The Designer High-Powered Women Love But You've Never Heard Of

Nina McLemore is responsible for the colorful, modernized suits, jackets and pants women like Hillary Clinton or U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan wear on a regular basis. But considering how ubiquitous her designs are, it's remarkable how unfamiliar most people are with her work – by name, at least.

Well, perhaps it's not so surprising: part of the reason Nina's not particularly known outside of the circles of executives and politicians that wear her is because her work isn't supposed to do anything but subtly look good. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Nina (pronounced Nine-a) has been worn in public by "[a]t least a quarter of female chief executives at Fortune 500 companies":

Rather than chasing trends, women in busy professional jobs tend to want reliable, more timeless styles. Female leaders don't all come in designer sizes, which generally stop at size 10 or 12. And working women are often more sensitive to price than socialites. A Nina McLemore jacket costs about $900, compared with $2,000 and up for Chanel and Akris.

New York Magazine calls Nina's clothes the epitome of "casual luxury." On her website, Nina writes that the clothes are specifically targeted to high-level successful women:

There is a significant void in the apparel industry of clothes for women who want beautiful, elegant, colorful, well made clothing that fits and is appropriate for their position and lifestyle. The collection is made in New York of the finest natural fabrics and is designed to take a woman through all aspects of her life - day, evening and leisure with a strong focus on travel.

Most notably, sales of her clothes have grown 25% in the last year. It's almost as if you can target a market that's not being served and find yourself making a lot of money.

Image via Mansoor Ahmed/AP