Lisa McCabe is one of NI’s leading fashion designers, having started Nor Lisa in 2011.

Lisa has since become a household name amongst the fashion conscious, who simply lust after her amazing, bespoke, hand-craft individual pieces.

With each piece focusing on high impact, high glamour, Lisa’s brand identity is based around creating unique designs, which are not only extremely flattering for the wearer, but through her use of hand printed and custom made prints, are unlike anything currently being produced at the moment.

We sat down with Lisa to find out how she made in the cut-throat, highly competitive world of fashion, her tips for anyone wishing to succeed, and the inspiration behind her latest exquisite collection…

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Could you tell us a bit about Nor Lisa fashion and it’s background – how it started & the idea behind it?

Nor Lisa fashion was created when I left university. I wanted to create a brand that was high fashion couture at reasonable prices. I feel my looks are unique and different yet still very wearable. I also create unique one off garments for clients also.

Since starting the brand I have been front cover of IN! magazine, showcased at Belfast Fashion Week eight seasons in a row, been in a number of magazine and papers including Ulster Tatler, Expose, Local Women, Daily Mirror, Sunday World, Belfast Telegraph to name a few, been nomantited for IN! magazines designer of the year twice and travelled all over the world doing photo shoots and shows!

How did you get into the fashion industry, and what inspired you to become a fashion designer?

I’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer/artist since a young age. I was a very creative child, always making things and experimenting with different crafts. I would very much state that it’s something I was born with, so it was great that I had the drive to succeed from childhood. I enjoyed art in school and this progressed into my National Diploma in Art and Design straight after school, which then lead into my degree in Fashion and Textiles.

Fashion is such a competitive industry and so hard to ‘make it.’ Do you have any advice for any of our readers who might be trying to make it in the industry? Particularly those interested in a career in fashion design?

I would advise anyone who would be interested in perusing a career in fashion to really sit back and, think do you want to be working none stop everyday all the time in fashion? If the answer is no then it’s simply not for you.

Being in the fashion industry is very fast paced, very challenging and very tricky. You get a lot of negativity in the field as well as positivity, but you need to learn to move this into positive criticism. If not, it can be very easy to take it to heart. Thick skin is essential. It’s definitely not for the light hearted!

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Do you have any tips for women for how they should dress?

I would always recommend people to wear what they love as long as it suits their shape! Also to me fashion is an extension of ones personality – so dress to show yours off!

We were at the launch of Belfast Fashion Week recently, and fell in love with the sneak peak of your show-stopping new collection! What is your inspiration behind your latest collection & how do you create these looks?

This season I was inspired by gothic romance mixed with regal trends. I wanted a collection full of texture and luxurious fabrics, including heavy jersey, silk, chiffon and prints mixed with hand embellishments and foiling.

The looks kind of come to me. I sit down and sketch out all the ideas I have, then short list these into ones I think will work best together. I am also very inspired by fabrics – so if I go London and see a fabric I love I will get it and create a look I feel will show the fabric off well. I have some looks for the Belfast fashion week show that haven’t been seen yet – so to see these exclusively make sure to get your tickets for Thursday’s show now at 

What are your top tips for creating a glam red-carpet ready look?

To create a Glam red carpet look you need to wear something no one else will be wearing. It has to be eye catching yet glamorous, which can be a hard thing to do. I always love silks, lace and chiffon for red carpet beauty, as I feel the textures look and feel luxurious.

Do you have a favourite standout piece, either from this collection or since the launch of your designs?

This season I absolutely love every piece in my collection. I think my favourites would have to be the full length hand beaded full length gold chiffon look or the red ruffle textured full length chiffon look as both are very unique and very original.

Your looks are so gorgeous, have you designed any bridal dresses?
I have never purposely created a bridal look – but I’ve been told that some of my looks would be perfect for an alternative bride!

One of last seasons looks, which was a laser cut crop top with pleated skirt, was referenced a few times as “bridal” but this wasn’t intentionally the desired look I was going for!

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