Traits vs Trends

Traits vs Trends

AliceAnna with Patrice Gentile

by Alisa L Brock

Deoxyribonucleic Acid. I can remember  the very moment when I first found out the meaning of the letters in the abbreviated term we call DNA.  I  was about nine years old and I threw that word around  like I some tiny, prepubescent scientist. But if I’m being honest, I don’t believe I had a true understanding of what DNA really was until I got older and watched myself slowly turn into some way cooler version of my mother, father, grandparents and other ancestors I had only heard tale of. (Okay, slightly cooler.) This mysterious concoction of those who came before us and who’s DNA swirled together to create that which we call I, is the very foundation in which Open Works member, designer, and owner of AliceAnna Clothing, Patrice Gentile’s line stands on. So, it’s safe to say that fashion is in her DNA.


Gentile’s clothing line is not only named  after her two grandmothers Alice and Anna but her own design style has been largely influenced by the contradicting styles of both these completely different but equally fly women. Gentile’s grandmother, Alice, was a woman who appreciated more refined attire while her grandmother, Anna, had a more free flowing and rebellious style. Much of both their contradicting styles rest in Gentile’s creative spirit, and it is made continuously evident with each garment she produces and her exploration of clean lines and the feminine silhouettes.

“Traits and genes are passed down and even if you don’t spend a lot of time with, or even meet your family members, you still inherit a lot of traits and similarities.” – Patrice Gentile


Gentile studied fashion design in Virginia, where she received a very hands on education that was absent of updated machinery. She would latter realize how priceless the skills she acquired really were, when she found opportunity on the West Coast, and began to explore life in the fast fashion industry. There she discovered a few facts about the fast fashion industry that drove her straight to the slow fashion market. While the fast fashion industry is about rapidly following trends and “borrowing” designs, the slow market is more about creating new original designs from scratch for “quality and longevity.” These ideas have become almost obsolete in the fast fashion industry.


“In school I learned how to make my own designs… in the fast fashion industry I wasn’t able to use any of those skills acquired.” – Patrice Gentile


With a sincere passion for creating original designs, Gentile started her line AliceAnna and would make her way to Baltimore soon enough. Her mom, a resident of Maryland, would often send her clippings about what was happening locally around town. One of the articles she set aside for her on a visit home one year was an article about Open Works in the Baltimore Sun. After reading the article, she knew that this was the place she wanted to call home for her microstudio.


Well, big thank you to your mom and the Baltimore Sun for sending you and your designs our way. We look forward to seeing more of Alice and Anna in all you create.


Q: What’s the best advice you ever received and took?


A: “Always be kind to everyone because you never know who they are or what kind of relationship you can build.”


Q: What advice would give to future makers with similar interest?


A: Don’t take yourself and what you do too seriously.


To learn more about AliceAnna visit

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