TJA has been eying Norte Women for quite some time now through their beautifully curated imagery on Instagram. With Norte’s recent launch, I had a chance to speak to Ines Vieira, the founder of Norte and get to know more on who the Norte Woman is, and the pillars that Norte stand on. I felt so much joy while learning about the driving force behind Norte. The conscious craftsmanship, and sustainable ethos paralleled with beautiful quality design are indeed setting the mark for revolutionary forward fashion. Read the interview with Ines for a behind the scene look into Norte Women.
Name: Ines Vieira
Profession: Founder of Norte Women
What is your background in fashion?
As a child I had always wanted to study fashion design. I still have drawings of designs I made when I was 12 years old. However, after doing a summer course in fashion design at Istituto Marangoni in Milan when I was 17 I decided that I wanted to have a broader education and ended up going to Business School in Barcelona with the idea of doing fashion marketing. After some interesting marketing positions I ended up working as a buyer at a fast fashion retailer. I did not like it. I felt uninspired by the way collections were created, the negotiation process with factories, the condition in which the clothes would arrive from the factories and the general way of doing business. I think their business model is great and they create a lot of jobs back home in Spain and around the world. I admire what they have done a lot, but it wasn’t for me. That is when I started to think more seriously about creating my own brand.
What is the meaning behind Norte ?
There is an expression in Spain “ Perder el Norte “ which literally translates to “losing the North” and means to act in a disorderly or erratic manner. I chose that name because I believe that some aspects of the fashion world have somehow “lost their north” by encouraging over consumption of lower quality goods that harm the environment and clutter our lives.
My mission is to create the clothes that become the Norte of you wardrobe, the ones that are always there for you, the ones that stand the test of time and stand beyond fleeting fashion trends.
What was the driving force that led you to create Norte?
I wanted to create beautiful clothes that last, and to contribute somehow to little by little change the fashion industry so that it becomes more slow, sustainable and lasting.
How does Norte align with a sustainable brand, how and where are the clothes manufactured?
The clothes are made in different workshops here in Florida. When I go there and talk to the seamstresses I feel so inspired and motivated to keep going. Many of them used to work for bigger factories that closed in the late 80s and after being unemployed for a while they decided to keep sewing by themselves. They are super hard working and passionate about what they do.
The process has many steps, from pattern making, sample making, grading, cutting and manufacturing everything is made here, close to where I live in Miami so that I can supervise it.
We only use natural materials like silk, linen and organic cotton which will be used in future collections.
“My mission is to create the clothes that become the Norte of you wardrobe, the ones that are always there for you, the ones that stand the test of time and stand beyond fleeting fashion trends.” Ines Vieria
Where does your inspiration come from?
I am very inspired by the past, the way clothes used to be made. I used to love diving into my grandmother’s closet which was full of silks and other beautiful fabrics.
I also love observing the shapes and colors of nature to find inspiration.
Who is the Norte Woman?
The Norte Woman is independent, confident, she loves clothes and getting dressed but has many interests beyond fashion. She is not that interested in wearing the latest trends but prefers to invest in fewer higher quality garments.
She is usually busy, involved in many different projects and needs versatile pieces that suit her 9 to 9. She can be sexy and elegant at the same time.
What is the future vision for Norte?
Our vision is to keep growing, keep being able to support the local manufacturers as we do right now and offering women high quality sustainably made clothes that feel good and make them feel stylish. Our idea is to sell direct to consumer to be able to keep our prices lower and launch new styles at our own pace.
I love the idea of making clothes that are sustainable and lasting and are also colorful, stylish, that make the women that wear them feel their best.
How does your lifestyle align with the direction of Norte?
My idea when I started was to create something that would fulfill my dream of having a sustainable clothing brand but that I could do while I raise my son. I have done many jobs and worked long hours but, in this stage,, I wanted to be more available for him. Right now, Norte allows me to do this.
What feels most Joyful in your life?
My 9-month-old baby, my husband and my family in general bring me so much joy. Meeting with friends. Finding time for my myself, either to exercise, go for a walk, lighting a candle. Knowing that I have found a way of making a living while I support my community and the environment makes all the effort worth it and brings so much joy to my life.