Meghan Markle and Prince Harry traveled to Italy to watch Misha Nonoo wed American technology entrepreneur Michael Hess in September

By Erin Hill
January 29, 2020 08:01 AM
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Misha Nonoo

Meghan Markle’s friend Misha Nonoo, who tied the knot in Rome last fall, has even more reason to celebrate. The New York-based designer is expecting her first child with husband Michael Hess.

“We are so thrilled, it’s just really exciting. It’s a very grateful time of life,” Nonoo tells PEOPLE. “It’s pure magic. I’m so excited to meet our little baby when he comes!”

As she embarked on her pregnancy, the sustainable designer was inspired to create her first maternity wear collection, which she launched Wednesday on MishaNonoo.com. In collaboration with HATCH, Nonoo created two designs to be worn before, throughout and after pregnancy. The two pieces — a button down shirt and a shirt dress available in white, blue, and black and white stripe — are inspired by Nonoo’s iconic “Husband Shirt,” which Meghan herself wore during her first public appearance alongside Prince Harry at the Toronto Invictus Games in 2017.

“A lot of my friends who have children already said the ‘Husband Shirt’ is amazing because often when you’re breastfeeding you need to be able to open your blouse and you need to be able to do that with one hand frequently, and with the style of the ‘Husband Shirt,’ it lends itself to that already, so we worked with HATCH on a proper maternity fit for both the shirt and the dress,” Nonoo says.

“We hope this new collection will allow our customers to continue on their personal and professional journeys as women on the go,” adds Nonoo, who manufactures her styles on demand, meaning that no item is made until an order is placed.

RELATED: How Designer Misha Nonoo Is ‘Leading by Example:’ ‘The Nicest Women Are the Most Successful’

Misha Nonoo
Misha Nonoo
Misha Nonoo

Ariane Goldman, Founder and CEO of HATCH, says she was “excited” to join forces with Nonoo for the limited-edition collaboration.

“Misha turned to us as she was entering a new chapter of life, expecting her first child, and we were thrilled to play a part in celebrating the moment,” Goldman says. “I have always been a fan of Misha’s work and there was a great, natural synergy between our brand’s aesthetics, so we could not be happier to share these pieces with our customers.”

Last year, Nonoo also collaborated with her friend, the Duchess of Sussex, on her Smart Works capsule collection, which benefitted a charity that helps women find employment with coaching tips and professional attire for their job interviews.

Misha Nonoo

Meghan and Prince Harry then traveled to Italy in September to watch Nonoo wed American technology entrepreneur Hess. Soon the two friends will be able to bond over motherhood.

“As with all friendships, you share lots of tips and everything,” Nonoo says.

Misha Nonoo and Meghan Markle

As for her own maternity style, Nonoo has turned to her brand’s staples.

“I definitely have been wearing the ‘Husband Shirt,’ and I’ve been wearing it with slim-fit trousers. For me it was my Ivy Pant and I was just going up in size in my own collection. I’ve also invested in a pair of great leggings and a pair of maternity jeans,” she says.

With a brand ethos that is all about women supporting women, Nonoo says it’s meaningful to include her customers on her journey.

“I feel very lucky. The brand is so personal to me. Our customer feels that and I feel as though she’s really a part of my journey and it’s so nice to be able to share that with her and to know that a lot of my own customers are going through similar milestones themselves. It’s extremely personal and it’s very special to be able to share that,” she adds.

Michael Hess and Misha Nonoo
Max Mumby/Getty Images

Nonoo, who says she has “just a little bit longer to go” in her pregnancy, is enjoying every minute until her son arrives.

“I feel very lucky. I’ve had a wonderful pregnancy so far,” she shares. “I think it’s just magical to think that as women we can actually create human life within us, so anytime that I feel tired or a little bit under the weather, I just remind myself of that and the great gift that is. It’s just an extraordinary journey.”

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