Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Nanette produced her first couture look at the tender age of nine outfitting a neighbor in a floral bedspread, beaded choker and face paint. The girl posed in the family’s front yard behind a hand-lettered sign declaring Lepore, and thus began Nanette’s lifelong interest in fashion.
Sensing young Nanette’s entrepreneurial talent, her parents encouraged her creativity. After all, artistic innovation flourished naturally in a household headed by an abstract painter-father and a fabulously stylish mother of four. Road tripping on Route 66 with her bohemian parents each summer instilled in Nanette a free spirit and a taste for travel.
After completing her undergraduate studies at Youngstown University, she packed her bags and headed east to New York City’s venerable Fashion Institute of Technology. She aced her degree in design, married painter Robert Savage and set out to pay her dues in design studios around town.
However, Nanette knew she wouldn’t be satisfied until her creations bore her own name. In 1992, bolstered by a $5,000 loan from her dad to strike out on her own, Nanette set up shop in a penthouse office in the garment district. It quickly became an incubator for poets and painters who would bounce ideas off one another while stargazing on the roof.
Nanette designs in her atelier in New York City alongside her husband, Robert, who helms the business side of the worldwide brand as its President. Nanette enjoys a strong following among editors, style-makers and celebrities including Freida Pinto, Sharon Stone, Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Eva Longoria Parker, Scarlett Johansson, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and Abigail Breslin.
Nanette launched her newest fragrance nanette by Nanette Lepore and a line of luxe basics called oonagh by Nanette Lepore. She is currently collaborating with Joy Gryson on the launch of her handbag line.
There are eleven Nanette Lepore boutiques worldwide, including New York, Los Angeles, Bal Harbour, Chicago, Las Vegas, Boston, Chevy Chase, London, and Tokyo. Nanette resides in Manhattan’s West Village with her husband and daughter, Violet, age twelve.