Budding Virginia Beach fashion designer creates petite clothing line

At 5 feet tall, Nicole Stephens may be small in stature, but she wants to lead the way with the new clothing line she designed specifically for petite women.

Stephens, a 2016 graduate of Louisiana State University with a bachelor’s degree in textile and design, is busily preparing to launch her business, Naya Petite.

A solopreneur who designs, makes patterns, cuts and sews the sample pieces in her Virginia Beach home, Stephens said she will hire seamstresses as her fledgling business grows and then look to a manufacturer in Bali.

Her dog, a black Labrador she found nine years ago, and her business share the name Naya, a Sanskrit word that means “to lead.”

“I was living with my grandparents and going to college so I snuck her in for two days,” Stephens said. “They told me I couldn’t keep her so I went out, worked three jobs, went

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Best fashion tips for petite ladies

Fashion Tips By

Esther Muchene

Being Petite means going the extra mile when planning outfits (Shutterstock)

I am sure we all think it’s quite easy for a petite lady to just throw on anything and look beautiful without putting too much effort into it right? Well, that is not always the case.

Before we get started, who is considered a petite woman? The definition varies depending on who you are talking about. Some consider women of all body types with a height of below 5’3 as petite while others define it as simply being extremely slim or slender. For some ladies they could be both slim and short.

Regardless of your height or body type, we all just want to make a fashion statement wherever we are going. That being said, here are some fashion tips worth exploring as a petite lady:

  • Always wear dresses that are above the knee
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Why the Fashion Industry Doesn’t Make More Petite Clothes

It’s indicative of the fashion world’s view of short women, that they choose to label us ‘petite’ instead of just short. It’s not a pejorative term, but perhaps the fashion world sees us that way. We are the minority, we do not fit their ideal. So they don’t cater for us properly. Most brands don’t make petite sizes at all and many brands claim to, but they get it wrong.

It’s not just about shorter sleeves and hems, there are five vertical measurements on petite dresses that have to be adjusted. And don’t forget that other features have to be reduced in proportion also. Frills must be smaller and fewer, cuffs must be shorter, patterns smaller.

I have spoken to several brand designers, asking if they would design a petite range. They were not interested because it meant re-working the design for a minority market. This is when the fashion … Read More

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