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Fashion designer who did Ann Romney outfits dies

The Associated Press, Monday, February 11, 2013, 7:13pm (PST)

BOSTON (AP) — Fashion designer Alfred Fiandaca, known for classic styles including outfits Ann Romney wore during the 2012 presidential campaign, has died.

Judy Nee, a family friend speaking Monday night for Fiandaca's daughter, Michelle Fiandaca of Winthrop, Mass., said he died Saturday in Palm Beach, Fla., after a stroke on Thursday. He was 72.

Fiandaca grew up in East Boston, where his mother was a seamstress, and opened his own shop in 1960 after studying at schools including the Massachusetts College of Art.

Early clients included Lady Bird Johnson, Nancy Reagan, Joan Kennedy and actresses such as Audrey Hepburn.

Fiandaca drew new attention when Republican candidate Mitt Romney's wife wore his designs, including a cream-colored skirted suit at a campaign debate.

"He was a delightful man," Nee said, who started out making doll clothes with mother, and ended dressing socialites in Boston, New York and Palm Beach. She said many women kept his clothes for years, "because they work, they stand the test of time."

Nee said his daughter, her friend, was thrilled to be a part of his life in fashion. "Not many girls get to say that their dad is a fashion designer," she said.

Fiandaca is also survived by his spouse, Carl Bartels, whom he married last year, and a son, Alfred Fiandaca Jr., of Aspen, Colo.

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