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Bye to Frumpy Fleece, Hello to Looking Hot in Tahoe

Who says fleece has to be frumpy? One local designer is on a quest to make the soft, versatile fabric into fashion-forward attire ready for après ski, an evening out or even a much-more-stylish jaunt to the grocery store.

“There’s a lot of gear fleece out there, but there’s no reason that it can’t be sexy like any other top,” says Jeanne Feldkamp, a Potrero Hill resident and longtime skier who launched the Fleece-A-Nista line of jackets, tops and accessories in January.

To that end, Feldkamp’s debut offerings ($125-$280) include a form-fitting zip up jacket with a wide, ruffled collar, a top with dramatic blouson sleeves, a bolero jacket and a microfleece cowl-neck baklava. Each garment is made in Oakland using 100 percent recyclable fleece sourced from Malden Mills, best known for manufacturing Polartec. Thoughtful details like thumbhole notches and extra-long sleeves result in garments that are not only fun to wear, but functional, as well.

Feldkamp’s second fashion venture, Fleece-A-Nista is a departure from the bridal and evening gowns Feldkamp has designed for the last four years under her first label The 615 Project.

Along with its exclusive focus on fleece, the latest from Feldkamp comes with an eco-friendly twist.

“One of the things that really bothered me about the apparel industry is that it’s super, super wasteful….Most clothing companies throw out the scraps that are generated in the production process,” Feldkamp says.

Not so at Fleece-A-Nista: the company fights unnecessary waste by shredding its fabric scraps and turning them into filler for a series of patterned floor and throw pillows. What’s more, 50 percent of the profits from each pillow sale benefit Bpeace, a non-profit organization that trains female entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda.

Available online at Fleece-A-Nista.com.