Eleganza Boutique to offer high-end Italian designs at The Pier
When The Pier at Caesars shopping and dining complex debuts this summer, world-famous luxury stores with names like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Burberry will open their doors. That impressive list will also include Eleganza Boutique, the haute couture shop co-owned by Atlantic County residents Kimberly Lucasti and Gino Iovino. The shop is planning a July opening on the Couture Fourth Floor.
The 2,500-square-foot store will offer imported Italian fashions for both men and women. All have been hand-selected by both Lucasti and Iovino, who travel to Milan four times a year to attend the fashion shows. "Gino and I spent several weeks in Italy choosing only the finest in Italian fashions for the new store," says Lucasti.
Within the main store, 500 square feet will be devoted to home furnishings, linens and bedding products, plus crystal and china created by famed designers Versace and Rosenthal. Key furniture pieces will appear on the show floor, and numerous books will display a wide variety of fabric samples.
Lucasti and Iovino have selected from the best that Versace has to offer. "One recent exhibition took over the Versace villa and used its exterior courtyard to display the outdoor furnishings," says Lucasti.
The remaining 2,000 square feet will showcase Italy's most renowned designers, including Versace, La Perla, Roberto Cavalli, Casare Paciotti and Pal Zileri. In addition to apparel, Eleganza Boutique will also offer fine Italian accessories, handcrafted leather shoes and intricately designed belts and handbags.
On Friday, June 9, Lucasti and Iovino presented the new fashion line to customers, friends and members of the media. The party took place in Atlantic City at Girasole Ristorante, which is owned by Iovino. They partnered with the Italian Trade Commission to create the preview event. The commission's purpose is to promote trade relations, business opportunities and industrial cooperation between Italian and foreign companies via 100 international offices. Five branches are in the United States; the closest is in New York City.
|Models show off some of the designs that will appear at Eleganza.|
The fashions were grouped by themes. The casual grouping featured jeans and T-shirts. Swimwear included macramé cutout one-piece suits and slinky bikinis with cover-ups. Representing evening attire were beaded and sequined short and long dresses, with plunging necklines.
Before partnering with Iovino, Lucasti was the store's buyer for 19 years. She also worked as both a showroom, corporate and print fashion model. Lucasti's musical talents helped launch her career as the lead singer with the James Renaldo Orchestra of Philadelphia, singing at casinos and other venues on the East Coast.
Iovino, born in Naples, Italy, came to work in Philadelphia's fashion boutiques in 1972. He learned the trade, and relocated to southern New Jersey to open the first Eleganza Boutique at the Playboy Casino in 1981. In 1985, Iovino moved his shop to the Ocean Club condominium complex in Atlantic City.
Once successfully established, Iovino concentrated on Italian cuisine, which is his second passion. He and his brother introduced the first Girasole Ristorante to Philadelphia in 1990. When retail space became available at the Ocean Club in 1992, the second Girasole Ristorante opened at 3108 Pacific Avenue.
Together, Lucasti and Iovino hope to provide what they refer to as a "unique collection that is unmatched in its diversity, elegance and sophistication". For a preview of their merchandise, visit Eleganza Boutique online at www.eleganzastyle.com.
The fashion show also introduced Girasole's new Ultra Lounge and summer menu. The Ultra Lounge is located in the front of the reconfigured dining room. Beautiful oversized sectional sofas, ottomans and tables create a sophisticated, relaxed ambiance. The Baroque design upholstery symbolizes Iovino's background and love of Italian fashions.