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back in 2010, the council of fashion designers of america (cfda) began taking lucky handfuls of emerging designers under its wings to help them grow their businesses over the course of a two year program called the cfda incubator.
this april, the newest batch of inductees set up their studios on 38th street, right in the heart of the garment district. over the next three weeks we’ll be spotlighting three of them who share a common denominator: each have our own kyle andrew, senior vice president of global marketing, as one of their mentors during the program. (we love supporting new talent!)
first up: arielle shapiro, a ballerina from stockton and mastermind behind luxurious lingerie label ari dein.
name: arielle shapiro
hometown: stockton, new jersey
but i currently live in: manhattan
before i started my line in 2009… i studied at dickinson college in carlisle, pa; the istituto di polimoda in florence, italy; and then worked at david yurman in the couture, pearl and bead department as their associate designer.
i started designing lingerie because… studying ballet growing up, i was fascinated with the tutu’s construction–the architectural boning and all it’s intricate hand-finishes. karinska–the talented seamstress behind the modern day flat tutu–would even go so far as to hide trinkets in the costumes for ballerinas to discover. the pieces were so detail-driven and special, which gave me an appreciation for what we wear underneath our clothes.
my biggest influence is… my grandmother, lillian dein shapiro. her parents were furriers who had shops in paris, miami and a flagship at the waldorf astoria. she was also a ballerina, and quite a fashion maven! legend has it that diamond lil, as she was known, wore a rabbit stole and fuchsia taffeta gown to her junior prom. keep in mind this was during the great depression! years ago, she gifted me a vintage dior pink dressing robe. it’s exquisite.
my spring 2013 line is… very maharaja meets manhattan. i was inspired by south east asian colors—rich teals with mint, light pink with black-and-cream batik, spicy burnouts—and shiny gold trimmings. we’ve all seen the black and pink with chantilly lace thing before, so i try to set myself apart from the typical lingerie aesthetic.
the most valuable advice kyle has given me… has been to focus on the long-term. in our very first meeting she asked me, “what does the forbes cover headline read in 20 years when you’re featured?”
i’d like it to be… the lion among ladies: ari dein knows women are valuable, and makes them valuable things.
my favorite career highlight so far… other than being selected for the cfda fashion incubator? watching blair waldorf wear my pieces–the boutique hotel chemise and classic boutique hotel pajamas–on gossip girl last season. it was a major highlight, indeed!
love her line as much as we do? you can shop the entire ari dein collection here.
Filed under: deliberate polish