NKPR Client Spotlight: Mandy Rennehan adds another feather to her cap with new HGTV Canada show ‘Trading up with Mandy Rennehan’

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At NKPR, we commit ourselves to working with clients that we’re excited about; those who are disruptors in their fields, drive innovation and empower others – and construction mogul, MANDY RENNEHAN is the perfect example of that! Mandy’s entrepreneurial journey began at the young age of 10 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, when she started selling bait to local fishermen for profit in order to help her family financially. She left home at 18 to learn more about construction, opened her first company at 20, and soon found herself at the top of a male-dominated industry, all before she turned 30.  

Truly a woman on a mission – Mandy is currently CEO of construction company Freshco, an accomplished author and a TV show host too! Following the recent launch of her book ‘The Blue Collar CEO,’ Mandy is now riding high on the success of her new TV Show “Trading up with Mandy Rennehan,’ which is produced by Scott Brothers Entertainment, and airs every Thursday on HGTV Canada.  

What we did 

Team NKPR has been a proud part of Mandy’s inspiring journey; right from the early stages of the show, all the way up to her most recent press appearances for it! Our first meeting with Mandy, years ago, was enough for us to see that she was a superstar in the making, and this was the opportune moment that the idea for ‘Trading up with Mandy Rennehan’ came to life. We worked with Mandy on the early development of the show and played a part in getting the show picked up by Scott Brothers Entertainment and greenlit by HGTV Canada!

As the agency-of-record, our main goal once the show was greenlit, was to continue generating awareness for Mandy Rennehan and contribute to her overall brand recognition and growth with new audiences across North America by successfully leveraging her show and her book through broadcast, online, and print opportunities. We facilitated strategic partnerships and media relations with long and short-lead pitching to secure coverage for “Trading up with Mandy Rennehan,’ and provided ongoing counsel on media opportunities and promotions that would help catapult Mandy’s profile and success as an industry leader and credible personality across North America. 

The Show 
Set in Yarmouth, ‘Trading Up’ follows Mandy and her apprentices as they transform run-down properties into extraordinary homes for resale. Mandy has been a passionate advocate of getting tradespeople the respect they deserve and diversity in the field, and her new show reflects this commitment. Filled with funny moments, a remarkable cast and crew, life lessons, positivity and even appearances by her near and dear ones (including her father), ‘Trading up with Mandy Rennehan’ is an absolute must-watch as Mandy proves yet again that she’s truly a Master of the trades! 

NKPR Client Success: Award-Winning Children’s Content Producer — 9 Story Media

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We believe that building a better world starts with educating and empowering children in all the ways in which we can. It’s nice to see these values shared by our client— 9 Story Media, a Canadian creator, producer and ward-winning animated and live action content creator for young audiences around the world.

9 Story is the powerhouse behind many of our favourite kids’ titles including Blue’s Clues, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Barney & Friends, and their newest success—Karma’s World, which has already landed on the Netflix Top 10 List and was green-lit for a second season.

Created in partnership with Ludacris, #KarmasWorld was inspired by his daughter, Karma, and highlights real-life challenges faced by youth today. One of NKPR’s first projects with 9 Story, was to plan for strategy and the media relations campaign to support the launch of Karma’s World. In Karma’s World, which is co-produced by 9 Story, Oscar-nominated Dublin-based studio Brown Bag Films, and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, we follow young rapper and musician Karma Grant, a 10-year-old with a big heart and an even bigger voice.

Ludacris and his daughter Karma

The 40 episode season delves into topics and issues that children are faced with every day, presented in a way that is more accessible to them. In this way, Karma’s World aims to help children cope with self-esteem sensitivities, body positivity, discrimination, creativity, and healthy expression of emotions. 

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Karma’s World

In 2021, NKPR developed a media relations campaign to generate awareness for Karma’s World to Canadian media. To date, the campaign generated 8 million impressions across top-tier broadcast, online, and radio publications including Global News, CityNews, CP24, The Social, ETalk, and The Marilyn Denis Show

In accordance with their well-earned accolades, 9 Story Media continues to produce high-quality content that respects children, making them think, laugh and motivate them to change the world for the better. The brand has 24 hit kids shows on Netflix, with teams in Toronto, New York, Dublin and Bali. The 9 Story team has won 7 Emmys, 2 Oscar nominations, 42 Parent Choice Awards, 1 Peabody Award, 20 Kidscreen Awards and 8 BAFTA nominations.

You can find 9 Story content across a variety of the world’s leading platforms like Netflix, Disney, PBS Kids, Cartoon Network, Hulu, Nickelodeon, CBC and dozens more. 

Stay tuned for more exciting announcements coming from 9 Story — we’re just getting started! 

NKPR Speed Dating

NKPR Speed Dating

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Speed Dating at the Office? Something that many companies are working through right now is maintaining the same sense of belonging and comradery that was more prevalent back when everyone was in the office full-time. And while we at NKPR are currently exercising a hybrid of working in the office and remotely, we value and are excited for this in-person exchange of positive energy and communication between everybody, as well as the chance to participate in more team activities at the office once again.  

Last week, we hosted a fun NKPR Speed Dating event, where our entire team got to spend a few minutes facing each other with fun questions to keep the conversations moving (What is your all-time favourite movie? What’s your go-to karaoke song?), before rotating to the next person. By the end of the exercise, our entire team was smiling, laughing and taking away some new fun facts about their peers.   

Team building exercises like Speed Dating are simple to organize and fundamental to building increased communication, employee motivation and collaboration, and help to harvest a healthy culture in the workplace.  

Socializing and making friends in the workplace is one of the best ways to increase productivity in the virtual, hybrid or in-person workplace. It’s also a great way to build social bridges across departments, help unlock leadership potential and foster creativity from the teams.  We’re excited to try more team-bonding activities!   

Age of Union Environmental Alliance Launch & Premiere

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Have you heard the news?  Lightspeed Founder & CEO Dax Dasilva has officially launched Age Of Union, a visionary non-profit that will fund critical conservation actions around the world, with a pledge of $40 million!   Following the success of Dasilva’s 2019 book release, Age of Union, a guide to inspire today’s changemakers, Dasilva created the alliance to bring together conservationists from around the world and inspire high-impact change.

Dax Dasilva at the Age of Union premiere in Toronto

Age of Union launched five major conservation projects with partners Nature’s Conservancy of Canada (Quebec, Canada), Jungle Keepers (Peru), Canadian Ape Alliance (Democratic Republic of Congo), Kalaweit (Indonesia) and KANPE (Haiti). The conservation projects focus on protecting endangered species, preserving important ecosystems and freshwater reserves, and restoring others through reforestation or agroforestry. 

The St Lawrence River. Photo by: Jeremie Aubut

As part of its call to action, Age of Union is producing short documentaries on select projects.  Last week saw the premiere of the first film, “We are the St. Lawrence”, produced in partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada on October 26th in Montreal at the Ritz Carlton, and October 28th in Toronto at Clio.

Guests at the Age of Union premiere in Montreal
Emma Dora and Paul Rosolie at the Age of Union premiere in Toronto

“The St. Lawrence River watershed holds 20 percent of the globe’s freshwater reserve, and its estuary is one of the world’s largest and most biodiverse. Sadly, humans have taken this for granted,” says Dasilva. “We dump our waste here and use it as a superhighway for cargo ships when it is also home to wildlife like whales, sturgeons, birds, and much more. We hope with our support of Nature Conservancy of Canada, preservation efforts, and this film, we are able to foster a community of support and respect for these great waters.”

Dax Dasilva speaking on the panel at the Age of Union premiere in Montreal

The St Lawrence River. Photo by: Oli Jobin

Age of Union and NCC were also joined at the events by Jungle Keepers, a non-profit dedicated to protecting the rainforest in the Peruvian Amazon, for a thought provoking panel discussion on the importance of protecting our environment.

The panel at the Age of Union premiere in Montreal

The panel at the Age of Union premiere in Toronto

This is such an inspiring and incredible initiative, and we at NKPR are proud to continue to see Dax and his team taking positive action with Age of Union.  Visit https://www.ageofunion.com/ to learn more.   

Dax Dasilva at the Age of Union premiere in Montreal

Joël Bonin and Dax Dasilva at the Age of Union premiere in Toronto

Paul Rosolie and Dina Tsouluhas at the Age of Union premiere in Toronto

The Age of Union premiere in Montreal at the Ritz Carlton

Montreal premiere photos by: MOEtreal

Toronto premiere photos by: George Pimentel

Sympli Your Way Fall 2021 Campaign

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Have you seen the latest fall campaign from NKPR client Sympli?  Sympli Your Way brings together 5 female entrepreneurs to share their style stories and how their personal style helps them feel confident, while celebrating women in business.  These ladies are all impressive leaders in their own industries, making their mark in the most significant ways.  Although they each approach fashion differently, the common thread when it comes to getting dressed is to look and feel confident, and that’s exactly what Sympli brings to the wardrobe.  

Meet 5 Successful Entrepreneurs

Mary Oliveira, the Chocolatier behind Mary’s Brigadeiro

“I feel really empowered with the clothes that I wear because I need to be in front of the store, with my team members that are inside of the kitchen, settling and running around the city. So I need to be comfy and flexible with the clothes that I’m wearing all the time.”

Trang Trinh, CEO, TREC Brands

“When I’m not fundraising money and meeting with bankers, I’m meeting with growers and bud tenders. I walk my dog during the lunch hour and in the evening. And after, I may need to quickly throw on a pair of heels to attend an event. So I need to have pieces in my wardrobe that are versatile. I want my style to say, ‘She knows what she’s talking about and that she’s a confident woman.’”

Shantelle Bisson, Author

“When I’m comfortable, I feel like I’m actually being authentic to myself and that’s why I like to just keep my vibe pretty simple and straightforward. I like to have pieces that can go from day to night and I can mix and match while never compromising quality. That way, when I go to my work, my genuine, authentic self is represented. I like my style to reflect that you can talk to me about anything and you can ask me anything. I’m an open book!”

Carrie Kirkman, Executive Director, Sympli

“My personal style is clean and simple, but with a pop of something. It helps me feel empowered and confident by not having to actually think about it at all. I’m just feeling great. I love the idea of a foundation wardrobe , where I have my favourite pants, underpinning, and a great jacket. And I think those three pieces can take you anywhere.”

Natasha Koifman, President & Founder, NKPR

“My personal style is very much grounded in sophistication, with a bit of edge. I have worn black, probably for the past two decades, if not more—it makes me feel more confident, more powerful. And I want my style to say that I’m confident. For me, style equates to confidence.”

Photography: @erinleydon

Videography: @imvideo        

Hair & Makeup: @jodiurichuk & @wendyrorong

13th Annual Artists for Peace and Justice Gala

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Our 13th annual Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) Festival Gala took place Saturday, September 11, raising critical awareness and needed funds to support education in Haiti.  In an intimate setting at the home of Natasha Koifman, local and global communities gathered during TIFF to support this imperative initiative.  Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and guests, $500,000 was raised in one evening, with 100% of funds raised going directly to The Academy for Peace & Justice in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, to provide public access to secondary school education.

Eric Hendrikx, Natasha Koifman, Shantelle and Yannick Bisson, Geddy Lee and his family

APJ co-chairs Natasha Koifman & Suzanne Boyd

Natasha Koifman, ​​President of the Board for Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) Canada, and on the Board of Directors for the organization’s American counterpart, co-chaired the gala with APJ Canadian board director, Suzanne Boyd. 

APJ Canada Board of Directors: Yannick Bisson, Rose Mantella, Sussane Boyd, Carrie Kirkman, Natasha Koifman, Dr. Reza Nabavian, Shantelle Bisson, George Stroumboulopoulos, Joanne Bull

Emcees George Stroumboulopoulos & Natasha Gargiulo 

Actress Natasha Gargiulo and APJ Canadian board treasurer, George Stroumboulopoulos, emceed the event, beginning with a moment of silence dedicated to both the recent devastation in Haiti and twenty year anniversary of 9/11. 

Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Geddy Lee

In recognition of APJ’s long-standing commitment to altruism, Geddy Lee, of the iconic Canadian rock band Rush, received this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his commitment to philanthropy. “For philanthropy to have any impact requires a tremendous amount of collective action—momentum,” said Lee. 

APJ Canadian Changemaker Award Recipients, Shantelle and Yannick Bisson

Rick Springfeild virtually surprised his friends Shantelle and Yannick Bisson with the Canadian Changemaker award for their relentless charitable efforts over the years, supporting APJ as well as Childhood Cancer Canada, Sheila’s Place, Boost for Kids and more.   

Natasha Koifman, ​​President of the Board for Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) Canada

Natasha Koifman, ​​President of the Board for Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) Canada

“Education should not be a privilege, but a human right for every child,” said Koifman. “And yet Haiti only offers paid secondary education. Many Haitian families live on one dollar a day making it an impossibility. I am so grateful for the many people who have been part of APJ since day one and everyone here tonight. Together, we have helped 26,000 students get an education since 2012. It’s incredibly important we support a community that in reality, is in our own backyard. We have to take action.”

Jimmy-Jean Louis video message

Both physical and virtual experiences showcased the first-hand impact of APJ on the lives of youth in Haiti, including video wholehearted messages from Jaebets Gilles, Execute Director, St. Luke for Haiti Foundation Educational Program, and Jimmy-Jean Louis, actor and Ambassador at Large to Haiti, who reminded guests of the significance of their support—education and training that empowers the next generation of leaders with resilience and hope for better living conditions.    

A special virtual message from Ben Stiller

Rick Springfeild crowd-pleasing virtual performance of “Jessie’s Girl”

Long-time APJ supporters, Ben Stiller and Susan Sarandon, virtually thanked guests and reminded them of the impact these fundraisers have on education and health programs in Haiti.  Legendary musicians Jim Cuddy and Rick Springfeild also contributed brilliant virtual performances.

Live performance by Witch Prophet and DJ Sun Sun 

Live performance by Kayla Diamond of Slaight Music 

Paul Beaubrun’s live performance of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” closed the evening. 

Special live performances included Witch Prophet and DJ Sun Sun, Kayla Diamond of Slaight Music, and Haitian artist Paul Beaubrun who flew in directly from Haiti and made it in just in time to close the evening.

David Daniels & Natasha Gargiulo leading the live auction

This year’s live auction was led by former Canadian Changemaker Award recipient David Daniels and Canadian TV personality Natasha Gargiulo.  Highlights included a bidding war between Lee Piccoli and Yannick Bisson for Anthony Ricciardi’s “Day Dream”, an original painting that went to Lee for a generous APJ donation of $20,000.  Ginger Barkey and Rose Mantella bid aggressively for Russell Young’s “Marilyn Crying”, a large format, diamond-dusted screen print donated by Taglialatella Gallery, before Danny Soberano from INK Entertainment Group offered a second piece for auction, allowing both bidders to take home this prize artwork, raising a combined $120,000 donation.  Michael Bratty and Gillian Oxley competitively bid for a walk-on role on Murdoch Mysteries. Lead actor Yannick Bisson and Shaftesbury, the production company who donated the auction item, generously offered both bidders a walk-on role opportunity, raising $30,000.

Auction piece ‘Marilyn Crying’ by Russell Young, donated by Taglialatella Galleries & INK Entertainment

Ritz Carlton Epoch Bar

The night was a huge success, having had support provided by many local community members and sponsors. A huge thank you to the Ritz Carlton, who set up their Epoch bar featuring specialty cocktails, Flow for keeping our guests hydrated, and Shaftesbury, Slaight Music, and No.7 Dale.  Big shout-out to Motorino Restaurants, who kept guests warm with their coffee cart.

This year’s APJ NKPR team

Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in this year’s gala.  To learn more about Artists for Peace and Justice, visit https://www.apjnow.org/.

Photography by: Ryan Emberley 

Yannick Bisson, Geddy Lee and George Stroumboulopoulos

Raymond Perkins, Charles Kabouth and Vinay Virmani

Kim Newport-Mimran & Joe Mimran

Brian Brown, Natasha Koifman and Anthony Riccardi 

Diane Bald and Michael Budman

Dax DaSilva

Basem Hanna and Marina Hanna

Eric Hendrikx, Natasha Koifman and Danny Soberano

Jeremy Woods-Ross and Ellie Mae

Lee Piccoli with family & friends

Matthew and Jaqueline Wilson

Eric Hendrikx & Natasha Koifman

Summer Partner Appreciation Event

NKPR’s 2021 Summer Partner Appreciation Night

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Any chance to celebrate together again is worth smiling for, and it was all smiles at NKPR’s Summer Partner Appreciation Night. After more than a year apart, friends, clients and partners mingled over cocktails, food and tons of candy! 

Top: NKPR Candy Table. Bottom: Hounds Vodka Bar

Next to a bar stocked full of signature black Hounds Vodka, Flow Water and Rubicon made for great mixers! Our client, Motorino Cucina Catering provided the entire party with their infamous mobile pizza ape, keeping their signature woodfired pizzas coming all night long. 

Motorino provided delicious Italian bites and wood-fired pizzas from their pizza ape

Chatime’s beloved bubble teas and milk teas proved to be another huge party hit, with flavours ranging from classic milk tea to mango. Guests couldn’t get enough of the tapioca!

Top: the Chatime station.  Bottom: Natasha Koifman with the Chatime team (Roxanne Tsui, Kenton Chan and Rachel Chew)

Premium cannabis brand house TREC set up their own cannabis rolling station; their in-house “budtender” was busy handing out handmade pre-rolls and edibles from their brands Wink, Blissed and Thumbs Up while educating attendees on cannabis. 

TREC’s cannabis station

But no NKPR event is ever complete without that extra sweet little something—the iconic candy table was back and more popular than ever! 

Guests trying to decide on candy!

Hours later, reflecting as the evening came to end, NKPR Founder and President Natasha Koifman paused for a moment, 

“You know, everyone just seemed so happy to dress up and go out!”

Natasha Koifman and husband Eric Hendrikx

Thank you to everyone who attended and made the evening so special; NKPR is fortunate to have so many wonderful clients to celebrate with. 

Here’s to many more nights to come!

Embracing Fall & Winter Early with Our FW21 Preview

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Last week, NKPR hosted the FW21 Preview for Sympli, SOREL, and MEC. Each brand provided a selection of fashion wear designed for both function and style, with collections that hone in on a comfort-meets-stylish appeal. Our media friends were invited to attend both in-person and digitally. 

With chunky soles and sneakers still set to be trending this fall and winter, there was a lot of buzz surrounding SOREL’s Kinetic sneaker collection and their year-round variations of the beloved platform trainer. The brand is also set to bring both men’s and women’s pieces inspired by utility boots with hints of hiker hardware, in vibrant and monochromatic variations that are perfect for trekking both in the city and the outdoors. 

Work-from-home is also here to stay, even if some of us are making more frequent trips to the workplace. Sympli, the Canadian workleisure brand founded by women for women, is releasing a dynamic, functional, and stunning collection of pieces designed out of French Terry Cotton, the light-weight, breathable and moisture-wicking fabric, that’s ideal for transitional pieces that can carry you over from summer to winter.  

MEC highlighted that outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, snowshoeing, and skiing will continue to gain popularity especially as we continue to rely on the outdoors as an additional source of entertainment and fun! MEC’s FW21 collections showcased fleeced pieces, technical hoodies and jackets, hiker essentials as well as outer layers that protect us from the natural elements. 

For more information on the FW21 collections from Sympli, SOREL, and MEC, please visit their websites.

Natasha The Residences

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Lanterra Developments Reshapes Toronto’s Iconic Skyline with 47-Storey High-Rise : Natasha The Residences

Avant-garde condominium inspired by in vogue trendsetter, Natasha Koifman, brings chic monochromatic interiors, live-work-play integrated amenities and innovative social spaces to vibrant Adelaide St. West

Renowned for contributing to Toronto’s iconic skyline and culture, Lanterra Developments are pleased to unveil their much-anticipated and newest project, Natasha The Residences. In the heart of Toronto’s Cultural District, the condominium will be inspired by lauded style and ethos of respected public relations powerhouse, NKPR founder Natasha Koifman. The new condominium will house nearly 440 residential suites (starting in the $500’s) and five floors of commercial space.

Located at 263 Adelaide St. W., the new 47-storey high-rise will live at the South-East corner of the John St. intersection, just steps from where Koifman opened her first NKPR office 20 years ago and two minutes from her current headquarters. Tying in Koifman’s long history of living between New York City and Toronto, Natasha The Residences will carry the mantra of “Turn Life On” echoing the energy and electricity of these vibrant cities, while drawing inspiration from Koifman’s outlook of living life to its fullest.

A tall tower in a city

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Natasha Koifman became a clear inspiration for this theme through her chic style, adventurous city living, and entrepreneurial spirit,” says Mark Mandelbaum, Chairman of Lanterra Developments. “Our team saw an opportunity to create a spectacular building that would capture the style and energy of Toronto’s Cultural District, while meeting deep-rooted desires in the community to live life to its fullest and enjoy everything the city has to offer. This will translate to inspirational design, sophisticated amenities and contemporary suites that elevate social experiences while complementing work-life integration.”

NATASHA THE RESIDENCES ARCHITECTURE

Designed by leading Canadian architecture firm, BDP Quadrangle, Natasha The Residences will soar atop the historic Purman building. The South-facing side will have soft curves reflective of a feminine silhouette, while architectural paneling will give the North side a sleek masculine look, reflective of a luxury timepiece. 

NATASHA THE RESIDENCES INTERIORS 

Visualizing Koifman’s chic and iconic all-black-everything style, Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge developed interiors that convey sophistication and vibrancy through a contrasting palette. Public spaces will also be home to pieces by acclaimed artists like Peter Tunney, who creates thought-provoking art through words. Koifman’s discerning taste and reputation for hosting acclaimed events will be translated to the project, both aesthetically and functionally through its amenities, community spaces, and suites. 

Amenities will include:

  • Exclusive sky lobby for residents on the sixth floor with concierge
  • Fitness centre with individual workout pods and virtual instructors
  • Media content studio equipped for film, photo, audio, and social media production
  • Modern spa with an infrared sauna
  • Pizza kitchen and Korean-inspired BBQ tables
  • An upscale social lounge that duals as a launderette
  • Coworking spaces catered for home-office residents
  • Concert piano room

Sales for Natasha The Residences are expected to commence late Summer 2021 starting in the $500s. Please visit NatashaResidences.com.

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Natasha The Residences’ sky lounge offers intimate gardens, pizza oven and stunning views.

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Positive messages by famed artist Peter Tunney adorn the walls in social and amenities spaces. 

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State-of-the-art fitness centre with virtual instructors and stunning downtown views. 

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A grand concert piano room will provide entertainment for residents and their guests. 

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Intimate and chic indoor-outdoor terrace will offer residents and their guests privacy to gather. 

Fashion Trend Report: Colours of Summer 2021

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Welcome to The Colours of Summer 2021! Have a look at NKPR’s Fashion Trend Report—showcasing a range of shades inspired by nature and coupled with new core classics. These fashion pieces, from some of our favourite designers, come together to create a palette inspiring ingenuity and inventiveness.