A FIRST FOR LEPORE: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s inauguration Wednesday turned out to be a memorable event for designer Nanette Lepore, who suited up his wife, Chirlane McCray, and their daughter, Chiara de Blasio. McCray bypassed her go-to dress source, Anni Kuan, to wear Lepore’s designs on the steps of City Hall. “This is the first time she has worn anything of mine as far as I know,” Lepore said.
Over a year ago, Lepore and her husband, Bob Savage, rang up de Blasio’s campaign office to invite the then candidate to tour their Garment Center office and factory. McCray showed her support by wearing the Lepore-designed raspberry Skyscrape coat and the jewel-tined Wonderland dress, while her daughter opted for a velveteen leopard-printed coat by the designer.
McCary said that she and her daughter were “proud to wear this beautiful clothing that was made right here in New York City. This city needs more creative entrepreneurs like Nanette Lepore who are committed to keeping our city’s garment industry thriving.”
Reached by phone in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Lepore said after the de Blasio camp reached out a few weeks ago, she sent five options each for the mother-daughter team. “I wanted to make sure we were covered,” the designer said. “I’m watching them on CNN and they look great. I’m really happy that they have made a commitment to New York City’s Garment Center.”
Lepore sounded even more excited about the new mayor’s potential influence on the apparel industry. “I think he will celebrate the New York that we all miss — the New York that we moved here for, the New York of diversity and craftsmanship. Hopefully, he will be about supporting more industries and not a few,” she said.
The Miriam Haskell brooch that McCray chose to wear on her coat was done so for another supporter. The president and chief operating officer of Haskell Jewels, Gabrielle Fialkoff, served as finance chairwoman for de Blasio’s campaign as well as chairwoman for his inauguration.