Alumnas Launch Luxury Robe Collection Inspired by the Pandemic
After the pandemic hit and so many people turned to loungewear for comfort, FIDM Merchandising & Marketing Graduate Andrea Mckee Cisternino (pictured at left, standing) grabbed one of her robes each morning and evening, but found they left a lot to be desired in the design department. Meanwhile, her friend, FIDM Fashion Design Alumna Vanessalynne Hattar, the designer behind the VANESSALYNNE label, missed feeling glamorous while at home. So Andrea called Vanessalynne one day and said: “I want to create the perfect robe and since you know draping better than anyone, you know fabric, and you know how to make a woman look and feel amazing … let’s make a robe that feels incredible yet looks so good you could wear it in a Zoom meeting and nobody would know.”
The duo, who both hail from California’s Bay Area and are currently based in San Francisco, created Omáge, a luxury season-less collection of versatile robes and accessories that “are not only soft on your skin but soft on the planet as well.” Using sustainably made fabrics and ethical manufacturing, the collection strikes a balance between comfort and style. “I may have come up with the idea of Omáge, but she brought the design and business to life,” said Andrea, who earned a BA in Communications from University of San Francisco and has enjoyed a successful career in technology for many years. “We are a great team, as we use each other as a sounding board, and navigate well together on both the design and business levels.”
Although Andrea and Vanessalynne didn’t meet until after their days at FIDM, the college was a point of connection for the women who have enjoyed a friendship for more than a decade. Reflecting on their time at FIDM, Andrea said the most valuable lesson she learned was the complexities of the fashion industry from a buyer's perspective. Vanessalynne recalled being shocked to learn how technical and mathematical pattern making and sewing is, skills that have been useful while designing both her namesake brand and Omáge. “We're redefining the way you lounge,” Vanessalynne said. “Our goal is to make men and women feel comfortable yet refined, even while in their homes. Our customers tell us when they put on their Omáge robe they feel beautiful and fancy, which was what we envisioned since it was a rarity during the pandemic."
Learn more at omagesf.com and on Instagram @omage_sf.