The legendary fur costume designer and dear friend of Liberace has passed.
We at the Liberace Foundation are deeply saddened by the passing of our longest serving member of the Board of Directors. Our condolences to the family and many friends of the one and only, Anna Nateece.
Anna Nateece LeNobel, preeminent show business fur designer of the twentieth century, former Royal Couturiere to Her Royal Highness the Queen of Greece, fashion designer to Jacqueline Onassis and fur designer to a galaxy of stars orbiting her dear friend and biggest client Liberace, died on January 16, 2022 in Las Vegas.
Born November 27, 1937 in Athens, Greece, at twenty-five she rocketed to national recognition when her creations surpassed top fashion designers in a 1962 competition, creating the entire wardrobe for the world cruise of HRH Frederika of Hanover, the Queen of Greece.
Married in Greece to Harry Natsis, the couple had three children and moved to Boston, where Harry was invited to study at Harvard. Later divorced, Anna arrived in Las Vegas with her children in 1970. There, veteran fur purveyor Ray LeNobel immediately recognized Anna’s exotic fur designs as genius, and her charisma as infectious. They married, and LeNobel created the Anna Nateece brand, opening fur studios in the Riviera, Dunes and Caesar’s Palace hotels. Anna Nateece is widely recognized for ushering in the golden era of fur fashion in Las Vegas.
Liberace first visited her studio in 1972, beginning one of the most influential alliances in show business history. For Liberace Anna created the Black Diamond Mink Cape in 1975, then surpassed it when she constructed the Shadow Fox Train Coat, the most expensive fur in history and the most elaborate of Liberace’s legendary fur collection. Dozens of other costumes of Liberace featured her fur adornments, as the two became close friends. Her client list grew to include Dionne Warwick, Siegfried and Roy, Liza Minelli, Cyd Charisse, Naiomi Campbell, Mike Tyson and dozens of other celebrities. Elaborate Nateece designs adorned boxing promoter Don King, then his stable of fighters, creating the genre now also a tradition in hip hop. Sharon Stone wore Nateece in the 1996 film Casino, playing the character based on real Las Vegan Geri Rosenthal, for whom Anna also designed furs, along with many other Casino executives and high profile Las Vegas personalities. Her Azure Mink Cape created for Liberace in 1978 was requested by the New York MET for exhibit at the 2019 Met Gala, to which many stars wore costumes in tribute to Nateece works for Liberace. The New York Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology calls Anna Nateece “One of the premiere furriers of the 20th century.” Her coats remain prized possessions of the glitterati around the world.
Anna was the longest serving costume designer of Liberace, and was instrumental at the Liberace Museum. She was the longest-serving board member of the Liberace Foundation, from its inception in 1978 until her passing. Her legacy lives on in the permanent Liberace Museum Collection, and the thousands of students of the arts supported by the Foundation. Widowed in 2011, in recent years she enjoyed socializing at Foundation events, and especially the company of her beloved children and grandchildren. Anna is survived by her siblings Dimitrios Kalkantzakos, Eleni Tsitsinakis and John Kalkas of Las Vegas; her children Michael Nateece of Dana Point, California; Danny Nateece Natsis and Stephanie Nateece Natsis of Las Vegas; her grandchildren Brittany Nateece Soroudi and her husband Benjamin Soroudi, Skye Nateece Hosman and Apollo Nateece Natsis; and by great-grandchildren Sophia and Wylder Soroudi.
Services Friday, February 4th at 9:00 a.m. at Saint John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, 5300 El Camino Rd, Las Vegas Nevada 89118. A celebration of Life will follow March 4, 2022. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Donations to The Liberace Foundation in lieu of flowers please.