Hot New Talent - A Lifelong Passion.
Yvette Piaggio, Piaggio’s Loft; Alexandria, Virginia
Yvette Piaggio was so eager to become a designer that she started taking classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology when she was in the ninth grade, “to immerse myself in the design world,” she says. Piaggio eventually earned degrees in accessory design from FIT and visual arts from Rutgers University with the goal of starting her own business.
After college, the New Jersey native designed textiles, from bedding to table linens, for manufacturers supplying retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s. When her parents moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, she moved south too, eventually settling in the DC area. Her “lifelong passion for design” inspired her to launch her own design company, Piaggio’s Loft, seven years ago. “I have learned much from my previous work experience, but there is nothing like owning your own business,” she says. Today, Piaggio occupies an historic building in Old Town Alexandria. The design studio is located on the ground floor and her home is upstairs.
Piaggio employs her own seamstress who sews all of her custom window treatments, bedding, pillows and more. “Since the day I opened, it was extremely important that I had my own in-house seamstresses and that all of my patterns, cutting and sewing was done in-house,” she says. The concept has been so well received that the designer opened Piaggio’s Loft Fabrication Studio, also in Old Town Alexandria, to create affordable window treatments for homeowners who are not working with an interior designer.
Between running these two businesses, Piaggio somehow finds time for a TV career, most recently filming several episodes of HGTV’s “Curb Appeal.” The Clarendon homeowners featured in one of her “Curb Appeal” episodes are also her clients. The overall style of the project, she says, “evokes a traveled, transitional vibe with fantastic pops of color. I never want things to be too ‘matchy, matchy,’ no matter what the style is.” She designed a custom inlaid-wood dining room table for the home that is being fabricated in Italy using wood salvaged from old villas.
Piaggio prides herself on being a “non-stylized designer" who creates interiors that reflect a client's aesthetic and lifestyle - not her own. "I do everything from very contemporary to traditional," she says. "Design is definetely not one size fits all. You could go into 10 of my homes that i designed and it would never feel like the same designer was there."