"My Classic collection is really what I would choose if I were a bride getting married today. It’s sexy but very classy at the same time."
Ms. Catenacci has two bridal lines; the Classic collection: a line of bridal gowns that emphasizes and flatters the feminine form; and the Celtic collection: a line of medieval style gowns.
“My Celtic collection is what makes me unique in the bridal industry," she says. "My inspiration for this collection came from a visit to a small 14th century town in Italy, where my family comes from.
"I started imagining what a bride back in the mid century would be wearing on her wedding day. I thought of the soft lines of a flowing empire gown, reminiscent of the era and the bride’s headdress of crystals and precious stones."
In 2003, Ms. Catenacci fulfilled another dream, to design/manufacture her gowns internationally. The first bridal boutique that carried her line was the prestigious Kleinfeld’s Bridal in New York City.
Today, she sells in boutiques across North America, Italy, Ireland and Australia. She also has a bridesmaid collection, flower girl collection and custom mother-of -the-bride gowns available at her flagship store in Woodbridge, Ontario.
While most children sold lemonade to make extra money when they were eight, Ms. Catenacci was charging family members 25 cents to sew a hem or have a button replaced.
By 11, she was sketching dresses and asking the local seamstress to create her sketched dresses; and by 13, she was the youngest student to sign up for a night-school course in pattern drafting.
Ms. Catenacci accredits her high school teacher for instilling her with a strong foundation and principles in design that she still implies today.
"She taught me that whatever it is your making, it should look just as good on the inside as it does on the outside. Today, I am all about detail. The gown has to be perfect inside and out.”
At 21, Ms. Catenacci graduated from the International Academy of Design in Toronto. She planned to work for her design placement at David Ray Bridals; but instead was offered a chance to create her own ready-to-wear label for International Clothiers.
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