Photos by Neon Lace Company
Drawing upon her decade-long career as a makeup artist, Imane Fiocchi tie-dyes textiles from vintage linens out of her Garrison studio.
There’s a kaleidoscope of color happening in Garrison right now.
What’s the source of said color, you ask? That would be Neon Lace Company, a bold textile studio tucked on a quiet little property in Putnam County. Inside the workspace, founder Imane Fiocchi turns monochromatic, vintage linens into tie-dyed, technicolor fabrics that brighten even the blandest of tablescapes in a heartbeat.
“I’ve always loved vintage shopping and antiques,” Fiocchi enthuses. A freelance makeup artist for 10 years with a background and education in studio art, she’s always been involved in the world of art in some form or another. Yet it wasn’t until 2017, when she and her husband purchased and renovated a farm in Salisbury Mills, that she began to consider a new career.
Even then, the inspiration for Neon Lace Company happened largely by chance. At the time, Fiocchi was planning to host a dinner party using the vintage napkins she purchased during a summer vacation to Venice, Italy. Yet when she set the table, she realized it looked far too washed out for her taste. So, in a stroke of creativity, she dyed the napkins neon green.
“They looked super cool,” she admits. “My husband was like, ‘That’s a great business idea,’ and I got the idea stuck in my head.”
For the woman who once spent her days surrounding by every hue of makeup imaginable, the chance to inject neutral linens with bold washes of color was more than a little enticing. To test the waters, she ordered a bulk lot of 25 pounds of fabric with which she could experiment and kickstart her business.
“I used them all,” she says. After practicing on her own, she even went to Japan to attend a dye workshop with a fourth-generation dye master to learn the secrets of ancient dye techniques. With a certificate of completion in hand, she was ready to return to the Hudson Valley to launch Neon Lace Company in the spring of 2019.
Officially headquartered in Putnam County, Neon Lace Company is a woman-led textile studio known for its hand-dye methods and vintage materials. Not only does it bridge the gap between old and new, but it also promotes Fiocchi’s emphasis on sustainability and one-of-a-kind creations.
“The sustainability aspect is important to me,” she notes. “I was in love with the idea of taking something that already existed and putting it in vintage rehab. I think the vintage sourcing – it’s not easy – sets us apart.”
In fact, Fiocchi hand-sources each and every linen used by Neon Lace Company. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, she was a regular attendee at flea markets and estate sales across the Hudson Valley. Now, she still shops local in the region, although she sticks to antique shops near her home. Because she and her husband relocated from their farm in Salisbury Mills to a new residence in Garrison, she enjoys popping into Cold Spring to take advantage of the village’s thriving antique scene.
“[The stores have] really helped me with unique, interesting finds,” she says. “I love the hunt.”
While sourcing linens is step one of production for Neon Lace Company, it’s only part of the equation. The other half of the process happens inside Fiocchi’s studio, the space where she and her team tie-dye neutral fabrics into napkins, placemats, tablecloths, and more in a wash of the brightest colors imaginable using low-immersion dying methods. After all, her end goal is to make entertaining fun. And what better way to do just that than by setting the table – literally – with a scene guaranteed to add cheer to any party?
“We could design vintage-inspired pieces in bulk, but I really wanted to rehabilitate archived pieces,” she explains. “I think they all have a story.”
If the feedback she’s received is any indication, then her customers do, too. Fiocchi regularly receives comments from shoppers reminiscing about how their grandmothers used to have the same linens or how they remember using similar textiles as children.
“It really touches people in a visceral way,” she observes.
With a predominately online presence for now, Neon Lace Company connects with shoppers through trade shows, social media, and word of mouth. It’s received a wealth of positive feedback and support so far, and Fiocchi is inspired for the future. Coming soon, she plans to introduce more color options along the lines of her “Yin Yang” pack, a play on neutrals with pops of color, and her “Rainbow” pack, which offers linens in every shade of the rainbow.
“[You can] set the mood with your table however you feel like,” Fiocchi says of her Neon Lace Company products. “Everything is hand-dyed with love in very small batches. The idea is to collect them all.”