Catching up with knitwear designer Lenor Romano

Lenor RomanoNew Year, New Company, New Attitude!

You’ve been a division of Components Clothing/Components by John McCoy since 2003; why go out on your own?

In a word: DIVORCE! The ending of my marriage to John McCoy was pretty complicated… It wasn’t just the personal, but the business was so entwined. So, going out on my own was the only choice.

That’s gotta be tough…

I don’t know about tough but for sure necessity is the mother of invention: I needed to and so I did!

Who’s now producing your collections (Lenor Romano and lenieR)?

I’ve contracted with World Marketing to handle all production and back-end services. I’m thrilled to associate with World since they have nearly 30 years of experience working with better products. I look forward to continued relationships with my upscale customers and this arrangement allows me wonderful artistic freedom and great product support. I can’t wait to present my latest collections at the MRket shows in NY and Vegas and at the Chicago Collective. That is assuming my samples arrive today from Peru. If not, I’m on a plane in tomorrow’s snowstorm…

You’re known for your innovative and colorful men’s knitwear and home accessories; what are your key items/trends for fall ’11?

As a veteran in the knitwear business, I’ve now seen a full circle of looks… It’s ironic: some of the items I put into my contemporary label, lenieR, are too classic for the Lenor Romano brand.

The vintage merino has just exploded—it retailed very well so I expanded this look into a much bigger offering. It’s perfect for the military silhouettes as well as browns and greens.

I’ve also done a lot of fancy yarns in simple shaped garments in blended colors. Fancy, yet classic looks like “spacers” and fair isles that are distressed because a yarn color fades in and out.

I expanded the “gauge range” by including more bulky outerwear looks but in really light weights. And I’ve added a more luxury gift-giving group where I’m back manufacturing in Italy in addition to Peru and China.

Where do you get your stamina?

Oh that’s easy, I love what I do; the hours fly by…Besides, someone has to pay for all the (cat) food for my two fur children!

Editor’s note: Lenor’s new offices are at 152 West 36th Street, suite 403; or 212.755.2288.

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