Designer Nada Shepherd wants to take moms out of jogging pants and get them in tight jeans

Designer Nada Shepherd wants to take moms out of jogging pants and get them in tight jeans

At LG Fashion Week in March, insiders went mad for Nada, the eponymous womenswear line from Nada Shepherd. In a week where the passable is hailed as brilliant, Shepherd’s collection—its vision cohesive, the details clever—deserved the hype. It wasn’t her first runway foray (she’s been designing since 2004), but it was a breakthrough, snagging the attention of major stateside retailer Lord & Taylor. Her upcoming fall line is luxe and leather-filled, mixing a sharp-shouldered, lean-legged silhouette with feminine ruffles and quilted textures. Shepherd embodies such contrasts: she’s a polished, Hermès-belted uptown girl who listens to alt-rock in her Fashion District studio and pines for a tattoo. Here, the designer dishes about her major dos (earrings) and don’ts (jogging pants), and where she shops for standout accessories.

The designer inside her studio (Photo by Jenna Marie Wakani)

What’s inspiring your designs right now?
I’ve always been a rock girl, so that’s my sensibility. I have a lot of musician friends, like Fritz Helder and the Phantoms, and I like the way they mix things up.

How can people pull off all the leather of your fall collection if they aren’t a singer in a trendy band?
You have to balance traditional with rock and roll. Stretch leather pants worn with a white shirt, heavy metal accessories and killer heels—that’s quite a rock-chic look.

What’s your top seller?
It’s funny—one of the more blouse-like black tops, which I was just “meh” about, turned out to be what everyone wants. It just fits everyone. The black leather leggings are doing really well, too. And a lot of people are buying burgundy pieces like wrap dresses and capes, which is a nice surprise.

Do most people wear too much black?
Yes, but I’m guilty of it, too.

What’s your favourite colour?
Red, red, red. A nice, bright red—it suits me because I’m darker.

Is there one detail a woman should never ignore?
Earrings. I had really short hair at one point, so I started feeling like I always had to wear them. But I love all accessories—that’s where I get to have fun.

Where do you shop for accessories?
I go to Holt Renfrew for Marni cuffs. I love Celine shoes, but their clothing is way out of my price range. I like Donna Karan for more accessibly priced style. There are also so many great local accessory designers; Roslyn Griffith Hall, my go-to stylist, is doing her own jewellery line.

Are you craving anything in particular right now?

Actually, I want a tattoo on my wrist—a white one to cover up this scar I have. My husband won’t let me. But since my studio’s at Queen and Spadina, I can just go out and get one at lunchtime.

What’s your pet style peeve?
Jogging pants. I think they’re disgusting. Women should not leave the house in jogging pants. If you’re a hot mom, there’s no reason you can’t put on a nice tight pair of jeans.