Nina McLemore is a designer with an eye for fashion, coupled with a keen sense of what styles of clothing will convey elegance and confidence for the woman on the go.
“The reason I started this business was largely due to my experience in the business world, along with the experiences of other women. I wanted to help women make it clear that they were players in the game,” she says.
What do you often get asked?
What inspires me? My answer is the women I dress. You’re with someone and they say, “I feel comfortable in this style or fabric,” and that’s impactful.
Describe how your background played a role in becoming a designer.
I grew up making everything I wore in Mississippi. In that time and place, how you dressed was critically important. After college, my goal was to be a buyer for a store, but I quickly realized that I could achieve more. I saw an opportunity and started the accessory division for Liz Claiborne with a goal of making accessories for working women. This opened the door to joining business and professional women’s groups which led to my passion for creating clothes appropriate for a woman’s age, image and lifestyle.
To what do you owe your continued success?
First is the passion of our clients for the clothes. We are a multichannel business making it easy for our clients, with 14 stores, the internet, women who sell the collection privately in their homes and some specialty retail stores.
What lessons have you learned?
These days, many women want quiet luxury and want to look well-dressed, with good quality clothing that is good-fitting and travels well. They want to be identified as themselves, not have the clothes be overpowering.
“I believe the issue of image is about who you want to be and how you want to be seen, so dress accordingly. It’s your face to the world.”
“Some women are born with a sense of style, but some women have other talents or don’t have time and need help to create their image. We train our employees to do that. We want people to be comfortable in what they’re wearing.”