South End designer gets his due, thanks to Ann Romney

 Ann Romney wore an Alfred Fiandaca skirt suit to the first debate.
Ann Romney wore an Alfred Fiandaca skirt suit to the first debate.

Unlike most high-profile fashion designers these days, South End-based Alfred Fiandaca doesn’t send out press releases every time a celebrity steps out wearing one of his outfits. Which may explain why he hasn’t received much recognition this campaign season, even though he has been Ann Romney’s designer of choice on the trail.

That’s changing as the fashion police become more adept at recognizing Fiandaca’s touches in Romney’s looks. He won plaudits after the first debate when she wore one of his crisp, cream-colored skirt suits, and then again a few days later when she showed up on “Good Morning America” wearing a Fiandaca-designed stretch taffeta shirtdress in stop-sign red. The attention, however, hasn’t been all positive. A black leather skirt suit that Romney wore on Jay Leno’s show in September got people talking, but not in a good way.

Romney isn’t Fiandaca’s first high-profile political client. He’s dressed a handful of Kennedys, Lady Bird Johnson, and Nancy Reagan. But a Romney win in November could mean more business for the 72-year-old, who started his career by opening a shop on Maverick Street in East Boston. If the Romneys move into the White House next year, it will no doubt be a boon too for Fiandaca, a lifelong Democrat who’s switching sides to vote for Romney this year. If that happens, hopefully Ann Romney will consider filling her closet with more of Fiandaca’s American-made designs, and with some from other Massachusetts-based designers as well.