Industry Insider: Noelle Reno of Z by Zandra Rhodes
Ever wonder what makes someone tick? Or how they got their inspiration? What about what they’re up to when they’re launching their line into a brand new market? Each week we’ll bring you one step closer to understanding the fashion industry with our one-on-one interviews. Last week, I managed to catch up with Noelle Reno, of Z by Zandra Rhodes, as she was beginning her expansion into the US market.
No stranger to the fashion industry, Noelle has been a part of the business since the age of thirteen when she began modeling for Elite.Â Fast forward on through to the new millennium, though, we find Noelle, not only in the UK, but also embarking on a new adventure – the founding of luxury cashmere line Degrees of Freedom, which garnered a strong celebrity following, including the likes of Paris Hilton and Victoria Beckham. However, in late 2008, Noelle announced her departure from the brand.
Through a mutual friend on the British Fashion Council, Noelle met with Zandra Rhodes, Britain’s most celebrated designer. The duo, after discussion, set out to launch a new line entitled Z by Zandra Rhodes, which not only highlights Zandra’s taste for prints, but also Noelle’s eye for young and fashion-driven shapes. Met with great reception last month at its launch in the UK, Noelle’s already busy at work expanding into the US market. Should you find yourself at Harvey Nichols, be sure to head up to the third floor where you will find yourselves in for a surprise. For the get-in-get-out consumer, the Z Machine offers a fast and easy way to shop. With the swipe of a credit card and the scrolling through of a touch screen, the product will be brought to you in its very own Z bag.
So when I met up with Noelle in the East Village in NYC, she was on already her third day of meetings with magazines and stores (let’s cross our fingers that the US buyers pick up the line!). For anyone that has hopped off any plane ride lasting more than six hours, you’ll be just as impressed as I was (trust me, you think you would get used to it, but you never really do – you’re always tired out much more than you’d expect). “I’m not much of a print person, but Zandra is, so you can definitely see her in the designs,” says Noelle, “but see the closer fitting silhouettes? That’s me. It’s about working together to find something that matches both our personalities, and we make a great duo.” Moving forward, Noelle seeks to infuse more knit and luxury cashmere-cotton clothing into the line so as to provide selection and luxury.
For those wondering what gets put into the Z Machine and what gets simply placed on the floor, well, that’s up to both the buyers and Noelle. “The decision for what you can purchase via the machine depends on what the buyers feel would work best on the floor and in the machine; I also offer my input on what has worked best for me in certain markets too,” explains Noelle.
And in spite of her wide array of experiences, the now 27-year-old Noelle admits to only now better understanding the benefits of social media marketing, which has boomed within recent years. With so many of her friends advising her on such, Noelle chuckled and vowed to get a Twitter account going once she got hold of her computer in the UK. What’s lovable about the young entrepreneur is her down-to-earth personality and willingness to try out new things. I mean, how many people think about something like the Z Machine in the store? Tons. But how many actually push for it and succeed? Check out your local boutiques and department stores and you’ll find the answer to be “zilch,” unless of course you head on over to Harvey Nichols.
Z by Zandra Rhodes is currently sold at Harvey Nichols and Matches in the UK. The price point of the pieces average 70Â£ to 90Â£.
For more information on the line and Noelle be sure to visit the website http://www.zbyzandrarhodes.com/
Images courtesy of Z by Zandra Rhodes