NARDOS the designer

“When I sleep, I’m dreaming of dresses,” admits Nardos Imam, whose passion for design began early, when she was a young girl growing up in Eritrea. Her mother was a talented seamstress, who loved making colorful dresses for her children that would often turn heads in the neighborhood. As a child, Nardos was struck by her mother’s love of clothes and would spend hours sitting next to her sewing machine, fascinated by patterns and stitching, and playing with fabrics and scissors.

But Nardos wasn’t fully exposed to fashion until she went off to college in the United States. At first, she thought she would study nursing and never imagined she could have a career out of making clothes. Eventually, her love for fashion worn out and she ended up switching paths and studying costume design at El Centro College in Dallas, Texas, where she became enamored with her classes on theatrical costume and the history of fashion.

After graduation, she started working at the luxe fabric store Richard Brooks, and later became the in-house designer at Stanley Korshak, where she built a loyal following of customers, who kept coming back for her impeccable fit, eye for color, and unique architectural designs.

In 2009, Nardos took the plunge and finally launched her own fashion line, Nardos Couture. Since then, Nardos’ line has expanded into evening wear, custom couture bridal, and a ready-to-wear line, which is available in stores in Dallas and San Antonio. Today, women from all over the world come to Nardos’ atelier for her special couture experience. “My favorite part is when I put them in their first fit,” she says. “I love to see the reaction in their faces when they finally see their dream dress coming to life.”

Nardos credits God and the beauty in each of her clients as her sources of inspiration. She loves dressing all kinds of women, from mothers of the bride to teenage debutants, and dreams of one day mentoring young girls in Eritrea on all things fashion. Decades later, her mother is now the one who spends hours sitting in Nardos’ atelier.