Adrina Dietra Luxury Lingerie, which recently opened in Press Bay Alley in Ithaca, is not your typical clothing store. Owner Adrina Dietra is bringing unique undergarments to downtown with an open storefront and a family-friendly atmosphere.
“For me, I’ve always had a passion for anything dealing with art and making and building and such like that. And as I grew up, I just finally fell into fashion,” Dietra said. “It was always ever-changing, so it was something that could constantly keep my attention regardless of how the world around me changed.”
Dietra makes everything sold in the store, including garments and apothecary goods. For her clothes, she repurposes a lot of material from pieces damaged in other stores or in shows. Mostly, customers request custom or altered clothing to suit needs like maternity, mastectomy, plus sizes and others. For the apothecary goods, like foaming hand soap, beard oils, bath oils, aroma therapy oils and others, everything uses natural ingredients.
Dietra’s journey to Press Bay Alley starts at North Carolina State University and later the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. At FIT, she received a scholarship from the Underfashion Club, a non-for-profit intimate apparel industry organization dedicated to education, which led to her specialization in undergarments.
“In pursuing the specialization, I began to fall more and more in love with the detail that goes into it, the amount of thinking and thought that you have to put into it, just crafting them, period, for me, was a bit of anxiety relief, and for that reason, I just really fell in love with it,” she said.
From there, she ran several pop-up shops at different times in places like New York City, Brooklyn and Staten Island. After a while, she said, it was time for a change.
“The pop-ups are, of course, not out of my blood, but I wanted something that I could expand more on my product in a place where people could constantly be able to come,” she said.
Shortly after moving to Binghamton to provide a safer environment for her kids, Dietra received a recommendation from a friend to check out Press Bay Alley as a possible store location. Dietra always viewed Ithaca as a stable place to be, and she knew it was the right move for her kids.
Dietra’s children are special needs kids, and she has always looked out for what is best for them, especially when it comes to starting her own business.
“[It was a] necessity to just find a place that’s soothing for my children but for us to still grow with them and to continue to reach for goals that I’ve had this entire time,” she said. “My kids love it because they get to meet other children. It gives them a sense of normalcy with everything that’s going on right now.”
Despite how long and winding the road to Luxury Lingerie has been, Dietra said she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s been an extremely haphazard road, but I feel like everything is kind of falling into place where it needs to be,” she said. “Even as it falls out of place, it’s regaining its path.”
Much of what Dietra creates is inspired by vintage garments. She uses natural dyes like tea and vintage designs and materials, creating garments where no two are alike.
“I just always took details and pieces components and built them into what I was doing, and I feel it’s even more of a craft to be able to incorporate all those things in such a small area,” she said.
Back when Dietra worked in a lingerie boutique in NYC, she often encountered people unable to find their size or needing alterations for specific situations and occasions. She used that experience to inspire her niche her, creating garments that people can’t find anywhere else.
Ultimately, she wants to help people feel comfortable in their clothes as themselves. So far, the feedback has been rather positive.
“The fact that people come in and they have that adoration for my work, to me, it kind of validates what I’m doing,” she said. “It makes me feel like I’m on the right path. Maybe I’m not as crazy as I thought I was.”
Adrina Dietra Luxury Lingerie officially opened June 27, and since then, the orders have been flooding in.
“It has definitely well exceeded my expectations,” Dietra said. “I’m at a point now where there’s a four-week wait for me to do custom or alterations pieces because I’ve actually received so many orders all at once that it’s a little backed up.”
Keeping up with stock has been a challenge, but Dietra said she is taking it in stride and learning how to handle everything the job is throwing at her.
Dietra said she is finding her place in the Ithaca community and the culture, and the fact that she provides products for whatever needs a costumer expresses aligns with the welcoming nature of downtown.
“My shop is very open. There’s no limitations to what you can do here, within reason,” Dietra said. “I think that in itself is a bit of the Ithaca culture – just being able to be open and express who and what you are, however you like to, and you can do that with services that I provide in the shop.”
Moving forward, Dietra wants to continue bringing her unique products and talents to people who need them.
“I hope that people continue to appreciate what I’m doing,” she said. “I want it to just grow from here as much as humanely possible.”
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