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Smocked Zebras Bishop Dress

Anavini Smocked Dress

The Anavini Company is committed to quality. Anavini has an interesting story or origin:

"I believe children are one of the most beautiful blessings of life," says Anavini designer and co-founder Jose Vicente Velasquez. "I get tremendous pleasure creating clothes that make so many people smile, especially the parents," says the El Salvadorian born thirty-nine-year-old, who established Anavini with his mother Ana de Velasquez in 1990. Specializing in fine, hand-smocked children's clothing, Anavini is now a family owned global company, with offices in Miami and San Salvador. The company is run by Mrs. Velasquez and her four sons.

The first collection of eight styles was created in the fall of 1990 by then-recently widowed Mrs. Velasquez, who wanted to keep herself busy and unify the family. The collection included different European fabrics, such as French pima cotton, dotted Swiss, Swiss organdy, Spanish piques, Italian linens and silks, English tartans and French lace trimming. Velasquez and his mother sewed and assembled a collection of samples. He was soon on a plane to New York armed with them. His first stop was "Magic Windows," a tiny children's boutique on Madison Avenue, which immediately placed a sizeable order for the entire collection. Shortly thereafter, several stores based in the southern U.S. began to buy the collection as well. Almost ten years later, the Anavini line is now sold in over 950 boutiques in the United States, as well as in France, Italy, Germany, Norway, Denmark and Japan.

Manufacturing facilities are located in El Salvador and employ over 300 people. Anavini is one of the few companies in Central America that has progressive benefits programs for its employees. Velasquez, who is Anavini's sole designer, has been instrumental in increasing the company's profile both here in the U.S. and abroad. He discovered early in life that he had a passion for color contrasts, forms in nature and art. After his education in the U.S. at the University of Miami and at the American University in Washington D.C, where he studied art history and business simultaneously, Velasquez returned home to El Salvador to take up his life's calling.

Anavini has become well-known in the fashion industry for its use of the finest imported fabrics from all over the world. Velasquez's fabrications range from glowing pastels or rich jewel tones to ethereal floral, smart plaids and crisp pinstripes. His favorites are imported cotton piques, pure silks, wools and velvets. Velasquez is skilled in his ability to add a unique dimension to the conservative styles of his collections. The signature Anavini line of intricately detailed hand-smocked garments with original storybook themes are closest to his heart. Motifs often allude to the appropriate seasons, holidays or formal affairs in a whimsically imaginative way.

For the millennium, Anavini plans to expand the company's high profile global customer base. Velasquez is intent on maintaining the soul of the company: a modern take on an old-world children's clothing tradition. He will continue to interpret the conservative, yet striking look of Anavini with a contemporary and discreet feel. "Designing the Anavini collection makes me feel very much alive," he says, "and that's what inspires me most."

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