Nicole McGrew

Nicole McGrew

Photography by Jonathan Thorpe

For Nicole McGrew, a former lawyer and Obama White House alum, fashion is anything but frivolous. Owner of Threadleaf in Old Town, a shop offering ethically sourced women’s apparel, Nicole studied design before attending law school, with dreams of opening her own shop. “I always had this idea in the back of my mind. Even as a lawyer, I kept a file folder with different storefronts and shop concepts.”

The dream, she says, was put on hold as she climbed the ranks in her legal career, from private practice to the Department of Justice and eventually the White House. It was an administration change in 2017 that allowed her to pursue her first love, while still making a difference. “Fashion is such a polluting industry. I want to highlight the importance of the workforce, the supply chain and the materials. I usually use the term ‘responsible,’ because the impact goes deeper than just the environment.”

Nicole often refers to her shop as offering 'good, clean fashion,' clothing that’s sustainable for the planet and customers alike. “I want women to feel comfortable in what they’re wearing. I would say our style is easy, but polished—and also versatile. We sell clothes that are season-spanning and can be worn for a variety of occasions.” Nicole lives in Alexandria with her husband and son.

Fun Fact: Lowering exposure to toxic chemicals can keep your heart healthy by lowering levels in the blood stream.


Join Nicole in her mission to Go Red for Women by making a donation in her name to the Go Red for Women campaign.

Join the movement. Raise awareness. Go red.

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