Montreal Designer Profile: Nöla

Career Focus
Silvia Di Iorio
It has been nearly one year since the debut fashion show of Montreal designer Sofia Del Giacco. Her clothing line, Nöla, has gained much attention – and it’s just getting started. I met up with Sofia one night, a colleague and good friend of mine, for dinner and an interview. She was eager to begin discussing her rising success as well as her future plans.

Born and raised in Montreal, Sofia has always been interested in fashion. After high school, she enrolled into the fashion design program at LaSalle College, graduating in the spring of 2006. "I was inspired by my mother", she says of her earliest fashion inspiration. Having worked at a Mexx retail store for several years, she then went on to work in the design department in Mexx menswear for a year and a half. However, Sofia really wanted to pursue women’s fashion. So in January 2008, she packed her bags and headed to New York City for an internship at Betsey Johnson. She enjoyed the change of pace and learned a great deal from her time there. Although she loved it, she returned home after three months and was inspired to create her own line.

Nola designs

In March 2009, Sofia organized her first fashion show for Nöla at House nightclub on St. Laurent. The name Nöla came from a town near her father’s hometown in Italy. She didn’t really have a specific structure or theme in mind, but got inspired by a set of colors and fabrics. She says, "The collection is mostly made up of dresses. I tried to revolve it around black, white, and red fabrics." 17 outfits, to be exact, mainly cocktail dresses for Spring and Summer.

The collection was characterized by a mix of fitted and loose garments, asymmetrical dresses, and some bubble hemlines as well. I was backstage prior to the show, helping Sofia with minor tasks and watching as she paced back-and-forth to get everything just perfect. The end result? The models enjoyed wearing the clothes just as much as the audience admired them.

Nola design gold Nola Model orange

It took her 3 months to prepare for the show, in which 150 people attended. All garments were not only designed by Sofia, but she also created the patterns and assembled them herself. She felt like she was under a lot of pressure. "It was a challenge, but I knew I could do it", she says. And she pulled it off quite nicely, too.

What’s in store for the future of Nöla? Sofia asserts that "it’s still a work in progress." At the present time, the designer works for a well-established company for plus-sized women. She deals with day-to-day trends and sketching of garments. In her own time, she makes custom-made dresses for friends, family, and through word of mouth. She hopes to one day open up her first boutique in Montreal, and perhaps expand the Nöla line to jewellery and other fashion products. In the meantime, she plans to have more fashion shows, possibly as early as October of this year.

Nola designer

For more information on the Nöla brand, you may contact Sofia Del Giacco by email

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