NEW YORK — After working as a technical designer and patternmaker for her entire career, Giulietta Graci decided to head out on her own and launch Anna Vi Andrea, a bridge-priced line featuring suits, cocktail dresses and a small selection of eveningwear.
The line was named after Graci’s two daughters, Anna and Vicenza, and her business partner’s son, Andrea. Graci has spent much of her life and her entire 20-year career in the apparel industry. She began studying fashion at the High School of Fashion Industries and earned her undergraduate degree in fashion design from the Fashion Institute of Technology.
After FIT, Graci worked as a pattern maker and technical designer at several eveningwear companies in New York. During the five years before launching Anna Vi Andrea, she was the head technical designer at Darby Scott.
“It was tough to find positions in design,” Graci said. “The technical area was where there were jobs. Anyone could draw a pretty picture, but bringing it to life is so rewarding. I also love draping because you make changes in your designs when you see it on a mannequin.”
The line features fabrics such as double-faced wool crepe, ombré chiffon, tweeds, bouclé and taffeta, all from Europe. The double-faced wool crepe is made into classic suit silhouettes and slimming dresses with matching jackets, aimed at women over 40.
Anna Vi Andrea was picked up by Neiman Marcus for fall, which bought 36 double-faced wool dresses with matching jackets according to Graci. Wholesale prices for the line start at $750 and run up to about $1,400. Ombré chiffon gowns run about $1,300. According to Graci, the line is expected to generate volume of $200,000 in its first year.
“I try to stay classic and basically make clothes that fit a woman’s body,” said Graci. “I’m more cocktail and day-to-evening than career, though many of my pieces could be both.”