If there’s been a recurring storyine in our Bright Young Things series of designer profiles, it involves young women who possess an artistic background, establish themselves on Etsy.com and then start to make a serious name for themselves in the vintage-inspired lingerie niche.
The latest member of this accomplished club is Brooklyn-based Alexandra Grecco, whose eponymous line of vintage-inspired lingerie first appeared in an Etsy shop in 2009 and has since blossomed into a successful, independent label.
The budding designer graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology, but worked 9-to-5 secretarial positions while plotting her eventual transition from wage slave to full-time fashion maven. In a way, Alexandra gives credit those early jobs because it was during those work hours that she updated her personal blog — in which she interviewed fashion designers and promoted local vintage boutiques — and eventually found her calling.
Having only launched in 2009, Alexandra has already established a recognizable, specific aesthetic. Much like indie labels Toad Lillie and The Loved One (it should be noted that TLO’s Hannah Metz and Alex are good friends, with Hannah often modeling in Alex’s promotional campaigns), Alexandra draws her inspirations from fashionable icons like 1920s silent movie siren Mary Pickford, bombshell Brigitte Bardot and Nabokov’s Lolita.
The results are romantic lingerie and dresses that are sexy yet playful; pieces you really can wear outside the bedroom. Incorporating delicate tulles, sensual silks and whimsical birdcage veiling, complete with rhinestone detailing and hand-sewn headbands, Alexandra’s collection of soft fashions recall the relaxed glamour of early Hollywood.
For instance, the Alexandra Grecco S/S2011 collection combines ethereal femininity with Grecian silhouettes. One of the collection’s standout is the Cinema Tea Gown (main photo above), which effortlessly transitions from daywear to eveningwear. The tea-length is a fresh take on Alex’s popular Cinema Gown, a silhouette so feminine and romantic you could wear it for a casual wedding. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that Alexandra aspires to release a small vintage-inspired bridal collection for the coming year!
With her keen eye for silhouette and design, it’s a sure bet that 2011 will propel Alex’s line to new heights of popularity. Combining made-to-order pieces, vintage-inspired accessories and lingerie that transitions from the boudoir to the outside world, Alexandra Grecco is a label that appeals to women looking for romantic designs that truly celebrate the female form.
Below you’ll find Alex’s answers to our Bright Young Things questionnaire and images from her drool-worthy SS2011 collection, along with a languorous video that captures the laissez-faire spirit of this designer. Items from the upcoming collection can be preordered through her online Etsy shop.
How long have you been in business?
I started my line in mid-2009.
Were you profitable in 2010?
I’d like to say I broke even, however, I’ve been doing custom wedding gowns that are a bonus profit-wise.
What plans do you have for new products/collections in 2011?
I’ll be launching a small collection of vintage-inspired wedding gowns and accessories in the near future, so I’ll be preparing for that!
How do you hope/plan to grow your business in 2011?
I’m going to stay on the steady path that I’m on and let things happen organically. The key is not to rush!
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in launching your label?
Becoming a business lady! It’s all been such a fast-paced learning experience. It can be daunting at times but when I have a chance to sit back and think about everything I’ve learned, it’s a pretty good feeling.
What is your most popular design or product?
My If I Only Had a Heart dress or the Pickford Onesie (bottom photo) and Gish Bolero set. I’d like to point out that, ladies, you CAN wear a bra with the heart dress; some bra master made a brassier that adheres to your sides so there is nothing that shows in the back!
Business-wise, what are you most proud of?
Well I started my business from scratch myself, so that’s pretty sweet. I’ve never been a business-minded person nor taken any courses in business until now, but it’s felt very much like a natural progression so far.
How will you define success for yourself?
Maybe when I have a family I can support and a log cabin somewhere outside of the city where I can be creative. Ultimately, I think it’s all about being surrounded by the people you love and inspire you. I’ve gotten to collaborate with a few people I really admire and there’s nothing better than the process of developing your craft and creating otherworldly environments along with them. I’d like to continue to do that.