The creative influence of the Dakota by Design and LENZANITA collections is designer Anita Kealey.
Growing up in an artistic environment, a child of professional musicians; Ms. Kealey diverged from music when she opted out of an opportunity to perform in Europe as a teenager. Instead she headed for NYC to study at Parson’s School of Design.
Subsequently returning to her Midwest roots, she began her design studio and renovated a historic building by the age of 25. Years later she works in the same building and lives in the penthouse apartment that she designed. She and her penthouse have been featured HG-TV and Midwest Living Magazine. Her love of music continues and she is a strong supporter of culture and visual arts in her community.
Ms. Kealey’s passion for the environment and awareness of sustainability is apparent in her eco-sustainable one of kind collections. These pieces feature contrasts using uncommon materials with simple lines and traditional shapes. The wearable attire and accessories are constructed of repurposed materials. Scraps from a local balloon manufacturer, woven obsolete media tape, and South Dakota grown sheep wool are among the textiles and accessories used in these creations.
With over twenty years designing for special event, red carpet, inaugural and pageant evening wear, Kealey with her Evenings by Design line was the first to make a green statement at the Miss America Pageant. This has not only drawn attention to garments made in the USA, but those that are entirely sustainable materials and with recycled or reclaimed materials.
Ms. Kealey serves as the creative director of the Institute of Design & Technology of SD which is located in the heart of the active bike-friendly, progressive and green conscious small city of Sioux Falls.
Creating garments and accessories in sonic “media” fabric is a marriage of love of music and fashion, bridging two worlds.