News & Runway

21 Questions with… Designer Nanette Lepore

Nanette Lepore

image: Imaxtree

Nanette Lepore may be best known for her colorful and patterned ready-to-wear designs, but she oversees a growing fashion empire that now includes fragrance, swim and accessories. Sold at the likes of Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, Lepore also has stand-alone stores in Tokyo, New York City and Las Vegas. Over the years, her designs have been worn by countless celebrities, including Nicki Minaj, Scarlett Johansson, Taylor Swift, Abigail Breslin, Blake Lively and Kristin Chenoweth. Michelle Obama is also a fan of Lepore, whose outspoken efforts to protect New York City’s Garment Center have helped raise awareness and demand for American-made clothing.

Here, the designer answers our quickfire questions.

  1. I usually wake up around… 7:00 a.m.
  2. My morning routine entails… coffee, NPR and planning a vacation.
  3. On a typical day, my meals consist of… cup of coffee for breakfast, a salad for lunch and visiting my favorite restaurants in the West Village for dinner.
  4. When I’m stressed I… compulsively plan a getaway.
  5. If you looked at my desk you’d find… 20 magazines, earrings I left on my desk two weeks ago, a stack of tribal bracelets, tons of pencils, trim swatches, inspiration tears and books I plan to read. Beautiful chaos. 
  6. The most treasured item in my closet is… a tiny pair of Madras shorts from my mom. 
  7. I’m dying to splurge on… a week in Brooklyn. 
  8. If my days had one extra hour I’d… work out. 
  9. My favorite place to travel is… of course, Italy.
  10. The essentials for Summer 2015 are… bell-sleeve, off-the-shoulder blouses in a soft pastel, mini caftans and a halter bikini top.
  11. What keeps me excited about working in fashion is… clothes. I’m passionate about clothes.
  12. My biggest fashion pet peeve is… when people say, “I’ll never wear that.” 
  13. My beauty essentials include… YSL mascara, Chanel eye makeup remover and Santa Maria Novella Body Milk
  14. My guilty pleasure is… watching Homeland.
  15. My biggest style regret is… not wearing my silver cowboy boots to the Neiman Marcus 100th Anniversary Party. I still think about that all the time.
  16. You’d never catch me wearing… leggings. 
  17. On a typical Saturday night I’m… hosting a dinner at my home with family and friends.
  18. The best gift I ever received… was when my daughter made me a knitted and boiled wool handbag. She was only 7!
  19. If I could have dinner with anyone dead or alive… my mom.
  20. When it comes to Fashion Week I think… it’s time to hit a refresh.
  21. The words of wisdom I try to remember… love what you do.