After a long Friday afternoon discussion, we left the quaint coffee shop and started walking towards the subway. On the way through the scaffolding and skyscrapers, was a piece of urban art, a spray painted message that read, “in the pursuit of magic.” Within seconds, I looked up to see the top of the empire state building peeking over the wrought iron fence that guarded the solitude of Gramercy Park. In pursuit of magic may be just what Lisa Anastasi ’83 is.
Anastasi has worked in fashion and design ever since she graduated from Trinity, staying true to her herself from the start. Anastasi has dedicated impressive stints at both J. Crew and Ralph Lauren as a designer and creative director for their companies. Anastasi embodies the classic clothing she designs. Her ideas are original, containing soft fabrics and comfortable lines, applied with a business sense (stemming from her economics major.)
She describes, “I love functional, innovative design—clothing with purpose or ease makes me happy.” While at J. Crew Anastasi, who has a true talent for color recognition, describes spending a few days at a mill in the north of Scotland. This centuries-old mill, nestled in among the moors and heather, inspired her to work with an array of colors in raw wool to create new and exclusive tweed colors and palettes. After J. Crew Anastasi moved on to Uniqlo and most recently has been consulting privately.
A true personal transformation took place for her as a Trinity student from a shy, naïve girl to a strong, driven young woman. Anastasi studied Italian under Professor Campo and was deeply affected by learning about her own culture and family history. She attributes her biggest growth to the rowing team. She says, “I found a home with the rowing team. I became addicted to working hard and seeing results. I developed a drive and hunger for success I never knew I had.”
Anastasi soon realized that in all aspects of Trinity, if she applied herself and worked hard she would do well. This has become indicative of her career and life path. Upon reflection of some journals from the spring of 1984, Anastasi recounts her first days in New York City after her Trinity graduation. At that time, she lived her life looking upwards walking through the bustling streets and has ever since. Those who don’t look for magic will never find it.