A graduate of Ohio University, where she graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts, Ms. Amato originally intended to be a painter. She was praised for her early work by colleagues who often cited her technique with strong, playful combinations of color, patterns, and relief, a unique talent that would serve her well when she eventually turned her creative energies to fashion and accessories design.
Perhaps not so coincidentally, Ms. Amato hails from a family of Italian textile professionals, a legacy that began with both her maternal and paternal grandmothers, each of whom were skilled craftswomen who plied their craft in New York's garment center. Her grandfather made his living as a furniture upholsterer and the designer recalls her childhood filled with days spent playing with the multi-colored ribbons, trims, and fine fabrics that adorned her grandparents' workshops. As a young woman, she learned to sew on her grandmother's sewing machine, an experience she would ultimately take with her and utilize as she entered the creative world of fashion and textile design.
Rather than apprentice to a working designer Ms. Amato jumped head first into the fashion business, establishing Carolina Amato, Inc., her own accessories design company, in 1979 with a small loan from her husband. Today, Carolina Amato enjoys a huge and loyal following among such upscale retailers as Neiman Marcus, Anthropologie, Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue, along with style-conscious consumers who appreciate the impeccable Italian workmanship, consistent fit and fashionable design of her accessories.
An active member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) for nearly two decades, Ms. Amato has also served on the organization's Scholarship Committee, which endows funds toward the education of promising young fashion designers. She continues to serve as a panel judge for the Savannah College of Art and Design's annual Student Fashion Show and sits on the Parents Council of the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Ms. Amato has also been a member of the Accessories Council (AC) for several years now.
When she is not working on the design of her numerous collections, Ms. Amato enjoys cooking in her Tuscan-inspired kitchen, entertaining friends and family at her home on the north shore of Long Island, skiing in Vermont and traveling regularly to Italy with her husband, the celebrated architect Frank Capone.
From soft and plush cashmere knits and "pop-top" fingerless mittens, to over the elbow silk charmeuse gauntlets and her new, trend-setting "ultra luxe" Italian leather collection, Carolina Amato's richly colored and textured collections cover most fashion bases, from the trendy to the timeless. For her line of men's gloves, the designer regularly focuses on elegant ribbed cashmere, buttery Italian leather, shearling and the softest suede. One of the hottest items: cropped perforated leather driving gloves that feel right at home behind the wheel of a sporty BMW roadster or a Mercedes Benz coupe.