Misha Nonoo, 33, is a New York-based fashion designer and good friends with Meghan Markle, Duchess Of Sussex, who attended Nonoo’s wedding to oil tycoon Michael Hess on Saturday.
Misha met Meghan at Art Basel Miami 8 years ago where the two connected over lunch. “We were seated next to one another at a lunch, and we got along like a house on fire,” Misha told Evening Standard in 2017. “She has the most remarkable and generous spirit. I aspire to be as philanthropic as she is, and to have as much of an impact as her.”
The two recently collaborated on a fashion project where Nonoo designed a crisp white shirt for Meghan’s capsule collection on behalf of the Smart Works charity.
“I think, really being the person that she is, for each brand that she’s working with, she’s really entrusted us. She’s not a micromanager. She’s not that type of personality.” Nonoo told Instyle Magazine of their partnership.
Misha Nonoo’s eponymous, highly successful fashion line features soft, feminine women’s read-to-wear clothes. In 2017, she eliminated her inventory and now makes all of her clothes made to order to focus on sustainability. “In going direct-to-consumer I wanted to think about how I align my prices across the board, and now I’m able to bring more value to the consumer,” she told Forbes in 2017, “It’s all created on demand, so there is no waste.”
Nonoo’s and Hess’ extravagant wedding to as held at the Villa Aurelia, a 17th-century palatial property on the grounds of the American Academy in Rome with the reception being at Cinecittà film studios. In addition to Meghan and Prince Harry, the star-studded guest list included Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, Karlie Kloss, Joshua Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and James Corden.
Misha Nonoo was born in Bahrain to an Iraqi father and an English mother. Her family moved to London when she was 11 where she attended ACS Cobham school and Guildford High School in Surrey.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Was Married to Prince Harry’s Friend Alexander Gilkes
Misha Nonoo was previously married to Alexander Gilkes, co-founder and president of Paddle8 and good friend of Prince Harry’s.
Wilkes and Nonoo met at a launch party he hosted for designer Tory Burch’s first coffee table book at the home of art dealer Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn.
Nonoo and Gilkes got married in 2012 but the couple later divorced amicably in 2016.
2. She Introduced Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Nonoo is rumored to have introduced Meghan and Prince Harry and their relationship blossomed from there. The couple didn’t reveal exactly who initially introduced them but it’s believed to be Misha.
Harry told The Sun, “It was through her and then we met once and then twice back to back two dates in London, last July.”
“And then it was I think about three, maybe four weeks later that I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana.” he added, “We camped out with each other under the stars – she came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic.”
Misha also wore Nonoo’s Easy 8 Husband Shirt during her first public appearance with Harry at the Invictus Games.
3. She Held the First Instagram Runway Show
Back in 2015, Nonoo became the first fashion designer to hold an entire fashion show on Instagram. Instead of holding a traditional runway show, the designer presenter her entire Spring 2016 show on Instagram.
In an interview with W Magazine, Nonoo explained that “Instagram is a storytelling platform, which is what you want to do when you show a collection,”
She explained that she was tired of the work and politics that traditional runway shows have. “I shared with the team my frustrations with traditional runway shows—which I’ve loved and have been such a great experience overall—but you put on this elaborate show that’s so location specific and you miss a lot of people,” she explained. “Like the fashion director at Barneys might not make it because they’re five minutes late and the show has started. You go to such huge lengths and it’s so exclusive.”
Nonoo featured several Instagram influencers in the show including Eva Chen, Giovanna Battaglia, Danielle and Laura Kosann of The New Potato, and Audrey Gelman among others.
4. She Defended Meghan Markle on the Today Show
Meghan and Prince Harry have been embroiled in controversy recently for everything from refusing to share details about their new son to taking Elton John’s private jet to Ibiza and France despite being publicly dedicated to green initiatives.
Nonoo appeared on the Today Show and defended her friend, “I think [the criticism] is unjust, and I think that people should really focus on the good work [she and Prince Harry] do,”
“I think that is something that her and I bonded over from the very early days of our relationship was that she genuinely seeks to help people,” she said.
She also mentioned her and Meghan’s collaboration for her charity, “It comes from a place deep within her where she really wants to make people’s lives better. She’s the consummate professional, and she’s been extremely hands-on in the project, and it’s something that she’s really passionate about.”
5. She’s Good Friends with Ivanka Trump
Misha Nonoo and Ivanka Trump have been good friends for years. Nonoo even interviewed Ivanka for her blog, The Tig, and called her, “Staggeringly beautiful, no question, but so incredibly savvy and intelligent that she’s not just carved a niche for herself under her father’s famed Trump notoriety, she has undoubtedly created her own empire.”
Meghan Markle and Ivanka were also friends at one point before Donald Trump called Markle “nasty” on Twitter ahead of a visit to the United Kingdom. Trump’s comments came in response to Markle calling him “misogynistic” and “divisive,” and threatening to move to Canada if he were elected President.
It all seems to be water under the bridge now as Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner were in attendance at the wedding on Saturday along with Meghan and Prince Harry.