Katie Ermilio and Designers on the Verge

Katie Ermilio is a locally-bred women's wear fashion designer who's skill in architectural design is starting to turn heads.  Ermilio, 24, is the fourth generation of the Main Line fashion family that designed the Agusta Golf Tournament's Masters jacket, Grace Kelly's trousers and President Dwight D, Eisenhower's bomber jacket. She's become a darling in fashion circles on the Main Line, has been written about in Women's Wear Daily and she's dressed celebrities for the red carpet.  Read more about her here.

This is an interesting time for fashion. New designers are quietly building solid foundations,  moving away from celebrity hype and opting for intimate presentations, rather than runway spectacles. Recession weary buyers, however, are still wary about putting new lines in their stores, but remain on the look out for moderately priced, unique lines. A designer who has the right formula - hot item + chic factor + moderate price point has major potential.

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Katie Ermilio talks with her client, Debra Guelzo, as Katie's seamstress works on the size of the Peter Pan collar they are going to put on this fitted wool Boucle' jacket that Katie has designed for Debra. ( Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer )

Do you know of any local designers who are quietly building their fashion portfolios in accessories, women's wear, men's wear, even children's wear?  Maybe they have a fantastic story to tell. Maybe we can start a local designer series. And maybe we'll identify this year's Philadelphia-born "IT" item.

Post directly to this blog, or e-mail information to ewellington@phillynews.com. It's best, however, if you mail a press kit to 400 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, 19130. ATTN: Elizabeth Wellington.

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