Fashion designer Alfred Fiandaca, 72, passed away from a stroke on Saturday morning. Fiandaca creations for Ann Romney garned positive press when she wore them on the campaign trail last fall. His classic and flattering designs appealed to a variety of political wives including Nancy Reagan, Lady Bird Johnson, Muriel Humphrey, Kitty Dukakis and Joan Kennedy. He designed for Audrey Hepburn and Julie Andrews, too.
Fiandaca attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and the former Traphagen School of Fashion before launching his first, self-named collection in 1960. In 1961, he opened an Alfred Fiandaca shop on Maverick Street in Boston. Two short years later it moved to Newbury Street and then to Albany Street in 2009. His clothing could also be found in Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel and Saks Fifth Avenue.
In 1969, WWD called Fiandaca "one of the favorite couturiers of the Boston ladies," noting that "[h]is appointment book is like a mini Boston Social Register."
"I think fashion should be collected like art," the designer said at the time. "And the ladies do collect [it]," WWD wrote.
Caroline Collings, president of his company, Alfred Fiandaca, said, "We were business partners for 22 years. He was warm, talented and loved what he did. He always felt privileged to have a profession that made him happy, and he would say, 'I never worked a day in my life' "- because he enjoyed what he was doing so much that he didn't consider it work.
Fiandaca is survived by his daughter, Michelle Fiandaca; a son, Alfred Fiandaca Jr., and his husband, floral designer Carl Bartels, whom the designer married last year. There was a Private service for the family on Saturday, and memorials will be held in Palm Beach, New York and Boston - the cities where he had shops - at a later date.