Gucci’s centennial is an iconic moment that brings together a nostalgic appreciation for the rich heritage and the joy of a new beginning. It’s only fitting then that this celebratory moment be catalysed by the spirit of inspiration from a unique mix of women role models—all high achievers in their own right. They own their identity; fashion is purely a progression of that expression, which explains why Gucci is their go-to. Path-breaking, passionate, bold—and that’s just where the overlap begins. Following our conversations with Roohi Jaikishan, Rana Ayyub, Samyukta Nair and Akansha Ranjan Kapoor, we now have Noelle Kadar.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Noelle found herself gravitating towards creative pursuits from a young age. While art is what drew the RISD alumnus to India, it is love that she stayed on for (she met her husband here). Noelle’s refreshing artist-first approach led her to work as an international director at the India Art Fair and subsequently as artistic director of the Sculpture Park at Jaipur’s Madhavendra Palace which aimed to make art approachable for the everyday viewer. Noelle’s life has taken on a different texture since she embarked on the journey of parenthood about two years ago.
ELLE: What does fashion mean to you?
Noelle Kadar (NK): I recall events based on what I wore at that time. For instance, I remember the first time I met my husband I was dressed in tie-dye jeans and an oversized button-down white shirt. Fashion is the way we define ourselves. I usually put my clothes and accessories in storage and revisit every few years. I just found a pair of Gucci boots that I had bought right after college at my parents’ house. They are the ones that I’ll be wearing everyday this winter. The first bag I ever bought with my own money was a vintage Gucci one from eBay around 2004. I still have that bag, it’s in tatters from being used so much and it’s still so beautiful.
ELLE: What makes you so passionate about art and design?
NK: I’m half Hungarian half Russian and I’ve had a very unconventional upbringing. My parents are both doctors of Eastern medicine. We follow Buddhist philosophy and I met the Dalai Lama several times as a child. I went to Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), which really helped me find my own voice. I have always loved beautiful things, interesting things, atypical things, sometimes even ugly things, if they’re the right kind of ugly. I think what really attracts me to design and art are the designers and the artists. The creative struggle, the problem solving, the ability to say something without words, through fashion or design or art is so powerful.
ELLE: What does juggling work with two babies look like?
NK: Have you ever sneezed and coughed at the same time? It’s like that. It’s not elegant, or pretty. The pandemic allowed me to pause and I am grateful for that. I don’t know if I would have let myself stop and just be a mom otherwise. This enforced pause allowed me the space to grow in. Now I feel like Venus, emerging serenely and powerfully from a clamshell. I don’t have a clear idea of what I’ll do next, but for the first time in my life, I know that I am stronger than I ever imagined.
Styling: Zoha Castellino, Photograph: Nayantara Parikh, Hair & Makeup: Leeview Biswas, Assisted By: Siddhi Dolas and Deepakshi Singh (For Styling)
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