The Queen of Cashmere

Laura Biagiotti, center, with her daughter, Lavinia Biagiotti Cigna, right, after the presentation of her collection in Milan in September 2011: Credit Daniel Dal Zennaro/European Pressphoto Agency

“Being a fashion designer is like taking vows … It becomes your religion for life.” Laura Biagiotti

Italian fashion designer, Laura Biagiotti, died last Friday in Rome at 73 years old. I didn’t know her, I didn’t know about her business, I didn’t know that her elegant fashions made from fluffy goat’s wool defined her as the global queen of cashmere. But I love her story and it touched me to read it.

Biagiotti was born in 1943, and was envisioning an independent life for herself when she enrolled at a university in Rome to study literature and archaeology. But her life changed course when she was drawn to her family’s dressmaking studio where her mother, Delia Biagiotti, designed the uniforms for Alitalia employees. In 1972, she went into business for herself and presented her own collection by introducing a relatively new material at the time: cashmere. According to the New York Times: “Her original collection was so small, Biagiotti recalled, that at her first show, models wore the same white jacket three times, with two skirts and a dress. She developed a passion for linen and also for the color white, which many mourners wore to her funeral last week.” 

A woman in a profession dominated by men, Biagiotti told an interviewer in 1981 that “a woman designer faces the same odds as a woman trying to get a job as a 747 pilot.” But she did it and by the 1980s she was making her mark. In 1988 she became the first Italian designer to put on a fashion show in China presenting dresses and blouses in silk and cashmere, and in 1995 she was the first to have a show inside the Kremlin walls in Moscow. Today, The House of Biagiotti (based on Via dei Condotti in Rome) is listed among the largest fashion houses in Italy. Her daughter, Lavinia Biagiotti Cigna, is the creative director of the business and represents the third generation of Biagiotti clothiers.




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Daniel Silverstein Goes Bridal

2015-08-14+23.18.42-22015-08-15+23.01.45DSC_0057Fashion designer Daniel Silverstein (featured several times on TFIO) continues to grow and inspire! To bring you up to date on Daniel: he is now designing for love, launching his first bridal collection available exclusively at Schone Bride, Brooklyn, New York. Says Daniel: “My collection is best suited for modern love and the real couples of today and tomorrow. Classically romantic in feel, but pushing the fashion envelope, many of my pieces are gender fluid. I want all brides and grooms to have a chance to find something unique, ceremonial, ethical and special to wear as they share their vows and commit their lives and love their partners. This approach drives me forward in my design.”

In late May, Daniel moved his design studio from the garment district in midtown Manhattan to Manufacture New York in Brooklyn, where, says Daniel, “together we are navigating the vision for a new kind of fashion industry where anything is possible and zero goes to waste.” Daniel’s commitment to zero waste is what sets him apart as a fashion designer. None of his textile byproducts go to landfill. This commitment transcends every element of Daniel’s designs.

I love that Daniel Silverstein is going bridal. I’m buying it!

New bridal looks, courtesy of Daniel Silverstein

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A triumphant Isabella Rose Taylor!

Isabella Rose Taylor at the launch of her collection: Nordstrom BP

Isabella Rose Taylor at the launch of her Collection: Nordstrom BP

What a week for Isabella Rose Taylor! Following her first-ever show at NY Fashion Week, 13-year old designer, Isabella Rose Taylor, came to New Jersey on Saturday, to launch her Collection at Nordstrom BP. I was lucky enough to catch her, where she practically sold out in one hour. The Collection obviously rings true for Isabella’s contemporaries, for whom she designs. That is the magic of Isabella Rose Taylor: she doesn’t have to imagine what young women want to wear … she just has to ask herself. Continue reading

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EILEEN FISHER loves the world


Photo Courtesy – EILEEN FISHER, INC. “When you see the ampersand symbol it means we have a story to tell about our sustainability efforts.” EILEEN FISHER, INC.

In the front section of today’s New York Times, there is a sleek advertisement for an EILEEN FISHER black jacket and white silk tunic that catches your eye. Not just because the outfit is quintessentially simple and stylish; it is also green. As part of the #THISISECO campaign, the jacket gets 38% of its fiber from recycled water bottles and the tunic is dyed without using hazardous chemicals.

Since its inception in 1984, EILEEN FISHER, INC. has taken a human interest in the design and production of its clothes. Eileen Fisher, the woman and founder, has made it her mission to support not only the environment through its holistic approach of honoring the earth, but also supporting women with its Business Grant Program for Women Entrepreneurs and Leadership Grant Program for Women and Girls. These are the reasons that the brand EILEEN FISHER loves the world and the world loves EILEEN FISHER right back!

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