NEW YORK — When Misha Nonoo tied the knot in a lavish Venice affair last May, the designer of the contemporary Nonoo label didn’t just make her own wedding gown — a Chantilly and guipure lace design with long sleeves and a flowing train — but she also created all the dresses for her bridesmaids and a few friends.
This story first appeared in the February 25, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“After my wedding, I had lots of inquiries and calls about doing custom evening,” the New York-based English designer recalled. “Not only was the customer calling about it, but also the retailers. They were starting to say that there was a gap in the market at this more approachable price point and level of aesthetic.”
So, Nonoo was encouraged to branch out with cocktail dresses, evening separates and gowns. Using her full name for the new label, the Misha Nonoo collection reflects the same approach she takes in her contemporary apparel, which has been spotted on the likes of Pippa Middleton, Sarah Jessica Parker and Gwyneth Paltrow. “In essence, the collection is an extension of the values of my current collection, but in the realms of true evening and gowns, with luxurious fabrics, trims, laces, feathers and construction from boning to corsetry,” she said.
Like her contemporary label, which she launched in 2010, the eveningwear is made in New York. It includes a silk organza strapless gown featuring a smoky digital floral print and a godet skirt, a blue double georgette and French lace open-back gown and a silk and ostrich feather number with a shirred skirt detail. The feel is elegant, but, at the same time, offers a younger spin on eveningwear, which is just how Nonoo intended it. “You’re refined, polished and sophisticated, but you don’t look old,” she said. “You’re not wearing your mother’s old gown.”
The collection is priced at suggested retail from $895 to $2,200, and Nonoo projects around $3 million in first year wholesale sales.
“It will open up a whole different market that I haven’t been exposed to,” said the designer, whose contemporary line sells at such stores as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Harvey Nichols, and online at Shopbop.com.
Soon, there could be more for special occasions. “I’d love to do bridal at some point,” Nonoo said. “It would be a natural progression, but it has to be at the right time. I think people are looking at other options for bridal.”