Bela Shehu - Designer/CEO of NinoBrand

Bela Shehu - Designer/CEO of NinoBrand

There are very few people in Philadelphia who I admire for their freedom of art. NINObrand would be at the top ten of my list. The experience of her brand is exactly the dynamic between art and fashion that many consumers miss in corporate America. Not only did I have my own personal shopping tutorial with her but she invited me into her ideas of life. It was pretty remarkable to be able to have a conversation with a woman who possesses such freedom. When I first arrived I was already toning down from several other interviews my intern jammed into a day, so I would say I was flustered to say the least. I had previously been in the store during events but for the first time I got to experience the peace of the elements. It wasn't very long after that I realized I was having the same experience I give my customers. Bella began to dress me! I loved it. I was walking around in her garments. One skirt I tried on which I believe is very similar to the Francesca found on the website, was to die for. The entire store was filled with interchangeable, reversible, multi-function-able, multi-useful garments.

One top I tried on turned into a dress. HOW? That is exactly what I said when I saw the shirt hit the ground. It was incredible! During the course of the interview I began to ask questions. Bela, to say the least, is a veteran in Philadelphia with over 20 years in the game. She has designed since childhood. Bela was one of the original team members of Commonwealth Proper better known as the go-to spot for custom suits for men. Her energy is indescribable its like Bela is a peaceful powerhouse. She's driven by many elements of the world around her but mostly she rather create her own. Her pieces come in various color palettes and textures. All designed to fit the body type of the client. She also has a design studio in the store where the pieces are created and a team to keep her day running smoothly.

We spoke politics in Philly with regards to fashion. She and I challenged the concepts that exist and where the future stands for the idea of a reoccurring industry. I love this topic when interviewing artists because they are all so very different and it helps me to understand the perspectives of others. Industry is defined as an economic activity concerned with the processing of raw materials and manufacture of goods in factories. My condominium was actually converted from a hosiery factory that manufacture until the late 40's before the country sent goods overseas. This is one of many factories across the city, that are now abandoned or gentrified and once upon a time housed the leading juncture of fashionable goods across the country. At one time, we were the leaders of this country when it came to everything! Let's not forget we are the first city. It reminds me of this random tour I took in Olde City. I walked into this house that was hundreds of years old. The mechanics of living were obviously very different but one thing stood out to me that never changed, the needle and thread that were sitting on this sewing area. The key pieces of creation in the fashion world. Despite how big or small the idea, the key pieces are always the same. Bela helped me to understand a lot of growth, strength, consistency and freedom. I see why she is as successful as she is. Thank you again Bela, you truly are amazing! If anyone is interested in stopping by the store be sure to click the link above and book your appointment. 

Yanez Perez

Instead is an Image Consulting Company that creates a cohesive online and offline presence through personal style and personal brand.