Just in time for Mother’s Day, mother-daughter dynamic duo Violet and Nanette Lepore took a break from their hectic New York City life to fly to Houston for their second event with Recipe for Success at Tootsies. I had the pleasure of speaking with Nanette — aka the creative genius behind her bold, bohemian namesake line — beside the Hotel ZaZa pool the morning of the big event. Dive into our conversation, where she gushes about her 17-year-old daughter’s style, their fab family plans for Italy this summer and all the deets about her deep-rooted inspiration.
DOES YOUR DAUGHTER PLAY INTO YOUR INSPIRATION PROCESS?
Definitely. I always want to make sure she loves my [collection] as much as possible. She’s the one person who will look at me and say, “I don’t like that.” I’m always looking at her style. It’s interesting to see how another generation approaches clothing and how they dress — it’s very different from how we dressed.
TELL US ABOUT VIOLET’S LINE WITH J.C. PENNEY.
It actually came about naturally. She loves putting clothes together and making fun mixes. I love watching how she dresses herself, what she wears and what her favorite things are. There’s a nice ease to how you can do high and low items with that age group, because they’ve grown up with that whole “Chanel bag and Forever 21 T-shirt” aesthetic.
WILL DESIGNING BE PART OF HER FUTURE?
Actually, she really wants to be an actress.
DO YOUR OHIO ROOTS PLAY A BIG PART IN YOUR COLLECTION?
Oh yeah. My dad is an abstract expressionist painter, so I didn’t have a typical Ohio upbringing at all. The working class in Ohio was all craftsman, so my grandparents were craftsmen. Every house we had, every piece of furniture we owned was all handmade, and I took making things for granted. My dad was always splashing color everywhere. There was color everywhere, all the time.
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR 20-YEAR-OLD SELF?
You always find a way to get through, no matter how daunting things may seem. And change is always going to happen—never get too attached.
I have the most extremely crazy vacation planned in Italy in late June. We are going to travel with the family everywhere [Venice, Rome, etc.]. We are going to be traveling by boats, planes and cars.
ANYTHING ELSE OUR READERS SHOULD KNOW?
The Recipe for Success’ Fashion Gene Awards event tonight is the perfect match for me. I really want to get involved in food, farming and cooking. I’m convinced farmers are the new fashion designers — it’s the next big thing. So much farm to table, local eating and sourcing, and being close to family is so important … I couldn’t think of a more perfect event to pair with.