Bags, blouses, skirts, dresses—designer Jennifer Tattanelli does it all and is soon bringing her custom designs to Port Washington, a place which she is also now calling home after years of splitting her life between winters in Florence, Italy and summers in Westhampton Beach. Along with an interesting background, Tattanelli brings handmade leather goods and the old art of weaving to Port residents, giving her newfound hometown a taste of her heritage and luxury custom designs.
After renting a home in Port Washington for the past few months along with space to house her designs for an upcoming fashion show, Tattanelli, her husband Giulio Brancatelli, former Global Senior Vice President Business Development for Bottega Veneta, and their two boys Gabriele Thomas, enrolled at Schreiber, and Jonathan, enrolled at Sousa, fell in love with Port. Tattanelli will soon be opening a location at 24 Main St. to be used as office space and appointment-only sessions with Tattanelli to see her collection.
“My dream was to live in America and give my children a great life experience,” said Tattanelli. “So I decided to give a great experience to my children. I have a dear friend, Heidi K., who lives in Port and introduced me to Port. I realized it wouldn’t be too bad to not have to commute to the city because, initially, I was going to commute to the city, get an office there. I realized that as much as I love Manhattan and commuting is great, I preferred to open my office/showroom here in Port and be part of this lovely community, be close to my children and work with people in Port.”
While Tattanelli comes from a successful family on both her American mother and Italian father’s side, she has created her own success through expanding the family business on her father’s side. But fashion was not always in Tattanelli’s plan. Originally, Tattanelli wanted to follow in her great-grandfather pathologist Dr. James Ewing’s footsteps and majored in both mathematics and physics in college. However, the sewing machine she received when she was 12-years-old seemed to seal her fate in fashion. Growing up Tattanelli was inspired by watching her great grandmother in Italy weave infinity bags from boxes and watch her grandfather create leather goods.
“I always knew I wanted to work with people and make them feel good so if I was going into medical I wanted to go into research and help,” said Tattanelli. “Through fashion, I like to make people feel good, see them smile and be happy. I get inspired every day from my customers and not only the fashion trends. I really design and craft the products with them and for them. I spend most of my time amongst them in Florence or here in America. That is why I love bespoke and tailor-made products so I am able to work with their measurements and lifestyle. They are not supposed to fit in my clothes or shoes, my clothes and shoes have to fit them.”
Along with Tattanelli’s customized approach to fashion, her deisgns offer comfort without having to compromise style. After Tattanelli had been hit by a car, a doctor told her she could no longer wear her ten-inch heels, and while Tattanelli was recovering on crutches, she wore crossbody bags that sunk into her neck, causing pain. Tattanelli later realized that she wasn’t the only woman who experienced issues with shoes and crossbody bags, so she enlisted an orthopedic and a shoemaker to assist her in created a comfortable yet stylish shoe. So now Tattanelli’s crossbody bags are designed a certain way so they can be worn all day without pain and many of her shoes including her high heels, have small inserts in the back, giving the shoe elevation to help with client’s backs, hips, knees and feet.
“From a problem I had, I created something that was functional, versatile and had meaning,” said Tattanelli. “From that, I realized fashion is great but how can people really enjoy wearing fashion and have to suffer? That’s not true with my things. I started a whole new line of comfort and it didn’t look like I was wearing something that was comfortable and that has really brought me success.”
For more information about Jennifer Tattanelli, visit www.jennifertattanelli.com.
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