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October 13, 2015

Amy Devan wants every woman to be her own hero

Naveda designer uses newest collection to inspire & empower

Design Fashion
Naveda Aubrey Nagle/for PhillyVoice

Naveda Couture designer Amy Devan (center), flanked by models sporting her designs, appears at the launch of her Urban Nomad collection.

As part of the Philadelphia Collection, one of the city's most promising young designers released her latest ready-to-wear collection Monday. At the Granary Apartments in Fairmount, Amy Devan presented the "Urban Nomad" collection from her Naveda line of apparel to awaiting guests and customers. But for Devan, as with many designers, her presentation wasn't just clothes hanging on models and rolling racks. It was a lifestyle statement.

The "Urban Nomad" look isn't as much a seasonal selection of garments as it is a declaration of what fashion should be. The collection is filled with muted tones - cool blues, bone whites and blacks - that can easily be worn year-round. The fabrics range from rich wools to light silks, which can be layered and combined as needed. The silhouettes are sleek but often adorned with embellishments, like hand-embroidered trims and metallic beading. Separately, the garments include luxury basics and statement pieces. But together, they create a wardrobe that could transition through all seasons, be worn out with friends and into a board meeting and can be seamlessly combined over and over. 

For Devan, versatility and quality are the main tenants of power dressing, not fast-fashion and trend-hopping. 

"I really do feel like fashion should be about key investment pieces and buying things that have some element that makes it different," Devan said Monday. 

"I always like to say that my customer doesn’t necessarily shop for the approval of a man. She shops for other women to be like, 'Hey, what are you wearing? Where did you get that from?' It’s almost like this special treasure that she uncovered."

By way of introduction, Devan told the crowd at her presentation that the word "wanderluxe" - a portmanteau of "wanderlust" and "luxury" - best describes "Urban Nomad." The color palette and even the sparkling details were inspired by nature, too. In other words, Naveda is for the woman who has a lot to do and wants to look her best but is inspired by wild dreams and adventures. 

But Devan does more than just create clothes for the modern empowered woman - she's also actively supporting them through fashion. She recently teamed up with her friend and accessories designer Lindsay Fiegleman of sticks + stones to create the "#tribe-SHEro" campaign. Together, they'll be donating a portion of proceeds from both brands to organizations that benefit women around the world. 

"It’s really about pushing women forward," she said. "Being a female entrepreneur, I really believe in giving women the resources to be the best that they can be. ... Our mission is to expand our tribe. We believe in a world where she is her own hero."

Devan certainly is a role model herself. In addition to showing her recent collections at New York and London fashion weeks, the designer also creates bespoke fashion and couture bridal wear. 

Her latest client has a tall order to fill: Devan is recently engaged and will, naturally, be creating her own fashions for the big day down the road. 

"We'll have two different ceremonies, as we’re of two different faiths, so I have a lot of design work to do," she said. 

"Double the fun, double the pressure!"