Local Focus: LEONA

June 4, 2014

Looking to create a lifestyle brand influenced by southern background, Lauren Leonard launched LEONA in the spring of 2008, only one year after college. Leaving the bustling streets of New York City, Lauren made a determined return to the South, and since it's beginning, LEONA has successfully provided women with luxurious daily essentials, excelling specifically with clean lines and versatility. LEONA now holds two offices, Nashville and New York City. Having seen LEONA appear at Nashville Fashion Week year after year, I was overjoyed to shoot some of my favorite pieces from the 12th South store.

Born in the South. Designed in NYC.

LEONA is manufactured primarily in the Southeast, with a small portion created in New York City. LEONA's Nashville presence has continued to grow over the years, and Nashville Fashion Week's ongoing support for local talent has helped usher Lauren's success into 200 specialty retailers across the country. "NFW gives us an opportunity to connect with our customers on a personal level at our national headquarters, which is priceless." Expect to see much more from LEONA in years to come. Lauren hinted at big plans, stating "I am waiting for the perfect moment to launch leather goods, accessories and shoes, which have been in the works for some time now." We're waiting with bated breath, and I can't wait to see what walks the NFW runway in 2015.

Photography by Alden Allen.

LEONA is an inspiring mix of southern charm and northern elegance. Follow LEONA on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for instant updates of the latest looks. Thank you to Alden Allen for documenting the shoot, and a huge thank you to the entire LEONA team for allowing me to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon diving into your colorful racks of clothing. It was so much fun, and I'm still dreaming about that perfect little black LEONA Emmy Dress. Yum.