NWA Fashion Week: Designer Night with N.A. Martin
Today I have the privilege of introducing you all to Nancy A. Martin, an attorney for the last 30 years and now up-and-coming designer in N.W.A . I drove up to her studio off the Bentonville square last Wednesday afternoon to see what she is designing and to talk to her about her upcoming show on Designer Night for NWAFW. When she greeted me at the door, I was instantly struck by her regal beauty and chic style. I hoped in this moment that some of her chic would rub off on me. She is southern and chic, which I think it is safe to say, (as of late), is a rarity. She welcomed me into her studio with a Perrier and showed me around the mid-century bungalow. With white walls and original hardwood floors, it seems perfectly fitting for a designer's space to dream and create. In the middle of the room are two clothing racks with Nancy's pencil skirts (#nampencil) vibrantly hanging. In the simplicity of the room, I was drawn to them immediately. As I combed through them admiring the fabric and craftmanship, I knew these skirts were something special. After snapping a few photos, we sat and talked about Nancy's ambitions and goals, and her reason for starting a clothing line while continuing to practice law and having just turned 60. She is so inspiring, I am sure I could have listened to her for hours. It reminded me of the importance of following your passions and embracing the Renaissance woman in all of us. Darcy Munoz: What inspired you to start designing pencil skirts? Nancy Martin: I have always loved fashion and the classic pencil skirt style. It is one that has stood the test of time and is flattering to all women. I have not been able to find one with a great fit and a reasonable cost. Therefore, the process began in an organic way. I am thrilled with the design, fabric, fit and cost I have to offer, as well as the fact it is made in the USA. DM: How would you describe your skirts, and what would you want other women to know about your product? NM: The fit is designed for all women. The wide waistband, the tailoring of the skirt, the 25”-length all melt together to make for one fabulous skirt. I also use the best fabrics I can find. Because of this, I do small runs of each fabric and once this skirt sells out, it is replaced with another fabric. So in a sense they are very exclusive, as the fabric is not duplicated. DM: What makes you feel like your best, most confident self? NM: When I know I look great from head to toe, then I have confidence about the image I want to project. I think all women aspire to this. Like I told you, these skirts just make you feel feminine and sexy. Since I have been designing the skirts, I have given up all my other skirts and only wear these. They suit my lifestyle. I can wear one to Court and then wear it for dinner. The versatility of the skirt makes fashion a non- issue. DM: What advice would you give other women about their style and living a confident life? NM: Wear what you like, dress for you and your body type. Learn to appreciate your size. If you please yourself, you will be able to please others. Try to create a look that you like and stay with it. Just because a fad comes in style, if it is not right for you, let it go and move to the next one. Or another way to stay current, as they do in Europe, is to invest in basics and add a trendy scarf or accessory. If you have a look that suits you, then stay true to you. You will always look good because you are comfortable in your own skin. Grow old gracefully and embrace it by being aware of age appropriateness. Nancy had me try on one of her pencil skirts and luvvies I must be honest, it was absolutely amaaazing. This skirt has the perfect stretch, hugging in all the right places truly making you feel "feminine and sexy," all the while being extremely comfortable. Nancy told me that her show for Designer Night is inspired by the versatility of the skirt. The day-to-night, season-to-season wearability of this skirt, makes it a closet staple and a huge selling point. Aside from designing the #nampencil, Nancy is designing some beautiful scarves seen hanging above. She explained that she believes "a good designer should perfect one great piece before they embark on an entire line." She is also passionate about her skirts being manufactured here in the U.S.A. as expressed on her blog: "We are encouraging people to buy at least one American Made product. We here at NA Martin strongly believe in the concept of made in America. All of our clothing is manufactured in the United States." I think this is a luvvly challenge we should all get behind. You can currently purchase a N.A. Martin Pencil Skirt by appointment at the N.A.Martin Studio, online at www.namartin.com, and the locations listed below. Grand on Oak, Conway AR. Klothes, Bentonville, AR Town and Country, Fayetteville, AR Women’s Exchange, St. Louis On Wednesday March 5th, 5pm - 8pm Nancy is opening up her studio (207 SE A Street in Bentonville) to the public to show and sell her skirts and feature local artists, Kathy Thompson and Cindy Arsaga. Buy you tickets now (before they sell out) to see N.A. Martin and others on Designer Night.