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Fashion maven Lepore springs forward with teen clothing for J.C. Penney stores

By Guy D'Astolfo

Friday, January 25, 2013


A new collection by international fashion designer — and Youngstown native — Nanette Lepore was rolled out at a launch party Thursday night in New York.

The clothing line, dubbed l’amour nanette lepore, is designed for teen girls. It will be available exclusively at J.C. Penney stores beginning in February.

Lepore’s inspiration for the collection came from her teenage daughter.

“Because my muse is my amazing daughter Violet, the l’amour nanette lepore brand will embody the energy and vitality of her generation,” said the designer in a statement about the launch.

At New York Fashion Week in September, Lepore ended her show by taking her daughter’s hand and strutting down the runway with her.

J.C. Penney sought Lepore as a partner in the retail giant’s campaign to revitalize its image.

The l’amour nanette lepore brand will be one of more than 100 in-store shops and attractions designed to revolutionize the chain store.

“We’re building a merchandise offering that will be unlike anything available in American retailing today,” said Michael Francis, president of J.C. Penney, in a statement. “We will be working with the most influential designers in the business, like Nanette Lepore, to entirely redesign the J.C. Penney shopping experience around a series of distinctive brand environments. We’re thrilled that Nanette Lepore is one of the first designers to join us. Her style is easily recognizable, highly sought after and much adored.”

New items in the l’amour nanette lepore line will be added every month in stores and online at

Lepore is pleased that her new fashion line is part of the changes at J.C. Penney.

“As J.C. Penney evolves, I can’t think of a better retailer to bring this brand to life,” said Lepore. “Soon, every young fashionista will have the opportunity to add a little l’amour to her wardrobe.”

Lepore said her collection reflects her daughter’s girly teenage style, but is seasoned with a hint of feminine sophistication. It includes “flirty” dresses and casual sportswear designed for 13- to 19-year-olds.

Known for her bold colors, evocative prints and signature silhouettes, Lepore has become one of the leading names in contemporary American fashion and has shops in major cities across the world.

Her designs are worn by many celebrities, including Michelle Obama, Nicki Minaj, Scarlett Johansson, Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen and Kristin Chenoweth.

The New York-based Lepore is a graduate of Youngstown State University and the New York Fashion Institute of Technology.