Smith Travel BlogTravel tales and hotel news from the boutique hotel experts at Mr & Mrs Smith

We ask the questions: Nanette Lepore Q&A

Posted by Kelley Sullivan on February 28th, 2011

Fashion designer Nanette Lepore is known for her opulent fabrics and flirty, feminine silhouettes. At the tender age of nine, this dedicated fashionista was already outfitting her neighbours and vowed to create her own line. Lucky us: her low-key take on luxe is now splashed across glossy fashion covers and packing the closets of her celebrity clients – including Scarlett Johansson, Taylor Swift, Blake Lively and Glee star Jayma Mays.

We know you love her; that’s why, this month, we’re collaborating with Nanette to give our American readers a chance to win some of her fabulous fashions (plus an amazing three-night stay in Los Angeles) with our California Dreaming giveaway. She’s no stranger to glamorous globetrotting (there are Nanette Lepore boutiques in New York, Las Vegas, Chicago, Boston, London and Tokyo), so we grilled her for insider travel tips, too…

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What first inspired you to become a designer?
Nanette Lepore 2011 designsI loved to sew and make my own clothes. I was initially inspired to become a designer from making dresses from Indian bedspreads that I found at Pier 1.

Your Spring 2011 collection featured varied textures and colour – we love your glittering gold sequin mini-skirt (right) and the bold print maxi-dress (far right); what’s on your mood board for Fall 2011?
The mood for the season is celestial, astral, soft and sexy. Floating away to a far-off and sexy place… (Check out Nanette’s sketch, right).

Favourite hotel? What makes it so great?
My favourite hotel is L’Hôtel in Paris, the private underground hammam swimming pool is so amazing. And I think the hotel is haunted with sexy ghosts.

Each property in the Mr & Mrs Smith hotel collection is chosen for its individuality and personality; how did the uniforms you designed for New York’s 60 Thompson reflect the character of the hotel?
The dress I designed is modern, sultry and edgy – the perfect fit for the Thompson hotel’s young, sophisticated vibe.

We’re so excited about collaborating on the
California Dreaming giveaway with you – the winner gets a three-night stay in Beverly Hills, as well as $1,000 to splash on your newest range. What do you like most about Los Angeles? What do you do when you’re there?
Chateau Marmont hotel in Los AngelesI love LA, and try to go a few times a year. Shopping at the flea market and the great vintage stores on La Cienega, tacos at Pinches… there are so many fun things to do. I like visiting Robertson Boulevard where my store is located, walking on Abbot Kinney in Venice, and then dinner at Chateau Marmont.

Describe your ideal weekend away for us…
Definitely going to my beach house in Amagansett in the Hamptons. I like to have festive dinner parties on my deck. We go to the clam bar for lobster rolls and shop the antique stores in Sag Harbor. And I love taking a ride to Montauk for sunset cocktails at Navy Beach.

What do you never leave home without?
My sunglasses and a sexy, colourful bra.

Do you have any hotel hates?
I can’t stand scented rooms!

Where’s the most romantic place you’ve ever been?
The Amalfi Coast was the most romantic; but my husband serenading me in Galway Bay was the loveliest thing ever.

Where’s next on your holiday wish-list?
I’d love to stay at a luxurious hotel in the Bosphorus and a ride on the ferry…

A'jia Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey

Oh, then you must check out A’jia Hotel in Istanbul (above): it’s right on the banks of the Bosphorus, and you’d love its slick modern Ottoman design. It might even inspire a new Nanette Lepore collection! So, tell us about your corner of the world…
I live in New York’s West Village and can walk right outside my door to all of my favourite spots; I love walking to the boutiques on Bleecker Street and having one of  Magnolia Bakery’s amazing cupcakes. Aedes de Venustas, a perfumery on Christopher Street, is also one of my favourites. My neighbourhood also has fantastic restaurants such as Bar Pitti (+1 212 982 3300) on Bleecker Street, and Morandi on Waverly Place.

First thing you’d show a new visitor to New York?
The ice-skating rink at The Standard NY Hotel!

Tell us something we don’t know…
My own travel secret is that I love to arrive to my destination late at night so I can have a cocktail, go to sleep and then wake up ready to go for the weekend.

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Enter our California Dreaming giveaway now for your chance to win a three-night stay at the sleekly designed Thompson Beverly Hills hotel, plus $1,000 worth of Nanette Lepore clothes, and a copy of our round-the-world boutique hotel guide, The Global Shortlist.

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