In a bi-weekly series, we’re interviewing female executives, founders, CEOs—basically, boss ladies—on their “power suit” a.k.a. the outfit they wear every day for easy dressing to conquer whatever the job throws at them.
As the Creative Director of Kate Spade New York, Nicola Glass oversees all of the brand’s product categories from ready-to-wear and accessories to home decor and bedding. Glass joined the company in 2018 (prior to this, she was at Michael Kors) and since then, has produced three successful runway collections—and counting.
Her most recent lineup, spring 2020, took place in an intimate garden at New York Fashion Week, where she showed a brilliant array of floral dresses, buttery leather pieces, and vibrant-colored handbags.
“One of my first jobs out of college was with Gucci,” she says. “There I was designing handbags and jewelry, so I think this background has continued to serve me well. It gives you an acute sense of detail.”
This eye for detail, plus years of expertise as a designer, has given Glass all the tools she needs to stay true to the brand’s whimsical DNA while also moving the brand forward, enticing a fashion-oriented crowd. One notable fan of the brand is Pippa Middleton, who donned this floral blue dress for Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding back in May 2019.
“None of us had any idea Pippa would wear that dress to the wedding,” says Glass. “She bought that dress herself, so sometimes you never know when or if they will even wear it. Everyone was thrilled when that photo came out of course. I thought she looked beautiful and it was an exciting moment for the team here.”
Pippa is one of many famous faces who can be found in Kate Spade New York. Glass’s runway shows are always packed with editors and stars alike, including Emma Roberts, Sadie Sink, and Emmy-winner Julia Garner. Glass designs clothes that millions of women love to wear, but what does she personally put on when she heads to the office? Yes her wardrobe is filled with Kate Spade New York goodies—I don’t blame her—but, here, she also divulges her vintage-shopping addiction and how her work and weekend uniforms differ.
Her Morning Routine
“Two mornings a week I work out with a trainer, which is important for me because it sets the tone for the day. The other mornings, I get up around 6:30 a.m. and walk my son Flynn to the bus stop—his bus stop is two blocks from our apartment in Dumbo, Brooklyn. We spend time together by having breakfast at a cafe nearby while he sits by the window to watch for the bus. Then I take the taxi into work for a quiet moment to myself, where I look over my schedule for the day and check my emails. I get into the office between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m then it’s usually back-to-back meetings with groups like our design teams, marketing/public relations teams, or the store design teams. No two days are the same for me.”
Her Getting Dressed Strategy
“I’ve always loved color and ever since I joined Kate, I’ve been even wearing more color than I am used to. I say for work, I do keep it a little more polished, but still comfortable and easy. I’m definitely more casual on the weekends, since I’m running after my son and trying to keep up with him on his scooter. For those days, I am more likely to have on a summer dress or something more relaxed.”
Her Work Uniform
“I don’t wear head-to-toe Kate Spade every day because I like to mix it up. If I am wearing the brand, I’ll either go for a dress that’s quite easy to put on or I’ll wear a silk/fun knit top with some more tailored pants. My style is always a mix of feminine and masculine. I don’t ever wear sneakers to work, so it’s a mix of heels and boots. Today, for example, I am wearing a shirtdress from our collection and it’s in this fun floral print. I’ll have a light blazer or jacket thrown over my shoulders if it needs layering. I also love denim as a fabric and I like it when the denim is slightly more tailored or unexpected, like a denim dress or more fitted denim pants.
For jewelry, I am always conscious of throwing on a few pieces before I walk out the door. I like to mix metals and wear pieces like studded leather bracelets or incorporate a belt into my outfit [as another form of accessorizing]. I love designers like Phoebe Philo, Ossie Clarke, and Dries Van Noten. I also tend to wear a lot of vintage pieces—I have this cream dress by Karl Lagerfeld from his Chloé era and it’s so easy to style. I have a person in Milan who DMs me Instagram photos of pieces, and L.A. is also a great place for shopping vintage.”
The Three Words That Describe Her Power Outfit
“Feminine, confident, and easy.”
“Someone once told me ‘it’s not who you are that is holding you back, it’s who you think you’re not,’ and that just always reminds me to believe in myself. Sometimes you have to do stuff outside of your comfort zone and just take that leap.”
If you love Glass’ colorful and polished work style, shop similar pieces.
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