Charles Nolan, who had been struggling with cancer of the head and neck, passed away this weekend at the age of 53. Nolan was known for designing ladylike, wearable womenswear of the sort favored by female politicians and political wives (Tipper Gore was a fan.) His commitment to politics went beyond the sartorial—back in 2003 he quit his job as head designer of Anne Klein to volunteer for Howard Dean's presidential campaign, and he kept his Meatpacking District store stocked with political literature.
Nolan was also an early MePa adopter, opening his shop on Gansevoort Street in 2004. Along with his collection, the store is stocked with jewelry, shoes, vintage, housewares, and Nolan's own artwork. As retail consultant Jessica Gold puts it in a sweet eulogy on her blog Truth Plus, "You could tell that every inch of the shop had been thought about."
The store blog was updated this morning with the sad news. "Charles passed away this morning ever so peacefully with dignity and style," writes the blogger, "just as he lived every day of his life." In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to non-profit organization Women in Need.
· Charles Nolan, Designer, Is Dead at 53 [NYT]
· Goodbye Mr. Nolan [Truth Plus]
· Rest In Peace, Charles Nolan [Official Site]