Local Women ROC-ing Fashion


Today’s Blog Every Day in November (#BEDN) post is dedicated to fashion. While I certainly enjoy fashion and retail therapy, I don’t write about the topic often. I’ve decided to focus this post on the Rochester area and four young professional women who are making an impact on local fashion through their work and various social media outlets.


Tanvi Asher of Peppermint

Let’s start this off with the clothes, shall we? Meet Tanvi Asher, designer and owner of Peppermint, a boutique located at 121 Park Avenue. Tanvi received her MFA in Industrial Design from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and worked in packaging design before eventually opening the shop that would house her clothing line. Last spring, she presented exclusive looks at her Sewn Seeds runway show alongside other local designers, Andrea Geer and Josean Vargas. Most recently, she was featured in the RIT Design Autopsy show in early November; and will be at the annual Holiday Bazaar hosted at the Rochester Museum and Science center this coming weekend.  Peppermint offers stylish, contemporary clothing at an affordable price point.  Stop by often, since Tanvi stocks new, “minty fresh” items frequently.

Peppermint designs from the Sewn Seeds Runway Show

Peppermint looks from the runway show

In addition to her own clothing and scarf designs, Tanvi stocks other brands in limited quantities. She also features accessories created by local artists and has hosted trunk shows for those artists to debut their work.  She has participated in Fashion Week of Rochester events for the past few years. Tanvi occasionally does custom designs for weddings and other special occasions.  Check out the dress she made for me for a fundraiser in September below.

Custom dress by Peppermint. Photo by Christopher Cove

Custom dress by Peppermint. Photo by Christopher Cove

How we met: I went into Peppermint for a gift certificate for a friend’s 30th birthday and continued to go back and shop for both myself and others.

Social: In addition to word-of-mouth referrals, and a newly redesigned website/ online store, Peppermint has a very strong FacebookInstagram, and Twitter presence. Follow along for info on upcoming trunk shows, events, promotions, contests, and of course, pictures of Tanvi’s adorable pup, Cooper, who is often at the shop.

Cooper Next on our list is vintage clothing store owner, Morgan DeLapa, of Treasure Trove Vintage which is conveniently located around the corner from Peppermint at the same address (entrance is on the Meigs St. side of the building).  I think the most impressive thing about Morgan’s selection is the quality of the clothing she offers. Everything is in excellent condition and she has pieces from almost every decade. She also offers some unique vintage shoes and accessories.

Morgan DeLapa: Serious and silly about vintage

Morgan DeLapa: Serious and silly about vintage

How we met: Morgan had several pieces from Treasure Trove stocked at Peppermint during the Fashion Week Boutique Crawl.  I spied a fabulous coat that I liked and she encouraged me to come back the following week with my Fashion Week coupon which was super nice of her! This coat is a huge hit wherever I go. Unfortunately, I don’t have a decent full length shot yet so that you can bask in all its glory but you can get a sense of the color and pattern here.

I like my coat big time

I like my coat big time

Social: Morgan makes excellent use of her blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to showcase new arrivals as well as her great sense of humor.  I actually found her on Instagram before I met her in person. She is a joy to follow and you can tell she really enjoys vintage garments and working with fashion by how much fun she is having in the pictures.

"Master Flairista" Claire Albertson

“Master Flairista” Claire Albertson

Continuing on the vintage side of things is another local gal named Claire Albertson, also known as ClaireFlair.  She creates her unique, one-of-a-kind accessories by integrating pearls, metal, and vintage “flair.”  In addition to designing jewelry, Claire works a full-time job as a vice president of marketing and is also a dance instructor. She has an online shop but can usually be found the second Saturday of every month at the Rochester Brainery Bazaar at the Village Gate. I haven’t picked out my first piece of ClaireFlair yet, but I’ve been eyeing some of very recent designs with braided pearls and spike accents. I’ve always been a pearl girl but I seem to have a bit of the spike fetish these days.

How we met: At a housewarming party for fellow advertising friends. As it turns out, she was an intern at a a local non-profit where I volunteer, the Ad Council of Rochester.

Recent ClaireFlair designs

Recent ClaireFlair designs

Social: ClaireFlair can be found on Etsy, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. She will often promote when she will be at the Brainery Bazaar and post pics of new designs that get snatched up rather quickly, so you need to move fast if you spy something you like!

Flower City Fashionista, Jenny Sanzo Photo by Sweet Pickle Photography

Flower City Fashionista, Jenny Sanzo
Photo by Sweet Pickle Photography

Last but not least, meet the Flower City Fashionista, Jenny Sanzo. She is married and has two adorable little boys and manages her fashion blog and her own personal shopping and styling business. She’s an accomplished writer and originally had goals to be an English professor before life took her in a different direction. In addition to that, she is the co-founder of Rochester Blogger Network and also manages their Facebook and Twitter accounts. What is refreshing about Jenny is that she’s down to earth and presents looks that are both trendy and friendly on the wallet.  She can also transform looks from what you already have in your closet. A big proponent of shopping local, she has featured the above ladies on her frequent shopping excursions around town.

How we met: In the ladies’ room at a local fundraiser while I was hanging with two of my favorite drag queens. She complimented me on my dress and then found me on Facebook after the party.

Jenny at the Cocktails and Couture event

Jenny at the Cocktails and Couture event

Social:  Jenny posts daily on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can usually find her out and about at local fundraisers, fashion shows, and networking events sporting something fabulous and likely from a shop in Rochester. Sometimes she manages to get her son to take photos of her outfits which is pretty cute.

So there you have it: four local ladies making their way in Rochester fashion through hard work, word-of-mouth referrals, and amazing social media efforts. Do yourself a favor and check out what stylish gift ideas they have to offer for someone special this holiday season!