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Hill designer hopes to flood beach teens with ‘Pinkly’

by Len Lear

Move over, Bill Blass, Ralph Lauren, Yves St. Laurent, etc.; make way for Chestnut Hill fashion designer, Maddy Sasso, who just launched her own fashion and accessories brand for juniors.

Maddy, 27, graduated from Mount St. Joseph High School in Flourtown in 2007. (Her mom, Mori McGrath Sasso, was born in Chestnut Hill Hospital, attended Cecilian Academy and Chestnut Hill College and worked in advertising.)

“I was always very interested in the fine arts when I was growing up,” Maddy told us last week, “and I discovered in 8th grade that the outlet I wanted to express that in was fashion design.”

Maddy designed her 8th grade graduation dress (Gwynedd Mercy Academy, 2003) and then took weekend fashion design classes at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia throughout high school.

She also did a two-week intensive program at Drexel University that was focused in fashion design during the summer before her junior year of high school. “When I was a junior in high school, I also took private sewing classes and designed and made my prom dress.”

After studying fashion design at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, Maddy went on to become a successful associate designer in New York City for women’s ready-to-wear and girls’ active-wear companies. After a few years learning the business and with a “no better time than the present” revelation, Maddy, who calls herself “the ultimate summer lover,” decided to follow her dreams and start her own clothing and accessories company for girls.

Enter Pinkly Perfect, Inc., a brand inspired by Maddy’s summers growing up at her family’s beach house in Avalon, New Jersey, that aims to capture the feeling of summer vacation all year. The collection of beach-inspired products features bright colors and quirky sayings.

Maddy started Pinkly Perfect, Inc., in March of last year as a part-time project and then left her day job in the summer to pursue it on a full-time basis. She started with a blog (blog.pinklyperfect.com) and an Instagram account (@pinklyperfect_inc), where she aimed to build up an audience of her target customer — “high school girls with a love for summer and beach town pride.”

While Maddy was keeping those two platforms up, she was working on her clothing and accessory line, which launched April 1 of this year online at www.pinklyperfect.com.

I am certainly no fashion maven, but just from looking in department stores and at boutique storefront windows, it seems to me that there are already countless options for beach clothing and accessories for girls. So what did Maddy think she could offer that is not already available in the marketplace?

“Yes, there are,” Maddy replied. “However, there was a girl I felt that was not represented who I wanted to target. Most clothing and accessory options for high school girls these days are inappropriate, whether through screen-printed sayings that have a lot of attitude or styles that are skimpy.

“I wanted to target the girl with serious beach town pride who enjoys the age she is and wants to embrace the fun, carefree, girly side of herself that still enjoys grabbing ice cream cones with her best friends, riding a pink beach cruiser around her favorite seaside town and jumping waves in the ocean. The style of Pinkly Perfect embraces this innocence and offers more age-appropriate styles to girls on a summer job budget.” The price points will be $22-42 for clothing and $16-$26 for accessories.

Currently Maddy is focusing on selling Pinkly Perfect on www.pinklyperfect.com. It will also be available this summer at a store in Stone Harbor, NJ. Sasso’s goal is to have Pinkly Perfect be represented in shore points along the entire East Coast and Southern California. She will be participating in some summer festivals along the Jersey Shore, where Pinkly Perfect will sell out of a booth in order to get the word out there. She will also be making sales trips to Newport, Rhode Island, Laguna Beach, California, etc., this summer.

Currently the majority of Maddy’s products are made in the USA. She works with a patternmaker and printer in the New York City area.

What is the best advice Maddy ever received? “I am the ultimate perfectionist and am very hard on myself and was recently talking to one of my best friends. I was upset that my website hadn’t launched yet because there were still so many kinks I needed to work out. She told me, ‘If you wait until everything’s perfect, you’ll never have a company.’ At that point I just decided to let go a bit and was able to relax and enjoy the process rather than beat myself up about it.”

For more information, contact maddy@pinklyperfect.com.

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