Early in her acting career, Katie Nehra learned that if she wanted to play the complex on-screen roles she was looking for, she would have to write them herself. “For TV, they write a lot more interesting parts for women, but for film they really do not,” says Nehra, who cut her teeth at New York’s Neighborhood Playhouse and at Los Angeles’ Groundlings Theatre before co-writing and playing a supporting role in Chris Messina’s directorial debut, “Alex of Venice,” in 2014.
When it comes to fashion, Nehra has adopted that same DIY attitude, starting in 2007 with her debut clothing line, Simone, which began with six short, frilly dresses, each named after friends. “It was selfish,” the self-taught designer says about that endeavor. “I wanted to make dresses that I couldn’t find.” Eventually the label reached cult status with its custom varsity and cropped leather and suede jackets favored by the likes of Mary-Kate Olsen and Kristen Stewart.