Throughout history, tailored suits and jackets have most commonly been created for men. NORA, a sustainable women’s brand in Boulder, is altering the future of tailored jackets by designing women’s blazers with the same craftsmanship and integrity as a centuries-old atelier.
Building A Better Blazer
Though women’s blazers have gained traction as a stylish trend over the years, brands don’t always craft these jackets with such careful attention to detail. Typically, the materials used are synthetic and the sleeves are ill-fitting. Many interesting aspects of a man’s blazer, such as functional buttons and felt-lined collars, aren’t present in options for women.
“Today, your average brand selling blazers for women are checking a box,” Alicia Moore, founder of NORA, said. “It’s an offering, but it’s hardly their specialty, and it shows.”
In 2019, Moore set out to design a better blazer for women. However, she knew this couldn’t be accomplished using fast fashion practices. When Moore first conceived the idea for NORA, she shopped at trade shows and only looked at recycled buttons, natural fibers and sustainable materials for her blazers. She also decided to small-batch manufacture with a factory in the states to ensure workers get paid fairly and that the business could minimize its carbon footprint as much as possible.
On top of NORA’s sustainable efforts, the company also pays careful attention to every detail of each blazer they create, down to every button. Advanced skills and special machinery are required to assemble each blazer, which is made of dozens of individual pieces. NORA’s blazers are also designed with longevity in mind, which is why they focus on top-notch quality.
“I wanted to design a jacket that would stand the test of time and could be passed down to future generations or among friends,” Moore said.
The Confidence Project
Moore takes inspiration from many different places for her blazers. Since she takes an architectural approach to designing her product, she’s accrued inspiration from publications like Architectural Digest and Domino Magazine. Icons like Princess Diana and Diane Keaton have helped to inform the style of NORA jackets. She also takes notes from the roots of her craft by learning about old-school men’s suiting, designs and heritage.
“The result is a well-crafted, beautiful blazer that, just like magic, can transform any outfit,” Moore said. “I think our jackets justify whatever else you are wearing and make you look like you have it all together.”
By looking put together, NORA believes blazers have the potential to build confidence in the women who wear them. Therefore, NORA allocates $5 to a fund called The Confidence Project for every jacket sold.
“This fund allows us to make contributions to nonprofits and community partners who are committed to helping women build confidence,” Moore said. “We believe that confidence is the key to unlocking the future we want.”
Along with promoting a future for women’s confidence, NORA is also interested in expanding upon its product offerings. NORA is working on adding two new blazers to its collection, as well as silk scarves to complement their jackets. The company website has also been recently updated to highlight other labels and products that they support and believe would go perfectly with one of their jackets, including local jewelry designer Dante Perozzi.