Newport is synonymous with nautical style, but Rhode Island artist Vanessa Piche is turning her passion for serene landscapes — which have been seen in Pottery Barn, in motion pictures and on the set of popular programs like House of Cards and the forthcoming Doctor Sleep based on the Stephen King novel, into fashion. Her eponymous her hand printed clothing line is sure to make a splash at the Newport International Boat Show this week (Sept. 12-15).
Here’s more with artist/designer Vanessa Piche whose pieces I can attest to, are ultra comfortable, beautifully cut and top quality (and crowd-pleasers — I’ve learned you will get asked ‘where’d you get that’ when wearing her designs):
1. As an award-winning artist, what inspired you to expand your horizons into fashion? I have a background in fashion. I graduated from FIT in New York City and finally, I decided to reach a larger audience so everyone could take home some original art.
2. You’re a Rhode Island-based artist who depicts a lot of nature and nautical scenes — how did your work find it’s way to Pottery Barn, House Of Cards, Hollywood studios and major motion productions? I license out my images to a company that gets placement into movies, tv shows and major corporations.
3. How did you end up in Rhode Island? My husband is from Rhode Island. He is a sailor and used to be a professional captain for offshore race boats. My first time to visit him while we were dating was in Newport. We had chowder from The Black Pearl and drinks at O’Brien’s, then headed to The Pelham for dancing!
I fell in love with the Newport as it is so similar to my hometown of Annapolis, Maryland. Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay is my biggest inspiration for my work.
4. You were the 2015 U.S. artist for Volvo Ocean Race, which included the Newport Stopover. How did that come about and what did that entail? I was commissioned to capture the USA stopover in Newport and my original painting of the fleet now hangs in the Volvo Ocean Race headquarters in Spain.
5. Tell us about the Vanessa Piche collection for men, women and children. What do people love about it? Will you be adding new pieces in the future? The collection is for the entire family! Each piece is hand-printed and the designs are based on my award-winning paintings.
People love the fact that they are getting original art on a super comfortable shirt or sweatshirt. They love the simplicity of the art and the nostalgia that it evokes in them about their favorite coastal/boating memories.
I am always adding new pieces, colors…testing new items to keep the line fresh. I love designing new apparel. It is so satisfying to see all of my customers love their new shirts/hats and then come back to buy more and tell me they are huge fans. It is both exciting and humbling to serve the New England community.
Be sure to check out the Vanessa PIche collection at the Newport International Boat Show at Tent A booth #3 this week where the designer’s new jewelry line will be making its debut, or shop online here and follow her on Instagram at @VanessaPiche