21 Questions With… Designer Misha Nonoo

Image: Courtesy Misha Nonoo

If you didn’t know Misha Nonoo a year ago, you almost certainly heard her name on the news as of late since she’s thought to be the friend who set up Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their blind date. Born in Bahrain, raised in London and educated in Paris, Nonoo’s multicultural background influences her tasteful designs, which are favorites of royals and celebrities alike. Equally notable is that Nonoo is on the cutting edge of fashion’s changing landscape. Not only does her business follow the see-now/buy-now model, she was the first designer to debut a runway collection entirely on her Instagram page. She was a finalist for the 2013 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30, Crain’s New York Business 40 Under 40 and Fast Company’s Most Creative People. We caught up with the busy designer and asked her our quickfire questions.

  1. The first thing I do in the morning is… meditate! It’s so important for me to take 20 minutes before I even check my phone in the morning to reflect on the day ahead. Meditation has taught me how to truly live in the moment. Once I finish meditating, I try to get to the gym for my morning workout.
  2. The last thing I googled was… blueberry juice and the best recipe to make it at home.
  3. If my days had one extra hour… I’d learn another language! Maybe Italian…
  4. The best fashion advice I ever received was… keep it simple but sophisticated.
  5. My desert island beauty product is… I am a huge fan of molecular cosmetics. I use Dr. Barbara Sturm’s products religiously morning and night. She’s a genius!
  6. The most important skills to be successful in fashion design are… creativity, being able to adapt and a good head for business.
  7. When I’m stressed… I talk things through with my friends. As an expat, my inner circle has become my family. A cup of peppermint tea also helps!
  8. What has prepared me most for this job is… my educational background in fashion business and the ongoing support from the people closest to me. I always had a clear vision of what I wanted my aesthetic to be, but needed to learn the ins and outs of running a business first.
  9. My guilty pleasure is… red wine.
  10. My most memorable career highlight was… when I switched my business model to direct to consumer and began manufacturing my clothing on demand. We used to make seasonal collections and sell wholesale like most other brands, but I felt that way of connecting with consumers was stuck in the past rather than focusing on the future. It’s so important to me to commit to our sustainability values and I’m very proud of what we have accomplished so far.
  11. The trend I’m loving right now is… I avoid trends at all costs. I’m all for minimal style when it comes to dressing. Keep it simple and streamlined always.
  12. The trend I wish would die already is… new Celine. I absolutely adored old Celine.
  13. If you looked at my desktop you’d see… a photo of my dog, Thatcher. She’s the most adorable thing.
  14. My most memorable travel experience was… going to Beijing for my inspiration trip during the CFDA competition. It was incredible to be immersed in the vibrancy of the city and its fascinating culture.
  15. I’m dying to splurge on… art. There’s an artist Helena Almeida, who I love, and it would be a dream to own one of her pieces.
  16. The thing I’m most looking forward to come Spring 2019 is… seeing how my brand evolves! My driving factor is all about global expansion and particularly looking into what we can do to further our sustainable practices.
  17. My favorite place to shop is… Jimmy Choo. I’m obsessed with their shoes.
  18. Something people don’t realize about the fashion industry is… the staggering amount of material waste associated with the wholesale, seasonal production process. I think people are starting to educate themselves and I’m happy to see more designers adopting a more sustainable approach.
  19. My most treasured possession is… Thatcher!
  20. My biggest fashion regret is… I don’t have regrets! Only lessons learned.
  21. One thing I wish people knew about me is… I take a distinctively considered approach to design. We’re living in such a crazy world where we’re constantly bombarded with content and media and campaigns and I’m trying to slow things down. I want to simplify women’s lives with my clothes.

[ Next: To Copy Meghan Markle’s Royal Look, Stick to This Style Rule ]

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