Meet the Designer: Nora Iknadossian
Meet our fearless designer Nora! She’s an accomplished designer with over 15 years of experience designing at brands such as DKNY, Joe Fresh, Ralph Lauren and more. Read more to learn her advice on getting into the fashion industry and what she’s most excited about in the future of fashion!
What made you get into fashion design?
I was always interested in the individual aspect of expressing oneself. I am a twin, so I have a feeling that’s why I always wanted to make sure I was my own person. Growing up, my sister and I were always slumped into one person. I hated that. So, I think that’s when I started to see things differently. I was also really into drawing. My mind always wandered off into space to create my own fantasy on paper. That’s where I was at my most comfortable. I had really bad insomnia as a child, so I would stay up all night while listening to music and just draw and draw and draw. I was especially interested in drawing portraits for some reason.
How did you get into fashion design?
Since I definitely knew that I was never going to be able to survive a “conventional” school, I decided to apply to art schools. I was accepted to Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. I didn’t know what to major in. I has my mind on Fine Art but in my gut I wasn’t 100% sold on that idea. I was invited to see one of the senior fashion shows they put on every year at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and I was floored by the beauty and incredible talent. I wanted to be part of that. That solidified my decision to major in Fashion.
What advice do you have for other women wanting to enter the fashion industry?
That’s a hard one. It’s not for everyone. I would say, you have to have your business and humble hat on. It is not all glamour and fantasy. It is a cut throat and extremely competitive industry. You have to be ready for a many, many different aspects that get thrown at you. You have to know it all! It’s business after all. But, if you are willing to take it all in and are strong enough to accept the highs with the lows, you can do it.
Who are some of your mentors throughout your life and how have they helped you?
I’ve had a couple of mentors that I am still in contact with. Some of them really showed me what hard work ethic is. Some of them also pushed my creativity to unknown territory that was very rewarding to experience.
What’s your life motto?
Ha! I don’t think I have one. It’s more like the way I live my life. “Don’t take things too seriously. In the end, it’s only fashion”.
What are some trends that you love in the industry today?
I appreciate that women's wear is opening its eyes to larger sizing. Growing up, I was always that chunky kid (I mean, I still am). It's about time women’s sizing exists after size 14 and it is so damn cute now. Larger sizes were always a second thought with really ugly shapes and patterns. Thank goodness the fashion industry is treating larger women like everyone else. It still has a long way to go. But hey, baby steps. As for trends. Denim has always been a timeless trend. It just gets better and better. And it looks good on everyone.
What do you hope to change in the apparel industry?
Less intimidation. Less sales people who hound you when you get to a store and judge you immediately. That makes me sick. That off-putting experience of shopping should not exist. Women are gravitating more towards online shopping because they get to try clothes on in the comfort of their homes. Although returning clothes sucks. But, I have to pick my battles. Also- the green revolution is very important to me. It should be important to everyone. Fashion is very wasteful. I love that many brands are turning to recycled fibers and using factories that are more eco friendly by using less water and air drying their fabric and garments. It’s incredible how many brands are genuinely focusing on this issue.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
It would be incredible for women to trust and believe in the Made to Measure avenue for clothes. Especially for a well fitting, elegant, chic, luxurious wardrobe. Not just something you can buy and throw away because it’s not a love anymore. Investing is clothing that can be worn for a long time because it was made just for you.
What inspired you for IXORA’s first collection?
For one, meeting Farah was definitely a main reason why I wanted to work with her. Her warmth, kindness and realness was really enticing. IXORA’s mission statement is something I believe in for the future of women’s wear. IXORA encompasses all of my feelings towards fashion. Made to Measure sizing. I mean, who doesn’t want that?! Sustainability by having custom suits for women with minimal fabric waste and less mass material consumption. That wouldn’t be the case with fast fashion and ill fitting clothing with super cheap fabric. I love how it’s giving the woman a personalized and special experience.
What are you excited most about the future of the fashion industry?
It would be a breakdown of what I have spoken about. Larger sizing for women with super cute style, great color, beautiful prints and amazing fit. Which is why I love what IXORA is all about. Sustainability with much less waste and a green consciousness. Staying clean and thoughtful for our planet.