I’m always inspired by women who manage to turn a lifelong passion into a career. It’s an accomplishment to be able to come up with an idea and then have the drive and determination to make your dream a reality.
Nora Minassian did just that when she created her stunning collection of women’s jackets.
Jacket Society was born out of Nora’s love of fashion and a need to fill a gap in the women’s apparel industry.
It’s only been a year, but already Nora has a thriving business. I love seeing her model her unique designs on her popular blog. Nora always looks fabulous, and there’s so much you can learn by studying her chic styling ideas. She’s got the look that many women 40+ are after. I recently chatted with Nora about her jackets, her success and what makes her a Fabulous After 40 Styleblazer.
Deb: Nora, What inspired you to become a jacket, designer?
Nora: I am a fashion designer by profession, I graduated from Otis College of Art and Design in 1988 and have worked in the fashion industry for many years, and I even had my own label called Nora Minas which was a full collection at some point.
This time, around I wanted to do something smaller and more specialized. I decided to go with the jacket category for a couple of reasons; first I love jackets, second there are not many companies that specialize in jackets, and I think there is a gap in the market for great specialty jackets for women.
Deb: When you sit down to design a new jacket, what are some of the things you keep in mind?
Nora: First and foremost I think of my costumer, who is a professional woman with a busy life and family. The idea is to design great item jackets that any woman can throw on over jeans or black pants or skirt and run out the door. Jackets are a great piece to finish off your look and make your look more refined, put together and chic.
Deb: What’s your favorite jacket you’ve ever designed? Why?
Nora: It’s very hard to pick a favorite, as a designer every piece is a special piece you create. Personally, I love blazers, and I wear a lot of them, so I am always drawn to them like our Madison or Haley jackets. But I have to say I love our new Monterey and Napa Boucle Moto jackets. They are a great item piece for fall, and I like that they are a different and unexpected way to do a Moto jacket.
Nora is wearing the Napa Moto jacket.
Deb: Fashion trends tend to be recycled every few years. What is one trend you hope never returns?
Nora: I guess I can say that I have never been a big fan of the grunge look. I just don’t understand it or relate to it. It is a complete opposite of what I like in fashion which is a classic look with a modern edge.
No grunge here! Nora looks perfectly polished in a pencil skirt and the Chelsea jacket.
Deb: How has your approach to fashion evolved/changed since becoming a forty-something?
Nora: As you get older your body changes, and you have to change your look accordingly. This does not mean your sense of style has to change. I just think more about shapes that flatter my figure, rather than just covering a trend. There are certain pieces like miniskirts or short shorts that I won’t wear any more. But the core of my sense of style has not changed.
Do you have a signature look? For example, would a friend say “Oh, you know Nora. She’s the one who always wears ___________________.
I think I have to finish that sentence with “jackets”. I have been told, “I always wear great jackets”.
Deb: You always look great on your blog. Are there days you wake, look in your closet and are at a complete loss for what to wear or which pieces to put together? If so, how do you overcome it?
Nora: First of all thank you so much for that compliment. Currently, I only do one personal styling story a week for the blog, so a lot of thought and work goes into each story. There are many days that I am at a loss as to what to wear. My “go to” solution is that I always try to add a third component to the outfit. It is usually a jacket or vest, but it could be a scarf or jewelry, something to pull your whole look together and give you a finished and personalized look.
Deb: As a designer and a fashionista, what is one piece of fashion advice you would offer women over 40?
Nora: Know your body shape and what pieces and proportions flatter it. Proportions are so important in knowing how to put an outfit together to get the best results. If you have to work with a styling expert a couple of times to figure this out, it will be worth your while.
Deb: You live in LA where the seasons more or less blend. How do you keep your outfits fresh and constantly evolving when the seasons don’t offer you many opportunities to do so?
Some of the components that change for me are:
- The color palette, I tend to wear more fall like colors especially what’s trending for that season.
- I wear mostly boots or booties instead of sandals.
- I use a lot more scarves.
Deb: Nora, Thank you so much for stopping by to say hello to my Fabulous After 40 readers. Your jackets are stunning!
You’ll find Nora’s jacket collection and other looks modeled by Nora at her blog, Jacket Society. Be sure to check it out!