In anticipation for the Whiteout Fashion Show at Artopia on February 20th, Fashion Denver is interviewing all of the designers being featured in the show. Here is our second interview with Anna Fangenello of AnnaFesta.
Q:When did you first know you wanted to be a fashion designer?
A:I started sewing as a child with my grandmother and my mother. At the age of 13, I made my first outfit from a Brooke Shields pattern that I had altered to my size 12 figure. I was hooked! Pattern making
and clothing the body in proportions that enhanced the female shape became my focus. I wanted what all 13 year olds want – to be pretty, powerful and admired by my peers. By working with numbers, shapes and colors I felt confident in my clothing, which helped me to become more confident in myself
As a teenager, I worked in theaters making costumes for the DCPA and the Shakespeare festival in Boulder. I moved to New York for the first time at 18, working at a costume company and interning with designer MaryJane Marcasiano in Soho. At 19, I lived in Italy working as a patternmaker and sewing in a factory that made furs and leather jackets.
By 24, I was working with Nanette Lepore, at her side assisting to create her brand. I helped to produce Nanette’s first runway show, open her flagship boutiques, in both NY and LA, and produced all of the clothing from concept to customer. I love what I do and am so lucky that I followed my dreams from a very young age
Q:Where do you draw inspiration from?
A:My inspiration is a marriage of math and emotion. It is all about colors, shapes and the creation of prints mixed with the shape of the body, proportions, and geometry. It all comes together to create that distinct Festa style. I study the female form and work with the curves and shapes, placing pieces very specifically to support and enhance our curves. AnnaFesta is based around the size 10 – 20 customer. I start with a size 16 and the curves and shapes that come with this female form make me excited to see what my next creation can do to make this figure powerful and beautiful
Q:What has been the most rewarding and the most frustrating part of your journey thus far?
A:In my early 30’s I had breast cancer and went through years of treatment. I LOVED New York and my career had taken me all the way to the top, working with Nanette and as COO of Zac Posen. But, after years of cancer treatment and not taking care of myself, I left everything to “find myself”. My priorities changed. After 20 years
away from my hometown of Denver, I decided to return to a healthier lifestyle in Colorado.
I told myself that I was never going to do anything with fashion again. I left my fashion career behind and did things I hadn’t done before. I skied 40 times in a year, went to Burning Man for 10 days, and spent loads of time with my family. I removed myself from the pull of the fashion world to find out who I was and where I wanted to be. After a few years away from fashion, I was brought full circle and returned to the career that I had always loved! During my time off I found a new goal in a female shape that was being ignored – the curvy body type! I have made it my goal to create a collection that gives her confidence in beautifully fitting, curve enhancing, high quality, on trend clothing. My Colorado peers supported me and here I am, back at it, doing what I love most – making women feel beautiful and confident through my designs.
Q:Tell us about the “FestaFit” process
A:The FestaFit is created by my focus on the female body and all of its different shapes and forms. I am driven by proportion and how fabric – particularly prints and bright colors – can be placed on the body to enhance the female shape. How the print is placed, where a seam lies on the body, and proportions from top to bottom and side to side – all of this comes together to create the FestaFit. “Is it math or is it art?”, someone asked me once. The merging of the two arenas drives FestaFit. My goal – whether you are 5′ tall, 6′ tall, size 2 or size 22 – you will put on one of my creations, look in the mirror and feel beautiful, happy and ready to conquer the world!
I love what I do, and I love your body!
For more on AnnaFesta check out this video and her website here! And if you’re still in need of ArtopiaDEN tickets, you can purchase them here and don’t forget to use promo code fashiondenver for a discount!