Adam Lippes is the latest independent American designer to land his designs on the world stage, thanks to First Lady Jill Biden.
The First Lady may not be candid about fashion, but her choices for global photo ops fully support American designers.
Biden wore an Italian blazer in navy blue silk and wool jacquard and a coordinating dress by Lippes when she and the president had a private audience with Pope Francis on Friday afternoon in Rome. Lippes was rightly in Washington, DC on Friday when he saw the First Lady sporting her sewn-in New York look. She had also donned one of her sets to meet Queen Elizabeth II earlier this year.
Reached on Saturday afternoon, Lippes said he was not aware in advance of Biden’s selection for the Vatican City appearance. The creator found out “on the news like any good news junkie,” Lippes said. “I saw her greet the head of the Vatican house or something. I was like, ‘Oh my God, is she really going to wear this to meet the Pope? Who knows.'”
The New York-based designer said he heard from “a million people,” including some of the buyers who showed up for his meeting at Nordstrom Tysons Corner on Friday. Biden’s pick for Friday’s papal reunion lived up to other career highlights, such as his eight-year Oscar de la Renta career and appearance on the Oprah Winfrey talk show.
After having a private audience with Pope Francis, the first couple met Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and his wife Serena at the Chigi Palace, and later the First Lady was due to welcome her French counterpart Brigitte Macron. The First Lady described the cafe visit with Macron as “two friends, together just like sisters,” according to a press report from the pool.
She didn’t have to worry about Lippes’ girdle which constricted her waist. When asked what they eat and drink, Biden replied, “Well, virtually nothing.”
Lippes praised his America-centric designer choices. He said, “Dr. Biden seems to support some of the smaller ones, and especially the New York-based designers, and looks really awesome and polished. For our industry, this is such an important statement. It’s hard to get on a stage like that. You can not. You can’t buy this. The hardest thing in our industry today is getting your name out there and competing with the awesome brands everyone knows that obviously have a marketing budget. It’s just great for American fashion. [By wearing] Markarian, us, Brandon Maxwell. she really defends these American designers and also the big ones in America.
Speculating it’s “thought,” Lippes asked if Biden’s team should talk more about fashion, which they said they wouldn’t be dealing with, at a time when job security and l troubled industry are crucial issues. “I think she talks about American fashion through her choices. That’s all it takes. This is the most important thing – the exposure. This is not the point. There is no doubt in my mind, looking at her with the clothes she chooses, that she is a champion of American fashion, ”he said.
The $ 2,250 blazer and a similar $ 2,450 sheath that Jill Biden wore on Friday are part of Lippes’ resort collection that will ship soon. “A number of” buyers pre-ordered the blazer at the Nordstrom event on Friday. Lippes proposed, “Maybe that was just a great look too.” Others will be able to find the set in about a week at its first Brookfield Place store in New York City, among other outposts. Even before Biden’s papal choice, sales there were triple what was expected, although many surrounding office towers remain vacant, Lippes said. Houston and Dallas are two other cities where he wants to open new stores.
His company’s annual sales are estimated at over $ 20 million. In addition to a new line of jewelry, Lippes’ new table line is available through OKA, which has two new locations in Texas. This collection is going to be expanded, Lippes said. Other licensing projects – “really great, exciting, non-crazy” – are underway, Lippes said.
After being on the road for two weeks, Lippes returned home to the Berkshires on Friday evening. “I was at home with my partner and my dog. I was like, ‘This is really good.’ It was my birthday. Maybe I’m getting old, ”Lippes said.
Designer and his partner Alexander Farnsworth have a side gig – THC Farnsworth Fine Cannabis company. Lippes described this business as “quite extraordinary. It is such a different matter. It’s fun to be involved. My real contributions are the design of the store [in Great Barrington, MA.] and the product. We are understaffed. Sitting at the reception on Saturday, I helped people from 21 to 91 years old. This is the most incredible thing. People come in [and say], ‘I’ve waited my whole life to do it legally,’ ”Lippes said. “So it was really very rewarding. My partner in life is Alexander Farnsworth. He really is the leader of this business.
Other American designers may soon benefit from some international publicity. President Biden and the First Lady are at the G-20 and will travel to Scotland for the United Nations climate summit, COP26, where the President will deliver a key speech.