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It’s nearly impossible to have more experience in the apparel world than Christine Alcalay has. “I’ve been sewing since age three,” she explains. “When we emigrated from Vietnam, my mom found work in a garment factory in Flushing, Queens.” As her mother learned the tricks of the trade, little Christine picked up all sorts of skills in tailoring, pattern-making, and sampling, too.
When it came time to think about her own career, Christine totally embraced her roots, enrolling at Parsons to study Fine Arts and Fashion Design, interning at Christian Lacroix in Paris, and winning her school’s Golden Thimble award—a massive honor. In 2002, a year after graduating, Christine and Marlene Siegel—they met at a boutique on the Upper East Side—opened a shop in Park Slope in Brooklyn selling the sort of easy-to-wear stuff the locals were craving.
There, Christine put those apparel chops to use, launching a made-to-measure business out of the storefront. After nearly a decade making super-special, one-off coats and dresses, she launched a full-blown ready-to-wear line of structured jackets, standout silk tops, and skirts with loads of personality. “I enjoy helping women feel great about themselves and the ever-changing seasons in fashion,” Christine says. In other words: She makes stuff that’s destined to be in your closet forever. —nicole loher
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