Creating island style vibes with sophistication Joanne Stoker’s brand Nåd is fast becoming everyone’s go-to label
Words: Tina Edward Gunawardhana
A vacation in Sri Lanka in 2014 left a lasting impression on British designer Joanne Stoker. So much so that she decided to leave her roots in London and Durham and settle down in Sri Lanka in 2016. During her time in England, Joanne had her own label which was predominantly shoes and accessories. Swapping the cold for the warmth in Sri Lanka, Joanne an alumni of Northumbria University and London College of Fashion has now started her own clothing business in Sri Lanka called Nåd. “It means grace in English”, Joanne says. “It is grace to the environment as the fabric is all factory dead stock, grace to the makers and grace through the movement and silhouettes of the garments and the women who wear them” Whilst in Sri Lanka Joanne began teaching Fashion Design at the AOD (Academy of Design) in Colombo.
Juggling teaching with two children Joanne felt the time was right to launch her own label as she feels Sri Lanka is a great place to start a brand. “It’s very inspiring and has great garment manufacturing and traditional crafts which create a point of difference in the global fashion arena. I am starting to incorporate a lot more of this into my designs through using handloom fabrics while looking at options such as wood carving for shoes.” Describing the ethos of her fashion label, Joanne explains “Nåd is all about the smoothness and style of movement through fabric and volume. I want the wearer to feel free and comfortable, which translates a lot through the photography we do and the models we choose.”