Don’t make Nina McLemore mad. She just might do something about it.
Fed up with the fashion industries perceived disinterest in outfitting successful, mature women over 40 in professional attire as well as fine clothing that did not come with an outrageous price tag, McLemore came out of retirement to start her own business featuring a sophisticated collection catering to this oft-overlooked demographic.
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“I did not think the apparel industry cared about these women," she says. "The industry seems to be trending toward either capturing the high-end international market with designer brands that are extremely expensive or they are marketing to a more 'millennial' consumer. I got mad. What people see in the fashion magazines do not represent the people I know…women who want to be taken seriously for who they are, their professional accomplishments, and for what they have contributed in their communities.”
McLemore’s recommendations for a successful corporate, professional, entrepreneurial woman:
• “Take the hard jobs. Demonstrate that you can deal with tough challenges.You can face them, act, and make decisions.”
• “Learn more about finance and speak in financial terms using hard numbers. I learned that men understood this better and took me seriously.”
• “Have a sense of humor…you can use humor in an effective way to diffuse tension to stay on task and find a solution.”
• “Demonstrate that you are serious about your career. In all fields, women are perceived as more likely to take time off to be with families or even leave the corporate world…make sure people think you are there for the long haul.”
• “If you want to succeed in business you have to dress seriously. If you don’t dress seriously, you won’t be taken seriously.”
McLemore will be the keynote speaker at Palm Springs Life's third annual Women in Business Awards luncheon, presented by SBEMP Attorneys, starting with a reception at 11:30 a.m. May 5 at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage. The event will celebrate the desert’s finest female business leaders with McLemore focusing on issues women face for advancement in their careers, such as position inequality, pay inequality, and how to get to the CEO level.
Already known as a fashion industry leader, McLemore, former founder of Liz Claiborne Accessories, used her creativity, industry savvy, and business acumen to grow her name brand into 14 stores with representation in exclusive locales (her boutique on El Paseo has shared tremendous success), the internet and better specialty stores.
Her, chic, simple, modern, and timeless creations are appropriate for business, casual, and evening affairs, and sport bright colors, employ beautiful fabrics, produce tremendous fit, and showcase impeccable style. Her brand is also manufactured in New York, where she can watch the production closely.
“I think if somebody asked me to describe ‘what you are’ with one word, I would say, ‘Merchant,’" she says. " I have a very good sense of what people want and need.”
McLemore is also a champion for creating economic independence for women. Her company has donated approximately $250,000 toward advancing women’s careers, children’s charities, the arts, health and educational organizations.
Women in Business Luncheon, 11:30 a.m. May 5 at Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage, 68900 Frank Sinatra Drive, Rancho Mirage. Tickets are $75 per person; $650 for a table of 10. RSVP to Palm Springs Life: 760-325-2333, ext. 202.