I first discovered Nadia Izruna’s work through the blogging community, when she launched her Nadinoo label in 2009. Entitled after her childhood nickname, Nadinoo swiftly became worn and beloved by vintage-loving gals the world over, seen on an array of high profile fashion bloggers and featured in a several notable magazines (most recently, Betty).
When I met Nadia in her studio/store one of the first things I asked her was about this link with the blogging community. “For me it’s been vital,” she replied. “I was fortunate that my first collection was noticed by some influential fashion bloggers who were happy to share my work and thankfully continue to write about each collection we produce. All of this wonderful exposure has fed into other social media channels, enabling customers from all over the world to find us online.”
Once settled into a comfortable spot perched in the centre of the shop at Nadia’s work table, I soon found time trickling away as the conversation became diverted by chat about subjects as diverse as her Manchester roots, Air Bnb, our mutual appreciation for beautiful furniture and George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces.
Nadia has an infectious, welcoming personality that is radiated throughout the bright and cheerful space that she previously created and sold her designs from. Having opened her studio in Manchester’s prolific Craft and Design Centre in the midst of the bustling Northern Quarter in April, she has relished the “opportunity to connect with the local creative community and befriend fellow crafters who are in the same position.” When asked what it has been like to have been part of such an innovative environment, she spoke passionately about the other traders that she shared the space with and the accomplishment of her dream to combine a shop with a working studio. “I’ve always dreamed of setting up an open workshop where customers can purchase what is being crafted before their eyes. The Craft & Design centre provided the perfect setting for this with 20 other talented makers to showcase alongside.”
It’s refreshing to see such a design talent returning to her hometown to open the studio she always dreamt of. Having moved around and lived in places including London, Germany and South Africa, it was Manchester’s creativity that drew her back. “It’s always a good place for music with my favourite bands frequently passing through. There’s a cute Art house cinema around the corner from my home for my indie film fix and a constant rotation of inspiring exhibitions in the galleries across town. The Northern Quarter houses a great selection of artisan cafes and bars that offer the perfect place to relax, meet friends and soak up the creative vibes of the city.”
It is a sad reflection on today’s recession-afflicted society that the store closed its doors mid-September; although Nadia is adamant that it will only be a matter of time before she opens her next store space. “I think online retail is a wonderful addition, allowing you to purchase from all corners of the globe but I’m always happy to seek out or stumble upon a beautiful little shop and see the products and setting for myself”, Nadia pondered when asked if she thinks that the future of retail is online.
One thing which strikes me about Nadia’s work is that she doesn’t adhere to seasonal trends, instead producing vintage-inspired, beautifully printed designs that will be loved for life. When asking where she draws inspiration from, my attention was drawn to the simple sensibility that when purchasing a garment, one should think about the longevity of that piece and whether it will stand the test of time: “If I am honest, I feel a little exhausted by fast fashion and chasing the next trend. Perhaps I’m just getting old but I love finding a garment or item and thinking about how much I will love and enjoy it for years to come.”
Inspiration instead comes from a fusion of the past and the present and certain design elements that catch Nadia’s eye. “I’m currently obsessing over Modern Japanese designs with clean lines and fun silhouettes developed through experimental pattern cutting,” she told me. “I also don’t think I will ever tire of classic vintage fashions from the 1900s, so there will always be a vintage inspired element to what I create.”
Prints are obviously one of the most important factors of Nadia’s creations. From colourful ladders to delicate rain drops and intricate flowers, Nadinoo uses striking Liberty print cottons that perfectly complement the clean silhouettes of her designs. I asked if Nadia would ever consider collaborating with a print designer and was delighted to learn that she is currently developing a new range of prints with talented illustrator Genevieve Godbout who illustrates children’s books. “She is a huge fan of Nadinoo, so understands our consumer and the look that we are trying to achieve. We have teamed up with a local print house to digitally print our fabrics onto soft cotton woven fabrics”.
The fusion of such streamlined silhouettes with punchy prints has made Nadia a name to watch amongst a herd of designers who prefer to play it safe and offer the same regurgitated trend-led styles. She has created beautiful spaces, both online and in the Craft & Design centre that allow platforms to showcase her talents.
It makes you proud that she’s a Manchester girl.
Follow Nadinoo on Instgram: @nadinooclothing
All photographs my own, with the exception of the first photograph, courtesy of Nadinoo.