The fashion world has lost a beloved but little-known legend; designer Alfred Fiandaca passed away at the age of 72 and left his mark on the industry. During his career, Fiandaca became known for dressing women in the political spheres of the United States; his clients have included Lady Bird Johnson, Nancy Reagan, several members of the Kennedy family and more recently, Ann Romney (left).
Style with Substance
Alfred Fiandaca first founded his eponymous fashion line in 1960, focusing on tailored womenswear – his suit skirts soon became a hit with the likes of Joan Kennedy and Mrs Johnson. His creations also charmed silver screen stars like Julie Andrews and Audrey Hepburn. Mr Fiandaca was known for his focus on quality over quantity, and worked for clients who shared his views on investment dressing. “The thing I keep pushing is to not wear a different outfit for every occasion; it’s frivolous” said the designer. “You make something clean, perfect, simple with beautiful fabric and nice lines and you wear it forever”.
Alfred and Ann
The notoriously private Alfred Fiandaca found himself in the spotlight last year when he became the designer of choice for Ann Romney during her husband Mitt’s presidential campaign. Despite being a life-long Democrat, Fiandaca pulled out all the stops for the would-be Republican First Lady, a long-time client and friend. Ann was the picture of perfection in a series of crisp, clean-cut skirt suits designed by Alfred Fiandaca, in demure shades like cream (at the first presidential debate) and pink (on the campaign trail). She even got a little daring in an edgy, albeit beautifully tailored, black leather ensemble designed by Fiandaca, which she wore for an appearance on Jay Leno’s show.
Made in America
Alfred Fiandaca started working with fabrics when he was only nine years old, and his father, a tailor, trained him in the basics of clothing design. He studied briefly at the Fashion Institute of Technology, but left for the Traphagen School of Design; he also studied art at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Since then, Fiandaca’s work has been showcased at a retrospective hosted by the Massachusetts College, as well as various museums. “I find those to be my proudest moments” said the designer. “To be collected in a museum as a work of art, that surpasses any review of my collection.”
Alfred Fiandaca was always proud to say his designs were all produced in America, and there are a great many Americans who will miss this supremely talented designer.
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Nicky Warner is a lifestyle and fashion blogger who loves the classics, from skirt suits to mens formal shirts.