Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves! Meet Our Cover Stars, The Naders

by Freya Drohan

From babes in matching clothes and pigtails to navigating the fast-paced world of fashion, modeling, and media in NYC, the Louisiana-born Nader sisters are the girl gang you would want to navigate your twenties with. Let’s get to know Sports Illustrated star Brooks, financial whiz Mary Holland, and models and students Grace Ann and Sarah Jane.

Let’s get started by going down memory lane! What was it like growing up?
Brooks: I’m the oldest. I had it the worst! Our parents were such young parents—they had me at 21. I got a phone at 16, and wasn’t allowed shave my legs ‘til I was in high school! I literally saw my first movie in a movie theater at 15; everything was delayed for me because my parents were learning as they were going. We’re all back to back, within five years, so it was total chaos with our 25-year-old mom! I feel like I pretended to be the mom, caretaker. I always took on the role, and still do, in New York.
Sarah Jane: How Brooks mentioned she saw her first movie at 15, I was also there that day—we did everything together and had all those firsts at the same time, but I was just a bit younger. I had more freedom growing up, and I agree that Brooks is the caretaker mom. Since we all moved to the city, she’s hosted us at her apartment for weeks and feeds us. Her and Billy [Brooks’ husband] are like our New York parents.
Grace Ann: I think we each enjoy the power we have over our little sister. Brooks was definitely bossy, in a good mom way! Especially with fashion—she’d always be telling me, ‘Don’t wear that, you look weird!’ And I very much enjoyed exercising that power over Sarah Jane. We all found our little bit of power where we could get it! Brooks is definitely the reason why I try so hard to be fashionable and cool. Mary, you never really tried!
Mary Holland: I was second in line. Brooks and I shared a room, and the younger two shared a room until we moved.
Brooks: Actually we all shared a room—all of us, at one point.
Mary Holland: As you can imagine, I’m more quiet than Brooksie. We definitely have different personalities. I was the only one who played sports competitively, and I was really into reading and they were all into cheerleading and dancing. I think I took on more of a nurturing role, I think. We were all so close in age we were so tight knit—matching pigtail braids and clothes everywhere we went! It definitely enabled us to live in a little bubble together.

You look so cute in your childhood pics. Were there secret fights though?
Sarah Jane: Most of the stuff we fought about is ridiculous…clothes!
Brooks: Also boys! We’re very opinionated about that…
Sarah Jane: As we get older, we fight less. Me and Grace Ann used to physically fight as kids! Y’all would bully me…they put me in a dog cage at one point when a babysitter was there…
Brooks: We were like brothers the way we would physically fight.
Mary Holland: Our parents were really good about if we fought, we’d have to go into each others rooms and formally apologize. They’d never let us go to bed angry at each other; we’d always have to hug it out or talk it out in a room together. Make us stand there until we worked it out. Their biggest thing was always that we support each other. Take care of your sisters and never build up animosity!


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As adults, do you feel now you agree on everything?
Grace Ann: It’s very much a ‘pick your own battles’ type thing. Unless it’s something I really care about, sometimes I just will choose not to say anything on this one…
Sarah Jane: Again, significant others is probably the biggest source of disagreement. If someone’s dating someone the others really don’t like. Usually we agree about most work things and moral values.

Do you agree on fashion, or do you call each other out?
Brooks: I think we call each other out. Some are more fashion forward than others! Obviously I have the best taste [Laughs]. But the other girls have their own sense of style…aside from Mary Holland who simply has none [all laugh]. Just kidding. She has her little work CEO vibes! Sarah Jane has her Euphoria, y2k, 20-year-old era. Grace Ann is all over the place. Every time she shows up, we’re like…’Oh my god!’
Grace Ann: One day I’m feeling Indie Boho, the next I’m like all black leather.
Sarah Jane: She’s brave and bold with her style, which I respect.
Grace Ann: A lot of times I just wear what I’m told!

Brooks wearing MARC BOUWER vintage 1996 velvet gown, made to order; ANITA KO diamond loop earrings in 18K gold, $5,900

Who gives the best advice?
Brooks: I think I do! But Sarah Jane gives good advice.
Sarah Jane: Aw, thanks!
Grace Ann: I think I do?
Sarah Jane: I think Brooks and Mary Holland….sorry GAN! Brooks, I would go to for anything business or work-related, Mary Holland I go to for financial advice.
Grace Ann: But you’d probably come to me if you liked someone and wanted to know how to pursue it?
Mary Holland: Go to Grace Ann if you want to be told what you want to hear!
Grace Ann: We’ll discuss this later….
Brooks: Grace Ann will just be like, ‘F*ck it! Let’s go out.’

Grace Ann wearing CUCCULELLI SHAHEEN open-back beaded and embellished crystal La Curva dress, $16, 800; ANITA KO pear diamond drop earrings in 18K gold, $32,150

I think that answers my next question, who is the most fun?
All: Grace Ann!
Grace Ann: I’m definitely the most care free.
Sarah Jane: Brooks pre-marriage, Grace Ann now.
Brooks: Wait! I’m more fun now. Before I didn’t do anything. Now I travel the world by myself and always party. I think I’m more fun now.

Brooks is leading the way in the city and was here first. What have the lessons been that you’ve been teaching the girls?
Brooks: One of my main lessons to all of the girls is that if they want it, they have to do it themselves. I have a network, hang out with me, and everyone knows I have three sisters who’d I’d do anything in the world for. But they have to get the job for themselves, don’t just sit there. They’ve taken that pretty seriously, especially Sarah Jane. What other advice do I give you girls?! Really good stuff….
Grace Ann: Something Brooks has always said is make sure we introduce ourselves to everyone. It’s a small industry, chances are you’ll see that person again.
Sarah Jane: She’s really shown us about how important relationships are; remembering that person’s names and facts about them. We all experience that when she’s talking to us, but it’s cool to see her in action talking to other people.

Sarah Jane wearing VALENTINO cropped shirt, $1,300, and skirt, $4,500

Do you think being from the South also comes into play with how you handle yourself?
Sarah Jane:
I think it definitely affects how we act. Most people who meet us can tell we’re from the South, just based on our energy. Especially Brooks. I’m shy. But she is so charismatic and she’s like a magnet. I think that being from the South adds to that charm!
Brooks: That was so nice…I feel like I’m at my own memorial service!
Mary Holland: Our being from the South, I think you can see how genuine we are. I think that it’s not something that can be taught. We were raised to be super transparent, and that really shines through.

Mary, I know financial literacy and female financial empowerment is something really important to you. How are you helping your sisters navigate the industry with these new opportunities?
Mary Holland:
I’ve always been interested in finance and I majored in it, and because I’ve always been surrounded by it, you start to assume that everyone knows the basics. It wasn’t until I actually got this job and all the girls were in the city together and we started this journey with brands and navigating the exciting opportunities together that I realized they had no idea where to even put their savings to earn a generous yield. Something as simple as that. It got me thinking. I also volunteer with kids through my bank; teaching them financial literacy and helping them get into colleges. Being worried about money is one of the most stressful things, but everyone in the world has to deal with it. Knowledge is power. A few months ago, Sarah Jane was worried about what she would do in the future, when she got out of college. We’re all so lucky we were all able to go through college without any debt. That’s something we can sometimes take for granted! My rule has been that if I was lucky enough to get enough a free education, lucky enough to get a place on a very selective graduate program, why wouldn’t I share that knowledge and what I’ve learned with other women? What that looks like is me sitting down with them and explaining the difference between savings accounts. Where can you get the most yield on idle cash? What’s the easiest way to invest to grow your money? How do you set up an IRA, and what kind of IRA you use if you’re self-employed?
Brooks: May, this is a lot!

Mary Holland wearing ANDREW KWON corseted tulle bodice, kissing peplum, and silk metallic lamé gown, $5,100; CUCCULELLI SHAHEEN tulle, lace, beaded, and crystal gloves, $1,600; KATKIM floating pearl pavé ear pin in 18K gold, $2,520

Sign us up for this seminar… we’re taking notes! Tell us about your collective involvement with City Harvest here in NYC.
Brooks: It sounds so cliché but it’s true, I’ve always loved to volunteer ever since high school. I’m more of a spiritual person than a religious person. It’s so important to give back as we are so fortunate. It’s not like we had rich parents who gave us everything, but we’re still breathing, we’re here, we’re healthy, and that’s a blessing. Not everyone has that. When I moved to New York, I lived across the street from a charity and I learned a lot about food insecurity. Not everyone knows where their next meal is coming from. I was heartbroken by that fact. I emailed City Harvest back in 2017 and asked how I could volunteer. I started and a few months in, someone asked if I was a model and they ended up asking me if I would do some celebrity work for them, which led to becoming an ambassador for their annual gala. It was a big honor. I told my sisters they needed to volunteer. It really makes your day as it’s so rewarding. The girls got involved and this year for the first time, they asked all four of us to be on the board for the gala in April.

How do you find learning the ropes in the city?
Sarah Jane: It’s definitely very different. Most of my friends from high school are getting the big college experience, and I feel like I’m sort of bypassing that and jumping into adulthood. Taking classes every so often, but also working. I’m happy with that, though. I think I’d feel antsy being in our hometown. But it’s an adjustment…everyone moves slowly in Louisiana. After two years here, I think I’m getting the hang of it.
Grace Ann: The biggest learning curve living in New York in my twenties has been separating out time for myself. Compartmentalizing different parts of my life. I’m very extroverted and I love to be around other people. When I first moved here, I was out every night without fail. But as I’ve lived here longer I’ve realized I love alone time yoo. Separating different things I’m trying to do, and devote myself to just one task at hand. If you’re going to have a self-care night…only do that!
Brooks: Our dad has always said treat others the way you wanted to be treated, and I never expected that not to be reciprocated! Just because you’re a good person, it doesn’t mean you’ll get that back. In the South if someone’s going to reject you, it’s all ‘Bless your heart sweetie.’ Here, it’s like, ‘Get the f*ck out!’ It’s been an adjustment to get used to that, but I’ve started to brush it off. What are you going to do about it? If you wouldn’t let them into your house, don’t let them into your head. That’s what I always say. Who’s @user848 writing a mean comment? Don’t let them in.
Mary Holland: Definitely the biggest adjustment is balancing two completely different industries, both of which are time consuming and require stringent scheduling. Brooks has been super helpful, even down to picking up an outfit or booking an appointment for me so I can run straight from work. This is my main job [at the bank], and it can be hard to balance those things, and a social life. And to Grace Anne’s point, include time for myself as well. But I’m navigating it…if I get overwhelmed, at least I’m able bodied and I can be sprinting! Plus, I’m getting opportunities that pretty much no one in my line of work is getting [laughs]. It’s a challenge, but it’s fun!

You mean no one at the bank is rocking a Chanel Cruise suit on set?! What are your goals for 2023?
Grace Ann:
I’m excited to get more immersed in my Master’s program, which is Global Public Health. I’m also excited to keep modeling…and practice it! It takes so much practice, and I want to learn more about fashion. I loved this shoot and found myself more curious about curating my own style.
Sarah Jane: I want to push modeling as far as I can take it, and tick off career bucket list goals. I also want to hone in on my major, which is Technology and Emerging Media. I’ll figure out a potential job, maybe look for an internship, and I would really like to do a bunch of sister projects! It never feels like work.
Brooks: I’ve some exciting modeling updates coming soon. It’s going to be an amazing year! We have some sister projects we’re working on too that everyone will be able to see. It’s always been a dream of mine to work with them, and somehow I manifested it into real life. This cover is a huge highlight for us, I can’t even tell you. I dreamed about this forever, and I can’t believe I’m doing it with my sisters! This is a pinch-me moment.


Story and styling by Freya Drohan

Photography by Jon Moe 

Makeup by Bruce Dean, Juliette Perreux using NARS

Hair by Cassie Carey, Erickson Arrunategui

All shoes by SCHUTZ

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