A small New York Metropolis trend home run by a 34-year-old New York College grad has taken the style world by storm ever since then-First Woman-elect Jill Biden arrived at her husband’s inauguration carrying an ocean blue Markarian gown, coat, gloves and matching masks.
When the cameras panned to Jill Biden’s arrival on Jan. 20, Sonoma Valley Excessive College graduate Anneliese Koch’s eyes had been educated as an alternative on the soon-to-be first girl. Koch gasped. She and her boss, designer Alexandra O’Neill, watching on TV at dwelling, had no concept till that second that their outfit had been chosen by Jill Biden. Calls and emails of congratulations ― and orders ― began pouring in to the posh womenswear label’s workplace in New York Metropolis.
Rising up in Sonoma, Koch at all times knew that she needed to do one thing artistic for a profession. She has liked trend so long as she will be able to keep in mind and even created a trend “look guide” for her SVHS senior challenge in 2013.
“However I used to be at all times conscious that it was a really arduous trade to get into, and fairly cutthroat,” she mentioned.
Koch studied design at U.C. Davis, with minors in artwork historical past and in textiles and clothes. After commencement, she moved dwelling and labored her portfolio, hoping that the proper profession alternative would materialize. After 10 months, she realized she wanted to bodily be in New York Metropolis to make that occur. She flew throughout the nation, discovered a roommate on a Fb housing web page and began interviewing for jobs.
She ended up accepting two part-time jobs ― one at a small inside design agency based mostly in Brooklyn and the opposite within the Greenwich Village places of work of luxurious womenswear label Markarian.
“I like each trend and inside design ― I’ve at all times thought there was plenty of crossover between the 2 fields,” mentioned Koch. ”Each had been small firms and dealing for them enabled me to additional hone in on what I needed to do.“
In early 2019, she joined Markarian as O’Neill’s first full-time rent.
“We’re nonetheless a small group so all of us put on plenty of hats,” mentioned Koch. After nearly three years on the job, Koch now handles many of the advertising and marketing and oversees Markarian’s wholesale and direct-to-consumer gross sales, in addition to operations.
Markarian affords high-end, luxurious ready-to-wear at a handful of high-end retailers like Bergdorf Goodman, in addition to made-to-order items which are bought immediately to personal shoppers ― assume celebrities and, nicely, first women.
Markarian added a bridal line in late 2019. “Previous to that, we had been getting requests from brides to make a few of our customized items in white, so we realized there was a niche out there for lovely, extra fashion-forward attire for a extra non-traditional bride, who doesn’t need a big lace robe.”
So how did Jill Biden find yourself carrying Markarian to the inauguration?
The Jill Biden backstory
Markarian works carefully with a boutique trend PR agency run by Savannah Engel. Movie star stylists attain out to Engel and her group once they want one thing particular. Via Engel, Biden’s group requested if Markarian could be all in favour of submitting some appears for the inauguration.
“In fact we mentioned, ’Completely!,’” mentioned Koch. In December, they submitted 10 sketches of full “appears” with some fabrication choices.
“We did not know who or what number of different designers we had been competing towards however we had been tremendous excited, as such a younger model, even to be part of that preliminary course of,” mentioned Koch. Biden then requested that one full look be created and despatched over for consideration.
“However we did not know that she had picked our outfit till she walked out,” mentioned Koch. As an added bonus, it turned out that two of Biden’s grandchildren, 16-year-old Natalie and 21-year-old Finnegan, had additionally chosen Markarian ready-to-wear attire.
For the reason that inauguration, the Markarian places of work have been busier than ever, receiving tons of of calls and emails of each congratulations and orders. Alexandra O’Neill and Koch are additionally busy making ready for New York Style Week in February.
Koch works lengthy hours and is targeted on the right here and now ― serving to develop the Markarian model ― however down the street, she hopes to sometime design for herself. Within the meantime, she’s getting worthwhile expertise seeing firsthand what it takes to create and construct a profitable model.
And 2020 has been a yr like no different.
“Retailers and different manufacturers have gone underneath, so we really feel actually fortunate that we have been in a position to climate the storm and are available out even stronger,” mentioned Koch. “I’m excited for what’s to come back.”
She enjoys residing within the East Village and whereas she misses California, she is aware of she’s in the best place on the proper time proper now.
Recommendation to younger fashionistas
Koch’s recommendation to present college students all in favour of trend is to benefit from any potential expertise “as you by no means know the place it’s going to lead.”
She famous that coming from U.C. Davis ― which isn’t well-known for its trend program ― that she felt like a little bit of an underdog.
“I used to be up towards so many college students finding out trend in New York, who’d had internships at Vogue and all the style homes, however in the event you simply persevere you may make it occur,” she mentioned. “If you’re captivated with your objectives, the nice issues will comply with.”
Contact Lorna at [email protected]