A conversation with our director and co-founder, along with a Q&A and look forward at what 2024 means for her and NOVO.
NOVO - "The Why"
Hello from me and firstly, thank you for taking the time to read this, as we have so much to talk about and I hope this series helps you better connect with us as a brand.
Now this is always a question I love being asked and simple put; NOVO exists to combat fast fashion and support customers in slowing down impulse purchases and overconsumption. We do this by creating timeless, elevated wardrobe staples which last a lifetime, because they’re made of the highest quality fabrics. For example our silk and cashmere bodies which are 85% silk and 15% cashmere.
What is the origin of NOVO?
‘NOVO London’ was first established in 2014 by two best friends, who built the business based on woman's occasion wear pieces.
After a change in ownership in 2019, by myself and business partner, we took the opportunity to rediscovery our direction and rebrand. This has lead us to where we are today; NOVO is an evolution of what was once ‘NOVO London’. A brand centered around investment pieces made for the modern woman, seeking a timeless & premium wardrobe.
Where are our pieces made and designed?
We hand design everything in-house in London. Every piece that we design goes through a rigorous sampling process which is carried out by the founder herself. We only release items that we 100% love and know that you will too. We take into consideration quality, fit and fabric, so that not only do you look amazing when wearing NOVO but you also feel it.
We have an eye for detail and it’s imperative that our items are unique to us, as you’ll notice from the NOVO embroidery incorporated across every piece in our range.
We predominantly manufacture in Turkey, where we have a fantastic direct relationships with our manufacturers. We regularly them visit to discuss future collections and designs, to ensure a seamless transition from sketch or CAD through to creation.
How is NOVO sustainable?
For us it’s important to be as sustainable as possible and we’re always looking for ways to improve our carbon footprint. We use the best quality fabrics with the intention they last a lifetime, as well as conscious to reduce the amount of waste during production. The premise of NOVO is to move consumers away from constantly chasing trends and to encourage them to adapt a slower based approach to fashion, which is based around more considered purchases. We encourage thinking about cost per wear when purchasing and ensure you get the most use out of your pieces. Rather than purchasing something that is ‘on-trend’ and worn once which decreases its value.
Additionally our packaging is recyclable and we are looking at ways to improve further. Similarly, having our manufacturers in Europe reduces our carbon footprint when it comes to shipping bulk stock to the UK.
Are you an extrovert or an introvert? And, what do you get up to in your free time?
I’d consider myself to be both, I would say that I love my own company and really enjoy time alone however I thrive when around other people. For example, in my free time I love going to the gym and staying active. I rarely sit still, I enjoy being on the go and this includes dinner with friends, events etc. I’m a yes person! I’m always down for trying new things.
How is NOVO an extension of you? And, how do you think that NOVO represents you?
I’m very classic, personally I’m not a fan of big prints or big flash colours or big bold logos. I like to be very minimal and timeless and I love the fact that with NOVO you can wear all the items together and mix and match to make different outfits, it’s perfect for when you’re packing for a long weekend as the pieces are so versatile and can be styled in so many ways which ties into the minimalism theme.
How did you get into fashion?
When I was 13 I watched the Devil Wears Prada. I was obsessed. I wanted to be Meryl Streep and from that moment on I knew I wanted to do something in the fashion industry, which led me into modelling at 13 years old. After modelling for a number of years I wanted to have more control of my life,, I always knew that I wanted to have my own business (preferably in fashion) given I went to the Fashion Retail Academy in London where I studied merchandising and buying.. Life has a strange way of working itself out and that’s how I ended up where I am (@ NOVO).
What fashion trends do you foresee in 2024?
As we’re a slow fashion brand we do what we can not to follow trends, we keep things classic and timeless so that they stand the test of time and last longer in your wardrobe. This means we don't overproduce, you don’t have to over purchase and therefore we're doing our bit so the world doesn't suffer as much.
What does ‘fashion’ mean to NOVO?
Fashion is an incredible way to let your personality shine through, clothes act as an extension of an individual. Not to mention that they’re often used as conversation starters. At NOVO we design clothes which can be styled in so many different, versatile ways but the end goal is to always ensure that you feel and look as good as possible.
Reinforcing our plans and goals for the year:
In 2024 we plan on going back to basics. We will always remain focused on our core range, ensuring that they’re of the highest quality as well as lasting a lastime.
That said, we are currently working on a new collection / new items. A little sprinkle of this and that everywhere. We can't say too much but keep your eyes peeled.
We champion female entrepreneurs and love working with other driven and ambitious women. We hope that this becomes a constant feature of NOVO in 2024 and beyond.
Stay tuned for more to come!
Thank you for reading and here's to 2024, lots of love Leanna x