I spent my early childhood living in rural New York in a 19th century farmhouse on acres of rolling hills. As an only child, most of my time was consumed exploring the surrounding streams and forests, picking wild raspberries, and dreaming. Among the trees, ferns and wild flowers it was very easy to imagine and believe in a world of fairies and magic castles. Some of my earliest drawings are of princesses and brides dressed in elaborate gowns.
My parents are both professional artists, so I was exposed to galleries and museums and encouraged to develop my creativity. I studied classical ballet for years and the stories and costumes of the ballet continue to influence my ideas of elegance and grace. As a teenager I began pouring over European Vogue where the world of couture opened up to me. I completed study in fashion design at Otis Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles and began my career in design.
It has always been my desire to create exquisite feminine clothing using the finest fabrics and precious details; to combine a vintage feeling with modern style. In 1994, with the partnership of my husband Guy Toley, we began. Over the years, it has been a joy to see our collections carried in the finest boutiques in the world. I have a very romantic vision of how fashion can enhance our beauty and indulge our dreams. I invite you to share that dream.
- Claire Pettibone