She’s supermarket chic.
An upstate New York woman has turned a food shopping staple into a style statement — by knitting a suit made of 300-plus Wegmans plastic grocery bags.
Rose Ferrigno of Greece tells the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: “I do it for fun.”
The unlikely supermarket fashion collaboration kicked off in August when Ferrigno — a seamstress who once worked at Hickey Freeman in Rochester — was at a family picnic where another guest was carrying a bag made from repurposed plastic bags.
The carryall caught her eye, so she and her daughter, Fran Bertalli, took to YouTube to find instructions on how to construct one.
Ferrigno, 75, then knitted a tote made from red, white and blue plastic JC Penney bags and a braided purse from the brown and green Wegmans shopping bags.
But what good is a braided Wegmans handbag if you don’t have any clothes to match?
Ferrigno — who emigrated from Siciliy at 16 and spends summers tending to her garden — decided she’d knit the suit to keep her busy through the winter months.
But before she could even start, she needed needles big enough to work with plastic. They didn’t exist; so she whittled her own. Then she cut the bags into strips, tying them together to create a yarn-like material. After the suit was complete, she lined it with a sheer brown cotton fabric.
The project took about two months.
Ferrigno unveiled her suit at a family member’s post-wedding brunch this month, and she dazzled the crowd.
“Everybody went crazy!” Bertalli says.
According to the paper, Wegmans was also impressed.
“We love it when our customers reuse or recycle grocery bags, but never have we seen a work of art like Rosa’s!” says Jo Natale, the supermarket chain’s vice president of media relations.