One of our favorite parts of any Fashion Week is always getting to know other designers who are showcasing their work. A couple weeks back at #NashFash we were lucky enough to bump into Chicago based womenswear designer Lagilelei Nadeau. (Her name means peaceful heavens in Samoan!) Her brand, Lagi Nadeau, creates authentic, feminine designs, handcrafted in the USA. We mentioned we would be hosting an Earth Day pop-up shop in her neck of the woods on 4/21, and her enthusiasm towards all things Chicago was incredibly contagious. Continue on to learn more about Lagi, and some of her favorite places in the windy city!
What drew you to begin working in the fashion industry?
My grandmother is an artist and has always been a huge inspiration to me, she's encouraged me to express myself through art since I was young. Through high-school and college it became clear that fashion was what makes me so excited, I love the design process and then seeing how people make each garment their own with their style.
How do you remain inspired?
I visit museums often and explore new places and buildings as much as I can. I keep my eyes open and am constantly snapping photos of color combinations, architecture, and visuals that I find beautiful.
Do you have any daily rituals, or are you energized by spontaneity?
I have different responsibilities so each day is very different from the next, but I tend to block out my creative time in the morning when I feel I'm at my best and then switch over to administrative type work in the afternoon.
What can't you get enough of right now?
Metallics! Unexpected pops of metallic, mixing metallic on metallic, I love it all!
What's the best advice you've ever received?
Fern Mallis attended Nashville Fashion Week this year and I loved hearing her advice to be nice. It seems obvious, but when things are moving fast, it's important to stay respectful and kind to others.
What do you love the most about Chicago?
The people! I've met so many wonderful and inspiring people since moving here 6 years ago, people who I think of as family. I love Chicago.
Where are your favorite places in Chicago to ______?
- eat brunch/girls day: Longman and Eagle especially in the spring/summer time to grab a seat outside and enjoy some great food and drinks.
- have dinner: Dos Urban Cantina, because they have delicious small plates so you can share and try everything.
- satisfy a sweet tooth: Margies in Logan Square, their homemade ice cream in classic flavors are so delicious.
- caffeinate: Intelligentsia for all the caffeine!
- grab a drink: The Whistler! The drinks are the best and they have live music or a DJ, there's no cover -it's one of my favorite spots in Chicago.
- have a date: Pleasant House Pub and Moody Tongue for dinner and drinks. The food is so great at Pleasant House and I love the decor. Moody Tongue has really flavorful beers and a cool atmosphere. They're both down the street from my new studio workspace in Pilsen and have become my go-to spots.
Where are some of your favorite places to shop?
I'm carried at Florodora in the loop and love their selection of independent designers. Michael, the owner, really spends his time to select and curate a beautiful store filled with special pieces and his team is so friendly. They have two sides so make sure to check out their shoes, clothing, and gifts.
9. What does a conscious consumer look like to you?
Someone who purchases with purpose and puts thought into where they spend their money. I don't like fast fashion and I'm happy that people are making an effort to know where their clothes are made, and that brands are being transparent about their production processes. People are researching the brands that they buy and investing in quality made pieces that will last while supporting businesses with good values.
What changes in the fashion industry do you hope to see within the next decade? As a designer, there's the pressure to constantly create something new and then the past season styles are marked as old. I love that our industry is always looking forward, but I hope to see less pressure to drastically mark down on previous styles at the end of that season.
Thank you, Lagi for sharing a little bit about you, and for recommending some of your favorite Chicago spots! If you’d like to see more of Lagi’s line, visit the website here, or follow @laginadeau on Instagram.
CHICAGO! We hope to celebrate Earth Day with you at The Robey Hotel this Saturday, April 21st from 11-4 for our sustainable spring pop up shop! Shop our new arrivals along with items from Norman Leigh Designs, Lindsay Lewis Jewelry, and Lena Rose Beauty. Youth & Yarrow is providing a spring blooms table, and the first attendees will receive free access to it! Enjoy complimentary sips and sweets from Social Sparkling Wine, I Heart Keenwah, and Pie Pie My Darling! 10% of all proceeds will benefit Anti Cruelty. We can not wait to catch up with you there!