Gina La Morte is a Celebrity Fashion Stylist turned Fashion Activist who wanted to use her fashion experience for good by helping women and children get saved and transformed out of the human trafficking trade. Known for her design aesthetic of modern bohemianism, La Morte created a socially-conscious fashionable lifestyle for the modern woman in 2008 when she was founder and Editor in Chief of Boho magazine. Boho was an Aveda award-winning publication that was founded on the principles of staying stylish while still living a sustainable and socially-conscious life.
La Morte’s experience as a Celebrity Stylist for magazines like People Stylewatch and retailers like Nordstrom have always supported her vision of fusing fashion and philanthropy. Her first fashion collection, TRADE by Gina La Morte is a continuation of that socially conscious story of combining her passion for giving back with her love of styling that can translate into what real woman want; to make a difference in the world and remain stylish while doing it.
Full Name – Gina La Morte
Current Title/Company: CEO, Designer TRADE by Gina La Morte
Educational Background: Fashion Institute of Technology, NY, Paris, London, Milano
Please tell us, what was your first job and how did you land that position?
My first job was at the GAP at 34th and Broadway. I was recommended by the Regional VP because I wanted to style the windows and asked them to give me a shot.
How have your designs evolved since your first sketch?
They have become more free flowing and feminine. Less conformed, more transformed.
What have been the biggest challenges or obstacles you’ve faced in your career and how were you able to overcome them?
My biggest obstacle has been getting over the frustration of someone not working in excellence or at the level you would like them to, and therefore delaying your production or product. I believe I can accomplish anything, but not everyone else believes that. The key is to keep moving and find solutions, instead of taking someone’s no for an answer. There is always a solution and I am typically the person to find it.
How did you learn the ins and outs of owning and operating your brand?
I was a Fashion Stylist for Nordstrom for a couple of years, and have always worked for fashion companies in the height of their successes so I felt like I was always getting an inside view of how a brand(from magazines to retail) operated. In the end, I learned possibly every aspect of a brand from design, branding, pr, marketing, customer service, production, fashion shows, editorial, tv, and philanthropy. I worked on every side of a brand, at one point or another.
As a business owner, how do you achieve a work/life balance?
That’s a learned skill. I have been a social entrepreneur for over 10 years and realized you can either kill yourself slowly overcompensating trying to achieve building a company where everyone relies on you, or build a team around you with individuals who know your brand so well they execute with excellence so that you can rest in knowing you were born to do what you do, realizing at the end of the day things will always get done. No one ever dies and wishes they worked more, but they do wish they lived more. Making time for your spirit, adventure, nature, family, and friends is the only way. In the end, what you ultimately are doing is for someone else, but that will never happen if you don’t keep your own life in balance.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Creating. Visioning. Pioneering. Getting inspired and translating that vision into something tangible for business. LOVE that part.
What is a typical workday like for you?
Every day is different. There is no 9-5. When you are creative that doesn’t turn off. Typically though, it’s being in our studio with the team, juggling lots of business with creative.
Working on the collection, what’s next, what’s inspiring me, how can we help people?
Combining those interests, solving those problems. Some days is looking for new materials, another day it’s selecting models, another day it’s finding the right charity to partner with.
Best moment of your career so far? So far?
I suppose attending the Academy Awards.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t think you’re fat when you are a size 0. Don’t believe that lie that you are too busy to live out your dream when you have no children.
Go-to coffee order?
Skim decaf bone broth Vanilla Latte
If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be and what would you order?
Mother Teresa and we would have tea.
Best advice you’ve received?
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Moments become memories, enjoy life.
Who would play you in the movie of your life?
Funny you asked that because I know for sure, 100%, that Nancy Meyers would produce, direct and style my life’s movie. Playing myself though? Gal Gadot or Anne Hathaway.
The Nolcha Shows are a leading award-winning event, held during New York Fashion Week for independent fashion designers to showcase their collections to a global audience of press, retailers, stylists and industry influencers. Over the past seven years, the Nolcha Shows have become established as a platform for discovery and have promoted cutting-edge, innovative fashion designers through runway shows and exhibitions.
The team at Chic Galleria is thrilled to collaborate again with the designers featured at the Nolcha Shows, September 7 –12, 2017. We look forward to showcasing these talented designers and attending their shows this fall. — Beth Anderson, Founder and Senior Editor, Chic Galleria