It's been just over a year and a half since we named Jordana Warmflash's line Novis a "Label to Watch," and she has more than delivered in the tight time frame.
Now nearing her fourth New York Fashion Week, Warmflash has found a way to make her young brand stand out on an overpacked schedule, no easy feat for a label barely two years old. "It's hard to stick out in the crowd when there's so many designers showing," she admits. "That being said, everyone is always looking for something new and exciting, so that really helps but I think it's sometimes hard to get people through the door."
And Warmflash's designs have done more than get people through the door: The line won the 2014 Ecco Domani award in womenswear after just two seasons, netting Warmflash a $25,000 grant to put towards her fall 2014 collection as well as a wave of new press. More than the prize money, the award puts Novis in the same category as past winners, like Prabal Gurung, Proenza Schouler and Alexander Wang, all of whom are now major players on the New York Fashion Week calendar.
"It really helped to position the brand with the recognition of the award," Warmflash says. "All of the past winners are really big names in the industry, so to be in that company has really been amazing."
Even bigger for the line has been some unexpected celebrity support from one of today's most watched starlets, Taylor Swift. First, the chanteuse was spotted out on the streets of New York wearing a Novis dress. "Everyone loves her, and it looks so amazing on her," Warmflash says. "She has such a beautiful body and she wears it so well."
But the major moment came at the 2014 Teen Choice Awards when Swift chose a matching crop top and skirt from the label. Warmflash says that she knew the outfit was in the running, but didn't want to get her hopes up -- so when Swift hit the red carpet, sending traffic to Novis's just-launched e-commerce site spiking in the process, it was an extremely pleasant surprise.
"The recognition is really important for the brand," Warmflash says, adding that the celebrity support helps drive both wholesale and direct-to-consumer channels. "I think the response has been really exciting, to see that more people now know about Novis and are excited about the development of the brand."
It's great momentum going into the spring 2015 season. Warmflash is working hard on the collection (she has just one full-time employee to help), which she explains is a continuation of sorts from her resort line. What you can expect: pop art-inspired bold prints and bright colors, jacquard fabrics and sculptural silhouettes, all done with the signature Novis play of texture.
The line will be shown at her Fashion Week presentation on September 5 at Industria Studios in Manhattan. "I think we'll probably graduate to a runway show some point soon, but I think a presentation allows the people who are coming to see the clothes up close and in person and to really appreciate the construction and the textures of the fabric," Warmflash explains.
Other things hopefully on the horizon for Novis include collaborating with other designers and adding accessory categories like sunglasses and handbags, but Warmflash isn't in any rush. "I think organic growth is really important," she says. So for now, it's all about riding out the latest wave of publicity and translating it into bigger sales.