Meet Adrina Graham at Adrina Dietra

Ever since Adrina Graham was a child she had an inkling that she was destined to be a fashion creator. As a little girl, she custom styled her dolls’ outfits, and, as she matured, she was often sketching clothing designs. And, she simply dreamed of creating and selling her sketched creations when she became an adult.

To further nurture her creativity and hone fashion designer skills, Adrina attended North Carolina State University for textile and apparel management with a concentration in apparel development. Plus, while she was at NC State, she joined college clubs related to business and her African American background. She was a founding member of the Entrepreneurs Club and a member of the African American Textile Society. She also served as a fashion model with a student competitive modeling Troupe, Black Finesse. After three years at NC State, she earned a scholarship to The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City where she studied fashion design and later specialized in intimate apparel design.

Now, Adrina is showcasing her natural fashion design talents at her shop, Adrina Dietra, which opened this past summer in Press Bay on W. Green Street in Downtown Ithaca.

Adrina Graham works on a garment inside of her shop, Adrina Dietra, in downtown Ithaca.

“I chose to start my own business so that I could have more flexibility while I’m raising my two children. Plus, I noticed the lingerie industry offerings seemed to be lacking, especially when it came to garments that allow pregnant or post-mastectomy patients to still feel lovely in their bodies. I figured I would do my part to fill this void. Plus, I wanted to create a less traumatizing undergarment shopping experience for youth, personalized touch for women that often fall in ‘average size ranges’ made to seem abnormal by many mainstream {majorly American} companies, and a safe space for individuals in transition to feel their truest self,” says Adrina.

Adrina Dietra features many stylish ready-to-wear and costume/couture creations, such as bralettes, corsets, garter belts, and other types of lingerie all designed and handcrafted by Adrina. Adrina Dietra can provide alterations on lingerie or lingerie-inspired garments — none of which had to originate from the shop.

The shop also sells a variety of multifunctional apothecary products such as all-natural bath soaks and body scrubs, massage and beard oils, Elderberry syrups and more. Eventually, Adrina plans to offer menswear, as well.

“I’m able to provide garments, products, and services for a range of people regardless of their social construct, gender, religion, or other preferences. I enjoy the freedom of creative expression and the ability to help people through self-expression, and self-love, via my products,” says Adrina.

When Adrina isn’t at her shop or busy crafting garments, she enjoys spending time with her two children, reading, drawing, watching movies/shows and researching various historical people, times, and objects.

“Some of these interests are very apparent in my shop. From the distinct look of my garments and products, down to the packaging and logo design —all of which I did myself based, mostly, on historical research. The causes I care most for are those that work with children and single parents in need, all forms of abuse, social justice, and mental and other health-related issues, as I have personally had major life-changing experiences surrounding each of these issues. As my children and I settle into this community and become more regulated in-store operations, I hope to rejoin a few local organizations and groups and give back to the community,” says Adrina, noting she recently moved to Ithaca from Binghamton, NY.

You can learn more about Adrina and her specialty shop at adrinadietra.com or visit the shop at 118 W. Green Street, Press Bay.

The Faces of Downtown Ithaca

Some say the best referrals come from trusted family and friends. In Downtown Ithaca, quality recommendations often come from speaking directly to our hospitable downtown business owners and managers. Afterall, who knows their business best than the business owner themselves.

Welcome to Faces of Downtown Ithaca where we’ll give you an insider’s look at downtown’s shops, let you meet your shopkeepers, and restaurateurs who provide this area with some of the finest shopping, dining, and attractions that the Finger Lakes Region has to offer.

Not only do these folks work here, but they also dine, shop, and play here. Many of them also live here, too! This is their Downtown Ithaca and now, they are sharing some of their histories with you.

#facesofdowntownithaca