Nina McLemore


The designer’s fashionable style showcases feminine authority.

Strong, durable, brilliant. These are just a few words the national media has used to describe Nina McLemore’s eponymous fashion label. The description also depicts her clientele, who are among America’s most powerful women, including Hillary Clinton, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Mondelex Internatonal Chairman/CEO Irene Rosenfeld and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi (to name a few).

Her apparel for office, casual and eveningwear is modern, stylish, durable and timeless. “Understandably, [many] designers today target the large boom in the 15 to 30-year-old population,” explains Ms. McLemore. “They focus on ‘fast, disposable fashion.’ Thus, finding clothes that have understated elegance and will take you on 12-hour flights is almost impossible.” Until now.

Before she started designing, Ms. McLemore grew up in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, a small town of about 3,000. “Growing up in the South had a tremendous impact on my approach to design,” she admits. “Dressing well, whether you had money or not, was a priority. I’d go with my mother to choose fabrics and design my own clothes. I learned what fabrics worked for each style, how to mix colors and patterns and which fabrics tailored well.” The designer’s approach is “to start with very fine natural fabrics, tailor them into the best style for the fabric, use colors flattering to the skin and make [the clothes] in New York where we can watch production carefully.”

Her Fall 2014 Collection is anything but basic boardroom black. “Cranberry is the number one statement,” explains Ms. McLemore. “Jade and teal are also flattering, and sapphire is strong.” And just as important as the color and fit is the fabric, which the Ms. McLemore describes as lightweight and textured. “Our Techno Equestrian cotton from Switzerland is the best in the world: washable, no iron and doesn’t lose its shape.”

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About Carrie Williams

Carrie Williams is TCW's managing/digital editor. She manages day-to-day editorial operations of the monthly print publication, website and social media outlets, contributes to a variety of feature articles and directs a team of interns, freelance writers and bloggers. In early 2013, she led the redesign of of TCW's brand strategy. Her blog, "Carrie On," is a blog of reflection and discovery, discussing how to push through life when you’re handed one too many curveballs. And finally, Ms. Williams is also executive director of the TCW Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit supporting underfunded women's and children's organizations.