Meet Nodaleto. And shop it here, of course.
Julia Toledano is fashion royalty. The daughter of chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group Sidney Toledano, may have luxury style in her DNA, but she took her own path to fashion stardom: first studying law, then working as a fashion journalist, taking design classes at Central Saint Martins, and finally embarking on the launch of her own shoe brand last spring, Nodaleto, with business partner Olivier Leone.
Harper’s BAZAAR met Toledano at The Webster during Fashion Week on the eve of her brand’s launch party at the chic SoHo boutique. Outfitted in a flowing chestnut silk dress by The Row and white platforms of her own design, this pretty and petite Parisian-raised designer is confident in her brand’s sure vision. Below, she shares advice from her dad, her own unique perspective on shoes, and why Nodaleto was all about the right timing and making good on a childhood dream.
What does the name Nodaleto signify?
Nodaleto has a lot of meanings for me. But let’s start from the beginning. Nodaleto is an anagram of my last name, Toledano. I really wanted to put my legacy in the brand—a mix of my Mediterranean cultural heritage and how I grew up combined with a fashion education in Paris and my own vision for the design. Nodaleto is a lot of spontaneity, a child’s dream that I always had in my head.
What is the inspiration behind your designs?
I was thinking of the architecture that I love, and a lot of art and artists—from Verner Panton, the houses in Casablanca (Villa Zevaco), the Steal House in L.A. (clean lines, open to the world), and the Palais Bulle by Pierre Cardin. I get my inspiration from furniture design, to architecture, a very famous teenage movie from the ’00s or TV shows like Friends. The summer collection signifies a bridge between a teenager becoming a young woman. All the different steps that we know, from the transition to adulthood, how we want to feeling sexier, more mature, daring a little more.
What made you want to launch a shoe brand?
I think it was a question of time and timing. I have always been obsessed with shoes, I designed shoes for fun since I was a child. I knew I wanted to launch my brand one day, I just didn’t know when and how to begin. It was a question of timing. I wanted to be ready to express Nodaleto the best I can. I always wanted to create a mix between the classic luxury shoes and the one-time fashion crush we have on designer shoes.
How would you describe your relationship to shoes? Is more more?
I’ve always had a special relationship with shoes. Every happy moment of life has become an excuse to buy a new pair of shoes: my birthday, the end of the school year, sometimes for comfort after a breakup. To put on a new pair of shoes gives you confidence. It’s the ultimate feminine accessory. My collection of shoes is like a family; they have some elements in common—the shape, structure—but they all have their own personality.
How would you describe your personal style? How does the brand reflect that?
I like exploring different styles. For me, it’s about a shape and structure, but I like having fun with accessories, jewelry, hats, and bags. I’ve always been more crazy with special pieces that can add that twist to more classics basics. I like that a fancy pair of shoes can change the whole silhouette and give a woman the confidence and power she needs.
What’s the biggest lesson your father taught you about the fashion business?
Put myself into the identity of the brand and believe in my designs. But more than anything, the product has to be my focus. I have to take care of every detail of the manufacturing and never compromise on quality.
Did you always know you wanted to be in the fashion game?
I’ve liked fashion since I was very young. It’s always been my passion, but I just put it to the side and gave myself time to grow a bit. It was my dream to create a brand, but I wanted to wait for the right time.
How did working from a journalist perspective inform your view on the fashion world?
I really appreciate that I spent time as a young fashion journalist. Now that I have this background, I just feel that it’s complementary. I like to create a story for each of the shoes with Olivier. Nodaleto is a poem—we like editing, creating our own content. It’s not just about a product, we want to create a whole universe around Nodaleto.
Where do you see Nodaleto in five years?
I always compare Nodaleto to a woman in general, she has different desires and perspectives depending on those different moments of her life. So like me, I’m a young woman who wants to challenge myself. Nodaleto is like a contemporary woman’s diary, she’s growing up, experiencing, and living adventures.