For most of the campaign trail, Ann Romney has worn designs by a little-known (until now) Boston-based designer named Alfred Fiandaca. While most designers would jump at the chance to make the most of the publicity, Fiandaca wasn't really known as the man behind Romney's frocks until recently, and has only just granted his first interview to WWD.
Fiandaca seems like a really nice, refreshingly un-media-trained guy, and the interview sheds light on Romney's style philosophy, her preference for American designers (something she has in common with Michelle Obama), and how, um, Mitt Romney sometimes picks out Ann's outfits.
Here's what we learned:
Ann Romney is thrifty, shops her closet, and buys off the rack. Take the cream suit she wore to the first debate. "I was pleased, first of all, because it was not a brand-new outfit," Fiandaca said. "It’s from my 2006 fall collection. She’s secure enough to wear something she likes, no matter how old it is."
Her style is actually quite edgy. Remember that laser-cut leather number she wore on Leno? That's her steez. Fiandaca says it was his favorite piece of his that Romney has worn. "She likes to wear edgier things than people realize," he said.
Mitt Romney sometimes picks out Ann's clothes. But she doesn't necessarily heed his sartorial orders advice. Here's how things played out for the Republican National Convention: "The night of the Republican National Convention, when Ann was going to speak, I knew that Mitt had picked a red dress of mine for her to wear," Fiandaca said. "In fact, he bought it for her. He told her, 'I’d like you to introduce me in that' so I assumed that’s what she was going to wear. And she ended up wearing Oscar de la Renta, so you never know." Wowza.
Ann prefers to wear American designs. "She’s very big about her stuff being made in America." Well, there's one thing she and Michelle Obama have in common. Maybe that debate hug was about their shared love for American designers?