What is your earliest design memory?
I've been altering my own clothes (I'm petite, regular length pants and jeans often run too long on me) with my mom's sewing machine since middle school. Professionally, I first took design classes at FIT during Summer of 2007.
Where do you find inspiration?
Growing up in New York, winters are often frigid and snowy. The ideal of being warm and comfortable without compromising aesthetics or having to wear excessive layers inspired the birth of VALNOIR.
What is the inspiration for your brand’s name?
“Valorem” means value in Latin - which we strive to bring to the cashmere market by being competitively priced compared to other luxury cashmere brands made with the finest cashmere in the world. “Noir” is black in French, which is my favorite color.
"To be able to support domestic manufacturing which is less than 3% of clothing made in the US today is a mission we firmly stand behind."
What do you consider to be the greatest motivation behind your work?
Unlike the bigger brands that offer cashmere - we work with family-owned factories in Los Angeles that have many years of knitwear experience. To be able to support domestic manufacturing which is less than 3% of clothing made in the US today is a mission we firmly stand behind.
Do you ever have creative blocks? If so, how do you overcome them?
Creativity is an organic process, there are certain activities that help stimulate my right side of the brain when it starts running empty. Hiking with my husband and dogs helps me unwind and reconnect with nature, which is a huge inspiration behind the brand and working with natural fibers. Also, I’m thankful my dear friend Dr. Deganit Nuur introduced me to the world of meditation! Meditation has changed my life in terms of stress management and mental blocks or any stagnant energy.
What would you like your brand to be known/recognized for?
Valnoir offers luxury quality cashmere pieces that are priced lower than our competitors. Additionally, we create one-of-a-kind stylish cashmere pieces in limited quantities, from the highest quality Italian yarn mills in the world such as Loro Piana, Filpucci and Cariaggi.
"Trust your gut when it comes to making executive decisions, despite what others will advise you to do with your company."
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve heard? And do you follow it?
Trust your gut when it comes to making executive decisions, despite what others will advise you to do with your company. I defer back to this when I am making difficult decisions.
How important is social media to your brand?
I’d say it’s pretty important — I love connecting with our customers via social media and answering any questions! Ever since COVID-19 hit, we streamlined our operations and it’s just myself and my husband running the company. He’s a tech guy so he ensures our site is running smoothly! Another aspect of social media that I enjoy is being able to collaborate with influencers who align closely with our values as a brand. I love connecting with like-minded individuals that share a love for sumptuous cashmere!
What is your favorite fashion film/show? Coco avant Chanel. Audrey Tautou is one of my favorite actresses of all time!
Do you have a favorite piece that you designed? I love how the Tech Hoodie is unisex and made with 100% Cariaggi cashmere — it’s super warm, breathable, and versatile. The zipper is sourced from Switzerland and zips all the way to the top!