Empowering women and saving the planet—there's little Misha Nonoo can't do, and she's doing it all for the girls

Misha Nonoo is the designer behind that button-down worn by BFF Meghan Markle at her first public appearance with Prince Harry at last September's Invictus Games. Rumour has it, she's the one who introduced the soon-to-be-married royal couple—and we're not surprised the future princess is a fan of Misha's.

The British designer has made a name for herself thanks to her progressive approach to fashion for the modern woman, and the initiatives she's taken to ensure a fair and empowering production process. We spoke to Misha about her latest collection, the women who inspire her and why sustainability matters. 

Tell us about the inspiration behind your new “Easy 8" collection 

The curated collection of timeless classics was created to take the guesswork out of dressing, allowing us to spend less time wondering what to wear and more time pursuing our passions. 

The "Easy 8" comprises just eight black or white pieces that are meant to be mixed and matched to create 22 different looks that transition seamlessly from 8am meetings to drinks and dinner at 8pm. 

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Who is the woman you design for?

Chic, sophisticated women who have a multi-faceted lifestyle but always want to look their best.

What was your decision behind “On Demand” production?

Seasonality was an initial motivator to sell straight to shoppers but sustainability was the biggest factor. As a brand, sustainability is at the core of everything we do. Products should be made if and when consumers desire them, ensuring that environmental waste is kept to a minimum.

We want to humanise the process of creating the clothes we wear, particularly as the fashion industry is the second largest industrial pollutant in the world. Through On-Demand manufacturing we also become less reliant on discount models as we don’t have any inventory.

We can also hold a greater size range, from a US 00 to a 14. It's a much more inclusive offering which we love.

Why was it important to you to choose a women-owned factory in China?

We wanted to find a factory that shared our values and ethical practices but that also understood what we were hoping to achieve with our on-demand model. After six separate factories bid, we opted for a very entrepreneurial Hong Kong-based factory owner, who was born and raised in New York City.

She got what we wanted to do and made our dream a reality. Due to the expertise of the factory team, we are able to cut, sew and ship a specific item within just five days  

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Favourite film directed by a female?

Wonder Woman. I couldn't resist the gloss of Patty Jenkins' production and the sheer inspiration of the character that is Wonder Woman.

Favourite film with a female lead role?

Meryl Streep in The Post is a recent favourite. It was clearly a struggle for Streep's character, Kay Graham, to deal with the conflict of handling personal relationships that came in the way of the exposé that would be a huge coup for the paper. I think that choosing our personal life or our professional life in black and white situations is something that we struggle with immensely as women. 

Favourite book by a female author?

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. Hands down one of the most beautifully written books I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

Who are your three women who inspire you?

Anne Wojcick—I have great respect for the enormity of her plan for DNA testing and how that can shape people's lives. Oprah—she understood how to create a brand long before anyone else and crafted a message for modern women that empowered them and instilled great confidence in the idea of individuality. And finally, Amal Clooney.

What is your biggest accomplishment to date?

In terms of business accomplishments, I would say tackling on-demand manufacturing. I am really enthused by delving deeper into sustainability and am very proud of what we have accomplished in eliminating waste with this exciting initiative.

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