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Fashion line a hit for two New Canaan women

Updated 7:35 pm, Wednesday, June 1, 2011

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  • Marea Dumbauld and Jeanne Daniel display their beautiful hand crafted tunics and specialty tops at a recent event.  Their company, bella-tu, has been getting a lot of attention by stores locally, in NYC, and all across the United States.  Even The Four Seasons in Punta Mita, Mexico, carries their very unique line of tops. Photo: Jeanna Petersen Shepard / New Canaan News
    Marea Dumbauld and Jeanne Daniel display their beautiful hand crafted tunics and specialty tops at a recent event. Their company, bella-tu, has been getting a lot of attention by stores locally, in NYC, and all across the United States. Even The Four Seasons in Punta Mita, Mexico, carries their very unique line of tops. Photo: Jeanna Petersen Shepard

 

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When it comes to fashion and clothing, most companies will market their styles and gimmicks to their customers until their faces turn blue. Rarely do those companies focus on the customer and making sure they feel great about how the products look and feel. Throw those stereotypes out of the window if you happen to be shopping at a bella tu trunk show around the country.

New Canaan residents Marea Dumbauld and Jeanne Daniel, the team behind bella tu, a clothing line featuring ancient Indian-inspired tunics and tops, recently held a trunk show at Dumbauld's home.

The line has been receiving plenty of attention from stores locally, in New York City, and across the United States. Even The Four Seasons in Punta Mita, Mexico, carries their very unique line of tops.

Coming from Italian ancestry, Dumbauld and Daniel wanted to express that culture in the name of their clothing line.

Bella Tu is Italian for "beautifully you" and both Dumbauld and Daniel want their customers to just be the most stunning versions of themselves.

Dumbauld explained how the beauty of these tops inspired by the culture of India is really in their simplicity and versatility.

"Our philosophy is that most women have their favorite bottoms," she stressed. "What we really look for is the top. Wearing the top just the way you like it brings out your inner beauty."

"We believe that women of all ages want to look and feel beautiful and are always interested in well-crafted pieces that they are proud to wear," their website says. "The versatility of the bella tu collection offers our clients a true form of expression, choosing different colors and beading selections that reflect your own distinctive personality."

As for their partnership in this business, Daniel handles most of the design and creative developments for bella tu while Dumbauld is responsible for the sales, marketing and operations aspect.

"It is a great partnership," Dumbauld said. "I think we complement each other very well and have made bella tu a success with obvious help from our loyal customers."

Daniel has been in design, fashion and retail for more than 30 years working for luxury brands such as Tiffany and Co., Vera Wang and Emporio Armani. She recently traveled to India and became inspired by the colorful fashion for women, particularly the kurti tunic and the sari. For these tunics in particular, Daniel particularly liked the light "jewelry designs hand beaded" into the fabric. It was this collection that was such a huge hit in New Canaan's most recent trunk show.

"This trunk show in particular has been very good," Dumbauld said. "We had consistent traffic and a lot of interested customers. We have been in New Canaan for nearly 20 years now and have become friends with many of the women here in New Canaan. The women of New Canaan know what they want and they love our style and fashion sense."

More often than not, many of bella tu's trunk shows also highlight a special charity. A portion of all their sales go to those charities. This time Dumbauld and Daniel decided to donate to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. The MMRF was co-founded by New Canaan resident Kathy Giusti, the wife of Republican first selectman candidate Paul Giusti.

"Kathy Giusti is a very good friend of mine and I really believe in the work she does," Dumbauld said.

For more information about bella tu visit www.bella-tu.com.