In a section of Calgary’s new Nordstrom called Studio 121, Kimberley Newport-Mimran delicately wields the mic while describing her designs. She’s in from Toronto to present the Pink Tartan Holiday and Resort Collection. But don’t expect to see any pink beyond this faux fur accent.The designer herself is draped in a refined black palette. It helps focus our modern attention deficit on the models moving along the informal runway.Otherwise, we might have missed what is happening here. Besides skillfully negotiating the landmines of platform heels attached to the legs of audience members and snake-like straps of purses ready to pounce, this model is putting her hands into her pockets. Kimberly builds them into most of her evening wear. “My husband refuses to carry my lipstick,” she tells the audience with her girlish giggle. And we nod in agreement. For some crazy reason, our dates don’t enjoy carrying our stuff.“Pink is my favorite color,” Kim tells me later when I ask about the name of her line. Blue Besos readers know I enjoy a lifestyle title that incorporates a color. “I love what tartan stands for because it’s kind of dressing a clan. Pink Tartan dresses a certain clan of women that are drawn toward the style that I work to.” Tonight Nordstrom is packed with the clan, aka Pink Tartan fans. From the miniature…… to the newly minted Nordstrom regulars.Since I’m in the neighborhood, I slip downstairs to The Rail, the men’s sportswear section. Paramdeep Singh Arora sells me some socks, but the revelation is free: Calgary has reached a whole new level of cool. Back upstairs, or “on Two” as Nordstrom likes to say, Pink Tartan models are circulating…… while Kimberly connects with her next generation of clients. Even though everyone is clamoring to chat with the down-to-earth designer of understated luxury and sophisticated sportswear, Kimberly takes time for a sit-down.
“My favorite part of my job is when I see people wearing my clothes,” she says. “Sometimes you see the sample, and you think, well that’s great, but when I see it on a person and the outfit takes a life of its own, out of the showroom, that’s when it makes me the happiest.”
Besides being the man who refuses to carry lipstick, her husband is Joe Mimran, the man behind Club Monaco and Joe Fresh. How does she feel about being referred to as a fashion power couple?
“I love my husband,” says Kimberly, then trails off. “I kind of blushed there. He’s so fabulous at everything he does. He’s really a wonderful partner in so many ways. To be considered part of a power couple is very flattering.”The Pink Tartan Holiday and Resort Collection is available now at Nordstrom. If you look hard enough, you’ll find a little pink to be pretty in.