In my last post, I mentioned I found a dress by a previously unknown–at least to me–designer named Andrea Jovine. Several of you, Dievca, Sinead, 1WriteWay et al, wanted to see the dress. So here she is.
It’s of black ponte fabric. Nice and stretchy but with plenty of structure too. It works double duty: it gives and holds. The illusion of a crop top overlay together with a simple oversized grommet detail smack up front with criss-crossed ribbon are the only design details.
After conducting my investigations, it appears Andrea Jovine was a popular American “Bridge” designer who launched in 1983 to offer an alternative to professional women who wanted comfortable chic instead of the Wall Street Warriorwoman get-up of the era.
Bridge is one of those terms used only in the US fashion industry that denotes a price level below Designer but above Contemporary (There’s also Moderate, Missy, Better, High-end; I heard Upscale Niche Contemporary recently… Really, dude? They all overlap anyway. One woman’s Bridge is another one’s Better.)
Jovine’s story is quite interesting. A grad of FIT she built her business quickly unlike many of her struggling peers. Women welcomed her brand of ease and glamour.
She soon attracted an investor, Victor Coopersmith, a dress salesman who had risen to become head of another NYC 80s apparel mainstay, Adrienne Vittadini. The attraction became romantic and they married. As a Seventh Avenue power couple they built an apparel business of $100 million at its peak but struggled to keep it afloat in the late 90s.
In 1998 in a tragic accident her husband was killed at age 51 while swimming in Lake Powell near Page, Arizona.
Nowadays, Jovine’s name is not often heard in the industry although she maintains an accessories and interiors business.
I’ll be wearing my Jovine number tomorrow. Those 80s vixens in their rejection of the dress-for-success cliché of masculine shoulders and pin stripe, might have styled it with red stilettos, big earrings and a briefcase. To give you an idea, here’s one of Jovine’s old ad campaigns:
If I’m to match her stride, I’ll be stealing from the men however and sporting it with these…
If you see me, let me know what you think of my Jovine!