Nadine was working in events and attending endless balls and dinners. She was feeling incredibly frustrated by wearing outfits that neither fitted well or made her feel comfortable and confident. Rather than waste any more time and money on lacklustre dresses, Nadine bought a domestic sewing machine and made her first dress. With no design or fashion training, Nadine followed her instincts and laboured over finding the perfect fit late into every night while still continuing her day job.
Three months and a number of high profile events later and Nadine was inundated with requests from friends and local celebrities to make them their own unique pieces. The NADINE MERABI business was born. Nadine’s hands-on and incredibly personal approach remains at the core of the business.
Nadine has a truly global outlook and travels the world to discover new fabrics and embellishments. Born to a Lebanese father and British mother, the combination of classic shapes and fine quality tailoring blends with vivid shades, rich colourways and bold designs to create the unique MERABI look.
Every single piece is made with a unique edge such as combining lace with leather. We call it the ‘MERABI’ twist. Nadine still designs every single item in the range. Every day she is driven by the goal to help women transform their
'Create perfectly fitting, stunning occasion and party wear with a true
understanding of women’s dreams, ambitions and body shapes.'
What inspires your designs?
Every single design is inspired by the women in my life. The ‘Jennie’ was inspired by my fiancé's mother who is timelessly elegant and was bored of being put in an over 60’s sensible bracket.
For my latest collection, I made a conscious decision to make the range accessible to an even wider range of body types and ages.
What is the type of woman you design for?
As I’ve evolved as a person, my designs have developed and diversified. I don’t feel that you can put our shoppers into a box, it’s more of a state of mind – the ‘MERABI mindset’ – an ambition to look and feel the best you have ever felt in your life.
How does your personal style influence the designs?
My fashion sense has always been bold and brave and that really comes through in the designs. Although I would say that many of my pieces exude a calm, sophisticated confidence rather than being too ‘out there’.
The amazing thing for me is to see how our stylish and inspiring customers style the dresses and make them their own. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing someone standing out in one my designs and hearing how it made them feel.
How did the business grow?
The business was steadily growing and building up a loyal following, but it was doubling the size of the range and providing more options including shorter party dresses and the Resort collection that has really driven growth.
We have nurtured influencer relationships which have supported the global expansion of the brand with USA, Middle East and Australia key growth markets.
You’re self-taught, how did you learn to design?
I started sewing one night and didn’t finish until 3am – I was just so determined to complete a dress and so excited to wear my own design for the first time. After that I starting learning at home using online tutorials to hone my skills.
I love the satisfaction of working with my hands, feeling the fabric and seeing the designs come to life. Because I started by making every single dress myself, I know how to ensure my designs are delivered exactly the way I designed them.
What inspires and drives you?
The strength, power and creativity of the women in my life including our customers. I can’t count the number of times a customer has come to a private fitting with the belief that they would never be able to wear ‘glamorous’ clothing.
A dress doesn’t control your self confidence in life, but it can genuinely help your confidence for the night.
It takes a lot of bravery to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new. After trying on a few designs the transformation can be amazing.
The business is based in Manchester, does this influence your designs?
Our designs are aimed at a global audience but have the spirit, creativity and confidence for which Manchester is known worldwide. This is a city with it’s heart in music and parties – every weekend is an excuse to get dressed up and have the time of your life, so where better to create stunning designs for a range of different occasions.
From the industrial revolution and cotton industry to the most recent online boom, Manchester has always inspired fashion across the world and I’m so proud to be part of that.
MAKING MOMENTS COUNT
We know that great occasions and amazing occasion wear = memories to last forever. Whether
that’s with your friends or your partner, these are the moments that make memories.
YOUR UNIQUE BEST SELF
Whether it’s understated quality and glamour or risqué and daring, it’s your personal style that makes you, you.
STANDING OUT FROM THE CROWD
We’re proud to be different. Standing out means wearing the perfect outfit for you whether it’s subtle or jaw-dropping.
The most amazing achievements start with creativity and hard work – we encourage women to achieve their goals and stretch their limits.