Youngstown native Lepore gets mention on ‘Modern Family’


New York-based fashion designer Nanette Lepore, a Youngstown native, got a mention on “Modern Family” Wednesday night.

It came when the fashion-wise Haley Dunphy (played by Sarah Hyland) gave her nervous sister, Alex, advice as she waited for her interview with a college admissions counselor to begin. Haley pointed out that the counselor is wearing a dress from the Nanette Lepore spring collection.

Moments later, Alex (played by Ariel Winter) compliments the counselor on her dress, asking if it’s a Nanette Lepore.

Reached Thursday morning, Lepore was tickled about the shout-out on one of the country’s top-rated television shows.

“I love ‘Modern Family,’” she told The Vindicator in a statement. “I always believe in giving compliments — especially to college admissions officers. When you know you look good, you can take on the world — even the Ivy League.”

Lepore jokingly tweeted the following about the TV mention: “Yes, @ModernFam is right. Recognizing a Nanette Lepore WILL get you into @Princeton.”

Princeton University then retweeted Lepore’s message, adding a Web link to Helpful Tips for students who are trying to get accepted by the school.

Fellow Youngstown native Ed O’Neill, of course, is one of the stars of “Modern Family.” O’Neill plays the role of Jay Pritchett, the girls’ grandfather.

Reached by email Thursday, O’Neill didn’t take credit for the mention, saying he did not tell the writers to use Lepore’s name in the script. He did say, however, that the writers knew that he and Lepore are friends.

It’s a safe bet that that knowledge had a bit of influence on the writers, who needed to use the name of a top fashion designer in the scene.

Lepore is the sister of state Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan of Youngstown, D-58th, and the sister-in-law of former state Rep. Bob Hagan.

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