67° Good Afternoon
67° Good Afternoon
LifestyleFashion and Shopping

Huntington native gains celebrity following with Le Trench

Dianne Vavra models Le Trench, the coat she

Dianne Vavra models Le Trench, the coat she "reinvented" from a vintage find in Paris. Credit: Vanessa Tierney

Vintage shoppers know well the rush of finding that hidden gem tucked away in some overlooked corner.

For Dianne Vavra of Huntington, it came from a simple leopard-print trench coat she discovered in the damp, musty basement of a shop in the Marais district of Paris, where she can often be found thanks to her "day" job -- senior vice president of press relations for Dior Beauty.

She paid 25 euros for the coat (a little more than $30 at the time) and started wearing it, well, just about everywhere. Compliments quickly followed, from friends, colleagues, a buyer at Barneys. All that got her thinking and, voilà, her company Le Trench was born. She "reinvented" the coat with the help of a local pattern maker and the website,, went live earlier this month.

Vavra's Dior job means a lot of celebrities on her virtual Rolodex, and a number of them have been happy to take the coat out for a spin. Actress Abigail Spencer wore one to New York Fashion Week, Lena Dunham thought she might wear one to her book signing, Sharon Stone is a fan.

The beauty of the coat, Vavra says, is that "it's incredibly practical, yet super chic. It looks good on everybody." Right now it comes in three colors -- black, red, and a black and gray serpent print (a neutral that's as close as Vavra could come to the original leopard, which is tricky to produce). She hopes to add a new look every season -- eventually she'll nail down that leopard, she says.

At $495, it's a bit more expensive than Vavra's original find, but she points out that it can be worn with everything. Throw it over jeans or yoga clothes or a cocktail dress -- it works. Just remember, Vavra stresses, to pop the collar for that touch of French flair.

Correction:  An earlier version of this story misspelled Dianne Vavra's first name.

More Lifestyle