If we could describe Lagi Nadeau in one word it would be focused. She knows exactly who her customer is, what that customer wears and where she wants to be in the future. But this is only half of the battle, in order to make it in the fickle fashion industry. The other half? Hard work. Add talent and attention to detail, and you’ll have a recipe for success — which is precisely what Miss Nadeau is cooking, and why collection after collection she continues to gain support from customers, peers and the media alike.
Lagi Nadeau is definitely a designer you should know.
Nadeau’s aspirations for the world of fashion were inspired by her grandmother, who has nurtured the young designer’s affinity toward the arts from a young age.
“My grandma played a huge role in the path that I’ve chosen,” Nadeau said. “Ever since I was young, her Christmas gifts or birthday gifts were an art supply of some sort, and then she would teach me how to use them.”
With the support of her family, Nadeau graduated the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, which later lead her to coveted assistant designer jobs at Tahari and Ammara. After five years in busy NYC, Nadeau decided to return to her Midwestern roots and start her own label based in Chicago, while also be a designer in residence at the Chicago Fashion Incubator.
“I really enjoyed working in New York. The Garment District is so small but so much happens there for the fashion industry,” she said. “I love both New York and Chicago, and I see benefits of working in both cities, but Chicago is really excepting of new designers. There’s so much inspiration from architecture, museums… I feel I can breathe a little bit better.”
That’s not to say that Nadeau has severed her relationship with New York. She has a showing room there, and uses it primarily for sales. A smart and savvy move for such a young designer. We told you she is focused.
But let’s talk about her designs. One of the most distinctive features of the Lagi Nadeau brand is that the collections strike the prefect balance between high-end sophistication and edge, enhanced by the designer’s use of luxurious fabrics and incredible detailing.
“I often times use textures, prints, color. That’s just what I naturally gravitate toward,” Nadeau said. “A lot of times the fabric comes from Europe. I focus on hi-quality fabrics and I love combining different textures.”
Combinations that meet her customer’s needs to a T. Nadeau knows exactly who her client is and how to design for her.
“The Lagi Nadeau girl is somebody very confident in herself and her style. She is in a good place in her life where she has an established career and personal life as well. She really loves playing with clothing; she loves timeless pieces that reflect the trends of the moment but is not so trendy, where you can only wear it for that season.”
She added, “Those are the points I likes to keep in mind when I design. The different events that happen in her life – what she needs for work, what she needs for going out to dinner with her friends, going to galas and events. So I try to just create a full story behind each season, where she has casual to dressier pieces that she can mix and match and play with.”
Nadeau’s affinity toward quality and texture and her deep understanding of her client, has been brilliantly displayed in the four collections she has designed since she started her label. Some of our favorite looks from her collections are in the slideshow below, so you can see why Langi Nadeau is a designer you should know. You can find her designs at Paul Stewart in New York and Chicago, Julia Farr in Washington D.C., or online at www.laginadeau.com.