Fe Noel believes that every woman should feel confident and sensual in her clothes—without sacrificing comfort. After having her child, the womenswear designer and Brooklyn boutique owner wanted to create a collection that complemented her new mindset, body, and lifestyle.
With sumptuous fabrics, bold prints, and silhouettes that fall just off the body, her label can be worn with ease while maintaining a look of sophistication. Noel believes in making life beautiful, following the mantra “Eat well, travel often, and dress to inspire!” Taking inspiration from her Caribbean heritage, Noel’s clothes exist between resort wear and city living.
The brand garnered critical and popular attention for collaborating with Kimberly Goldson and Undra Duncan on Nike’s HFR x LeBron 16 sneaker, the first female sneaker from LeBron James. Noel has also engaged artists like Harmonia Rosales and Cliffanie Forrester, translating their work into garments.
Whitewall spoke with Noel about encouraging women to make their lives beautiful.
WHITEWALL: Your collection looks like it would fit comfortably on all types of women. How do you want the Fe Noel woman to feel?
FE NOEL: I want my woman to feel powerful, sensual. I want her to feel beautiful. My clothes are fluid and lightly touch the body. Part of the reason for that is that when I became a mom, I didn’t feel sexy in my tight clothes anymore. I didn’t want things hugging my body at the time. And I imagined that there are some women who also want to feel sexy but don’t want to feel uncomfortable. I want women wearing my clothes to look effortless.
My woman has a mentality and an attitude toward life. We can be from different backgrounds, different shapes, colors, but there is something that we all share and that’s this desire to curate your life and to have a say in who you are going to be. I encourage women to make your life beautiful. It’s an optimistic attitude toward life.
WW: How does that translate into material and color for you?
FN: I try to pay attention to the five senses. I believe in color theory, that colors give you a certain feeling. The colors are intentional. My family is Caribbean. I love vibrant and eye-catching color. I also love soft and sensual pastel colors, and I mix them together. My fabrics are silk, light and flowing. I also use linen that adds some structure, but it moves with your body.
WW: How did your collaboration with artist Harmonia Rosales on several dresses and garments come together?
FN: I’m a fan of art that is inspired by the Renaissance era. When I saw her art, it took my breath away. I came across it on Instagram. I went out to her gallery in the Hamptons and decided, “I have to write her.” It was meant to be. She had interest in getting into fashion and a vision for her pieces. She said yes, and it went from there.
Her work is so powerful and evokes emotion, and that’s what I always aim to do when I create as well. That’s one of my proudest creative works to date. It made so much sense, me being a black woman, herself as well, being in the creative field, bringing awareness to how we feel and our point of view and our narrative.
WW: For your “Daughters of the Soil,” you created a sweater with artist Cliffanie Forrester. How did you two work together?
FN: I started young and I didn’t have anyone to show me the way. So I decided I would do that for young people, becoming a mentor. Cliffanie Forrester is a young artist who is also Grenadian. This painting is so powerful when you see it. It gave me that same feeling when I saw Harmonia’s painting. I decided I would work with her. I said what I can do is offer some insight into what you can do. It can be a collaboration and a way to get your work out there. Because this collection was my tribute to Grenada, she was perfect for this.
WW: What did you take away from co-creating the LeBron sneaker with Nike, alongside Kimberly Goldson and Undra Duncan?
FN: That was such an amazing experience. I’m a dreamer and that was not even a dream I dreamed. This project created a sisterhood, and it was the starting point of realizing I enjoy collaborations. I enjoy bringing worlds together.
It opened up my world and my mind about what we can all do when we come together. I think I can speak for the two women as well, that it blew their mind. We’d never designed a sneaker. They said, this is supposed to represent women, women of power, strong women, black women, dedication to LeBron’s mother, and it touched each of us.
It made me become a bigger dreamer. It made me feel like I was dreaming too small. There’s no limit on what you can do and what you can dream up. That whole experience was magical. I have a pair I’m saving for my son. I can’t wait to tell him the story.
WW: You’ve been raising your son while your brand blossomed. What has that been like?
FN: My blessings came with my son. While I was pregnant, I was sad because I thought, I can’t do this, I can’t do that. But he came and things started to happen. My aesthetic really came about from wanting to be out with him and feel comfortable and feel sexy. I was draping in different ways, wearing it to the park with me, and that’s what landed me where I am now. You can be a mom, wife, you can go out with your friends, all the things we need to do—I was able to test that out in my life with him. My body changed; I thought, “Maybe women will feel better in this,” and it worked.
You can still live out your dreams and be a mother. You can take care of someone, love someone, give your all, and still live your dream. We think we have to choose, and that’s not necessarily the case. Your life is not over—it is just getting started.