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Born in Winona, Minnesota, Lovenia designer Heidi Handler first realized she was destined to be a fashion designer at age 12, while shopping in London. “I was alone, buying a couple of naturally-dyed muslin scarves,” she recalls. “In that moment, I knew that this is the world I wanted to exist in.”

A natural beauty, Handler gained entry into the fashion business through modeling work in Miami. Soon, she became part of the late Gianni Versace’s circle there. Determined to learn his craft, she took classes in pattern-making and sewing in Miami, Los Angeles and New York City before enrolling at the prestigious Angewandte Kunst Schule in Vienna, Austria. There, she was accepted into the Masters Program for Fashion Design and studied with Jean Charles de Castelbajac. Under his guidance, she adopted an authentic artistic approach to clothing design.

Based in State College, Pennsylvania and Manhattan today, Handler retains her European sensibilities and frequents the fashion capitals of the world to source her fabrics and fuel her inspiration.


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