Designers

Fashion Biography

Nanette Lepore, Fashion Designer

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A long time ago in a suburb far, far away lived a little girl named Nanette Lepore. At the age of nine Nanette created her first couture look by outfitting a neighbor in a gypsy bedspread cum dashiki and beaded choker. She painted sunflowers on her face and stood in the front yard with a cardboard sign that read Lepore. Sensing the child"s entrepreneurial talent her abstract painter father, and fabulously stylish mother, encouraged Nanette"s creativity. The first and only kindergarten teacher and mother of four to wear hot pants and gladiator sandals in Youngstown, Ohio, Mrs. Lepore was the muse to both her husband and her daughter. Sure that Nanette was following in her footsteps, Mrs. Lepore turned a blind eye to her daughter"s 4 am sewing stints, and encouraged her independence.

Road tripping on Route 66 with her bohemian parents each summer gave Nanette a taste for travel, and made her feel like a little gypsy. With big ideas of romance and adventure Nanette left to pursue a design degree at FIT in New York City, and married painter Robert Savage. After shuttling between design jobs and struggling interviews, Nanette was encouraged by her husband to strike out on her own. The couple set up shop in a penthouse office in the garment district. It quickly became celebration central for poets and painters who would bounce ideas off one another while star gazing on the roof. Nanette admits It was an ongoing party with lots of work thrown in. Her gypsy lifestyle remains a theme in Nanette"s creativity, and she is inspired by friends, family , and fun.

Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Nanette produced her first couture look at the tender age of nine outfitting a neighbor in a floral bedspread, beaded choker, and face paint. The girl posed in the family"s front yard behind a hand lettered sign declaring Lepore, "and thus began Nanette"s lifelong interest in fashion.

Sensing young Nanette"s entrepreneurial talent, her parents encouraged her creativity. After all, artistic innovation flourished naturally in a household headed by an abstract painter father and a fabulously stylish mother of four. Road tripping on Route 66 with her bohemian parents each summer instilled in Nanette a free spirit and a taste for travel.

After completing her undergraduate studies at Youngstown University, she packed her bags and headed east to New York City"s venerable Fashion Institute of Technology. She aced her degree in design, married painter Robert Savage and set out to pay her dues in design studios around town.

However, Nanette knew she wouldn"t be satisfied until her creations bore her own name. In 1992, bolstered by a $5,000 loan from her dad to strike out on her own, Nanette set up shop in a penthouse office in the garment district. It quickly became an incubator for poets and painters who would bounce ideas off one another while stargazing on the roof.

Nanette designs in her atelier in New York City alongside her husband, Robert, who helms the business side of the worldwide brand as its President. Nanette enjoys a strong following among editors, style makers, and celebrities including Scarlett Johansson, Sharon Stone, Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Eva Longoria Parker, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and Abigail Breslin.

The brand offers women"s apparel, Oonagh the new luxe basics line, footwear, and fragrance. Handbags will launch this fall and swimwear will launch for Resort 2011.

Nanette Lepore has grown into an international brand with boutiques in the United States, Europe, and Asia. There are currently has eleven shops in New York, Los Angeles, Bal Harbour, Chicago, Las Vegas, Boston, Chevy Chase, London, and Tokyo.

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By Courtney Lynne
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