“I am from Mississippi and I really know the South and I know how women like to dress,” the Hazlehurst, Miss., native said. “Dressing well is much more important in the South.”
McLemore is known for creating clothing for businesswomen as well as those she calls the “community professional” — women who serve on boards, travel and are socially active. She has dressed notable women such as DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman, Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen and PBS journalist Gwen Ifill.
“There is a void in the apparel industry of clothing for women who are professionals and executives who need not to wear men’s suits but something people can be taken seriously in when they walk into a meeting,” McLemore said.
She designs items women can wear to work, in casual settings or for fancy events. McLemore said the use of color, the fit of the clothing and the quality of materials sets her line apart from others.
“We’re known for color,” she said. “There’s just been a lack of color in the market. Black has become so ubiquitous, certainly at the designer level, so women just love the fact that we have color, which is very flattering on people.”
Marcia Bansley, an Ansley Park resident and the retired executive director of Trees Atlanta, is a customer who appreciates the look of McLemore’s line.
“Nina is fabulous. She’s really got a good sense of color,” she said.
Bansley said she is “totally thrilled” there is now a Buckhead location for the store.
“These clothes are going to transform the business community of Atlanta for the women,” she said. “I think this is wonderful for Atlanta, and people are going to start trooping up here fast.”
McLemore uses lightweight, natural fabrics, which she said are especially ideal for women battling hot weather in the South. Sizes range from 0 to 18, and prices range from $150 to $895. She said the target customer is about 40 years old.
In addition to the new store, the company makes use of a direct-sell approach.
“Almost half of our business is done by women who sell the collection privately in their homes,” McLemore said.
Though the store held a soft-opening last week, a big grand-opening celebration will be planned for sometime in the fall.
Nina McLemore Boutique
110 E. Andrews Drive, Buckhead