There’s a kind of fairy-tale aura that surrounds Fair Verona, and no wonder: the California indie label is the product of two gorgeous, globe-trotting sisters who grew up playing make believe and dreaming of romantic adventures.
And not the kind filled with Disney princesses and Barbie dolls and other pre-fab kiddie fantasy. Instead, Nila and Misha Myers enjoyed a childhood of self-made enchantment while growing up in an ashram in Malibu Canyon.
“We grew up as little hippie children,” says Misha, the elder sister. “We shared a bedroom and played all sorts of dress-up, make-believe games. We had Indian names. We didn’t wear shoes.”
Their mother was a flight attendant, which meant the Myers girls were to a large extent raised by the community and also got to see a lot of the world at an early age when tagging along with mom.
With a backstory like that, it’s no wonder the sisters aimed to do something different, and creative, in their adult lives. Fair Verona — which just launched its sophomore collection — is the fruit of that idyllic childhood.
Fair Verona debuted last summer and immediately captured attention with its ultra-romantic collection of soft bras, boyshorts, panties and rompers that seemed to step out of the pages of history.
Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (“In fair Verona where we lay our scene …”), the debut Unlock the Fantasy collection was memorable for its uncommon colorways (periwinkle blue, sage green and ruby red) and luxurious, almost theatrical styling. Think ruched frills, ribbons and ruffles, and pearl accents — the kind of impractical undies meant for only for the most romantic occasions.
“We knew it was risky, but we wanted to be different,” said Misha, who designs Fair Verona’s collections. “No one remembers you if you do the same things as everyone else. We wanted to start with a bang.”
But the Myers girls didn’t go straight from their hippie roots into fashion design. Misha, now 28, stayed in California and had two children of her own while Nila, 26, moved to Australia for post-grad studies.
When Nila returned to L.A. a couple of years ago, she reconnected with Misha and began planning Fair Verona.
“I was a single mom working (as a bartender) seven days a week,” said Misha, who was living in the coastal vacation town of Santa Barbara. “I needed a creative outlet.” Developing a lingerie line was “something that Nila and I had dreamed about doing for a long time. The idea was that Nila might come back and we could do it together.”
The girls gathered research for their project while working as lingerie models at the ILS trade show in Las Vegas. “We didn’t see anything we’d buy,” said Misha (on the left in the photo above), “so we did a lot of research and started making our own pieces for fun.”
For inspiration, they recalled earlier vacations to Italy, and their infatuation with its history, romance and fashion.
“We were obsessed with Romeo and Juliet, and so had to visit Verona when we went to Italy. And the town was just so romantic. We fell so much in love with the place. It was so high-fashion, with lingerie and clothing stores everywhere. And it fit so well with what we wanted to do.”
While designing the first Fair Verona collection, Misha tried to use stylings and colors that captured some of the medieval fairy-tale atmosphere of Verona and other historic Italian towns.
“We tried to incorporate it into each piece,” she said. “We wanted everything to look antique, like it was something you would pull out of a treasure chest.” The label’s first photo campaign (shot in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park) also attempts to convey the bucolic woodland setting of Shakespearean comedies.
Today, Fair Verona is a full-time job for both Misha and Nila (who handles sales and marketing) and a couple of employees working from an office in Santa Barbara. The label is currently available in about a dozen boutiques (as well as online), and aims to add another 20 stockists this year.
And that shouldn’t be difficult, if the preview images from Fair Verona’s luxurious second collection are any indication.
Called Jetset Daydream, the new collection retains some of FV’s hippie sensibility (look for the fringed pant cuffs!) while amping up the glam factor at the same time. Those pastoral hues are gone, replaced by lots of sheer black and ivory, as Fair Verona adds some distinctly modern touches to its antique signature. Particularly noteworthy is the printed mesh bodysuit/playsuit range shown below, which is destined for a lot of must-have lists this fall.
What hasn’t changed is the Myers girls’ flair for drama and romance, combined.
“If I’m going to wear lingerie,” noted Misha, “I want to make a statement.”
Fair Verona’s latest collection of lingerie and loungewear can now be pre-ordered through the company’s website or Facebook page.