“We are absolute master graders.”Maria LipariDirector of Operations
“Quality Pattern has become its own entity in our family.”
Over the last 50 years, marking and grading have played a critical role in the Lipari family. As high schoolers, Mario and Joseph Lipari joined their father’s marking and grading company to help grow the family business. They started at the bottom as company messengers, and eventually became expert craftsmen. After quickly rising to management roles, Mario and Joseph went their separate ways, looking to test out their individual talents. However, it quickly became obvious to them that they would be more successful together; they launched Quality Patterns in the 1980s, and orders started pouring in from the get-go.
At the time, their younger sister Maria who had an eye for technology was finishing up school at Baruch College. Mario and Joseph saw this as the perfect time to bring her on board, in order to start a Commuter-Aided Design department aimed at optimizing operational efficiency. With new technology came the need for workforce training, and Maria jumped on the opportunity to help close the skills gap, training employees one by one. With all three siblings so deeply involved, Quality Patterns soon became an integral part of the Lipari family.
“We are absolute master graders.”
Over the years, Quality Patterns has proudly worked with some of the greatest design houses. The team is dedicated to each of its clients, treating each job with the utmost respect and care. The siblings also consider it their duty to support emerging designers, offering them lengthy consultations to help them navigate the fashion development and production process; this is particularly important as many emerging designers do not fully understand how important marking and grading are. Maria describes the process as accounting for 75% of the work needed to create a garment or pattern – as fit is perhaps the most critical component of garment manufacturing. Quality Patterns’ views their responsibility as respecting each piece’s style and frame, while ensuring it is properly sized to hug the human body. Mario, Joseph, and Maria’s lifelong experience in marking and grading has allowed them to truly master the craft. They are consistently sent the most complex marking and grading projects, as they are widely recognized as the go-to resource for engineering garments and working with specialty fabrics.
“COVID decimated the industry.”
While many New York City garment businesses closed shop in the early 1990s due to foreign competition, Quality Patterns saw its business boom. China opened its borders around that time, which presented some new difficulties for the Liparis, but ultimately China’s marking and grading services became too expensive and clients stayed loyal to Quality Patterns. More recently, COVID has negatively impacted the business, and in fact the entire industry. Many of Quality Patterns’ clients closed in 2020, and orders were scarce. The team worked remotely at the start of the pandemic and tried to address every client need, coming into the office when necessary. Over a year later, orders as still unpredictable week-to-week and the company has had to significantly downsize. That said, the team remains positive as business has picked up in recent months, with much more work from smaller ateliers and emerging designers.
“We are now planning even more technological advancements.”
Computerizing the marking and grading process has played a critical role in Quality Patterns’ longevity and success. When Maria joined the team and the company started using CAD, digitizing and scanning, productivity, efficiency, timing, and quality all dramatically improved. Looking to the future, technology will continue to play a significant role in the company’s operations, with Management are looking into updating both their current software and equipment, and adopting increasingly automated processes. Having dedicated their careers to scaling their company, Mario, Joseph and Maria are proud of what they have achieved so far and look forward to a bright future ahead.