designed a button down for Markle’s collection for Smart Works, a UK charity dedicated to helping women reenter the workforce.
Partnerships are something Misha is super keen on right now. Last year she collaborated with Hatch Collection on a chic maternity line, and she recently joined forces with Fry Powers on jewel-colored enamel studs for her infamous Husband Shirt (so fun!).
Read on for some wise words about when to take risks, when to pause, and the five pieces every woman should have in her wardrobe.
Stop. Breathe. Think.
Don’t be afraid to take your time figuring what you want and who you are. I feel like so many aspects of our lives are given this false sense of urgency, and really, there’s no need to rush what will come naturally. When I first moved to New York, I found the city so energetic and exciting, and I wanted to do it all at once. I reminded myself that I can just take it one step at a time when growing my passion for womenswear.
Riding The Highs
Seeing an amazing woman wearing my designs during an important moment, professional or personal, never gets old. We’ve seen our customers wear our collection for interviews, keynote speeches, and even an IPO. The best part of my job is taking the stress and guesswork out of getting dressed in the morning, so women can spend more time tackling their busy days.
The Ugly Truth
Sustainability is very important to me in my personal life. I make significant efforts to keep my single-use plastic consumption to a minimum, eat natural food, and buy things I only really need. So, I was horrified to learn selling 75% of your inventory as a fashion brand is considered a successful season. A few major problems lie within that 25% of unsold inventory. In addition to being a waste of money, it will likely end up in a landfill, which is horribly detrimental to our environment. Not only do we dramatically reduce waste by not holding any inventory, but all of our packaging is plastic free, and we’re constantly adding more styles in 100% natural fibers.
Model Brand Behavior
Producing with the on-demand model means every time a customer makes an order, the garments are cut and sewn in real time and delivered anywhere in the world within 10 business days. This process eliminates inventory waste (the largest source of pollution in the industry) by 90%.
Taking The Leap
It was very daunting to commit to upending my entire supply chain and go on-demand. Initially, it took some trial and error to perfect the process, but once we found the right manufacturing team, all the hard work very much paid off.
A Peek Into The Future
We’re focusing on designing the best capsule wardrobes, allowing women to buy better and wear longer. By creating classic, versatile pieces, like those included in our Perfect 10, we’re ensuring our customers will never feel as though they have “nothing to wear.” It’s so much better for the environment, as well as your wallet. We’re planning to create capsule collections for women at all stages of their life, especially as we’re figuring out this new WFH life that has welcomed in a much more casual approach to dressing. Watch this space!
The Secret To A Minimalist Wardrobe
The five pieces every woman should have in her wardrobe are…
- The perfect white button down like our Husband Shirt
- A tailored trouser like our Ivy Pant
- A versatile blazer like our Florence Blazer Dress
- Multiple colors of your absolute favourite tee
- A polished sweatsuit for our new WFH lifestyle
To keep your capsule wardrobe fresh, rotate your shoes, accessories, and outerwear with the seasons. I love sites like TheRealReal and Vestiaire Collective where you can buy and sell these pieces whilst keeping your carbon footprint low.
Sit Back & Unwind
Spending time with my son Leo (1) always brightens my day and reminds me not to worry about the small things. I also love to cook, so a glass of red wine whilst I prepare dinner is a great way to unwind, too. I feel like so many aspects of our lives are given this false sense of urgency, and really, there’s no need to rush what will come naturally. When I first moved to New York, I found the city so energetic and exciting, and I wanted to do it all at once. I reminded myself that I can just take it one step at a time when growing my passion for womenswear.