From Ring to Runway
Being a model-turned-actress is so...'90s. Nellie Partow is a boxer-turned-designer that, quite literally, kicks ass.
Thursday, September 27, 2012 | Casey Gillespie
Nellie Partow, the fashion designer, is known for her minimalist cuts, sumptuous fabrics and sophisticated color palette. Nellie Partow, the boxer, has been training since she was 14 and holds the title of New York Daily News Golden Gloves Champion, which she earned at Madison Square Garden in 2007. She has worked at some of the most respected design houses in America, launched her own label (available at Saks), and fought competitively for ten years. "Outside of being a designer, I'm an athlete — a boxer, more specifically," she says. "I was competitively fighting throughout my years in business school, design school at Parsons and when I was designing for Calvin Klein and John Varvatos. It was incredible to have the design houses I worked for be so supportive of my fights." A total dichotomy? Yes. And we can't get enough. So we caught up with the multi-faceted New Yorker to find out a few essential elements of her life and style.
1 Boxing memorabilia
"One of my favorite items hangs on the wall in our design studio: A pair of boxing gloves from the 1920s. I recently went on a vintage shopping trip where I was supposed to be looking for inspiration and ended up with these boxing gloves instead."
2 NYC's international cuisine
"I've been frequenting Café Habana on Prince Street for years and it never gets old. I love good Cuban food. And, of course, Ravagh on 30th Street, which is where I go for great Persian food."
3 The family heirloom
"One piece of jewelry I never leave home without is a necklace my mother gave me when I was eight years old. It has beautiful, ancient hand-engraved images from Persepolis."
4 The pup
"My four-year-old Alaskan Klee Kai, Luna, is always by my side. She runs the Nellie Partow design studio. In case you weren't aware, we work for her."
5 Flamenco + salsa
"Whether I'm boxing or designing, I have to listen to good music, it’s a significant inspiration for me. I grew up on Spanish flamenco music, my father's favorite genre, and I'm always listening to salsa, such as Celia Cruz, a direct influence of having Puerto Rican boxing trainers. I'm also currently listening to Sade, M.I.A. and Florence + The Machine, to name a few."
"I love to travel and I'm extremely fortunate to be able to visit Paris and Italy several times a year for business. It's a great source of inspiration for me to be surrounded by different cultures. Next on my wish list are Morocco and Peru."
7 Nellie Partow Toscana Shearling Vest
"The one thing that I can't live without this winter is my Toscana shearling vest. That and the cashmere hand knits from my Fall 2012 collection. The hand knits are made of nearly two kilos of cashmere and it takes about two weeks to hand knit each individual piece."