ON THE COVER
The serene, wintry windowscape on this issue’s cover, a digital painting fictionalizes elements of his Greenpoint apartment. In fact, the
Fashion Institute of Technology
expansive kitchen window that it’s based on looks out over “vinyl-sided
Hue is for alumni and friends of FIT, a
houses and a maze of clotheslines,” not skyscrapers and a water tower.
college of art and design, business and
And the cat resembles one he had as a child, not his current feline
technology. It is published three times a
roomie. But the illustration does capture the peaceful mood of his
year by the Division of Communications
apartment, which he describes with a quote from Jean Cocteau: “I love
and External Relations, 227 West 27 Street, Room B905, New York, NY 10001-5992, 212 217.4700.
cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” For more of Kalda’s reimagined living quarters, turn to “Natural Selection” on page 12.
VIDEOS AND MORE AT hue.fitnyc.edu
with pencil-drawn components by Sam Kalda, Illustration MFA ’14, The Magazine of the
Julianna Rose Dow, Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice ’08 (“Don’t Call Me a Sneakerhead,” p. 27) is an etiquette expert and staff member of FIT’s Communications and External Relations Division. She likes puns, telling people what to wear, and baking with bourbon.
Vice President for Communications and External Relations Loretta Lawrence Keane Daniel Seung Lee
Assistant Vice President for Communications Carol Leven Editor
Sam Kalda, Illustration MFA ’14 (“Natural Selection,” p. 12, and this issue’s cover) is an illustrator and cat fancier in Brooklyn. His illustrations have enlivened the pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Vogue.com, and WWD, among many others.
Linda Angrilli Managing Editor Alex Joseph, MA ’13 Staff Writer Jonathan Vatner Editorial Assistant Laura Hatmaker Art Direction and Design Empire Design Studio Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Get involved with FIT and your fellow alumni. Like the FIT Alumni page on Facebook and follow @FITAlumni on Twitter. Email the Office of Alumni Relations at email@example.com and let us know what you’ve been up to.
>> Printed by Cohber Press on Rolland Enviro™ Print. The Enviro family has the lowest environmental footprint in North America due to its 100 percent post-consumer waste fiber composition, the use of biogas energy, and a chlorine-free manufacturing process.
Please recycle or share this magazine.
WATCH: Claudia Rankine, the celebrated Jamaican
Bartsch, legendary night-
poet, offers advice to
club doyenne—and the
at The Museum at FIT—talks about transformation, her beloved designer Zaldy ’90, and the importance of a great party.
Hotel boudoir, Susanne
subject of a recent exhibition
Environmental Savings as compared to paper using 100 percent virgin fiber. 85 trees preserved 81,997 gallons of water saved 8,389 lbs of waste not generated 27,518 lbs CO 2 not generated 71,000,000 BTUs of energy not consumed 35 lbs NO X nitrous oxide gas prevented
WATCH: From her Chelsea
WATCH: Sneakerheads on campus show off their favorite kicks.
Erica Lansner (“The Work of Art,” p. 22) is a freelance photographer and native New Yorker. Her work has appeared in numerous domestic and international publications, including Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, and The New York Times.
READ: Discover funnybut-true trends in wedding couture from Eliza DeRocker, Accessories Design ’02. Han-Yuan Yu, Illustration MFA ’15 (“Child’s Play,” p. 16), is a Taiwanese draftsman and illustrator. His dynamic, complex, and colorful Manga-style digital art has been published in 3x3 magazine, Creative Quarterly, and ImagineFX magazine.
New Balance aficionado Richie Roxas shows off his littlest shoe. More footwear love affairs are revealed in “Don’t Call Me a Sneakerhead,” page 27.
Features 8 SAFE HOUSE A peek inside The Museum at FIT’s new, state-of-the-art storage facility
9 #NOFILTER How do you get millions of Instagram followers? An alum and a student figured it out
12 NATURAL SELECTION An indoor safari by Sam Kalda ’14
15 UNCOMMON THREADS Student-designed rugs, hand-knotted in Nepal, impress industry stars
NICK PARISSE, PHOTOGRAPHY ’09
16 CHILD’S PLAY Celebrating the 25th anniversary of FIT’s pioneering Toy Design program
22 THE WORK OF ART The multifaceted world of gallerist Florence Lynch ’91
26 GHOSTS IN THE HOUSE An exhibition puts African fashion in an unlikely context
27 DON’T CALL ME A SNEAKERHEAD …but these supercollectors are crushing hard on athletic footwear!
4 HUE’S NEWS 14 I CONTACT: STUDENT 32 ALUMNI NOTES 35 WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
MFIT’S COUTURE COUNCIL HONORS
“I think this idea that the imagination somehow is formed in a place separate from your body, that you are a product of the world and suddenly this imagination that you have comes in detached from everything else that you know, everything that has formed you, everything that you have read, everything that has determined everything else that you have done, is as ridiculous as saying that whiteness equals normality. But it comes from the same place. It’s this notion that there is a place that is not touched by politics, race, misogyny, colonialism—and who says that but the dominant force, right?”
MANOLO BLAHNIK Legendary shoe designer (and Carrie Bradshaw’s sole mate) Manolo Blahnik received the 2015 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion at a luncheon at Lincoln Center on September 9. Actress Uma Thurman, Blahnik’s longtime
friend, presented the award. The luncheon raised more than $1 million for The Museum at FIT—and tweets from the star-studded affair ricocheted through cyberspace, racking up an astonishing 13.1 million Twitter impressions.
Brad Barket/Getty Images
—Claudia Rankine, poet and author of Citizen: An American Lyric, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN Center USA Literary Award, at FIT October 6. Rankine spoke to a packed house in the Katie Murphy Amphitheatre and guest-taught creative writing classes throughout the day. Amy Lemmon, acting chair of the English and Communication Studies Department, organized the event.
Thurman, Blahnik’s longtime friend, surprised him by showing up to present the award.
GLOBAL FASHION MANAGEMENT STUDENTS TAKE NEW YORK
About 60 students from eight countries in the Global Fashion Management MPS program convened in New York in the fall to study innovative retail concepts, cutting-edge technology for the apparel industry, and the practical elements of managing a multinational corporation. Students learned from industry executives, most notably Mark Brashear, president of Michael Kors, and Stephen Sadove, former chief executive of Saks Fifth Avenue. The GFM program is a collaboration among FIT, Institut Français de la Mode in Paris, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and students visit all three cities over the The students visited Material ConneXion, a textile course of their studies. library in Midtown.
Hong’s collection is “focused on an elemental theme of beauty and well-being,” he said.
DESIGNING FOR REAL BODIES Jinwoo Hong, Fashion Design ’17, won the first-ever FullBeauty Award, which “aims to expand the definition of clothing design and beauty beyond a one-size ideal,” according to the online and phone/mail-order retail company. The competition was open to fifth-semester FIT Fashion Design students, and Hong’s collection—sophisticated and sexy, with a tailored look—was the top pick among the 31 entries. The judges included Zahir Babvani, Fashion Design ’96, vice president of design for FullBeauty Brands, and FullBeauty spokesperson Meghan Trainor, a singer/songwriter whose number-one single “All About That Bass” sends an empowering message of body acceptance. Hong won $2,500, a paid internship with FullBeauty Brands, and a profile in FullBeauty magazine.
QUICK READ All are invited to the Hand of Fashion (fitnyc.edu/ handoffashion), a series of conversations on ethical industry practices. Events take place through May 11, hosted by Simone Cipriani, founder of the Ethical Fashion Initiative. 4
hue | winter 2015-2016
The Designers & Books Fair, an expo for design and architecture books, was held at FIT in the fall. Special guests included André Leon Talley, Fern Mallis, and vaunted book designer Irma Boom. The event raised $10,000 for FIT’s library.
A Wikipedia Edit-a-thon in the Gladys Marcus Library on International Women’s Day, March 8, will empower female students to engage with technology and add to the largest encyclopedia in history.
RISES IN THE RANKS
Queen of the Night For The Museum at FIT’s fall 2015 exhibition, Fashion Underground: The World of Susanne Bartsch, the legendary nightlife impresario flung open her closet doors to show off a panoply of avant-garde fashions by Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen, Thierry Mugler, Rick Owens, Vivienne Westwood, and many others, including FIT’s own Zaldy, Fashion Design ’90. Museum director Valerie Steele co-curated the exhibition with Bartsch herself and co-wrote an accompanying book with Melissa Marra, Museum Studies: Costume and Textiles ’06, associate curator of education and public programs. Check out Hue’s exclusive video interview with Bartsch in her Chelsea Hotel apartment at hue.fitnyc.edu.
FA S H I O N SCHOOL IN THE
WOR L D
BE S T
FA S H I O N S C H O O L IN THE
I N F LU E N T I A L FA S H I O N S C H O O L I N T H E WOR L D
PU BL IC COL L EGE
Left: The exhibition’s opening party on September 17 brought clubland’s wildest denizens out to play. Right: Steele and Bartsch have a friendly tussle.
We Got the Blues
On any given day, it is estimated that nearly half the world’s population is wearing jeans. Denim: Fashion’s Frontier, an exhibition in the Fashion and Textile History Gallery at The Museum at FIT, employs more than 70 objects from the museum’s collection to explore the multifaceted history of the fabric and its relationship to high fashion. Among these are a pair of work pants, circa 1840, and jeans by Tom Ford for Gucci, which made headlines in 1999 for the $3,000 price tag. The exhibition is on view through May 7, 2016.
These hand-embroidered Levi Strauss & Co. jeans, circa 1969, are closely associated with hippie counterculture.
Olivia Priolo, a high school student in FIT’s Precollege program, won a back-to-school styling contest on ABC’s Good Morning America on August 25. She prevailed over another Precollege student from FIT and one from Parsons.
C.J. Yeh, professor and assistant chair of Communication Design, gave a TED Talk at TEDx Fulton Street in September. He discussed recent branding projects including a flexible identity system for the toy design company GUND. Visit tedxfultonstreet.com to learn more.
PayScale.com 2015-16 College Salary Report
N E W YOR K STAT E
HIGH E S T M E DI A N MID-CAREER SAL ARIES FOR A LU M N I
MOST A F FOR DA BL E B AC H E L OR’ S DE GR E E I N E N T R E PR E N E U R S H I P I N T H E U. S .
8 $$$ th
“BEST BA NG FOR THE BUCK” I N T H E NORT H E A S T
Business of Fashion’s Business of Fashion’s Business of Fashion’s First Global Fashion School First Global Fashion School First Global Fashion School Rankings Rankings Rankings
WOR L D
Niche Top Public Universities for 2016
Washington Monthly 2015 Ranking
B E S T FA S H I O N S CHO OL
Fashionista.com’s 2014 Top 50 Fashion Schools in the World
Recent rankings have named FIT as one of the best colleges of its kind in the world.
The women’s tennis team took second place in the NJCAA Division III National Championships this year, up from third place last year. Coach Lynn Cabot-Puro was named Coach of the Year for the region.
FIT Is a Hub for Thriving NYC Film Culture In the fall, FIT hosted an unprecedented number of screenings and seminars, providing opportunities, particularly for Film and Media students, to see great movies, meet noted directors, and learn the craft and business of filmmaking from experts. Two of The New York Times TimesTalks took place at FIT, one featuring the stars of the TV drama Madam Secretary, and another with the stars of the film Truth, Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett, and the journalists—Dan Rather and Mary Mapes—the film was based on. FIT also was the educational partner for the 2015 Chelsea Film Festival, October 15-18. The festival presented 19 films from 13 countries, many of which were directed, produced, and written by women.
This mixed-media depiction of Shea Stadium was part of a solo exhibition of the sports-themed works of Tony Capparelli, adjunct associate professor of Illustration, on view at The Museum at FIT this fall. Capparelli created this piece in 2008, the year the beloved Mets stadium was demolished. He has been the Milestone Artist of the New Jersey Devils since 1989 and was an officially licensed artist for Super Bowl XLIV.
Redford and Blanchett.
“Common Read” Engages New Students on Globalization Kelsey Timmerman, author of Where Am I Wearing? A Global Tour to the Countries,
Have you heard?
ESSIE NAILED IT! Nail color magnate Essie Weingarten, Fashion Buying and Merchandising ’70, told students the story of her business at the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology Fall Dean’s Forum on October 22. She said she got her start by giving samples to salons in Las Vegas that served dancers, card dealers, and cocktail servers
Factories, and People that
who needed great nails. She oversaw the distinc-
Make Our Clothes, spoke to
tive rounded bottle design that kept polish from
first-year students during
settling into corners, and she came up with the
orientation week. “Do you
amusing color names (No Pre-Nup, Fishnet
know what life is like for the
Stockings, etc.) to give the brand some personality.
people who made the shirt
Her business flourished even in hard economic
you’re wearing?” he asked. Everyone in the first-year
times. “It’s an inexpensive luxury that can make you feel good,” she noted.
class read the book as part of this year’s Common Read, which introduces incoming
of recent FIT graduates with associate degrees
expectations, encourages respectful discourse, and
Source: FIT Department of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, based on a survey of recent graduates with a 22 percent response rate
of recent FIT graduates with bachelor’s degrees
students to FIT’s academic
with their peers and professors.
Weingarten wore her Really Red nail color for the Dean’s Forum.
QUICK READ Chalk FIT! returned this year, as Illustration students painted chalk murals on the concrete canvases of the Pomerantz Center’s exterior walls. Check out photos and videos at facebook.com/ChalkFITNYC.
hue | winter 2015-2016
The votes are in, and FIT’s tiger mascot has a name. Say hello to Stitch! #FITTigerNation
Cyberchase, a PBS show that teaches school-age kids about math, focused on FIT’s water bottle refilling stations in a sustainability-themed episode called Bottled Up on November 13.
A MILESTONE YEAR FOR DESIGN ENTREPRENEURS NYC
Four questions for Raul Arevalo, Menswear ’95, and Brad Schmidt, founders of Cadet, which won this year’s $100,000 grand prize
Interviews with the innovative program’s executive in residence and the 2015 winners For the past four summers, the free, intensive Design Entrepreneurs NYC program, a collaboration between FIT and the New York City Economic Development Corporation, has taught emerging designers how to grow their brands. Over three weekends, students learn how to put together a business plan, balance their books, and pitch their work with authority and flair. “The whole point of DENYC,” says Jeanette Nostra, senior advisor and director of G-III Apparel Group Ltd. and DENYC’s executive in residence, “is about keeping New York City the vibrant fashion capital of the world— creating jobs, creating new opportunities, and keeping business alive and thriving by supporting new talent.” This year, G-III increased its sponsorship of DENYC and encouraged companies as diverse as Macy’s Inc., PVH Corp./Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, Cole Haan, and Ivanka Trump to support the program. This has raised the prize money for the two best business-plan presentations to $100,000 and $50,000, respectively—up from $25,000 and $10,000 in 2014. “We needed to turn up the dial on the program and who we recruited,” Nostra says. “This absolutely raised DENYC’s profile, but more importantly, it meant that the candidates were a little bit more seasoned, and their businesses were more viable.”
“Watch out, Ralph Lauren!” proclaims Brad Schmidt, co-founder of Cadet, the militaryinspired, obsessively tailored, locally produced menswear brand that dazzled the Design Entrepreneurs NYC judges. Cadet was a lifelong dream for Schmidt’s partner Raul Arevalo, who worked in technical design for 17 years before launching the label in 2012. Now they offer a full menswear collection, sold in their three New York boutiques.
Jeanette Nostra, DENYC’s Secret Weapon The experienced businesswoman helped launch the Design Entrepreneurs NYC program in 2012 and has steadily worked to improve it, increasing its funding, providing mentorship to students, and refining the syllabus. Nostra talked with Hue about DENYC and its future.
What does winning first prize mean for your brand? SCHMIDT: It’s instant credibility. We’ve been given this platform, but it’s up to us to make use of it. We really want to be the next great American brand.
Why is your company, G-III, working so hard to help young designers? Morris Goldfarb, my CEO, is enormously philanthropic. He’s civic-minded, and an entrepreneur down to his shoes. He sees this as an investment in our industry.
How is Cadet different from other brands? AREVALO: When we started, everything was
the coal miner look: flannel and overalls. I thought there was a niche to do a crisp, timeless, and masculine postwar look, with a focus on fit and make.
After four years of stewarding DENYC, what gaps have you noticed? What do the designers need from the program? The designers know how to create product and get it made; the hurdle is getting it to market. They need a showroom, they need sales representation. We are exploring that for the next phase of the program. How wonderful it would be for me to be able to call the team from Saks or Bloomingdale’s and say, “I want you to bring your menswear team to Design Entrepreneurs and I’m going to show you seven, eight emerging designers in one day, in one space.”
What will you do with the prize money? SCHMIDT: We’re going to invest in advertising and marketing. We’re trying a paper mailing for the first time. We are all confronted with a lot of advertising noise—we’re figuring out how to break through all that. What’s next for Cadet? SCHMIDT: For spring ’16 we launched a whole-
sale collection, available through Amazon Fashion and at high-end department stores. We plan on building out our wholesale arm and launching a retail footprint on the West Coast. We also just launched a women’s capsule collection at Fashion Week.
Have you had a favorite moment in the four years? With each and every person that I have mentored, there have been a couple of aha moments—and it’s electrifying! One student had a product—women’s apparel—that was so expensive that it was never going to get traction. And we, together, rethought the entire pricing, merchandising strategy. Another team—a women’s accessories business—had design and production, but needed the third leg of the tripod, marketing and sales. They eventually brought in a third partner so that they could move forward. You need that third leg or the tripod falls over.
Cadet girl will be strong, professional, creative, and feminine but not girly. Feminine with that masculine edge to it. SCHMIDT: In
FAR LEFT: Arevalo and Schmidt with President Joyce F. Brown after Cadet won this year’s DENYC contest.
Never say never!
other words, no sequins.
LEFT: Cadet’s Admiral coat, wool, fall/winter 2015. TOP: Nostra addresses the designers at DENYC’s kickoff reception.
SAFE HOUSE Zooming in on The Museum at FIT’s sophisticated new storage facility
Costume is more sensitive to light, heat, and humidity than even oil paintings. Ultraviolet and visible rays fade colors and weaken fibers, and fluctuations in temperature and humidity can embrittle fabrics or stain them with mold. For these reasons, it’s essential for fashion collections to be stored in highly controlled environments. This year, The Museum at FIT debuted a two-floor, state-of-the-art facility for its 50,000 garments and accessories, some of which date back to the 1600s. (The $4.8 million renovation was made possible through generous donations from New York State, New York City, and the Couture Council.) The space is bright, cool, and surgically pristine—an ideal resting place for all those luscious Chanels, Diors, and McQueens. “Everything in these rooms was designed to care for and protect the collections,” says Sonia Dingilian, the museum’s registrar, who oversaw the renovation alongside senior conservator Ann Coppinger, Museum Studies: Costume and Textiles ’06, Patternmaking Technology ’94, Fashion Design ’78. “It’s been a long process, but we are extremely happy with the end result.” —Jonathan Vatner The facility isn’t open to the public, but take a peek inside the museum’s collections 24/7 at fashionmuseum.fitnyc.edu. 8
hue | winter 2015-2016
THE RENOVATED STORAGE SPACE, IN DETAIL
The 6,000-square-foot storage rooms were designed by Samuel Anderson Architects, who have worked on conservation spaces for the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
A layer of plastic in the newly built walls creates a vapor barrier, protecting the room from external humidity.
Over 100 rows of steel sliding units, comprising 1,756 feet of hanging storage and 3,014 shelves, house the museum’s 50,000 pieces. Not only does the mobile storage space allow for easy access, but it also will accommodate the collection as it grows.
The old storage rooms were carpeted. The concrete and linoleum floors in the new space can be kept much cleaner.
The museum-quality heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system maintains a temperature of 67 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 50 to 55 percent humidity, ideal ranges for costume preservation. HEPA filtration continuously cleans the air.
The costume collection is organized chronologically, except for fragile and oversized garments. Sculptural Charles James ball gowns, for example, must be stored on dress forms for support. Older and heavily beaded pieces lie flat, wrapped in acid-free tissue.
Energy-efficient LED lighting gives off less heat and radiation than incandescent bulbs.
THE MUSEUM AT FIT
How an alumna and a student made it big on Instagram
OM E T I M E S, when Luanna Perez-Garreaud walks down the street, she realizes she’s been recognized by one of her Instagram followers. “The other day, someone stopped me and said, ‘Are you …’ that’s it! Just ‘Are you,’” the 25-year-old laughs. “I just said, ‘I am,’ and she was so excited.” Being stopped on the street is still something of a shock to Perez-Garreaud, a Fashion Business Management major at FIT who sees herself as just someone who enjoys posting photos that catalog her life. “I’m an addict; I post like five photos a day,” says the flame-haired student, whose singular style fuses ’90s grunge with New Wave goth and ’50s pinup girl. But she has become an accidental entrepreneur, collaborating with brands like Topshop and
BY RAQUEL LANERI
Zara to create T-shirts with her likeness, and maintaining her own personal-style site, Le Happy, which generates income through sponsorships from products she loves. The way she’s able to attract these deals, and the way she’s become a New York street-style star, is through her Instagram account, @luanna90. Instagram—which lets both individuals and organizations share their smartphone pics with the world—has grown from social app to bona fide business tool in just five years, with more than 300 million users uploading, consuming, and sharing 70 million photos a day. And while Instagram has just one-fifth as many users as Facebook (at 1.5 billion), its users are more engaged. According to Forrester Research, they’re 58 times more likely than Facebookers to like, comment, or share a brand’s post. (They’re more likely buy a product they saw on their Instagram feed, too.) “Instagram changed the game in many industries, especially branding and advertising,” says Ariele Elia, Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice ’11, assistant curator of costume and textiles at The Museum at FIT (@museumatfit). Elia hosted Instagram and Fashion, a Fashion Culture event about the app’s growing influence on the industry, on October 6. “It’s a great marketing tool, because it connects the globe. A young designer from Brazil, like Patricia Bonaldi (@patriciabonaldi), can now reach one million international customers.”
Savvy Instagrammers tag the brands they wear and the stores where they’re available.
“When I came to New York and started meeting bloggers here, I realized they were using Instagram a lot,” says PerezGarreaud, who joined Instagram in 2012, two years after launching Le Happy in her hometown of Lima, Peru. “I saw it as another cool platform to share my blog posts and other content I create.” Now she has an impressive 1.9 million followers on the app, and brands, including Coach, Kate Spade, and Honest Tea, often partner with her on projects that they dream up together. “The collaborations just happened; one day a
Seven tips for killing it on Instagram, from Perez-Garreaud and Bernstein
1. Develop a distinct style—don’t use a different filter every time you post. 2. Show a variety of images. If la mode is your métier, don’t just post photos of your outfits, but of the fabrics, colors, artworks, and vintage photographs that inspire your style. 3. Use popular hashtags specific to your photo, such as #selfie, #tbt (throwback Thursday), and #photooftheday. 4. Tag posts. If you’re taking a selfie, tag the brand that made your outfit or your lipstick. If you’re documenting your artfully crafted latte, shout out the coffee shop where you got it. And if you’re snapping a photo of the paperback you’re particularly enjoying, tag the author. 5. Reach out to the community. Follow other users and comment on their photos, and they’ll do the same for you. 6. Be consistent. Don’t post one photo and then forget about Instagram for weeks. 7. Plan out your snaps. Bernstein creates an editorial calendar that ensures variety in the images she posts.
brand reached out and wanted to work together, and they paid me. That’s how I realized, ‘Oh, people pay for that.’” For some bloggers, they can pay a lot. Harper’s Bazaar reported that Danielle Bernstein, Advertising and Marketing Communications ’14, could fetch up to $15,000 per post on her Instagram account @weworewhat—though, as she explained to Hue, her rate for sponsored posts vary from project to project. Still, Bernstein is making a successful career out of her personal style blog and Instagram account. “Surpassing 500,000 followers was when I realized this is a legitimate business,” she says. The Instagram celebrity, with 1.3 million followers, earns income through sponsored content, advertising, and other collaborations. Yet Bernstein acknowledges that corporate sponsors, if not chosen carefully, can damage an Instagrammer’s reputation. For one, the Federal Trade Commission has rules about disclosing what items a blogger receives for free, or is paid to promote, and these rules can be murky and difficult to parse. Also, having too many ’grams tagged #ad or #sponsored might cause fans to question the authenticity of the posts. “My followers can trust whatever I promote,” Bernstein says, “which has been extremely important.”
A way to stand out Whether you want to use Instagram to sell your wares, raise awareness of your brand, drive traffic to your website, draw attention to your research, or simply make money, one thing is key: a distinctive, strong aesthetic point of view. “It has to be personal,” Perez-Garreaud says. “You have to be unique in a way. You have to be yourself.” SEE MORE “A good Instagram account piques someone’s curiosity,” MFIT’s Elia says. “The Instagrammer is advertising who they are—maybe not in terms of selfies, but the food they’ve eaten, the places they’ve been, the art they’ve seen.” And that goes for businesses, brands, and magazines, too. “People love seeing behind the scenes— they want to be let into their world.” hue.ﬁtnyc.edu
Luanna Perez-Garreaud, Fashion Business Management ‘16 (@Luanna90), has 1.9 million Instagram followers. Here are some of her most successful posts. Luanna90
Luanna90 Beach day walks around the reef #ParadiseAwaits
luanna90 As of lately is your favorite?
luanna90 Eyes on u #lehappyrings
10 hue | winter 2015-2016
Luanna90 Tropical ﬂowers are so beautiful
Luanna90 On set this morning for a super fun video with @glossybox_us can’t wait to share
Luanna90 Back home. Working on some posts for ya #lehappyhome
luanna90 Best weekend treat (more from today on snapchat @luanna90)
luanna90 Waking up to a gloomy monday in the city @whotels
Danielle Bernstein, Advertising and Marketing Communications ‘14 (@weworewhat), has 1.3 million followers on Instagram. Check out these standouts from her feed.
weworewhat strapped in @jimmychoo
weworewhat weekend packing on my bae @hannahbronfman’s new site @ hbfit #hbfit
weworewhat Blue Marlin for the day
weworewhat It’s been real next festival is @billboard #hot100fest tickets avail now hot100fest.com
weworewhat was hailing a cab when... decided to look down
weworewhat this is why I shop for home on @etsy
weworewhat Sunday in Brooklyn
weworewhat my little boy says thank you @piggyandpolly | so much swag @bleecker_thefrenchie
i contact: student
Action! Kenneth Jones Film and Media ’16 You had quite a summer, traveling overseas for three months. You started in Western Europe? I was supposed to meet a girl in Paris, but she had a family emergency. I’m impulsive and spontaneous, so I started exploring on my own. I was painting, exchanging photographs. I met a lot of young filmmakers. Travel culture is bourgeois—four museums a day, expensive hotels. But I would just hang out with friends until 4, 5, 6, then get on a bus and sleep for a couple of hours. You ended up in Africa. How did that happen, and what was it like? It’s only a $25 boat trip from Spain. It was cool. It felt to me like finding my heritage, and my people. While I was there, my mind wasn’t buzzing; I was just living in the moment, enjoying the culture. The biggest surprise was that they have similar gentrification problems in Tangier, Morocco, as they do in Brooklyn. A popular phrase you hear is “same same but different.” Were the different languages a problem? I’m a language nut. I speak great Spanish, decent French, and a little Portuguese. Each time I learned a new language, I was trying to impress a girl. I wrote this screenplay in which the main character says, “Te quiero,” and he means, “I want you,” but his girlfriend thinks he’s saying, “I love you.” Language connects us and destroys us at the same time. What’s your favorite film? François Truffaut’s Jules and Jim. Hands down. Technically, it’s like a cinematic encyclopedia. It’s got voiceovers, tracking and aerial photography, table conversations, 360-degree shots… I like films with a good female character because they’re so hard to write. You have to understand women really well. Do you want to write and direct features? In a naïve world, I’d be able to do that, though it’s going to be difficult because of the paradigms that have been established. Hollywood has this very formulaic way of making films. Young filmmakers—we have to challenge that, keep art alive. Tell me about the independent study you’re doing on the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. My professor, Ted Folke, worked on Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander in Sweden, and now he makes documentaries with the U.N. He gives me Kurosawa DVDs and I write critiques. I also read Kurosawa’s autobiography. It changed my philosophy in dealing with people. For example, he says to remember everybody’s name that you’re working with on the film. It shows respect and patience. What’s one Kurosawa film no one should miss? Dreams. It’s simultaneously a fantasy and an imitation of life; it’s pure cinema. I would love to make something like that one day.
14 hue | winter 2015-2016
UNCOMMON TEXTILE/SURFACE DESIGN STUDENTS’ RUGS IMPRESS THE INDUSTRY—AND BENEFIT CHARITY
Top: Vanessa Bonilla ’15 based her rug design, Drift, on disintegrating geometric patterns she saw in magazines and catalogs. Above: Honey Jernquist took a painterly approach to create his design, Anemone.
Right now, people might be standing on artworks by two recent FIT students. And that’s a good thing. In the Art on the Floor contest, an annual class project for seventh-semester Textile/Surface Design students, each of the two winning designs is turned into a luxury hand-knotted rug in Nepal and auctioned off for charity. The contest is run by Adjunct Assistant Professor Deborah Hernandez, Illustration ’88, Fine Arts ’84, design director of the rug company Patterson Flynn Martin, a division of the fabrics and furnishings firm Schumacher. Adjunct Instructor David Setlow, art director of Stark Carpet, taught one section of the course. This year’s assignment was to create a design for an imaginary client (likes indigo, Japanese repeating patterns, the ocean; dislikes central medallions, open expanses of solid color). The panel of judges, including Schumacher creative director Dara Caponigro, Michael Boodro, editor in chief of Elle Décor, and interior designers Alexa Hampton and Miles Redd, based their decisions on the quality and commercial appeal of the art and a mood board. “The project is about listening to what a client wants,” Hernandez says. “It’s a challenge to bring someone else’s desires to life.” Vanessa Bonilla ’15 and Honey Jernquist won first prize of $2,500 each, courtesy of Noreen Seabrook Marketing. Bonilla’s Drift has a blaze of indigo through textured white wool and silk. Jern“As soon as quist’s Anemone uses organic shapes and varied I saw it, I blues to suggest underwater creatures. Noreen Seabrook Marketing’s weavers in Nepal thought, meticulously hand-knotted the rugs on a vertical ‘I wish I had loom, a process that can take six months. The finished rugs made it to the airport but not onto a plane designed that.’” before Nepal was rocked by a devastating earth- —Matthew Patrick Smyth, quake. When the country began to recover from the Interior Design ’80 chaos that followed the catastrophe, the rugs were flown to New York. They were auctioned off on June 16 at the flagship showroom of Patterson Flynn Martin in the Decoration and Design Building in Manhattan. Noted interior designer and FIT alumnus Matthew Patrick Smyth ’80, placed the winning bid for Drift, at $5,200. Anemone sold for $3,200. Proceeds were donated to the Alpha Workshops, a charity that trains HIV-positive designers in the decorative arts. Donations of cash and dry goods were also collected for the weavers in Nepal. Smyth is putting Drift in his Connecticut bedroom. “As soon as I saw it, I thought, ‘I wish I had designed that,’” he says. “There’s a looseness to it, but there’s still order. There’s structure, but it’s not self-conscious and it’s not repetitive. It’s classic but totally new.” —Jonathan Vatner
The rug-making process, step by step
Bonilla’s painted design was converted Three artisans worked together on the The finished rug was washed with water An artisan carved the pile with a knife to The rug was blocked, or stretched on a to a digital map using Texcelle software. vertical loom to maintain tension when and a color-safe soap. Then the rug was add texture. frame, to restore its shape after washing, knotting. Skilled weavers can accomplish dried in the sun. before being shipped. about 2 to 3 inches per day.
PORTRAITS BY LORENZO CINIGLIO
FIT’s pioneering Toy Design program celebrates 25 years Child’s play. We use that phrase to describe something simple, so easy that it’s hardly worth a second thought. But play is complex, profound, and one of a child’s most important jobs. Through play, kids learn, develop physically and emotionally, relate to others, and discover the world around them. Our favorite toys remain among our forever friends, our deepest memories, our greatest joys. FIT’s Toy Design BFA program—the ﬁrst of its kind in the world—has at its heart a respect for children and for play. That’s why the program has been so successful, producing graduates who shape the industry, working on some of the world’s most iconic toys as well as brand-new ones that will inspire generations to come. Judy Ellis, Toy Design program founder and chairperson, was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in 2013. “I ﬁnd inspiration in the growing strength of our alumni community,” she says. “Their mindfulness, values, and sensibility are nurturing creativity and open-ended play, now and tomorrow.” Open the fold and meet 25 alumni—one for each year since the program began in 1991—and see their work. Child’s play, indeed.
Underwriters of the Toy Design program’s 25th anniversary event are Just Play Products and Nickelodeon. The Toy Industry Association and its board of directors have supported the program since its inception. Donors include Hasbro, Mattel, MGA Entertainment, Playmates Toys, Toys R Us, Fashion Angels Enterprises, Wacom Technology Services, and Peter G. Scotese, chairman emeritus, FIT Board of Trustees.
Judy Ellis, founder and chair of the Toy Design program, depicted as a coloring-book character by Han-Yuan Yu, Illustration MFA â€™15, with some of the many toys in her office, all designed by her students.
GAETANO “MIKE” BISOGNO creative director and se designer, Cardinal Indust
“The ﬁrst toy I ever created w Space Explorers construction I designed while I was interning K’NEX. The company liked much that they manufacture I will always cherish the excitem of that ﬁrst item to mark
Six−inch Star Wars action figures.
SHIRA MEDOFF ’15, associate designer, GUND
BILL RAWLEY ’01, product design manager, Boys Design/Star Wars, Hasbro
“Always remember you’re designing for kids and the responsibility that entails. Your design can have a very real impact on a child’s life.”
“When I ﬁrst started, we drew on paper with these things called markers. Now we all design on Cintiqs. Our sculptures are made on the computer rather than with clay. Those digital sculpts can be printed out overnight or faster. If a change is needed, we can modify the design on the computer and reprint the model. This both helps and hinders the designing of toys. We design faster so we design more. But the personal touch is not always there. Sometimes, it’s worth it to slow down and think about why we are designing something and who we are designing for.”
The Crayola Creations Thread Wrapp covers objects in colorful string.
BILL BAXTER ’99, technical manager, SGS Consumer Testing Services
Ramos helped design the Vi and Va Latina dolls while at MGA Entertainment.
KEYSHA RAMOS ’12, product designer, Disney Princess, Hasbro “I’m Latino, so being able to design a line of dolls targeted toward young Latino American girls was really close to my heart. I would have loved to grow up with dolls that looked like my friends and me.’’
In toy design and manufacture, safety is as important as fun. Bill Baxter’s company tests toys manufactured abroad and sold in the U.S. for hazards such as toxic chemicals and small parts that can be swallowed. Stricter laws and regulations have improved safety, he says. “On the whole, toy products are safer than ever.” But he remembers the bad old days: Lawn darts with giant spikes, a building set with dangerous chemicals, and a 1980s-era toy with cylinders that could block a child’s airway if swallowed. “That shape has been banned,” Baxter says. He credits FIT for his current focus. “We had a whole class on engineering and safety, about the kinds of hazards you could ‘design out’ of toys.”
MARIA SARMIENTO ’95, president and cofounder, HandsOn Design
“A great toy is easy to understand so that you can play with it immediately, fun to play with so that you want to do it over and over again, and empowering so that you want to share the experience with others.” HandsOn Design develops toys for many companies.
Winx Club Sirenix Fa Dolls have long hair a movable wings.
ERIK LEGERNES ’ for design, PG2 Fro
Erik Legernes leads concepts for Lego p Ninjago, a massivel concept phase for L players to import th
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RAMON CAMPOS ’13, product designer, Hasbro
“The ability to engage a child in both a solo and cooperative experience is an absolute must. Another engaging feature: a hook, also known as a gimmick, which provides a surprising reveal, such as a jack-in-the-box that pops up unexpectedly.”
was a n set g for it so ed it. ment ket.”
Cardinal Industries creates puzzles and games based on popular licensed characters.
ROSELD LAGUATAN ’02, product design manager, Crayola “The most important skill a toy designer needs is the ability to sketch accurately and quickly. More often than not, the designer will be the only creative person in a meeting. It’s up to us to illustrate on the spot how something may work or be solved.”
VON TANG ’04, director of design, Jakks Pacific “My advice: Know when to ﬁght, know when to let go. Have thick skin, ﬁght for something great ’til everyone knows it’s great, and ﬁght it ’til the last second— then move on if it’s not working out.”
’00, senior creative director ont End, LEGO
LeapFrog’s Learn Musical Table.
25 YE TOY DES A
Transformers Platinum Edition Soundwave figure.
MONICA VANDERGRIFT ’06, product design director, Just Play Products “Pretty much every skill you learn or develop at FIT is useful in your career, from learning how to work on control art (line drawings showing the design of an object from multiple angles) to understanding plush patterns to concepting products to illustrating and organizing presentation boards.”
The Doc McStuffins Get Better Checkup Center.
s a design team in Billund, Denmark, creating products. His team designed the tie-ins for ly popular Lego TV series. He also led the ﬁrst Lego’s recent launch, Dimensions, which allows heir physical Lego creations into a video game.
rial design student from Norway end up at FIT? Oslo, and I turned every assignment into a toy. as the only school that took toy design seriously.
The Kick & Play Piano Gym.
mportant skill a Lego designer needs? to think like a 7-year-old. I think, is this toy ng to give me a lot of play? Do I recognize and derstand this toy? Does it ﬁt into the universe ant to play in? A product that my designer says eally cool might be cool for adults but not a year-old.
w do you know what a 7−year−old will like? ve my kids and their friends prototypes to observe w they hold, understand, and play with them. hen I worked on Ninjago, I talked personally with 0 kids.
25 GRADUA SHARE INSI
Wilk oversaw a recent redesign of Mr. Potato Head.
BRIAN WILK ’97, vice president of design and development for the Games division, Hasbro
“Stay young and don’t stop playing.”
EVELYN MAZZOCCO ’91, senior vice president and global brand general manager of Barbie, Mattel
Barbie’s new Fashionistas line reflects diversity.
STEPHANIE ELIAS ’98, design director at Lambs & Ivy and independent design consultant
“Barbie allows girls (and boys) to imagine the possibilities through the experience of open-ended play.”
“When children are at play, it’s often their ﬁrst handshake with the world.”
EARS OF SIGN AT FIT
ATES, ONE FROM EACH CLASS, IGHTS AND CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
INBAL AUSTERN ’11, senior designer, Infant toys, Fisher-Price “A good baby toy has features that really take a baby’s milestones and development into consideration, as well as deliver a great way for baby to explore, learn, and have fun. For example, babies start moving and kicking their feet very early on, even before they have full control of their limbs. Providing them a piano they can kick at like the Kick & Play Piano Gym lets them learn cause and eﬀect, practice using their little muscles, and enjoy music.”
FREDDY TUTIVEN ’96, executive director of toys, Nickelodeon
“My design hero is Leonardo da Vinci. His sketches of inventions are a good representation of how we should be sketching toy ideas.”
ROCIO CI Disney Con
“The most designed Palace Pet designs, s product, a compleme
Leonardo, one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
HEIDI CALDERON ’14, product designer, American Girl, Mattel
“The toy industry is extremely small—it’s like a family!” Meccanoid G15 robots can be configured in human, animal, or vehicle form. The intelligent toys can tell jokes and give a high five.
ANDRES GARZA ’05, designer, Spin Master
“A great toy will leave enough mystery for a child to meet it halfway. Designing a meaningful play experience means dropping bread crumbs that lead children down a path to discovery.”
JENNIFER STREIM ’94, director of product design, Global Brands Creative, Fisher-Price
“A toy should help a child learn through play, socially, physically, or cognitively.”
MATTHEW BRADY ’93, creative director and partner, Eyerus Visual Communication Studio “We are in many ways a part of the fashion industry. We engage with the broader entertainment market to understand how seasonal trends impact every category of design.”
These Razor Jr. scooters give kids zombie hands, kitten paws, or robot fi sts while they ride.
Disney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa.
INTRON ’10, senior designer, nsumer Products
t exciting toys I ever are the Disney Princess ts. I contributed character story development, and play activity for a entary app.” Characters from Pixar’s Inside Out are named for feelings such as joy and sadness.
JEN TAN ’07, creative director for consumer products, Pixar Animation Studios Jen Tan’s job involves translating much-loved screen characters into toys that children can bring to life through play. “These characters mean so much to kids,” she says. “They want to take them home.” Tan works with ﬁlmmakers, Disney, and toy companies to get a sense of how the characters move, their personalities, and plot lines. This process can take 12 to 18 months. “Filmmakers are often still working on the ﬁlm while we’re developing the toys,” she says. But access to 3D digital data helps designers make characters more accurate than ever. The characters in 2015’s Inside Out embody speciﬁc feelings—and so do the toys based on them. “Sadness” has “a weight to her emotion,” Tan says; pressing her stomach causes her signature slump, while “Disgust” has a built-in eye roll. The plush toy My Scare Pal Sulley, from Monsters University, is soft but has a button that makes him roar—so kids can “scare away monsters in their closet,” Tan explains. There’s a challenging balance, she says, “of keeping true to the ﬁlm but also making a compelling toy.”
IAN DESBERG ’92, vice president of design and development, Razor USA
Eyerus designed this style guide for licensees making Alvin and the Chipmunks products.
Ian Desberg and his California co-workers are dedicated to keeping Razor—best known for its iconic kick scooter—cutting edge. “We would never do anything to change that evergreen,” Desberg says, “but we do evolve.” That evolution has included creating “giant monster hand” grips for handlebars and adding touches of glitter and faux fur—designs that appeal to the preschool set as well as school-age riders. Desberg says a good Razor design combines functionality with attention-grabbing style. And while the footpropelled scooter is still a sidewalk star, half of Razor’s products are now electric-powered. Desberg notes a trend toward adult versions of kids’ rides, such as a Crazy Cart go-kart. “Adults are into that same kind of fun,” he says. Older riders are also part of a “personal mobility trend” in smaller, portable scooters suited to college campuses or city commutes.
KYUNG KIM ’03, product design manager, Girls, Hasbro “We need to push harder on physical interaction in toys and games. I feel a little worried because the new generation of kids has less of a chance to interact.”
ERIC VON STEIN ’09, director of product development and creative director, ALEX Toys
Learn to Dress Kitty.
“The maker movement has spawned a lot of competition in the DIY and crafting space, so toy companies are bringing a lot of innovation to crafting toys. Many toys now have a virtual component, but there’s also a trend towards wholesome basic toys for parents who want their kids to disconnect.”
For Florence Lynch, Gallery and Retail Art Administration ’91, co-owning a Lower East Side art gallery is about more than selling paintings
By Alex Joseph
22 hue | winter 2015-2016
If you’re seeking a guide to the art world, which can seem forbidding and arcane, Florence Lynch just might be perfect. A respected gallery owner, most recently of the two-year-old LYNCH THAM on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, she’s also an independent curator, critic, and lecturer. Lynch is fluent in five languages, and since the art milieu might be said to have its own argot, you could add a sixth. She moves easily among environments— presiding over her gallery, visiting artists in their studios, traveling internationally to organize and attend fairs and other art events, looking glamorous at fundraising galas, or teaching her class, Gallery Management and Operations, in FIT’s Art Market MA program. She’s someone who seems comfortable talking to pretty much anyone.
In October, as part of her
philanthropic work, Lynch organized a silent auction of art objects (including a Richard Prince) for an event benefiting the Transfiguration School in Lower Manhattan. She was dressed
by Zac Posen. Posen’s sister, Alexandra, a fine artist who previously worked on communications for Zac, regularly visits Lynch’s
class at FIT to lecture on branding. “You go to galas,” she tells her students. “It’s an expense, but it’s part of your networking.” Lynch has organized similar efforts supporting the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Studio Museum in Harlem, among others.
In her course, Gallery Management and Operations, in FIT’s Art Market MA program, Lynch encourages students to think about the day-to-day challenges of owning a gallery. “What are your income sources? You can’t just be waiting for the exhibition to sell— and it might not sell, you can’t forget that. Appraising artwork? Commissions from other galleries? Art fair sales? Sales to museums? Corporate rentals—renting your inventory to corporations? That’s not enough,” Lynch tells them. “You have a lot of expenses”—from rent to installation costs to corporate taxes. “It’s mind-blowing! Which ones are negotiable?”
She’s always been this way. In the ’80s, while living in Milan and working with a conservator of Asian antiquities, she realized her future lay in the art world, and chose what was then FIT’s MA program in Gallery and Retail Art Administration as her way in. (She had already earned her associate and bachelor’s degrees at the college.) She describes her graduate studies as “two years of wonders, amazement.” She created many sustained connections. She met renowned curator Richard Martin and department chair Dan Cameron, who helped her get her footing after graduation. Classmate Elizabeth Morina held a number of editorial positions (including beauty director at Vogue) and now works with fashion e-commerce startups; the two still talk every day, Lynch says. Teacher Jerry Saltz, currently senior art critic for New York magazine, became her mentor. Saltz says he recognized her promise instantly: “Florence exuded charisma,” he says. She “loved art, had a way of talking about art and to artists that told me right away she had a destiny in the beautiful river we call the art world.” Lynch is the sort of person who is not intimidated by status or reputation. This trait stood her in good stead while working on her MA thesis—on the Arte Povera movement. She went to Italy to do research, and secured interviews with gallery owners and museum officials on the spot: “A lot of it was done right then and there. Just, ‘I need to talk to you.’ People are very receptive to that.” Back in New York, she became a director at the storied Salvatore Ala Gallery in Soho, and also curated shows that traveled across Europe, so that je ne sais quoi came in handy: “Making contacts is the easy part,” Lynch says. “I’m “You’re developing not afraid to knock on doors. I showed up friendships with at these museums and I didn’t know anyone, collectors; it’s not and I brought my presentation and met with always buying, directors.” Among the acquaintances she buying, buying.” made during that period was an artist, Carlo Ferraris, who is currently represented by LYNCH THAM. He’s now also her husband. In 1998, she opened the Florence Lynch Gallery in Chelsea, which specialized in contemporary art, and over its ten years, she became a presence on the international art scene. She’s come to know critics, dealers, and the secondary market (connecting blue chip art not represented by her gallery—Picassos, Warhols—with collectors), and of course, artists. The galleries she’s worked with have exhibited such major figures as Yves Klein, Barbara Kruger, Glenn Ligon, and Cindy Sherman. She gets to know them in many ways: “Critics recommend artists, and so do other artists. Dealers recommend them, if it’s somebody they think is really good but doesn’t fit into their programs.” She also finds them at art fairs, survey exhibitions like the Whitney Biennial, and even MFA thesis shows. In this world, relationships are key, and nowhere is that precept more evident than in interactions with collectors. She meets them through art fairs and other events, both at home and across Europe and Asia. Often they come recommended by other collectors—their friends. When possible, Lynch told her FIT class, you should visit collectors’ homes: “They want you to see where the art you sold them is in their collection, and they want you to see their collection. And you want to see it, because you want to know what you can offer them.” You have to be careful what you show them; even if it’s a great piece, they won’t buy if it doesn’t relate to what they’re buying. “You’re also developing a friendship,” she said. “It’s a nurturing relationship. Sometimes they just want to talk; it’s not always buying, buying, buying. When you have a friendship with someone, it’s much easier to sell to them.” If you’re seeking a guide to the art world, go with Florence Lynch. She won’t introduce you to a long list of luminaries and elites. She’ll introduce you to her friends.
THE ARTISTS OF LYNCH THAM The LYNCH THAM gallery showcases emerging and established artists, and no particular medium or theme connects them. “I want everyone to be an individual,” Lynch says. If there’s any
GUGLIELMO ACHILLE CAVELLINI Crate No. 114 (Cassa con Bruciatura N° 114), 1969, 30 by 30¾ by 3 inches Lynch initially co-founded LYNCH THAM with Bee Tham, a marketing expert, to have a space for a show celebrating the centennial of Cavellini (1914-1990), whom she calls
link at all, it’s her fondness for aesthetic beauty. “There’s also
“a very important artist for our stable: He is a historical
ugly art and people who like that, and that’s perfectly okay,” she
artist, and we’re fortunate to have been able to establish
says. “It has its own attraction. But what attracts me is beauty.” She does admit to a weakness for conceptual art: “I like work that makes you think.” Jerry Saltz, senior art critic for New York magazine and her former teacher at FIT, says, “She’s got an independent eye, follows her own taste.” A few of her selections
a strong relationship with the Cavellini foundation, which handles the archive. He is, to some degree, the first artist who was mindful of what is now widely known as recycling. For the crate series, he destroyed and burned existing pieces to create new ones. A work that was before its time, as is Cavellini in general.”
are featured here.
CAROLINA RAQUEL ANTICH Alla Deriva, 2011, acrylic on linen, 92 by 78¾ inches An Argentinian, Antich lives in Venice and paints images of an imaginary childhood, “almost in a dream state,” Lynch says. Though not literal, “her work is very biographical; it’s all about her.”
TIONG ANG Healthy Suspicion (Portrait of Anna May Wong), 2014, acrylic and oil on canvas, veil, 23 by 21 inches An Indonesian-born artist raised in the Netherlands, Ang primarily does videos, though he also creates portraits, usually as part of larger installations. His paintings, Lynch says, “are very subtle in color, almost always monochromatic. When he’s finished, he places a ‘veil’ over them, which creates a wonderful sense of three-dimensionality. But also a sense of ‘hidden’ and ‘revealed.’ It’s never initially clear what the viewer is looking at with these paintings; CARLO FERRARIS Standing Carrot, 2008, digital print, edition of 5, 55 by 40 inches, framed Ferraris, a conceptual and video artist, photographer, and sculptor, creates work that “looks really simple or easy, but you and I wouldn’t think of it. I mean, I’m sure it was quite difficult to get the carrot to do that. It looks like it was Photoshopped, but it wasn’t.” 24 hue | winter 2015-2016
it takes a moment.”
WALTER ROBINSON Lands’ End Friends and Family, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 30 by 40 inches For a recent series, Robinson painted images from direct-mail circulars—Target, J. Crew, Macy’s. He takes the title straight from the catalog. Lynch likes the artist’s brushwork, and the way his images suggest stories. “It’s a little bit of a fantasy. Because nobody’s ever really
that happy. Not like that,” she says.
Lynch visits the studio of Walter Robinson, one of LYNCH THAM’s artists. Of a particular canvas, she might say, “Tell me about this blue here.” She never gives an artist direction, however. “I don’t feel that’s my place.” The pair might also grab a bite to eat, and gossip a little. “We really become very close to the artists,” Lynch says. “They need nurturing and attention.” Robinson, part of a group of artists referred to as The Pictures Generation, was also an editor at Art in America and Artnet.
QUISQUEYA HENRÍQUEZ Lothar Schreyer/Donald Judd, 2014, ink-jet print on Dibond and frame inside a frame, 36½ by 55 inches During a residency at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Henríquez, a Cuban artist, used images from the Museum of Modern Art’s online collection (all works used were in the public domain) to create colorful patterns. For this piece, she photographed a small installation she’d made using wood chips, then placed the framed photograph on top of the pattern. Lynch says, “That smaller frame has a different dimension, and creates this really fantastic dialogue.” ART IMAGES COURTESY OF LYNCH THAM, NEW YORK
Girl on Scooter by Yinka Shonibare MBE RA, fiberglass mannequin with Dutch wax printed cotton and leather, 30 by 24 by 37.5 inches, 2009.
Ghosts in the House
An anniversary exhibition at the Morris-Jumel Mansion illuminates colonialism’s effect on fashion
It’s a well-worn irony in fashion history circles that Dutch wax-resist textiles, securely identified with West African fashion, were originally neither African nor Dutch. The fabrics, with their vivid colors and distinctive cracked patterns, are in fact based on Indonesian batik prints. In the 19th century, Dutch and British colonial powers mass-produced knockoffs to sell to Indonesia, and when the Indonesians saw through the inferior product, the European manufacturers fobbed them off on their African colonies. Today, Yinka Shonibare, a London-based artist who lived in Nigeria from the ages of 3 to 17, clothes his headless, racially ambiguous mannequin sculptures in these fabrics to comment on the complex and counterintuitive underpinnings of national and cultural identity. Curators at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, a 250-year-old estate in New York’s Washington Heights that once served as George Washington’s military headquarters, collaborated with Shonibare to create a site-specific installation, Yinka Shonibare MBE: Colonial Arrangements. All summer long, his sculptures 26 hue | winter 2015-2016
frolicked about the venerable rooms, as if restoring forgotten threads to a predominantly white European history. The curators also commissioned The Ghost of Eliza Jumel, a similarly clothed sculpture based on the self-made businesswoman who lived in the mansion and supposedly haunts it to this day. “These colorful fabrics with such a weighty history made a dynamic contrast within these high-style American period rooms in the mansion,” says Jasmine Helm, Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice ’14, who co-curated the exhibition with executive director Carol Ward. —Jonathan Vatner < HU E E X T R A >
J. Leia Lima Baum, Fashion and Textile Studies ’15, gave a talk, The Quixotic and the Exotic: Cultural Hybridity in Textile Design in the 18th Century, at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in conjunction with the exhibition. Visit hue.fitnyc.edu to read her commentary on the multicultural origins of Western dress.
TRISH MAYO/COURTESY OF MORRIS-JUMEL MANSION
DON’T CALL ME A SNEAKERHEAD
Portraits by Nick Parisse, Photography ’09
Performance Athletic Footwear Certificate ’14, poses for a photograph on a busy Queens corner. He, along with what look like his father and older brother, are wearing matching purple and orange high-tops. It’s unclear which pair of Schaefer’s sneakers he’s excited about. Is it the Adidas Top Ten Originals on her feet? The customized Nike Air Max 90s in her hands? Or perhaps the
Within three weeks of each other British scientist and engineer Thomas Hancock and American chemist Charles Goodyear are awarded patents in their respective countries for rubber vulcanization, a process that stabilized rubber for commercial uses, including shoe soles.
Brooklyn parks require “tennis shoes” in the recreation spaces, reflecting an interest in health and fitness in the United States. FIT Special Collections
By Julianna Rose Dow, Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice ’08
“Whoa, cool sneakers!” a little boy shouts as Erika Schaefer,
For serious enthusiasts, sneakers are more than just a shoe obsession
Converse is founded, initially producing winterized rubber-soled shoes. They begin manufacturing tennis shoes and in 1917 they debut the first basketball shoe, the All-Star.
American Federation of Arts
TIMELINE SOURCES: BROOKLYN MUSEUM OF ART THE RISE OF SNEAKER CULTURE INTERVIEW WITH ARIELE ELIA AND COLLEEN HILL FROM THE MUSEUM AT FIT
laundry bag overflowing with shoes she’s designed, restored, or just straight-up loves? Most people have at least one pair of sneakers. They’re a must for exercising and great for lazy weekends at home. Schaefer and the other supercollectors profiled here own hundreds, if not thousands. Some have fierce brand loyalty, enhancing their collections with apparel and keepsakes covered in logos, while others focus on rare releases or vintage classics. Many own hundreds of pairs they never wear, preserving them in neatly stacked boxes—pristine, precious objects of desire. Others wear their shoes, but make sure to have at least one or two pairs tucked away, to wear or sell after a model is retired. For most of them, kicks are more than a passion; they’re part of a career—as designers, instructors, restorers, or brand representatives. Some are part of FIT’s extended community; others just happen to have kick-ass collections. Call them fans or aficionados. But whatever you do, don’t call them sneakerheads. These devoted collectors are so much more.
GREGG WOODCOCK Assistant professor of Accessories Design “I saw a pair of pink Nike Zoom Airs at Dr. Jay’s on 4th, and I asked the sales guy if I could see them in my size, because the idea of a bright pink shoe in a men’s 1 seemed ridiculous. The guy got on his walkie-talkie and they brought them out and I was like, ‘I guess I have to buy these now.’”
Gregg Woodcock’s original pastel sketches and CAD production specifications for the ELUX basketball shoe for Sean John.
How many pairs? 60. I wear them all. I might buy two pairs if I really like it or it’s limited edition, but I don’t [buy] things just to have them. Favorite shoe: Right now, the pink Zoom Airs. Turns out they’re for breast cancer awareness, but I didn’t know that when I first saw them. Favorite brand: I don’t have one. I appreciate good work, good patterns and stitching, a balance between heritage and innovation. How did you get into collecting? Since I was able to buy my first pair on my own. I basically went from Matchbox cars to sneakers. Do you consider yourself a sneakerhead? I’m also a designer, so I don’t know if I am a true sneakerhead.
Many collectors own hundreds of pairs they never wear, preserving them as pristine, precious objects of desire.
28 hue | winter 2015-2016
Adolf Dassler defies the Nazi party by sponsoring African-American sprinter Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Owens won four gold medals that year and Dassler founds Adidas (an abbreviation of his name) in 1947.
U.S. Rubber introduces the Keds Champion, a canvastopped rubber-soled shoe that, along with Converse All-Stars, dominates the market for decades. Pictured, a Sears catalog advertising knockoffs.
FIT Special Collections
Woodcock in FIT’s Fashion Footwear Association of New York Footwear Laboratory.
U.S. government extends wartime rationing to rubber-soled shoes to combat shortages. Public outcry results in a reversal of the restrictions.
KEVIN RIVERA Accessories Design BFA ’09 Footwear designer for Sears Holdings, Inc. “I would fake sports injuries in high school so I could wear my Jordans with my school uniform.” How many pairs? Eight hundred to 1,000. I recently sold a lot at SneakerCon. I am always buying and I’m also always giving shoes away to my friends and family. Favorite shoe: The Air Jordan 13 or the Nike Air Mag [designed for Back to the Future II].
Schaefer in Queens, wearing her favorites, Adidas Top Ten Originals.
Favorite brand: It has always been Nike. The first shoe I drew as a kid was the Air Jordan 13 and many of my own designs have been inspired by the Air Mag.
How did you get into collecting? My mom would buy me the new Jordans for my birthday every year, so it sorta became my thing.
Performance Athletic Footwear Certificate ’14 Footwear designer and restorer “I always wanted to design footwear. I would take apart 1-dollar sneakers from H&M to see how they were made.”
What are some of the most exciting recent innovations in sneaker design? The evolution of knitted engineered fabrics [like Nike Fly Knit]. These fabrics mold to your foot like a sock .
How many pairs? Two hundred fifty that I own and wear. I also have around 500 in storage that I’m reselling for a client. I do customization and restoration, and I also sneaker-shop for people. How did you get into restoring sneakers? It started with my own shoes. Before I could afford to buy two pairs I would play around with my old ones to figure out how to keep them looking new for as long as possible. How did you know there was a need for this? After I became more active in the sneaker community and met more collectors who really hunt for retro sneakers, I saw the need. Even if they don’t wear the shoes, glue will yellow and the paint will chip. Parts separate over time.
Rivera and his son Jacob, 2, and their Air Jordan 1s.
Schaefer reengineers classic sneaker styles and with custom paint and fabric treatments. These Adidas, Nikes, and New Balances are themed around Murder, She Wrote. She posts her creations to her Instagram, @Gimme2Pairs.
Do you consider yourself a sneakerhead? It bothers me; it is pejorative. I am an enthusiast, an expert, a connoisseur.
New York Knick Walt “Clyde” Frazier works with Puma to retool their Suede. The resulting Puma Clyde, in a rainbow of colors from yellow to teal, reflects the basketball player’s sharp, flamboyant style.
FIT Special Collections
At the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City, African-American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos remove their Puma Suedes before climbing the podium and raising their fists in support of the Black Power and other human rights movements.
Qore Identity Nocturnal, designed by Kevin Rivera, sold at Dr. Jays.
Vans, a Southern California brand, gains international attention after being worn by Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
RICHIE ROXAS Hard-core New Balance collector “If it says New Balance, I have to have it.” How many pairs? Five hundred? I stopped counting around 400. I would say 350 are New Balance. Favorite shoe: New Balance 1300, specifically the one produced for the Korean market. It’s slightly different with this extra tab on the side. I just think it looks cooler. How did you get into collecting? I bought my first pair of NB in 1995, with money from my first job at a movie theater. Once I had five pairs I was like, I’m into this brand, I like the quality.
Farese’s collection is valued at $750,000.
MARK FARESE Brand ambassador for Crep Protect, a weather-proofing sneaker spray
Do you consider yourself a sneakerhead? I don’t call myself one. I don’t like any of those words— freak, head. They weren’t around when I started this. It was just something I was into and eventually it became a collection.
“I went from not being able to afford sneakers to being able to afford whatever I want. I still think $ for a pair of Air Force 1s is a good shoe for a good price.” How many pairs? I stopped counting at 2,600. I only wear the all-white pairs once, three times tops, and then I give them away.
Roxas doesn’t just love New Balance sneakers, but also owns all sorts of branded vintage apparel including this jacket and cap.
Favorite shoe: Nike AF1, in the linen/atmosphere [pink and tan] colorway. It was only available in Japan. I like pink. Favorite brand: Nike is the girlfriend you love to hate, but I like the classics: Puma Clydes, Adidas Shell Toes, Pro-Keds. How did you get into collecting? I grew up poor. My mother bought me a shoe called the Mark-5. I thought I was the coolest kid because I had my name on my shoe. So I ran downstairs and everybody laughed me off the block, because they were no-brand skippies. I went upstairs crying and I vowed I would never ever get laughed at again when it came to footwear. Do you consider yourself a sneakerhead? No. Growing up the South Bronx during the crack era, any “head” is an addict. I’m going to pay my bills and take care of my family before I buy a pair of sneakers.
30 hue | winter 2015-2016
Nike releases the Air Jordan 1, a shoe as popular as its namesake Chicago Bull Michael Jordon. Jordan’s endorsement deal is so lucrative he continues to wear the shoes on the court despite repeated fines for NBA dress code violations.
Nike releases the Air Force 1, the first shoe to use Nike Air Technology with a thick sole that holds up better for playing basketball on asphalt. Like most Nikes of the era, it is only produced for one year. Responding to an outpouring of demand, three Baltimore retailers pay Nike for 2,400 pairs up front to get the sneaker back into production. Soon customers and retailers are travelling to Baltimore to buy shoes unavailable elsewhere.
Most valuable shoe? The Undefeated Jordan IV has an aftermarket value of around $25,000. They only made 72 pairs.
Run-DMC releases the single “My Adidas” to combat the negative associations between sneakers and drug culture. Pictured, a 25th anniversary pair of Adidas Superstars that Run-DMC helps design in 2011.
Jean Paul Gaultier puts canvas, lace-up, rubber toe stilettos on the runway, worn here by Raquel Welch.
Yohji Yamamoto partners with Adidas for the Y-3 line, paving the way for fashion designers including Commes des Garçons and Stella McCartney to work with sportswear brands.
Sports Illustrated runs the cover story “Your Sneakers or Your Life,” highlighting the rise in sneakerrelated muggings and other violence.
Far right: High-fashion sneakers designed by Ricardo Seco and hand-beaded by the Wixárika tribe of Mexico, 2015, in The Museum at FIT’s collection.
Sneakers have come a long way since vulcanization, says Ellen Goldstein-Lynch, Accessories Design professor and avid kicks fan. “The fashion industry has helped performance footwear— in style, color, and silhouette. The performance industry has helped the fashion industry develop comfort and lifestyle footwear. And, of course, you know performance has made it when almost every designer is featuring sneakers on the runway with their clothes.” Fashionistas and sneaker fans are starting to resemble each other. Goldstein-Lynch says, “You don’t have two definitive camps anymore.”
Right: A shoe from the early 1860s by Thomas Dutton and Thorowgood, owned by the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery in the U.K., is one of a pair thought to be the oldest running shoes in existence.
Above right: Hempstead, date unknown, by Jamel Shabazz.
Greg Washington, courtesy of the American Federation of Arts/Bata Shoe Museum
“Sneakers are a way of pushing limits, in sports and on the red carpet.”
The story of sneakers kicks off in the mid-19th century, with the development of vulcanization: heating rubber preserves bounce and flexibility while adding stability and resilience. Within 50 years, this new process was being used to create a soft, silent sole for athletic shoes. By the mid-20th century, the major sneaker brands—Converse, Keds, Adidas, Nike—had been established. In the ’70s, athletic footwear companies began to see their products as more than just sports shoes. Partnering with professional athletes, brands incorporated team logos featuring brightly colored leathers made possible by advances in technology. Wearing a blue and orange basketball shoe might not mean you played basketball, but it did mean that you loved the Knicks. Athletes and hip-hop artists brought black urban street style to mainstream fashion, with Air Jordans the prime example of this new commodity in the wider cultural imagination. Today, fitness giants innovate with technology that seems straight from science fiction. Nike is producing a limited-edition Air Mag (based on the pair worn by Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future II), which uses sensors to adapt to the wearer’s motion. Sneaker culture has exploded: Books, magazines, and museum exhibitions focus on style, the culture of collecting, and advances in performance technology. “Sneakers are a way of pushing limits,” says Sarah Mullins, assistant professor and chair of the Accessories Design Department at FIT, “not just a design limit but a dress code limit, in sports and on the red carpet.” Sneakers have transcended sports and entered the fashion realm. Athletic footwear brands collaborate with designers, artists, and pop icons to create limited-edition investment pieces that sell out within moments of release. High-end designers incorporate rare reptile leathers and couture embroidery. Yohji Yamamoto designs a line for Adidas, and Maison Martin Margiela collaborates with Converse. Lifestyle sneakers, sometimes with wedge heels or platform soles, blur the line between fashion and function. This trend hit hard a few years ago, according to Ariele Elia, Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice ’11, assistant curator of textiles and costume at The Museum at FIT. “There was a huge snowstorm during Fashion Week, and you see pictures of women being carried across snowbanks in their stilettos. The next Fashion Week, everyone was wearing sneakers with their fancy outfits.” Colleen Hill, Fashion and Textile Studies ’06, associate curator of accessories, sees the shift toward athletic footwear as “a backlash to the incredibly highheeled shoes that we saw in 2007 and 2008.”
Ron Galella/ Getty
How sneakers have traveled from sports to high fashion
FIT Special Collections
FROM THE COURT TO COUTURE
The Dream Hotel in downtown Manhattan unveils its sneaker concierge. The hotel will procure any pair of sneakers for arriving VIPs.
The Rise of Sneaker Culture exhibition opens at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
1968 Barbara Rosenhause Rogoff, Textile Design, was appointed director of development for the Lighthouse ArtCenter in Tequesta, FL, a nonprofit art school for adults and children that has gallery and museum spaces. She concluded a 30-year design career in 1998, when she retired as the vice president of home furnishings at Nautica.
Lauren Rosenblum, Illustration, is a fine artist in Huntington, NY, who paints nature studies on fabric. To start, she creates an underpainting by dyeing the cotton fabric a dark color, and then applies a bleaching paste to lay down the shapes. Only after ironing it can she see what she’s done. “It’s like you’re painting blind,” she says. She also works for interior designers, applying decorative finishes, such as Venetian plaster and faux bois, to walls.
INTIMATE PORTRAIT Mary Ragone Salvo, Apparel Design ’57 These images from Mary Salvo’s career in the foundation industry were included in a retrospective exhibition at her retirement community in Charleston, SC. She worked for Exquisite Form and Hollywood Vassarette in the late ’50s and early ’60s.
The Lighthouse ArtCenter hosts exhibitions of locally and internationally renowned artists.
At Exquisite Form, Salvo designed corsets and underwear for the London, Cuban, and German markets. “American women wanted their derriere to be flattened, but in Cuba, they wanted it pushed up.”
1982 Anne Joyce, Advertising and Communications, owns SpringHouse Furnishings in Chadds Ford, PA. She re-creates 18th-century Pennsylvania period furniture for stylish restaurants and homes, using reclaimed wood from condemned barns finished with historically accurate milk paints and natural waxes. She also constructs sympathetic additions to restored farmhouses. The wide planks she uses derive from the American chestnut, most of which was destroyed by blight in the 19th and 20th centuries. In her spare time, Joyce breeds Olde English “Babydoll” Southdown sheep, a miniature variety whose wool was used to make the inauguration suits for George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
Joyce crafted this bathroom vanity for a local historic home. “It was February when I was given the assignment,” she says, “and I was thinking of the Florida Keys.”
32 hue | winter 2015-2016
Blue Hostas, fiber-reactive dyes and discharge on cotton cloth, sewn with dyed silk yarns, 52 by 43 inches.
1990 Regine Tessone, Fashion Buying and Merchandising, founded Aqua Modesta, a line of “kosher swimwear,” as a response to the dearth of stylish-yet-modest swimsuits for Orthodox Jewish women. The full body suits are made in the U.S., using four-way stretch spandex. Because many of her customers do not use the internet, she publicized her brand with fashion shows in Orthodox communities. The line now includes activewear—including the “skant,” a cross between a skirt and a pant. Recently her customer base expanded to devout Christian women as well. “I tell my customers, ‘You’re not going to fit in—there’s no fitting in—but you’re going to look good.’”
Tessone’s daughter wearing an Aqua Modesta suit in Ein Gedi, Israel.
When Salvo entered the industry, undergarments were typically black and white. “All of a sudden they started getting with the pastels,” she says. “This ad was the beginning of it.”
For a 1961 Exquisite Form fashion show in Canada, she was asked to design futuristic undergarments. The result: A gold lamé bra with wings.
1999 Edward Ubiera, Advertising Design, designs the marketing materials, such as hangtags and labels, for Aéropostale. He also creates a small piece of art, using simple shapes in a neutral color palette, every day and posts it on Instagram. Last summer, he was invited by Mike Perry, known for drawing the animated opening credits of the TV show Broad City, to paint one of ten murals in Prospect Heights for a street festival.
For this mural, Ubiera wanted to create something mid-century and iconic. “The grown-ups really liked it,” he says, “but a 5-year-old told me it was the worst mural she’d seen all day.”
Lauren Wolf, Jewelry Design, handcrafts textured silver pieces based on deconstructed found objects like stingray skin or a starfish tentacle, as well as one-of-a-kind engagement rings using diamonds that others might consider flawed. Her designs are sold in more than 60 boutiques worldwide, including her own shop, Esqueleto, in converted stables in Oakland, CA. Esqueleto, which means skeleton in Spanish, also sells the work of about 20 other designers, including her FIT classmate Jovana Djuric, Fine Arts ’06, Jewelry Design ’04, and Anthony Lent, one of her favorite professors.
TOP GEAR David Mason Chlopecki, Accessories Design ’02
Deirdre Carroll, Fashion Merchandising Management, is senior editor and social media director of Vision Monday, a magazine that serves the eyewear industry. “Though eyewear is centuries old as a product,” she says, “it’s really just coming into its own as an accessory.” She covers trends in frames, sunwear, and fashion accessories, as well as in retail buying and merchandising, and she is chief community officer of SightNation, a social networking site for the industry. She recently completed a yearlong magazine series, multimedia resource, and live event called The Millennial Project, which revealed the buying habits of this influential, fiercely individual generation.
2005 Darrin Varden, Interior Design, launched his eponymous decorating firm in 2013, focusing on New York City apartments, after working for Jamie Drake, Charles Klein, and Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz. In 2014, the International Furnishings and Design Association named him a Rising Star. He tries to let his clients’ tastes dictate their interiors, but he gravitates toward “loungy, chic spaces where art is integrated in the design, rather than something that’s thought of afterward.”
The Bride and Gown boutique in Glens Falls, NY.
Chlopecki wears a Slick It Up tank top featuring nightlife fixture Amanda Lepore.
Ron Amato, chair of FIT’s Photography Department, trained his camera
Eliza DeRocker, Accessories Design, is a fashion stylist who owns three consignment stores in upstate New York, including one that specializes in never-worn wedding dresses. About a tenth of wedding dresses that are purchased haven’t been worn, she explains, either because the wedding was canceled or the bride bought an extra. She styles her customers from head to toe, and sometimes dresses the bride on location. “I want my own reality show,” she says. “You would not believe what we go through every day.” DeRocker plans to open five more stores in the next two years.
Chlopecki in his bold Hell’s Kitchen apartment. The taxidermic wolf is an antique.
A recent center spread of Vision Monday, written by Carroll.
Three-stone ring, 18-karat yellow gold with a 1.85-carat gray-green smoky diamond flanked by .21-carat white trillions, and gray diamond eternity band.
For the 2013 Holiday House, a designer showcase benefiting breast cancer research, Varden incorporated a giant photograph of swirling nudes by Angelo Musco.
on designer David Chlopecki for Men of Style, a portfolio of men with singular taste, such as fashion illustrator Robert Richards and artist Scooter LaForge. Chlopecki, who once designed hats for Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, and the first Sex and the City movie, has tapped into a substantial gay customer base with Slick It Up, his company that makes sportswear and accessories based on “fetishy fantasy sci-fi superhero stuff” that he loved in his youth. The clothes are made in the Garment District and shipped globally, especially to Europe and Australia. The name is a riff on a 1983 Kiss album and song, “Lick It Up.” “I felt Slick It Up captured the feeling of the song in an abstract way,” he says. Chlopecki puts forward a sexy, fearless persona in Slick It Up’s popular social media feeds, but Amato was surprised when he arrived at the designer’s apartment. “I expected this huge personality,” Amato recalls, “but he was friendly, thoughtful, and reserved. I understand why he’s so successful.”
2007 Randi Teitel, Packaging Design, has worked in the in-house packaging design department at Colgate-Palmolive since she graduated. Now a senior designer, she comes up with new label design concepts and extends existing designs to new variants for personal care brands such as Softsoap, Palmolive Naturals, Irish Spring, and Speed Stick.
2010 Richie Nuzzolese, Textile Development and Marketing, aka Richie Nuzz, is a recording artist, actor, and model who gained worldwide exposure for playing “the guy with the abs” in Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night” video. In 2014, his music career took off after he won the People’s Choice award at the ONE Musicfest in Atlanta. His 2014 EP, Immaculate, references his life mantra and guiding principle, “Be immaculate.” He is close with his fans, whom he calls the “Nuzzlehead Nation”: Not only does he have more than 150,000 Facebook followers, but he also shares his phone number publicly.
Holiday and kids’ packaging for Softsoap give Teitel a canvas to demonstrate her creativity.
2009 Maria Tsaguriya, Fine Arts, has been an artist in Brooklyn for the past eight years. She translates photographic realism into pastel paintings, and makes paintings and sculpture from recycled art supplies and trash. She founded Chalk Up!, a program that brings groups of artists to clean up and enliven dirty, run-down blocks in Brooklyn. She has also participated in collective art projects at the New Museum and for Figment NYC, a forum for creating interactive public art.
Richie Nuzz’s recent single, “Live It Up,” is a catchy, inspirational party song.
2013 Laura and Megan Golden, Fashion Merchandising Management, are identical twins who own Golden Closet, an online boutique featuring current, affordable women’s apparel and accessories. They focus on feminine pieces with a relaxed, bohemian feel. Laura also works as a technical designer for TJX, the parent company of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, and Megan is an assistant designer for Bennett and Company, an intimate apparel firm in the Boston area.
Tsaguriya paints pastel portraits of friends’ cell phone selfies. The Lottie flower cutout skirt (polyester with satin lining, $38) is one of Golden Closet’s top sellers.
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HOW TO SHOW UP Monroe France, Fashion Merchandising Management ’06 We first met Monroe France when FIT held a series of Safe Zone trainings to educate faculty and staff on how to support LGBTQ students as part of the college’s commitment to diversity— and were delighted to discover that he was one of our alumni. But while he embodies fashion in his colorful wardrobe, his measured, welcoming temperament (and his master’s degree in higher education administration and cultural studies from Ohio State University) makes him a standout college administrator, diversity expert, and mentor. Indeed, he’s not a “single-lane kind of person,” wearing many hats in the field of diversity and inclusion. At New York University, he is assistant vice president for Student Diversity, director of the Center for Multicultural Education and Programs, and an adjunct professor at the Silver School of Social Work. In 2004, he co-founded Envision, a social justice training and consulting agency that teaches sensitivity to employees and students at colleges and nonprofits around the country. His expertise is essential for college communities today. Identity—whether it’s gender, sexual, racial, or anything else—is so subtle and complex, people don’t always know what to say or how to act. Here he offers some guidelines for “practicing allyship” with people from marginalized groups.
ALLYSHIP — A PRACTICAL GUIDE
DON’T ask anyone, but especially a transgender person, what that person’s body looks like. That includes not asking if the person has had or will have gender reassignment surgery. “It’s intrusive, and it’s never any of our business.” Other questions not to ask: “How do you have sex?” and “Who are you attracted to?” France says, “The overarching rule of thumb is, ‘How does this help me show up as a better ally to this person?’ If the question is just about my own curiosity, it has no space in that interaction.” DON’T assume that the identity you see represents how a person identifies. For example, an African-American trans woman may foremost see herself as black. “So often we expect people to be ambassadors of their identities,” he says. “But just because they identify with a group doesn’t mean that’s their social justice cause or politics.”
DON’T explain or get defensive if someone tells you that you have offended them. “We should be willing to be corrected,” he says. “Sit with it and reflect—and listen more.”
DO research the answers to your questions on your own. Information about any marginalized group is just a Google search away. “We should not expect, when we’re in the empowered position, for that [marginalized] person to educate us.” DO “Ask, ‘What do you need from me?’ Come from a place of, ‘This person knows what their needs are.’” DO interrupt when you hear offensive things being said in any conversation. Part of practicing allyship involves helping others to be better allies as well.
what inspires you?
+ Boyswear photos: Credit: Charles Ludeke. Manson: Photofest. Manson family: Bettmann/Corbis. The Sound of Music: 20th Century Fox Film Corp./Everett Collection
THE MANSON “FAMILY”
THE VON TRAPP FAMILY
BOYSWEAR’S SPRING/SUMMER 2016 COLLECTION
Monster Mashup Jackson McKeehan, Menswear ’12 Every collection for my menswear line, Boyswear, starts with a funny idea. I recently read a new biography of Charles Manson by Jeff Guinn, and I found it wonderful how Guinn encapsulated the culture of the ’60s. The movie for The Sound of Music was made in the ’60s, too. It’s about World War II, but this hippie aesthetic of the ’60s keeps peeking through in the way the film was art-directed, like when they take those weird floral curtains and turn them into play clothes. Boyswear’s spring/summer 2016 collection, The Manson Family Singers, mashes up those two concepts. It brings in a lot of colorful, print-heavy designs, using silhouettes from the Tyrolean costume, the traditional Austrian clothing depicted in The Sound of Music. The shape fits both men and
women, so if a girl wants to wear it and look cool, I am all about that. The floral prints are sickly and creepy and contain references to both sources; for example, in a print of goats eating trash, the goats reference The Sound of Music, and the trash references Garbage Dump, a song that Manson wrote, trying to become a rock star. There’s also a print of goats dancing in lederhosen in cult-like circles. By mixing things that shouldn’t belong together but sort of do, I wanted to create something odd and hopefully funny, something that people laugh at but also want to wear. Boyswear, McKeehan’s emerging menswear brand, has been featured in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and WWD.
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volume 9 | number 1