When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry went public with their relationship at the 2016 Invictus Games, Meghan was wearing a shirt designed by Misha Nonoo called “The Husband Shirt” that retails for $185.
Of course, this went viral.
— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) September 25, 2017
And the media read waaaay too much into it. And so are we, because it appears that Meghan could have been giving credit to the woman who introduced her to Harry. As People speculated, “considering the couple’s likely history with Nonoo, perhaps it was more than just a show of support for her friend’s brand on Markle’s part: Maybe it was a thank you.”
That wink in her caption! Sneaky!
Why? She’s good friends with Meghan and runs in Prince Harry’s circle (she was married to one of his best friends, Alexander Gilkes, and is close friends with Princess Beatrice, Harry’s cousin. Actually, Misha, Beatrice, and none other than Karlie Kloss & Josh Kushner were recently vacationing together in the Middle East. But that’s a whole other story….)
So, *who* is Misha Nonoo? We rounded up 18 things to know about the Jewish matchmaker of the century…
1. She was born in Bahrain, an Arab state on the Persian Gulf. She lived there until she turned 11, when her family moved to London. Her father is an Iraqi Jew and her mom is British. But they met in New York!
2. Misha’s cousin, Houda Nonoo, served as the Bahraini ambassador to the United States from July 2008 to November 2013. She is the first Jewish ambassador of any Middle Eastern country (😱) and the third ever Bahraini ambassador. Radio Canada reported at the time of her appointment, “She is one of the 37 citizens of Jewish faith in this Persian Gulf country, which has some 500,000 inhabitants.”
3. The Nonoo Family is prominent AF. They’re descended from Iraqis who migrated to Bahrain in the late 19th century. As JTA explains in a history of Bahraini Jews, “The country’s Jews rarely get together; the last Jewish funeral was in 2001, and they barely managed to get a minyan.” Nevertheless, “The community’s unofficial leader is Abraham David Nonoo, who’s also a member of Bahrain’s 40-man Shura, or parliamentary council.”
4. Misha’s multicultural background shines through in her fashion. As she explained to Fashionista in 2012, “My mother is as English as you get and my father is of Iraqi decent. Your whole life is about the training of the eye. The more you see and are exposed to changes and cultivate a vision. I’m so grateful for my a-typical upbringing. The colors and smells in Bahrain are an anomaly back in Europe. I remember these women who wore the chicest outfits under their Burka, but nobody could see it. That is definitely a kind of elegance. At the end of the day, life is about being open. Style comes in so many shapes and packages.”
5. She initially launched her fashion line with just jackets and coats. She debuted her first line in 2011.
6. In 2012, she married British entrepreneur Alexander Gilkes. They started dating in 2003. In attendance at the wedding? Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, James Middleton (Kate’s brother), Houda Nonoo (see #2!), and a long list of other people, including Lana del Rey, who performed (see the W Magazine write-up of their wedding). Plus, Gilkes’s brother used to date Pippa.
7. Essentially, Misha has a phone full of royal connections. Misha & Alexander were also profiled as part of “the elite NYC court of Will & Kate.”
8. Alexander Gilkes converted to Judaism to marry her. Sadly, their marriage ended in divorce in 2016. (“Page Six,” gossipy as hell, reported it was because “they both travel a lot. They are both wildly ambitious, but their relationship became a casualty of their ambition.”)
9. Her Instagram is both her brand and her personal, which is frustrating for stalking purposes. But she has a dog named Margaret Thatcher.
10. And she has a haircut named after her. HASHTAG GOALS.
11. And, obviously, she Instagrams with Meghan Markle. They spent a lot of time traveling together during the summer of 2016, when Misha supposedly set up Meghan and Harry. Here’s them in Madrid, alongside Anderson Markus, who was rumored to have set up Meghan & Harry before the couple confirmed it was a woman (i.e. MISHA).
Oh, you want more Meghan Markle Instas? HERE YA GO:
Alright, back to 18 things…
12. Just kidding, here’s one more Insta with Meghan from November 2015. Power poses! Also she captioned “#boobcheck” which I will be using in all future Instagrams.
(And while we’re on the subject of Meghan, Misha told the Evening Standard, “I love her to death. She is the coolest girl in the world.”)
13. Her clothes have been worn by everyone from Emma Watson to Gigi Hadid to Anne Hathaway. Misha explained that the “Nonoo Woman” is “someone that appreciates quality and tailoring, but she’s also a bit of a maverick and likes to change up the way that she dresses – she travels, she’s an international character.”
14. She’s been very innovative with showing her collections; she’s held shows only viewable on Snapchat, and debuted entire collections on Instagram.
15. And now, instead of seasonal collections, she has something called the Easy 8, “a line of eight seasonless, elegant basics that can be combined to create 22 versatile looks.” She relaunched as a direct-to-consumer brand.
16. She’s met the Queen, obvs. Of this experience, she said, “Meeting the Queen was a pretty surreal experience, but other than that I feel that we are all the same irrespective of our public accomplishments and should be treated as such.”
18. She’s almost guaranteed to be at the royal wedding! Yippee!
There you have it. Misha Nonoo: fashion maverick, friend to all, most likely responsible for the best royal wedding of our time.
Header Image via Misha Nonoo on Instagram.