DIGERONIMO TAKING PAUSE, SEEKING NEW FINANCIAL AID

Byline: Julee Greenberg

NEW YORK — Once considered one of America’s promising designers, Stephen DiGeronimo has decided to put his business on hold, indefinitely.
When DiGeronimo parted ways with business partner, Gregg Saint Onge, at the end of January, as reported, he said he was going to keep the company afloat by “bringing the business into a more intimate and creative mode.”
“I feel very strongly about maintaining the collection as what I have always wanted it to be — specialized and higher-end,” he told WWD in January. “And with the economy scare, I think this is the perfect time to downsize.”
He found that to be easier said than done.
“It got to the point where the financial part of the business was taking over my life,” he said this week, noting several problems with retailers. “It was taking so much of my time, that designing was the last thing I had time to do.”
DiGeronimo, known for his day and evening dresses in fine fabrics and trendy silhouettes, also expressed bitter feelings about his role as an American designer, using the proposed change of show dates as an example.
“There are no organizations. There is no support for American designers. It doesn’t matter if New York goes first,” he said. “The entire attitude toward American designers is grim.”
Now taking time off from the business, DiGeronimo said he is searching for a new financial partner to help him get back on his feet.
“I love designing clothes, it has been my childhood dream,” he said.
“I will not be able to design again until I can find someone to deal with the financial side of the business.”
While DiGeronimo is saddened by his decision, he said he knows it is the right one.
“I am 40 years old and I need to make a change for the better. I have no financial problems, but I need to do what I do best — be a designer,” he said. “If that cannot happen, I will have to give up my dream.”