Her Style – richmondmagazine.com

A stylist, fashion designer and businesswoman, Chanel Green Nelson has graced the runways from Richmond to London. She has a women’s clothing line formerly called Stitch by Chanel (now Liznel), she is fashion director for RVA Fashion Week, and in February she opened a brick-and-mortar store, Liznel, at 306 E. Grace St.

Green Nelson says she decided to open a boutique after realizing she had lost her “why” for working in fashion. She loves the creative process, but the marketing, managerial, and financial burdens that come with building a brand were beginning to tire her. So she engaged in introspection to rediscover what brought her into the industry.

With the support of her husband, Malcolm Nelson, she set to work and changed her name from Stitch by Chanel to Liznel, a combination of her name and that of her grandmother, Elizabeth “Liz” Cutting. “I started all of this because of my grandmother,” says Green Nelson. “I’m doing all this because she couldn’t do it all.”

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She says her ability to design and sew clothes was passed down from her grandmother, who grew up in Trinidad. She honed her skills with the support of her mother, Hazel Green, and discovered her natural talent. She says she’s always had an eye for fabric, but success isn’t easy. “I do literally anything for my business,” she says. “I had to go online, find out and research. I had to take care of it. I had to be hungry to know that if I don’t do these things I will fail.”

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Green Nelson describes her style in three words: bold, luxurious and fun. This is evident in her boutique, which is filled with upscale womenswear she creates, as well as other pieces from fashion-renowned places like Italy and London. She also offers custom women’s suits.

Another advantage of Green Nelson’s abilities is that she can change clothes. Although it costs more than buying the garment off the rack, it’s a bonus for women looking for their own style. “I love teaching people how to shop,” says Green Nelson. “I love all patterns. i love all colors I love all styles. I think it’s about teaching women to figure out who they love.”

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And if customers are hoping to complete their entire look in a single visit, BJohn Beauty, owned by Brittany Johnson, is upstairs so customers can have their makeup done too.

Green Nelson’s ultimate goals are to open a second shop and start a fashion house where all of her products are made by herself under the Liznel name.

During fall RVA Fashion Week, October 3-9, she will serve as fashion director, co-host a creative panel with Johnson and showcase her latest designs during the event’s grand finale on October 9 at the Dominion Energy Center.

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