Born in 1964, Nanette Lepore is a renowned fashion designer from Youngstown, Ohio but currently resides in New York. In this city, she started developing her professional life – she studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology and graduated with a design degree. Prior to relocating to the city, she completed an undergraduate degree from Youngstown State University.
Lepore became somewhat a celebrity of the design world after she returned to California, launching a boutique in Los Angeles as well as promoting and selling apparel to clients in Asia and Europe. Lepore has her own perfume under her first name. In 2007, she introduced a shoe range with Keds. The face of this line was Mischa Barton.
Her items are featured in some popular American stores such as Neiman Marcus, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. Lepore has boutiques in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.
In addition to this, she became recognized for her runway shows and her collections began attracting celebrities and famous people like America Ferrara, Kerry Washington, Eva Longoria, Lorraine Bracco, Illeana Douglas, Michelle Obama, Nicki Minaj, Blake Lively and Aida Turturro.
Nanette Lepore is married to Robert J. Savage. She has a daughter, Violet. Apart from the designing, she has been involved with politicians in New York since 2010 to help save the levels of employment in the city’s Garment District via a campaign called, Save the Garment Center. In 2012, she was the guest judge on the show, Project Runway All Stars.
Initially, the designer worked for long hours and earned only four hundred dollars a week and her husband was a waiter at a restaurant. Nanette had to delay the idea of becoming a mother in order to build her career. At that stage the only thing important for her was to do something great with her skills and life. The designer works from morning till eight or nine at night even to the present day. According to Lepore, it takes commitment to run a fashion empire. There are days when the designer is too worked up managing her business, in fact her daughter imitates her during this time just to make Lepore laugh and release the work load off her head.
Lepore’s advice to anyone wanting to join the fashion industry is that they should focus on their customers and worry less about other things, such as fashion shows. She feels that for a designer, it is important to work on and hone the product and produce something worth it and valuable for the public to desire.
The designer is inspired to keep on working by seeing people in her creations and when she meets a very chic woman who happens to like Lepore’s designs. This is what motivates her to keep on going. The first time she saw someone walking on the Upper West Side in New York City wearing her jacket, she was ecstatic. Although Nanette doesn’t like going up to such people and saying something like, ‘hey, you are wearing my designs’, her family likes talking to those who they have spotted wearing Lepore’s items. The designer exclaimed in an interview that such moments were embarrassing for her.
She had started her business with only five thousand dollars borrowed from her father and brother. For some time till the trade was on the road to rise, Nanette faced times when it became harder for her to pay off her loan but she did. Apart from this, she adores her fun-loving and supportive family.