The Magazine of the Fashion Institute of Technology
volume 10 | number 2 | winter 2017
ON THE COVER
CONTRIBUTORS The soothing, textured painting on this issue’s cover is no oil on
The Magazine of the
canvas—it’s made of L’Oréal
Fashion Institute of Technology
Paris lip colors, composed by Roger Cabello, Photography ’85.
Hue is for alumni and friends of FIT, a
Cabello is an abstract artist who
college of art and design, business and
has photographed cosmetics
technology. It is published three times a
for magazine editorial and ad
year by the Division of Communications and External Relations, 227 West
campaigns since 2000. For
27 Street, Room B905, New York,
this issue, he used a range of
NY 10001-5992, 212 217.4700.
products developed by FIT alumni, including the lip colors by Orrea Light, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and
Vice President for Communications and External Relations Loretta Lawrence Keane
Management ’02, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing ’97, vice
Joe Carrotta, Photography ’17 (“Shelf Life,” p. 7 and “Design Decisions,” p. 33), is a freelance photographer focusing on portraits and photojournalism. He also shot FIT’s 2016 commencement ceremonies for Hue, and he assists New York Times photographer Fred Conrad.
president of product development at L’Oréal Paris. Take in more of Cabello’s deliciously tactile cosmetics compositions in “The Medium
Assistant Vice President for Communications Carol Leven
Is the Makeup” on page 14.
Editor Linda Angrilli
NOW PLAYING AT hue.fitnyc.edu
Managing Editor Alex Joseph, MA ’15 Staff Writer Jonathan Vatner
Christopher Hall, Photography ’11 (“Menswear’s Next Act,” p. 24), specializes in men’s fashion. He has shot for Male Model Scene; Vanity Teen; Fantastics; Peter, Tom & Dave; and Tinsel Tokyo.
Editorial Assistant Laura Hatmaker Photography Coordinator Smiljana Peros Art Direction and Design Gary Tooth/Empire Design Studio Hue online: hue.fitnyc.edu Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Follow the Fashion Institute of Technology on Facebook and LinkedIn, @FIT on Twitter, and @FITNYC on Instagram. Email us at email@example.com and let us know what you’ve been up to. Printed by Cohber Press on Rolland Enviro Print. This paper is: FSC Certified Ancient Forest Friendly Made with 100 percent post-consumer waste fiber Processed Chlorine Free Produced using biogas energy Environmental Savings as compared to paper using 100 percent virgin fiber.
>> WATCH: It seems like yesterday when the millennial generation came of age and changed the way we think, communicate, and shop. Now get ready for Generation Z, which has already docked on FIT’s shores. Meet a handful of these future world-changers in Hue’s exclusive video, Generation Z: In Their Own Words.
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Ligang Luo, MFA Illustration ’16 (“Making It Right,” p. 30), earned his BFA in traditional Chinese sculpture but hated the mess of that medium. His work (in two dimensions) has appeared in Kaltblut magazine, Creative Quarterly, a book called Everyone Loves New York, and the Society of Illustrators Comic and Cartoon Art Annual.
“ Women have historically been more open to wearing all kinds of styles, silhouettes, and volumes. Men need that freedom also.” —Designer Auston Björkman ’10, left, from “Menswear’s Next Act,” page 24
Features 7 SHELF LIFE A first look at FIT’s renovated Special Collections facility
SPECIAL SECTION: BOOKS 8 FASHION PLATES: 150 YEARS OF STYLE An excerpt from a recent book by Special Collections associate April Calahan ’09
10 COVER STORIES A selection of books published by faculty and alumni in 2016
12 FATAL BEAUTY In a collection of astonishing closeups, the plant kingdom reveals its animal nature
14 THE MEDIUM IS THE MAKEUP Roger Cabello ’85 slathers, dollops, swirls, and dabs cosmetics into abstract masterpieces
18 THINK YOU KNOW GENERATION Z? These inspiring kids are full of surprises 24 MENSWEAR’S NEXT ACT Move over, suit and tie. FIT alumni are giving men’s fashion a radical makeover
29 THE PATTERNS OF HISTORY At Lee Jofa, Lorraine Tanyu Weinstein ’04 updates classic motifs with modern technology
30 MAKING IT RIGHT Guiding a product to the global marketplace in the age of compliance
4 HUE’S NEWS 32 ALUMNI NOTES 35 WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
FIT DEBUTS GROUNDBREAKING MFA IN FASHION DESIGN
President Brown Reaffirms FIT’s Commitment to Tolerance and Inclusion “In the wake of President Trump’s order to ban temporarily people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States, I write to reaffirm FIT’s unyielding commitment to tolerance and inclusion.” These were the first words of a message Dr. Joyce F. Brown sent to the FIT community on January 30. Her words were widely read, commented on, and shared on social media, underscoring the importance of this issue among students and their families, faculty and staff, and other friends of the college. Dr. Brown noted that three of FIT’s 1,000 international students come from an affected country, and she quoted a similar statement issued by SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and Board Chair H. Carl McCall that 320 of 22,140 international SUNY students were affected by the ban. Both FIT and SUNY have pledged to help those students as much as possible. Find updated information and resources at suny.edu/immigration.
Cristóbal Balenciaga designed this dress in 1968, the year he closed his legendary fashion house.
The late ’50s and early ’60s was one of the most groundbreaking periods in fashion history, an era of relaxed, youthful designs. Many books and exhibitions about the era position London as the center of innovation, but Paris also played a significant role. Paris Refashioned, 1957-1968, in The Museum at FIT from February 10 to April 15, examines the combined influence of French haute couture, ready-to-wear, and popular culture during this period. All the pieces in the show, including couture by Cardin, Chanel, Courrèges, Dior, and Saint Laurent, are in the museum’s permanent collection of more than 50,000 objects.
FIT’s School of Graduate Studies is launching the first Master of Fine Arts program in Fashion Design in the SUNY system. The two-year, full-time program, welcoming its first class in fall 2017, focuses on practice-based research and is open to students with varied experience in creative areas ranging from apparel design to architecture, engineering, and software development. The program centers on a unique thesis process that supports innovation in design, fit, cut, construction, silhouette, and materials. Students will present an original design idea with their application, and spend four semesters developing it in the context of history and future, theory, philosophy, and practice within a structured and richly mentored environment. “The relentless pace of fashion can hinder innovation,” says Jonathan Kyle Farmer, creator, professor, and chair of the program. “Here, the design process slows down to allow experimentation and reflection, and ultimately, a different way of looking at fashion.” The thesis leads students through the process of translating inspiration into malleable design ingredients and solutions. The core concepts are play, exploring thesis possibilities with faculty mentors; focus, sharpening the idea with a specially selected industry partner; edit, developing, designing, and prototyping a collection, taking advantage of happy “accidents” from earlier phases; and conclude, presenting the collection and a written thesis to industry experts. Final collections will be shown to influencers and investors to help graduates secure coveted job placements and seed funding. For more on the program and how to apply, visit fitnyc.edu/fd-mfa.
The French Connection
Manufacture New York.
The Toyota museum in Japan.
MANUFACTURING SUCCESS, GLOBALLY AND LOCALLY The Global Fashion Management MPS program—jointly offered by FIT in New York, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Institut Français de la Mode in Paris—convenes in each of those cities for immersive ten-day seminars that prepare students for top positions in the international fashion industry. During the September seminar, hosted by FIT, students toured Manufacture New York (above left), a fashion incubator, design studio, and education lab in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. They got a hardhat tour of a planned 160,000-squarefoot manufacturing hub for small-scale designers and makers who can’t afford the skyrocketing costs of Manhattan’s Garment District. After the Hong Kong trip in November, 30 students visited Toyota headquarters in Nagoya, Japan. Before it became a car company, Toyota manufactured textile equipment, which was on display in the Toyota museum (above right). After seeing the spinning and weaving machines, the group observed a car assembly line and learned about “the Toyota Way”—an ethos that is also taught at the Wharton School of Business.
QUICK READ New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation awarded FIT one of eight 2016 Environmental Excellence Awards for its sustainability initiatives, including green roofs, 43 percent reduction of CO2 emissions, special events, and other projects. 4
hue | winter 2017
In the 2016-17 PayScale College Salary Report, FIT ranked first in the nation among community colleges for alumni mid-career salaries ($74,600). FIT was second of 100 schools for alumni holding bachelor’s degrees in art, with an average mid-career salary of $90,300.
An article co-authored by Theanne Schiros, Science and Mathematics, titled “Imaging Chiral Symmetry Breaking from Kekulé Bond Order in Graphene,” was the cover story in the October 2016 issue of the influential research journal Nature Physics.
A Mental Map of Venice BRINGING BLACK DESIGNERS TO THE FORE Venice Re-Mapped, an installation by Johannes Knoops, associate professor of Interior
Design, was shown from May to November 2016 at Time/Space/Existence, at the Palazzo Mora, a Venice art gallery. The exhibition was a collateral event at the 2016 Venice Biennale of Architecture, which is considered the most important international exchange of architectural concepts. Fascinated by the subjective, hand-drawn maps that appear on the business cards of Venice restaurants, Knoops created an animated wireframe map of Venice by superimposing hundreds of those cards, which he gathered one by one during a 2008 residency through the Emily Harvey Foundation. The result was a representation of a collective mental map of a city notorious for its baffling geography. “It raises questions about how people understand their cities,” he said. The animation was shown at an FIT faculty exhibition in 2012; for the 2016 Biennale, it was projected onto an immense Mylar map of Venice attached to the interior walls of the Palazzo Mora.
With Black Fashion Designers, an unprecedented survey of 60 designers of African descent from the 1940s to today, The Museum at FIT is casting a light on the achievements and influence of a traditionally unrecognized and underrepresented group. Drawing exclusively on the museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition reveals the impact black designers have made on our culture, often without the recognition they deserve. For every Stephen Burrows ’66, Patrick Kelly, and Tracy Reese acknowledged in the fashion canon, many others are still relatively unknown: alumnus Arthur McGee, the first African-American to head a Seventh Avenue design studio; Ann Lowe, who created Jacqueline Kennedy’s wedding dress; and Zelda Wynn Valdes, a designer to the stars who created the bullet-shaped bodice on the iconic Playboy Bunny uniform. Although curators Ariele Elia ’11 and Elizabeth Way believed that the exhibition would be more enlightening than limiting, they acknowledged the problem of categorizing designers by race. In a 1981 interview with Black Enterprise, designer Willi Smith echoed that sentiment. In the ’60s and ’70s, he said, “there was this tremendous exposure given to designers based on their blackness. When the hype was over, people thought there were no more black designers. In a way it’s a blessing. Now we can get on with being what we are: designers.” Black Fashion Designers, made possible by the support of the Couture Council and the President’s Diversity Council, is on view in the Fashion and Textile History Gallery through May 16.
Kriemler, President Joyce F. Brown, and Dr. Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT.
COUTURE COUNCIL CELEBRATES AKRIS CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Brightly colored trousers and a clever basket hat from Patrick Kelly’s spring 1988 collection; a sumptuous Ghanaian kente cloth produced in the 1940s, hanging as a tapestry; a fall 2015 Stella Jean ensemble and shoes; and a spring 2015 dress by Nigerian designer Lisa Folawiyo.
Kyunghee Pyun, assistant professor of History of Art, was awarded a five-month research fellowship at the Frick Collection in New York City to study the language and authentication of Asian art at the turn of the 20th century, when demand rose for non-Western art.
On September 7, the Couture Council of The Museum at FIT hosted its annual luncheon, honoring Akris creative director Albert Kriemler with the 2016 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion. Kriemler, a respected designer who usually flies under the radar, was selected for his well-tailored, wearable pieces that blend luxury with functionality. The luncheon, held at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, unofficially heralds the arrival of Fall Fashion Week in New York. Guests included Veronica Webb, Martha Stewart, Hamish Bowles, and Joe Zee ’92.
FIT’s new Doneger Group Accessories Studio was unveiled December 13. The state-of-the-art room features a flexible setup, MacBook Air laptops and Wacom Cintiq 24HD monitors, and a projector, LED HDTV, and sound system for presentations.
#Time, an exhibition in Gallery FIT organized by students in the Creative Technology minor, reimagined Shakespeare plays as quirky animated stories. Macbeth became a battle between cartoon noodles, and Much Ado About Nothing was retold as a card game. hue.ﬁtnyc.edu
A Tour of Jewish History in the Garment District
In Daniel Levinson Wilk’s course New York City and the Invention of America, which examines capitalism in the city through the 19th and 20th centuries, students lead tours that delve into a slice of the past. Levinson Wilk, associate professor of American History, believes that developing a walking tour is a model for writing essays: “A good walking tour should have a thesis, and every stop is a paragraph.” One tour last fall looked at the history of Jews in the Garment Center. Its thesis was that a change in Jewish identity, away from traditional customs, contributed to the industry’s decline. Statue of Jewish garment worker 555 Seventh Avenue Because Jewish law forbids the mixing of wool and linen in
Sandrine Saint Louis, Illustration ’17.
garments, Jews opened factories to make their own clothes—
THE WRITING (AND THE ILLUSTRATION) IS ON THE WALL
Recognizing the Next Generation of Talent
14th Street, and 90 percent of the businesses were owned by Jews. Michelle Porrazzo, Fashion Design ’18, quoted Gabriel Goldstein of Yeshiva University Museum: “Every bar mitzvah became a garment industry convention. The calenEmily Miraglia, Photography ’19, kicked off the tour.
The class congregated in front of the shuttered fabric store.
Paron Fabrics (closed) 257 West 39th Street
One of the most famous fabric
stores in the Garment District,
editor, wore this butterfly-
open for 75 years, closed mere
inspired gown created by
weeks before the tour. The
Lara Tabak, Fashion Design
students blamed globalization,
ICONS celebration at the Plaza September 9. Multiple Kardashians were in attendance. With this design, Tabak won the first
dar was marked by the high holidays and Fashion Week.”
Kristen Ingersoll, Hearst
’17, at the Harper’s Bazaar
the 1890s, most of the Garment Center was located below
corporatization, and rising rents for the changing character of the neighborhood. “Soon there’s going to be no Garment District,” said Zeina Suki, Fashion Business Management ’17. “It’s really sad—it’s a dying industry.”
Infor/FIT Fashion Design ICONS Award—which came with a $10,000 scholarship.
The Millinery Center Synagogue is still open most days for services.
Millinery Center Synagogue 1025 Avenue of the Americas In the past half-century, the children of Jewish garment workers chose white-collar careers over factory jobs. Synagogues, which were not only places of worship but also community centers, became a casualty of declining Jewish representation in the industry.
Opened in 1948, the Millinery Center
Synagogue is the last one left in the area. In recent years, it too has fallen on hard times: Cantor Tuvia Yamnik was selling sheets and towels on the sidewalk to keep the lights on.
QUICK READ The School of Graduate Studies is sponsoring a series of panels, exhibitions, and performances based on the school’s curricula. Events are free and open to the public. Visit fitnyc.edu/graduate-studies to learn more.
hue | winter 2017
As part of the Sustainability Council’s Sustainability Awareness Week, February 27 to March 3, Patagonia will be repairing student clothing and presenting a session on “personal activism for a threatened planet.”
Recently on FIT Newsroom (news.fitnyc.edu): Maria Lauren Lambiris, Illustration ’13, designed a Starbucks holiday cup, and Photography Chair Ron Amato spearheaded a lecture series with the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.
Flaviu Nasarimba, Photography ’14
This fall, the brick wall on FIT’s 28th Street side got a makeover with student paintings and poems that reflect the uncertain world we live in. The interdisciplinary project came to life after Amy Lemmon, professor of English and Communication Studies, read one of her poems at the Academic Open Mic, a semiannual event that brings together faculty from across FIT’s diverse curriculum to share creative and scholarly achievements. Dan Shefelman, assistant professor of Illustration, was inspired by the poem, and together they came up with #BrickFIT: the words of student poets would share wall space with paintings by fourth-year Illustration students. “There’s a close connection between illustration and ideas,” Shefelman said. “I’ve always felt that an illustration department should be working with writers, and this was a perfect fit.”
and bolstered profits by making others’ clothes as well. In
FIT’s Special Collections unit in the Gladys Marcus Library gets a $4 million upgrade BY ALEX JOSEPH ’15
FIT’s Special Collections and College Archives, a unit of the Gladys Marcus Library, has a brand-new home. Karen Trivette, head of the unit, says the roughly $4 million renovation and expansion—from 3,500 to 6,100 square feet—is a “phenomenal demonstration of respect for the intrinsic, informational, and historic value of the materials.” Visitors now pass through a welcoming entryway with climate-controlled, LED-lit display cases and into a woodaccented reading room with improved lighting and space for approximately 40 visitors, twice its previous capacity. The unit hosts symposia for archivists, so the facility is outfitted for multimedia presentations. “Everything is state of the art,” Trivette says. Climate-controlled storage with sliding steel shelves accommodates 20 percent more materials. With additional staff, the collection is now operating seven days and three nights a week. The new space will open in April. Trivette says the collection competes in importance with comparable archives at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Treasures include original fashion sketches and illustrations, rare and fragile photographs, and periodicals, many dating from before the Civil War. The J.B. Martin papers comprise 15,000 textile/ surface designs from the venerable velvet manufacturer. (The Museum at FIT houses some of the corresponding fabrics.) Recent acquisitions include designer Marc Bohan’s sketches for Dior, purchased with a $30,000 grant from the Buddy Taub Foundation. Legendary publicist Eleanor Lambert (1903-2003) donated her papers, as did Ruth Finley, age 91, founder of the influential Fashion Calendar. This fertile ground for researchers has already borne fruit. In 2015, April Calahan, Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice ’09, Special Collections associate, published a book drawn entirely from materials in the collection. (An excerpt appears on the following spread.) Trivette says the renovation, funded by federal, state, and city resources, raises the college profile in the scholarly community: “I see this as a step toward realizing FIT’s strategic goal of becoming known for research and innovation.” Just as important, the project makes a vital resource more available for the joy of intellectual epiphany. “Through this access,” she says, “we’re providing endless points of discovery.”
Trivette, head of Special Collections and FIT Archives, in the climate-controlled area that will house textile/surface designs from woven-velvet manufacturer J.B. Martin, among other materials.
JOE CARROTTA, PHOTOGRAPHY ’17
PLATE 129: La France élégante, c. 1885. G. Gonin (artist). PLATE CAPTION: La France élégante et Paris élégante réunis. Offices: 3, rue du Quatre Septembre, Paris. Ensembles by Madame Pepouey, 6, rue de Provence. Trimmings and embellishments by the House of J. Toche, 45, rue Turbigo. Perfume from Oriza L. Legrand, supplier to the Court of Russia, 207, rue St. Honoré.
With so many options available, bustle manufacturers used strategic marketing techniques to distinguish their product from the myriad of others in the marketplace. One bustle in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, dating to the period of the plate seen here, was given the name “The New Phantom,” and the woven cotton twill tapes that wrap around the waist have been printed with the phrase “The New Phantom. Beware of spurious imitations. See that every bustle bears the Trade Mark ‘Phantom.’ ” 1 Other manufacturers played the celebrity card, naming their bustles after famous actresses and celebrities of the day. One novelty bustle produced in 1887 commemorated Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, the fiftieth year of her reign, with the insertion of a music box that played “God Save the Queen” each time the wearer took a seat. 1. Victoria and Albert Museum, “The New Phantom.”
From Fashion Plates: 150 Years of Style by April Calahan, Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice ’09, Special Collections associate (Yale University Press).
hue | winter 2017
PLATE 141: Journal des demoiselles, 1895. PLATE CAPTION: No. 5028. Journal des demoiselles et petit courrier des dames réunis. Fashions of Paris. 14, rue Drouot. Ensembles by Mesdames Forgillon, 165, rue St. Honoré (place du Théâtre Français). Corsets by Madame Emma Guelle, 3, place du Théâtre Français. Fabrics from the House of Roullier Brothers, 27, rue du Quatre Septembre. Perfume, Houbigant, 19, rue du Faubourg St. Honoré.
There is nothing novel about women’s desire for a fuller bust. To create the appearance of a larger bosom, women of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries utilized what were known as “bust improvers.” Comprising a vast array of devices or “tricks,” bust improvers ranged from simple padding to linings with interior ruffles that created extra volume at the chest, as well as wire-and-whalebone contraptions that masqueraded as lingerie by concealing their rigid understructures with lace and ribbon. A design popular in the 1890s was the “Lemon Cup” model, which contained coiled springs hidden within its horsehair padding. When sandwiched between form-fitting exterior garments and the breasts, the lemon cup’s coils forced the padding outward, amplifying a woman’s natural curves.
Yoko Ohara, Fashion Buying and Merchandising ’67
Fashion Business: Future Is Now Senken newspaper Ohara’s analysis of Japan’s fashion industry emphasizes the role of women.
Recent books by faculty and alumni run the gamut from children’s picture books to an analysis of the way globalization affects emerging markets
Molly Crabapple, Illustration ’04 Amy Lombard, Photography ’12
Drawing Blood Harper/HarperCollins This graphic memoir details Crabapple’s coming-of-age and coming into her own as a political artist, illustrating Occupy Wall Street and prisoners at the Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp.
Charles George Esperanza, Illustration ’10
Red, Yellow, Blue (and a Dash of White, Too!)
Connected Self-published, with assistance from VSCO’s Artist Initiative program In her gritty, sardonic style, photographer Lombard documents in-person meet-ups of online communities, like the Harry Potter fan club and devotees of juggling.
Sky Pony Press/SkyHorse Publishing
April Calahan, Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice ’09, Special Collections associate
A kid with a cool Afro and his elephant friend create an imaginary world that soon gets chaotic. This picture book teaches about primary and secondary colors, but it also inspires readers to get messy and creative.
Fashion Plates: 150 Years of Style
Kerri Maniscalco, Communication Design ’04
Stalking Jack the Ripper
Yale University Press A comprehensive survey of 200 color plates from publications dating from 1778 to the early 20th century, all of them drawn from FIT’s Special Collections. Organized chronologically and featuring both men’s and women’s garments, these vignettes illustrate the evolution of fashion over time. See excerpt, previous spread.
Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown & Company Against her father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey Rose Wadsworth slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine in this New York Times number one bestseller, written for young adults.
Amy Kurzweil, adjunct instructor, English and Communication Studies
K. Meira Goldberg, adjunct instructor, Film, Media, and Performing Arts (editor, with Antoni Pizà)
The Global Reach of the Fandango in Music, Song, and Dance: Spaniards, Indians, Africans and Gypsies Cambridge Scholars Publishing From flamenco’s roots in European courtly dances to its African tracings to its embodiment of Spain’s lost Empire to contemporary voices of rebellion and change, this groundbreaking book offers fresh perspectives on age-old themes and suggests new paradigms for flamenco as a cultural practice. 10 hue | winter 2017
Black Balloon Publishing/Catapult
Ken Krug, adjunct assistant professor, Textile/Surface Design
No, Silly! Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster
In this illustrated memoir, Kurzweil weaves her own coming-of-age as a young Jewish artist into the narrative of her mother, a psychologist, and her grandmother, a World War II survivor who escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto by disguising herself as a gentile.
Would you like to sleep on a cookie or eat a book? No, Silly! embraces a toddler’s exploration of childhood activities. Blue name-Faculty Red name-Alumni
Julia Jacquette, assistant professor, Fine Arts
Liz Starin, MA Illustration ’09
Playground of My Mind
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Delmonico Books/ Prestel
Anita Rundles, Illustration ’13
Classic Coloring: Jane Austen
In her graphic memoir, Jacquette revisits and reconstructs the playgrounds that marked her childhood and have stayed with her ever since.
Sylvie Covey, adjunct instructor, Fine Arts
Modern Printmaking: A Guide to Traditional and Digital Techniques
In this charming picture book, Ursula, a sweet white bear, hopes to win the upcoming water ballet championship, but the pool adopts a “no bears” policy. Starin’s sly tale has a message of tolerance and inclusiveness.
Watson-Guptill/Penguin Random House This book examines the history and contemporary processes of relief, intaglio, lithography, serigraphy, mixed media, digital transfers, and postdigital graphics. It features step-bystep examples with representative works and profiles of 30 top printmaking artists.
Abrams Noterie/Abrams In this adult coloring book, line drawings of iconic scenes and witticisms from Jane Austen’s works are printed on single-sided, heavy paper stock suitable for colored pencils, watercolors, and markers.
Emre Ozsoz, associate professor, Social Sciences (with Erick W. Rengifo, Fordham University)
Understanding Dollarization: Causes and Impact of Partial Dollarization on Developing and Emerging Markets
Matthew M. Kaelin, Textile/Surface Design ’01, Fine Arts ’99
The Sinister Beauty of Carnivorous Plants
De Gruyter Oldenbourg
Ozsoz analyzes the phenomenon in which an emerging market economy uses another country’s currency, like the U.S. dollar, in lieu of or in addition to the local currency, posing risks to the health and stability of its own banking system.
A serious student of these unusual plants, Kaelin reveals them through his gorgeous, close-up photographs, which use chiaroscuro to create drama, depth, and mystery. See story and photos, next spread.
Emily Brickel Edelson, Fashion Merchandising Management ’07
Mark Goldblatt, professor and chair, Educational Skills
William D’Arienzo, Center for Continuing and Professional Studies
Sketch & Go: 5-Minute Fashion Illustration
Right Tool for the Job: A Memoir of Manly Concerns
Race Point Publishing
Brand Management Strategies: Luxury and Mass Markets
Edelson’s book teaches basic fashion illustration skills and practical techniques for “live fashion sketching.” The book includes 500 pre-printed model templates. The sketchpad pages are designed so that they can be photocopied without the templates, leaving just the sketch.
Manhood today is under siege, Goldblatt says. Right Tool for the Job is a comic account of one man’s struggle to honor his testosterone heritage, with varying results.
Fairchild Books/Bloomsbury Publishing Underpinned by the author’s experience as a professor and brand consultant, this book details the steps to develop, build, and sustain a successful brand strategy and business.
FA T A L BE AU T Y Carnivorous plants are a seductive subject for Matthew M. Kaelin, Fine Arts ’01, Textile/Surface Design ’99 BY LINDA A NGRILLI
E S E A R E P L A N T S WITH a H dark beauty—f leshy and curvaceous, with spines that snag, mouths that gape. When an unsuspecting insect alights, it’s a horror show in miniature: the plant turns deadly, trapping and slowly digesting its tiny prey. No wonder Matthew M. Kaelin ’01, a carnivorous-plant aficionado, calls them “sinister.” But dramatic descriptions aside, they’re really just plants that evolved in harsh environments and developed an unusual means of getting nutrients—a survival strategy that evokes both fascination and revulsion. Kaelin has adored these plants since he first saw them in the 1986 PBS documentary Death Trap. Now he’s a serious student of carnivorous plants (he has named two Nepenthes cultivars) and gives lectures to promote conservation. He grows many varieties at home on Long Island under artificial light, and meticulously photographs them in gorgeous close-up. The result of this nearobsession is a book, The Sinister Beauty of Carnivorous Plants, published by Schiffer in 2016. Kaelin’s photos are not botanical studies that document plant structures; they are art, intended to generate a feeling in the viewer. He likes to give them ominous titles like “One Thousand Eyes Watching” and “Scourge across the Plains of Hades.” His theme, tackled by generations of artists, is the interplay of sex and death: “It’s the allure of the plant juxtaposed with predation,” he says. In the photos, the strong play of light and dark lends depth, intensity, and a touch of mystery: “You’re a visitor to an alien world.”
OPPOSITE: Torches of Insanity Illuminate Us All, September 17, 2011 Sarracenia leucophylla (white pitcher plant) inhabits moist and low-nutrient longleaf pine savannas along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Due to wide-scale destruction of its habitat, and over-collection for commercial sales, its conservation status is Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. FROM TOP: Ravenous patience, September 30, 2012 Dionaea muscipula (Venus flytrap) is native to the sandy and peaty soils of bogs and wet savannas only in North and South Carolina. Its conservation status on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List is Vulnerable. Scourge across the Plains of Hades, November 9, 2013 Nepenthes ‘H.R. Giger’ is a cultivar registered by Kaelin in 2015. It is an artificial hybrid of two tropical pitcher plant species, Nepenthes lowii, endemic to Borneo, and Nepenthes spectabilis, endemic to the Indonesian provinces of North Sumatra and Aceh. One Thousand Eyes Watching, October 26, 2010 Drosera capensis (cape sundew) occurs naturally on the southwestern Cape of South Africa in marshes, along streams, and in permanent seeps or damp areas of fynbos habitat. It is not considered threatened in its remote natural habitat.
THE MEDIUM IS THE MAKEUP How Roger Cabello ’85 transformed the field of cosmetics photography with his swoon-worthy still lifes by Jonathan Vatner
Y SHRINK ONCE TOLD ME, ‘I don’t know if you’re going to be a painter or a photographer,’” Roger Cabello says. “Now I make abstract paintings and photograph them.” He’s a painter, all right, but his medium is makeup. The Peruvian-born Photography grad has made a career of shooting all kinds of cosmetics—foundation, lip gloss, shampoo, nail color—in blobs, crumbles, swirls, and smears. While working for Allure magazine in the early aughts, he perfected the now-ubiquitous style of photographing makeup out of its packaging, highlighting textures and colors so enticing you can’t help wanting to touch it, put it on your face, or maybe even eat it. In addition to photographing 900 pages of cosmetics for Allure, he has also shot features for Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Wired, and Vogue China. Estée Lauder, Bobbi Brown, Michael Kors, Sephora, and Avon have hired him for advertising and marketing campaigns. At FIT, Cabello dreamed of a career in fashion photography, but after assisting John Manno and Constance Hansen, luminaries of still-life photography, he changed his focus. He shot accessories for Vogue for five years in his studio on Wooster
14 hue | winter 2017
In lieu of photographing Roger Cabello for the magazine, Hue hired him to create three compositions—including a self-portrait—in beauty products developed by FIT alumni. (The college offers two degrees purpose-built for the industry: a BS in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and an MPS in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management.) He sculpted his craggy, earth-toned likeness (opposite) using Mineral Foundation Powders by SheaMoisture. The glittering silver-and-purple ripples on page 16 are Silverati and Bright Blonde shampoos by Oribe. And he painted impasto swirls of pink lip color (above) and the soothing, Rothkoesque canvas on this issue’s cover using Colour Riche La Palette Lip by L’Oréal Paris.
Street in SoHo. But the work felt repetitive; there was only so much he could do to style a handbag or a pair of eyeglasses. “I didn’t see a way of separating myself from the pack with accessories,” he says. “I wanted to do something with more of an impact.” In 2000, he was hired by Deanna Filippo, Display and Exhibit Design ’88, who had just become design director of Allure, to photograph the magazine’s annual “Best of Beauty” feature—similar to the Academy Awards for the cosmetics industry, according to Filippo. Allure had pioneered the “blob” (photographing cosmetics without the packaging); Filippo and Cabello pushed the concept as far as it could go. Over the next 15 years, they developed an artistic style that defined his career— and a generation of makeup editorial. “Every year we would try to outdo ourselves,” Filippo recalls. “We wanted the quality to be so good that we could blow it up and hang it in the Museum of Modern Art.” MoMA has yet to acquire a piece, but a gallery in Peru has expressed interest in exhibiting a retrospective of Cabello’s work, mostly of those “Best of Beauty” images. (See page 17 for a sampling of his greatest hits.)
hen Cabello walks into his studio—now located in his house near Poughkeepsie—he doesn’t know what the shot is going to look like. Instead, he relaxes completely, listening to instrumental music and loosening up his hands, and lets instinct take over. “If anybody talks to me, it’s done,” he says. “I have to take a break or start over the next day.” He starts by trying out a variety of ideas, spreading the cosmetics around with brushes, sponges, and all manner of cooking utensils, and photographing the artwork every time he manipulates the cosmetics. Then he works with the editor or art director to sharpen some of the concepts, making them cleaner and more focused. After hours, sometimes days, of being cooped up in an airless studio, the feedback can be hard to take. “I used to go through an angry period for half a day,” he says. “Then I would do the picture again, and it always evolved into something better. Now I don’t get angry anymore. I realized it was just the creative process.” Roger Cabello ’85.
“ We wanted the quality to be so good that we could blow it up and hang it in the Museum of Modern Art.” SHEAMOISTURE MINERAL POWDER FOUNDATION, which Cabello used to create this self-portrait, was developed by Jessica Vaccaro, Fashion Merchandising Management ’11, Prestige Innovation Marketing manager, and Lea Locascio Esposito, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing ’12, Prestige Innovation Marketing coordinator at Sundial Brands. Vaccaro and Esposito help develop and market cosmetics for the Farmingdale, NY–based Sundial Brands, including Nubian Heritage, Madame C.J. Walker Beauty Culture, and SheaMoisture. Vaccaro, who has been with the fastgrowing company four years, assists with the ethical sourcing of ingredients and works with chemists to perfect the formulations and shades. In addition to supporting product development and marketing, Esposito serves as Lea Esposito ’12. SheaMoisture’s in-house makeup artist, doing demonstrations at customer events and for the brand’s Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat posts. The Mineral Powder Foundation, sold at Target and Ulta Beauty, is remarkable as much for what it contains (shea butter sourced from co-ops in Ghana, as well as grape seed extract and vitamin E) as for what it doesn’t (parabens, petrolatum, pesticides, and Jessica Vaccaro ’11. more). Diversity is also important to the brand: SheaMoisture’s foundations come in 20 different shades, which suit a wide range of skin tones, including darker tones that were hard to find at mass retailers. Market research bore that out. In developing SheaMoisture cosmetics, the team watched the shopping patterns of women of all ethnicities. “As darkerskinned women were shopping at a mass retailer,” Vaccaro says, “they were buying two to three different shades, then going home and mixing them to achieve a perfect shade for them.” “When we see every shade we’ve created on the shelf,” Esposito says, “it’s very exciting, because we’ve developed it from the ground up.”
—Deanna Filippo ’88, former design director of Allure
Cabello created this self-portrait using SheaMoisture Mineral Powder Foundation. He composed the image using his headshot (opposite) as reference, then lit the composition to heighten the texture.
Cabello injected 26 layers of Oribe Bright Blonde and Silverati shampoos to create this image.
ORIBE BRIGHT BLONDE AND SILVERATI SHAMPOOS, which Cabello blended into sparkly ripples (above), were developed by Michele Burgess, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing ’08, Fine Arts ’06, director, product development, and Jennifer Lacy Smith, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management ’07, vice president, packaging, at Oribe. Oribe (pronounced OR-bay) is a stylist-driven hair-care line sold in 1,700 U.S. salons and select high-end specialty retailers. Cabello blended two shampoos: Bright Blonde, in a deep purple that combats brassiness in blonde tresses, and Silverati, a luminous silver cream that nourishes gray hair. To formulate these shampoos, Burgess started by researching beneficial ingredients that would appeal to consumers. Purple orchid extract, an antidamage ingredient, went into the Bright Blonde line, and European silver fir extract, with hydrating properties, was incorporated into the Silverati line. “At Oribe, the product development team creates the concepts,” Burgess says. “At other places I’ve worked, it’s more of a support role. We pull inspiration from wherever we can: a piece of art, a magazine article, or a color on the runway.” Oribe’s bottles, designed by Smith, are objets d’art. Trained as a packaging engineer, Smith went through almost 40 shades of coral before settling on Jennifer Lacy Smith ’07 and Michele Burgess ’08. the Bright Blonde bottle color, and the white Silverati bottle was inspired by cloisonné, an enameling technique used on Fabergé eggs. The product development team is small but growing, as the company expands into skin care, fragrance, and hair accessories. When Smith and Burgess joined in 2012, they were two of three employees in charge of expanding Oribe’s line. “We called ourselves the trifecta for a very long time,” Smith says. “Now we’re Oribe Bright Blonde the quintet.” shampoo. 16 hue | winter 2017
L’OREAL PARIS COLOUR RICHE LA PALETTE LIP, with which Cabello painted the images on the cover (reproduced below) and on page 14, was developed by Orrea Light, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management ’02, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing ’97, vice president of product development at L’Oréal Paris. In addition to giving women of diverse backgrounds highquality, sophisticated cosmetics at an affordable price point, L’Oréal Paris educates its customers in applying the products. La Palette Lip includes not only eight shades and three finishes of lip color, but also an application tool and professional tips. As vice president of product development, Light oversees all categories at L’Oréal Paris, including hair care, skin care, and makeup. Researching color trends is a key part of her job, but because the work must be done 12 to 18 months in advance, the runway isn’t as big a driver of cosmetics trends as one might think. Instead, she looks at textiles and yarns, art and architecture, and even the automotive industry, as the companies that create pigments for car paint also furnish color to cosmetics companies. Orrea Light ’02. Light and her team test the colors on women of all ethnicities, to ensure that they will look good on the broadest possible range of people. “It’s fascinating to see who can wear what based on their lip tone, skin tone, the shape of their eyes, and their bone structure,” she says. “It’s like being a sociologist.” In fact, this very process attracted her to the industry when she was a fashion design student at Parsons. While Light was observing a L’Oréal photo shoot, a chemist painted stripes of different foundations on her face and explained which one worked and why. “I learned that product marketing is quite different from traditional marketing: you’re working on the product while looking at consumer need, and working with research and innovation experts and chemists. I wanted to find out how I could be involved in this industry.” ◆
This composition, painted using L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche La Palette Lip colors, resembles a Rothko but with brighter hues.
A C A R E E R I N C O S M E T IC S A sampling of Roger Cabello’s favorites over the years
For Allure’s 2004 “Best of Beauty” feature, he sliced up lipsticks, choosing the color combination mostly on instinct. He usually
For this cosmic fusion of blue and green nail
polishes for Vogue China, Cabello rented a house in
To illustrate a Bobbi Brown eye pencil, Cabello
Rhinebeck, NY, and shot in an attached greenhouse
asked the daughter of the company’s art director
all night and into the morning, “watching nature
to make some lip prints, and he arranged the
come to life.” It was an exercise in restraint: he
pencil and case into a sort of nose. However, he
photographed this image in five stages to make sure
still had no eye, which had to be the focus of the
he didn’t miss the moment when he went too far.
image. In the shower the next morning, he
“You have to have to get into some kind of rhythm,”
conceived of using a pencil shaving. From there,
Cabello says, “and you have to know when to stop.”
applies the meltiest product last.
he finished the piece quickly. The print later hung in the office of Bobbi Brown herself.
The Allure editors wanted to see flowers for a 2011 feature about spring cosmetics. Cabello painted this one using smears of eye shadow; the stalk is drawn with an eye pencil. This project, he says, “led me into things that were a little looser, a little more abstract.”
Cabello shot these luscious foundation dollops for Allure’s 2009 “Best of Beauty” feature. The symmetry of the silhouette and the slight asymmetry of the brown material create an appealing tension. The magazine hung a poster-size version of the photo in its editorial offices at One World Trade Center.
LAST SEMESTER, I conducted one-onone, hour-long inter-
THINK YO U KNOW G E N E R AT I O N Z ?
views with ten FIT students who fit into the demographic called “Generation Z.” Born between 1996 and 2010, this post-millennial group makes up a quarter of the U.S. population, and according to Fast Company, by 2020 will account for 40 percent of all consumers. I wanted to know what they were like as people. “They’re a retrieval generation,” says Al Romano, chair of Advertising and Marketing Communications (AMC), who discusses Gen Z in his Intro to Marketing classes. Google has shaped the way they learn: “They’ll say, ‘I don’t need to memorize this stuff. I can just look it up.’” They might seem to know little, but these digital natives fascinate older adults–particularly marketers, who are puzzling out ways to reach them. “A lot of AMC alumni have come back and said, ‘We want input
from current students,’” Romano says. Gen Z is the future. And they’re a mystery. In the interviews, we discussed technology and social media, of course. I asked about their cultural touchstones– entertainers, games, politics, even (yes, really) books. They told me how their generation differs from their parents’. They described their dreams, hopes, and fears. The result is not a statistical study of Gen Z, but a snapshot of FIT’s version of the demographic–Manhattan-based, publicuniversity educated, and middle class. They tended, perhaps predictably, to lean liberal. But there were some surprises: Most watched the presidential debates live, and none of them read ebooks. “A book is an experience,” student Ishani Shah explains. “I fit into the description of Generation Z,” Corinne Rudis says, “but I’m also a human, an individual.” At the start of the project, I thought I was taking the pulse of a generation, but I ended up with a series of unique portraits.
BY A L E X J O S E P H ’1 5 L AY O U T B Y B R A N D O N SA LOY , G R A P H I C D E S I G N ’1 8 AGE 20
18 hue | winter 2017
JULIA KEMPNER F I N E A RT S
TA R A L E V Y
AG E 1 9
A DV E RT I S I N G AN D MARKETI NG CO M M U N I CAT I O N S
According to Prof. Romano, young people can be awkward in face-to-face encounters. “They’re losing their social skills,” he says. Julia
AG E 20
Kempner agrees: “My father took me and this friend to a Broadway show and she opened
“Generation Z is about immedi-
to make it sound like a brand.
acy–the need for instant gratifica-
It should sound like a real person
tion,” Tara Levy says. “And the
talking to you.”
internet makes that need more
up her phone” and started using Snapchat. “I said, ‘Put that away! Look around you!’” For Kempner, reality is far more intriguing than anything virtual, and that includes shopping.
Levy is learning firsthand what
“I refuse to shop online,” she says. “Just go to
intense.” She’s just started her
professional marketers are begin-
own social media company, Savvy
ning to understand. Prof. Romano
Sisters Media Group. “We have
says he recently surveyed his
four clients, and we’re growing,”
students about what influenced
she says. Each client has a differ-
their recent purchases. “No one
ent target audience. “For the
said advertising,” he says. “It was
gaming company, we use Face-
all word of mouth on social
book, Twitter, and Reddit,” she
media.” Olivia Grow, AMC ’13,
Levy just read
says. “The makeup company audi-
who addresses the Gen Z audi-
ence wants a lot of visuals and
ence in her work as a branded
#Girlboss, the auto-
consumer engagement and
content creator for The New York
Twitter chats.” Her company takes
Times, says, “Young readers are
pride in its speedy response to
smart. They know what’s an ad,
customer feedback: “If you do it
and what’s not.” The Times recently
within the hour, you get 10 times
purchased a database of social
the success. If someone comments,
influencers–people from the
‘I love these brushes,’ we’ll reply,
worlds of fashion, home, beauty,
‘We appreciate these comments.
and design with up to 100,000
Stay tuned!’ If someone says
followers, who post unobtrusively
something really nice, we’ll
about products on their social
message them and try to start
media feed–to appeal to this
a conversation. We don’t want
a store! They’re out there! What, you don’t want to walk around the corner?” As the president of FIT’s theater club, she maintains a Facebook presence to communicate with members, but her dislike of social media runs deep: “It’s weird to be famous for
biography of Sophia Amoruso, CEO of fashion retailer Nasty Gal. “She’s now the highest-paid
nothing. I value Alton Brown because he taught me how to cook. But to say: ‘This is my butt and I’m famous for it’? That I don’t understand.” She thinks apps and phones help explain the election outcome. “Social media and the internet have almost devalued facts: ‘If Grandma posts that Hillary Rodham Clinton has murdered seven people, it must be true!’”
female CEO in the world.”
Hear more from the students at hue.fitnyc.edu
ISHANI SHAH FA S H I O N B U S I N E S S M A N AG E M E N T AG E 1 8 Prof. Romano says Gen Z tends to be more concerned with privacy than the millennials, and that is definitely true of Ishani Shah, who says, “I’m a little conservative on social media. I don’t check in everyplace or post a picture of my plane ticket.” She says oversharing can lead to crime: “When you tell someone where you’re going to be, you’re also telling them where you’re NOT going to be”–i.e., your apartment. In general, she says, “I’d rather read than watch Netflix.” Shah’s views were partly shaped by her upbringing in Gujarat, India. “My grandparents were in a community,” she says, and virtual connections just aren’t the same thing: “You might have a ton of Instagram followers, but still be
GA B R I E L A MARTI N EZ A DV E RT I S I N G AN D MARKETI NG CO M M U N I CAT I O N S AG E 1 9
For Gen Z, Facebook is over. The students find it both too
Times says the company is aware that young people are
cluttered and too “curated.” Olivia Grow ’13 at The New York seeking “authenticity”–hence the Gray Lady’s emphasis on immediate, digital media reporting, like recent videos captured by civilians in Syria. Gabriela Martinez seems made for the era of spontaneous authenticity. Asked to name her style, she nails it without a pause: “sporty, edgy, skate-y; but girly and feminine.” She recently read Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita and is also familiar with the filmed version by Stanley Kubrick. She’s a bit worried about finding stable work after graduation (in the cosmetics industry, she hopes), but she’s ready for a more varied career path than her parents’ generation: “My mother just retired
Shah follows Lilly Singh, a
after 28 years at one company.” She
Canadian comedian and
finds hope in the self-affirming motto
YouTube star whose parents
of the Gen Z era: “You have to do you.”
emigrated from Punjab, India.
Martinez is a big fan of the literary classic Lolita. 20 hue | winter 2017
WI LL MARTI N EZ FA S H I O N D E S I G N AG E 1 9 Last spring, when Will Martinez was going through a rough patch, he discovered a website called PenPal World. Now he regularly messages friends in Russia, Poland, India, and Hungary. He says he’s learned that “I’m an entitled American middle-class kid. My pen pal from Poland was asking, ‘Who are you voting for?’ I need to be informed, because the whole world is watching our election.” He learned about the bombing of Aleppo this way, too: “My pen pal from Russia talks about it, because he’s from the southern part of Russia,” near Syria. Otherwise, he’s not so big on social media, and prefers to spend his time offline, wandering around Manhattan alone and reflecting. When it comes to his personal style, he says, “I don’t like to stick out too much. I want to wear one thing that’s weird, a conversation starter. Buddha prayer beads. Zebra stripe suede Adidas high-tops.” Fashion brands don’t really interest him. “My roommate’s, like, into Hermès, and I’m like, ‘I don’t know who that is.’”
KARE N WO N G A DV E RT I S I N G D E S I G N AG E 21 Karen Wong is minoring in Creative Technology at FIT, and hopes to become a UX/UI (user experience/user interface) programmer, designing “website and app layouts. Creating seamless experiences–how to pay, or get to the homepage,” she says.
Wong loves Monument Valley, a video game: “The designers wanted to make every screen so beautiful it could be a poster. It was featured at the
“Social media takes up 50 percent of
my life,” and she’s already using it to
network professionally: “I follow this Facebook group called Interactive Design Association (IxDA). I go to their meetups to make contacts and meet famous designers. Also, you get a lot of exposure.” When she’s had enough of technology, it’s time to go hiking in Maine or Wyoming with her family or boyfriend. Also: “If I’m working, I use a program to block Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.” She likes them all. Almost all the students brought up the November election. Wong felt disappointed by the results: “I thought America was multicultural, a melting pot,” she says, “but it turned out to be racist.”
KIANA B ROOKS FA S H I O N B U S I N E S S M A N AG E M E N T AG E 1 8 Like many students I spoke with, Kiana Brooks sees Gen Z as progressive. “We were raised in a socially advanced environment,” she says. “Our president was black when we were growing up. Gay rights are a right. I think we have more of a general acceptance.” Recently, she watched disturbing scenes of racist police violence on the internet. Though they were upsetting, she is comforted by the thought that social media makes people more tolerant and aware: “People are increasingly interested in things outside of themselves, like interna-
tional affairs.” The shift in values could
FILM AN D M EDIA
have consequences for her career. She
AG E 20
wants to own a fashion company, and she doesn’t see her race as a barrier. It’s different for her parents, she says. “They are very worried about the way people view me in terms of being black. I don’t really see that.”
For Gianna Alhadidi, social media is a tool to help her grow artistically: “I use Instagram to create a portfolio of images. From my first pictures to now, I’ve found more of what my eye is drawn to, and my compositions are better.” She works at a popular
technology company, but this cautious futurist draws the line at wearables. “I don’t know how I feel about smart watches,” she says. “That would put text messages literally on my body.” Gen Z thinks about their careers differently than her parents’ generation, Alhadidi says: “Their way of getting ahead was through talent. Our way is more networking; your platform, how many people you know, and how many people know you.” And Gen Z’s understanding of success itself has shifted: “It’s less about the money you make, more
about experiences and being fulfilled.”
Disney TV star Zendaya on Instagram.
Alhadidi looks to Instagram to sharpen her creative vision.
22 hue | winter 2017
CO RI N N E RU D I S F I N E A RT S AG E 1 8 Prof. Romano says, “Gen Z is constantly connected. They sleep with their phone.” Most of the students did cop to phone addiction, but they’re also wary of this tendency. Corinne Rudis grew up in Texas, where her peers mainly use Twitter: “It’s like a pure stream of thought.” Online chats unite her with friends all over the world, and she says the diverse connections have broadened her mind. “I’ll nonchalantly text 50 times a day–to friends in Texas, San Francisco,
Rudis is slowly
and Tokyo. The valedictorian of my high school is half-
Korean and she’s into K-pop, so now I’m interested in that.
Another friend is gay and came out to his parents. We all
supported him in group chat.” Still, Rudis has reservations about technology: “You’re exposed to so much information you’re supposed to know that it’s almost like an overload for me.” An aspiring artist, she’s worried about the implications for her field. “My art teacher impressed on me the importance of art as an experience–something for the five senses,” she says. “I like to sculpt because it’s tactile. You lose a lot with a photo of a piece of art. Like the smell–the smell of antiques and dusty old furniture.”
B RIAN WEXLE R- RU B I N STE I N FA S H I O N D E S I G N AG E 1 9 For Brian Wexler-Rubinstein, the generation gap is pronounced. “My parents’ generation think they know what is best and don’t stay updated,” he says, and the election underscored the difference: “My grandparents immigrated from Russia. They were pro-Trump. They didn’t think a woman could govern. I was pro-Hillary.” But the comparison doesn’t always favor Gen Z: “Our parents have a better work ethic. They had to work to get what they want.” Many of the interviewees worry about global warming. WexlerRubinstein says he’s shocked that many Republicans say climate change is a hoax. In his mind, sustainable design is not just better for the planet; it looks better, too: “It’s clean and classy, more contemporary, not in your face. Why shouldn’t our future be that way?” ◆
Influencer Wexler-Rubinstein follows pop-culture commentator Josh Ostrovsky, aka “The Fat Jewish,” on Instagram.
NEXT ACT MENSWEAR’S
A new generation of FIT-trained designers infuse fresh ideas into timeworn standards by Raquel Laneri
Photographs by Christopher Hall ’11
used to be that a man’s wardrobe would consist mainly of button-down shirts, trousers, jackets, ties, and some T-shirts and jeans for the weekend. Not anymore. Now, guys can wear luxe hoodies to work, an embroidered cloak to a blacktie event, or even a Comme des Garçons skirt to run errands. And FIT alumni are leading the charge in designing these cutting-edge looks. “Men are anxious to wear more exciting apparel, so we’re giving students techniques and tools to reinvigorate men’s fashion,” says Mark-Evan Blackman, Fashion Design ’84, assistant professor of Menswear, “whether that means playing with proportions or color, or adding an
activewear detail like an elastic hem to high-end tailored trousers.” Part of the shift toward more experimental styles has to do with more fluid gender roles. “Women have historically been more open to wearing all kinds of styles, silhouettes, and volumes,” says Auston Björkman, Menswear ’10, founder of Sir New York, a brand that mixes athletic fabrics and cuts with more traditionally feminine touches, such as dolman sleeves and halter necks. “Men need that freedom also.” This newfound freedom has translated into booming business. The trend-tracking company Edited found that in 2014, the number of menswear products on the market grew at a
faster rate than women’s wear (4.5 percent compared with 3.7 percent). And analysts predict that by 2020, menswear will reach $33 billion in global sales. No wonder designers are starting to pay attention, and providing guys with smarter, more comfortable, and more stylish garments than ever before. “The vocabulary of men’s clothing has changed; it is so much richer,” Blackman says. “And FIT has always been at the forefront of these kinds of changes.” On the following pages, learn about four menswear labels established by FIT alumni that are reinventing the standard suit and tie—all photographed in FIT’s newly renovated Haft Theater.
ANDREW MORRISON A man going to a wedding, dinner party, or black-tie event doesn’t have much to choose from other than a neutral suit or basic tux. That’s where Andrew Morrison, Production Management ’06, comes in. The 29-year-old launched his line of genderless evening wear a year ago, featuring languid wide-legged trousers, kimono-inspired jackets, and theatrical crinkle-vinyl tuxedo vests that look like something Bowie would have worn if he’d been a samurai. “I get a lot of references to vampires and Star Wars, so men gravitate toward that,” says Morrison, who won Out magazine’s 2016 Fashion Vanguard Award for his elevated take on non-gendered fashion. “It’s a lot of tuxedo elements: refined fabrics, refined silhouettes, high waists, things that make you stand up straight and feel different and special. That’s what sets me apart from other unisex brands.” On Bryan: Pleated accordion horsehair collar, faux-fur detachable sleeves, vinyl tuxedo vest, hand-beaded evening envelope, and vinyl opera trouser. On Andrew Morrison: Hand-embroidered cloak. All clothes by Andrew Morrison.
ABASI ROSBOROUGH Gregory Rosborough, Menswear ’08, was on an airplane when something caught his eye. “A male flight attendant, in a suit jacket, was trying to help an elderly woman put her bag into the overhead compartment, but he couldn’t lift his arm above shoulder height,” says the 33-year-old former Polo designer. He called his FIT classmate Abdul Abasi, Menswear ’08, with an idea: reinventing the traditional suit jacket. Three years later, Abasi Rosborough launched with a cool, one-button version, featuring ergonomic pockets and breathable underarm panels. Now, the Woolmark Prize– winning duo are reimagining other wardrobe staples: the military coat, rendered in all-natural shearling, and the knit sweater, done as a hooded scarf stretched to outrageous proportions. “Our inspirations go from here to there,” says the 36-year-old Abasi, citing Middle Eastern dress, natural fibers, and advanced geometry. “But it’s always about how clothing functions on the body and designing something harmonious.” On Gregory Rosborough: a wool ARC Jacket. On Aly: a shearling and wool felt ARC Orion Coat and Merino wool ARC Hooded Tunic. On Abdul Abasi: a suede calfskin ARC Ascent Jacket. All clothes by Abasi Rosborough.
SIR NEW YORK When Auston Björkman graduated from FIT’s Menswear program in 2010, the men’s fashion world looked very different than it does now. “Everything was very buttoned-up and bowtie,” says the transgender designer, citing shrunken Thom Browne suits and precious professorial tweeds. “I just wanted to get completely away from that.” Björkman launched Sir New York in 2011, with a collection of streetinflected styles that used athletic fabrics like mesh and neoprene and relaxed, sporty silhouettes, for a line inspired by men’s sportswear but with a decidedly androgynous look. But his latest collection is a novel mix of unorthodox materials and traditional hand-knitting and saori weaving techniques, with wildly inventive sweaters, dresses, and bags created out of baby alpaca, nylon rope, twine, and nylon fabric. “I really wanted to concentrate on slowing fashion down, because I feel like it’s just too fast and wasteful,” he says. “In saori weaving, nothing is a mistake…the imperfections are actually what makes it beautiful. I found that inspiring.” On Sheani: a hand-knit sweater and white jeans. On Bryan: textured woven twill overalls and a hand-knit bag, along with a driftwood, twine, and wool necklace designed by Sir New York and Debris. Clothes by Sir New York; shoes by Nights With and Sir New York.
CONTROL SECTOR When Adam Thomison, Production Management ’12, his brother Luke, Menswear ’12, and their pal Maxwell Coombs-Esmail, Menswear ’12, started Control Sector, their mission was simple. “I hate having to work really hard to get dressed up, but I like to look good,” says 27-year- old Coombs-Esmail. “This is clothing that you can just throw on, run out the door, and look awesome.” It’s far from your standard streetwear, however. Liquid vinyl transforms a transparent raincoat into a luxurious garment, while a highdensity breathable microfiber makes a superstretchy hoodie that won’t fade in the wash. No wonder the mid-priced brand fits right in on the sales rack alongside high-fashion labels like Givenchy and Margiela—without compromising any of its street cred. “You can skateboard in it, you can dance in it, you can even snowboard in it,” Coombs-Esmail says. On Maxwell Coombs-Esmail and Adam Thomison (seated): Disrupt Hoodie. On Aly (standing left): Disrupt Hoodie, Hazard coat. On Sheani: Bombed Bomber. All four are wearing the Martial Pant. All clothes by Control Sector.
The Patterns of History Lorraine Tanyu Weinstein, Textile/Surface Design ’04, updates tradition at Lee Jofa BY JULIANNA ROSE DOW ’08
Handwork meets technology in the creations of Lorraine Weinstein ’04. As senior woven stylist for Lee Jofa, a leading luxury home furnishings company founded in 1823, Weinstein translates the work of fine artists, designers, and tastemakers into wallpapers, upholstery, drapery, and carpeting. These collaborations are “very involved, a lot of sending things back and forth,” she says. The bulk of the design work is done digitally, but “certain things you can’t really do well in CAD, so I’ll take out a paintbrush and hand paint something to send to someone.” But she isn’t always the one doing the painting. When working with artist Hunt Slonem on a collection (right) for Groundworks, Lee Jofa’s contemporary brand, Weinstein visited his studio to select paintings to anchor the line. She then scoured the company archive for examples of how the two-dimensional artworks could be translated into textiles and wallpapers. “Slonem is also a fabric junkie. When we showed him different fabric constructions from our collection, he was really gung-ho about it!” Although she finds inspiration everywhere from Instagram to Burning Man, Weinstein especially loves looking back to the rich history of Lee Jofa. In Bethpage, NY, parent company Kravet keeps an extensive archive of textile history. “You can get inspired by textiles of the Old World and think of how to do them in a new way.” For a project with Atlanta-based interior designer Suzanne Kasler, Weinstein started with the idea of
LEE JOFA PHOTOS COURTESY OF KRAVET, INC. WEINSTEIN PORTRAIT BY SMILJANA PEROS
very traditional woven damask drapery. In the end, a heavy linen fabric was digitally printed and then embroidered to create patterned sections. The resulting fabric could be cut into panels or smaller pieces, leaving it up to the decorator to decide how to use it. Working with the firm’s vice president/creative director and a small team of designers and interns (including a current FIT student), Weinstein develops the firm’s 60 product lines, usually 12 at a time, 18 months to two years ahead of launch. Every Lee Jofa order is made to order, and turnaround times can be an issue. “A normal lead time for a hand block–printed textile would be three to six months,” she says. “But now designers want everything faster.” A few years ago, traveling with a supplier in North Carolina, she visited a mill that could keep looms at the ready for high-end production. Inspired, she worked with the mill to develop a line of fabrics with a guaranteed delivery of seven to ten days. The production program, called Lee Jofa Express, now offers 170 distinct fabrics and will continue to expand. Though well versed in contemporary technology, Weinstein still finds herself gravitating to the luxurious and labor-intensive textiles from early modern Europe. “No one ever does brocatelle anymore,” she muses, referring to the densely woven silk jacquards developed during the Italian Renaissance to imitate tooled leather. “It is just too costprohibitive. But maybe if I used an alternative fiber like bamboo…” she continues, clearly thinking of more ways to update Old World elegance for today.
Above: When working with Hunt Slonem for his spring 2015 Groundworks collection, Weinstein was inspired by a wall in his studio hung with what looked like “thousands of mini bunny paintings,” Weinstein designed a wallpaper with the trompe l’oeil effect of the framed artworks hanging on a black wall. Inset: Weinstein in her New York office. She started at Lee Jofa as an FIT student, when Adjunct Associate Professor Rena Sussman Silverman recommended her for an internship. When she graduated, Weinstein recalls, there was no job available, but the owner reviewed her portfolio. “She said, ‘You belong at Lee Jofa.’ And they created a position: junior design assistant.” Left: For Lee Jofa’s second collaboration with Aerin Lauder, spring 2016, Weinstein wanted to evolve the collection from pretty and romantic to something richer and more sophisticated while maintaining Lauder’s connection to the decorating style of her grandmother, cosmetics mogul Estée Lauder.
MAKING IT RIGHT Joe Walkuski, Textile Technology ’82, helps companies navigate the daunting complexity of global sourcing by Jonathan Vatner
ay you’ve designed a child’s
test results, environmental reports—
raincoat and want to manu-
to make sure no box has been
facture it overseas. Twenty
years ago, you’d need to ask
only three questions: Can you
categories of data: material inno-
the apparel industry to become more proactive: instead of testing for substandard fabric, banned
The software tracks four
chemicals, and flimsy construction in the finished
(a) make the product (b) within my budget and
vation, color approval, quality
(c) deliver it on time? No longer.
testing, and compliance. “If there
are problems in any of the four
Joe Walkuski, Textile Technology ’82 and a
areas, the government can make
and factories to minimize issues at the testing
member of FIT’s Textile Development and
you destroy your inventory at the port,” he says.
stage. In 2015, Greenpeace found that per- and
Marketing industry advisory board. “Now it’s
polyfluorinated chemicals, used to make jackets
20 questions or more.”
Customs that a garment contained too much
water-repellent, have been washing into moun-
“Today it’s a whole lot more complex,” says
For example: Are any of the chemicals in the
One of Walkuski’s clients was told by U.S.
goods, smart companies are “engineering compliance into the product,” vetting their mills
formaldehyde, used to create wrinkle- and
tain lakes. Now manufacturers of outdoor gear
finished product on a government or industry
shrink-resistant clothes. Texbase helped the
are trying to achieve the same waterproof effect
list of restricted substances? Does the garment’s
company scrutinize testing reports at every step
with safer chemicals.
performance match the claims on the label?
along the supply chain to discover the source.
Does it comply with myriad safety rules? Are the
As it turned out, the toxic chemical was coming
director of textile research and development
factory workers treated ethically? And if that
from the plastic bags the final product was
for 13 years at Patagonia, where his team
raincoat is sold in 20 countries, does it meet all
created the first organic cotton supply chain
of those countries’ standards? (If you think the
Sometimes Texbase can help prevent a
and the first fleece made from recycled soda
U.S. has the strictest laws on imports, think
public-relations fiasco. “When companies ex-
bottles. Toward the end of his tenure there, he
again: it’s China.)
pand, they also have to grow their supply chain,”
created the precursor of Texbase, software that
Walkuski is founder and CEO of Texbase,
Before starting Texbase, Walkuski was
Walkuski explains. “It’s easy to lose control of
tracked the rising complexity of governmental
a software business that helps clothing
the process—and that can damage the brand in
regulations resulting from burgeoning textile
companies answer those questions and more.
the eyes of the consumer.” In 2013, a well-known
innovation. He left Patagonia in 2002 to move
By tracking the sourcing process from the
athletic-wear company was expanding to
raw materials to the retail shelf and offering
meet enormous demand when
comprehensive guidance at every step, the software helps ensure consistent
customers complained that their
quality when products are constructed in multiple countries, tested in multiple
labs, and delivered to nations around the world. Used by more than 100 brands, including
yoga pants were too sheer. A
companies facing similar challenges.
“Our job,” he says, “is to give them the information and tools they need
media uproar ensued. The com-
to not let compliance get
pany signed up with Texbase
in the way of innovation.”
to avoid future mishaps.
According to Walkuski, supplychain transparency, driven by
Under Armour, Brooks Brothers,
consumers who increasingly
and Patagonia, Texbase helps organize
want to know where their
an immense mass of data— factory audits,
clothes come from, is pushing
30 hue | winter 2017
the software to the cloud and license it to other
After 13 years at Patagonia, Walkuski founded Texbase to help companies manage their global sourcing procedures. LIGANG LUO, MFA ILLUSTRATION ’16
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO IMPORT THIS RAINCOAT INTO THE U.S.?
Manufacturing apparel requires thorough labeling, record-keeping, and textile testing to adhere to rules laid down by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, plus an assortment of voluntary ethical standards. These steps ensure that the goods are safe, nontoxic, durable, and responsibly sourced. Unsurprisingly, the rules for children’s products are especially stringent. Here are just some important precautions when producing a children’s raincoat. REQUIRED STEPS
1 Indicate small parts, such as
decorative rhinestones or googly eyes, as a choking hazard on a warning label.
2 Ensure buttons are secure. (They don’t count as “small parts” if they’re functional.)
3 Ensure drawstrings do not represent a strangulation hazard.
4 Test zipper for nickel content. The metal is toxic.
5 Test all components—textiles, surface coatings, trims—for lead. 6 Include a permanent label with tracking information: manufacturer, location and date of production, batch or run number, fiber content, and more.
7 Ensure inks used in printing do not contain phthalates, toxic chemicals used to soften plastics.
Avoid chemicals on the restricted substances list. Test garment for flammability. Back up waterproofing claims with testing data.
Label country of origin. Test samples.
Spot-check test results. Report defective products. Keep records for five years, in case of audit by U.S. Customs. Pay customs duties.
OPTIONAL STEPS Periodically test future shipments. Cross-check recall listings. to eliminate known hazards.
Draw up a recall plan. Perform a voluntary social audit.
1969 Deborah Feinstein Bigeleisen, Textile Design, became a painter in 1998 after 18 years of running a company that gave European textile designers full-time representation in the U.S. Her hyperrealistic depictions of flowers, mostly roses, gardenias, and lisianthus, are painted in her signature palette of eight colors, using the layered glazing techniques of the Dutch masters. Her particular attraction to roses derives both from the way light shines through the petals and the circular movement of their unfurling. “At FIT, we had nature studies all four semesters. It’s a critical component of textile design, both in home furnishings and apparel.”
self-proclaimed “fishionista” had a 25year career in buying and merchandising for Caché, Casual Corner, Lerner New York (now New York & Company), and Lord & Taylor’s fine jewelry department, managed by Finlay Fine Jewelry. Most recently, she was head wholesale merchant for formal women’s wear designer Faviana New York.
WIDE OPEN SPACES Luis Valcarcel, Interior Design ’84 After 20-plus years designing retail spaces for Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Harrods—including a four-year stint at Nine West— Luis Valcarcel switched his focus to offices. As senior associate design director at Ted Moudis Associates (TMA), he oversees a team of interior designers who work mainly on the offices of financial companies, from big banks to boutique hedge funds.
The Royal Bank of Canada hired TMA to redesign the conference and training center in its Jersey City, NJ, office. The bank wanted a space that could be used for high-level meetings as well as casual get-togethers. “This was a departure from their existing space,” Valcarcel explains. “It’s more open. There’s a lot of light penetration from the exterior.”
Arlene Skoros McLoughlin, Fashion Design, is organizing Salon New York, a gathering of nearly 100 decorative painters from 20 countries, taking place April 13–16, 2017. Decorative painters, including McLoughlin, do gilding, faux marble, faux wood, Italian plastering, and ornamental painting for museums, public buildings, and stately homes. The event location rotates among cities in Europe and the U.S.; this is the first time since 2006 that it will be held in New York.
Some features of the Royal Bank of Canada’s conference and training center:
4 5 1
Energy 3, 40 by 70 inches, oil on canvas, 2011.
1986 Elizabeth Fitzsimmons Barnes, Fashion Buying and Merchandising, co-owns Saltaire Oyster Bar and Fish House in Port Chester, NY, with her husband, Les. Barnes put the financing
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1. Glass walls and open sight lines define the conference center. “We kept the
space open so there wouldn’t be any congestion.” 2. A round seating area near the reception desk provides a focal point and
Katee Boyle, Illustration, is a painter and metalworker in Chadds Ford, PA. Her mixed-media, abstract paintings each tell a personal story. Using traditional blacksmithing techniques, she forges masks, dresses, chastity belts, and corsets, “castoff shells of experiences I’ve had, armors that I no longer need, experiences I no longer want to revisit.” She learned the trade through a two-year apprenticeship with a master blacksmith, whom she met at an art show. “I had no idea what a blacksmith was,” she says. “I thought they had all died with the bubonic plague!”
Barnes brought a fashion buyer’s eye to Saltaire’s decor.
together and came up with the “Sohomeets-Nantucket” vision for the popular new restaurant, in a rehabbed grain warehouse on the Byram River. The
McLoughlin painted a traditional chinoiserie tree design along the staircase in a private home.
divides the space without needing a wall. The dropped ceiling and large artistic light fixture make the area feel contained. 3. Blue is one of RBC’s corporate colors. Though mostly gray, the carpet contains blue stripes that subliminally direct people toward the conference center. Carpet tiles were used instead of broadloom; that way, a stained area can be replaced easily. 4. Overhead lights placed at odd angles create visual interest. 5. “We didn’t want a typical pantry,” he says. Leaving out the cabinets gives more room for the dramatic backsplash. The tall refrigerator helps anchor the space.
Jie Lan/In the Eye Photography
Gisela O’Brien, Patternmaking Technology, was born in Germany; her education was interrupted by World War II. She found her way to FIT in her 40s and built a career designing children’s and women’s wear, some of which was sold at J.C. Penney. She has spent her retirement thus far making jewelry for her church bazaar and hats for children with cancer, and on other charity work.
Boyle with a hand-forged steel corset and mask.
Stephanie Kennedy-Mell, Accessories Design, opened Church Street Wine Shoppe in Huntsville, AL, with her husband, Matt, in 2014. They carry hundreds of wines, including many that were previously unavailable in the area, and offer tapas, craft beer, and wine flights at the bar. Ten nights a month, they serve a seated five-course tasting menu with wine pairings, and four times a year, they host a charity event featuring work by a different local artist. A second location, serving wine and bourbon pairing menus, will open in May in downtown Huntsville. Before opening the wine shop, Kennedy-Mell was director of strategic planning and process improvement for Kellwood, a large apparel manufacturer.
Mats Klingberg, Fashion Buying and Merchandising, founded Trunk Clothiers, a menswear and accessories boutique on London’s hip Chiltern Street, in 2010. The shop carries about 80 brands that each “focus on primarily one thing and do that very well,” including Boglioli suiting, Incotex trousers, Salvatore Piccolo shirts, and Alden shoes. The shop also carries a private-label collection of sweaters, jackets, and more that Klingberg develops with high-end factories throughout Europe.
Anishka Clarke, Interior Design, “a Brooklyn resident, but Jamaican at heart,” is one half of Ishka Designs, a firm specializing in homes and restaurants in Brooklyn, Jamaica, Paris, and elsewhere. Their slogan, “efficiently beautiful interiors,” represents their efforts not only to keep the aesthetic minimal and relaxed, but also to streamline the process and work carefully to avoid last-minute changes. Clarke came to FIT after a decade in finance; her creative partner, Niya Bascom, is a photographer who has also worked in film set design.
Elizabeth Oswecki, Production Management: Textiles ’05,
Textile/Surface Design ’03
Klingberg inside Trunk Clothiers. His style icons are Steve McQueen and Paul Newman.
1999 Fotios Bouzikos, Fabric Styling, Menswear ’96, is vice president of design for women’s woven bottoms at IDG, a New York City–based sportswear company whose brands include Marrakech, a travel-inspired line sold at Anthropologie, and Anorak, a chic outerwear brand sold at Bloomingdale’s. The company also produces private-label brands for Macy’s, Kohl’s, and many other stores. In all, he oversees a $60 million business. His team sketches hundreds of designs for market six times a year, of which 20 percent is produced. His prior experience runs the gamut from Ralph Lauren’s Black Label denim to Walmart’s Faded Glory brand.
Three looks from Ralph Lauren Black Label’s spring 2013 collection.
Ishka Designs’ modern, minimalist light-filled room in a five-bedroom East Hampton home.
2009 Ben Albucker, Fashion Merchandising Management, sells American modern furnishings from the ’40s and ’50s in his shop in Lambertville, NJ, an antiques mecca favored by weekending New Yorkers. He adores metalwork, particularly aluminum, and prefers muted colors over the blistering oranges and yellows of late modernism. He buys very selectively, mostly from dealers and at auction, but still stumbles upon the occasional gem at antique shows, flea markets, and estate sales. Though the shop has been open since July 2015, he has yet to name it. “It’s helped because I can’t have any bad Yelp reviews,” he says.
In his shop, Albucker sells “things imbued with beauty.”
Elizabeth Oswecki vowed not to follow her parents into the law profession. But now, as a design patent examiner with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, VA, she deals with patent case law every day. And she enjoys it. Oswecki was working for a small apparel company in New York when she learned that the patent office employs creatives like her to examine “design patents,” which focus strictly on an invention’s appearance—as opposed to “utility patents,” granted based on an invention’s function. There are almost 10 million utility patents in existence, compared with about 770,000 design patents. After a rigorous interview in 2006— Elizabeth Oswecki. Oswecki sat in the center of a conference room ringed by ten supervisors— she became an assistant examiner. In 2011, following two official reviews, she became a primary design examiner with the authority to grant or deny patents without supervisor approval. Oswecki has examined patent applications for footwear, holiday ornaments, apparel, safety equipment, and semiconductors. Design patent applications, she says, require presenting a clear set of drawings along with specifications that would allow the design to be re-created. Clarity is the first aspect she looks for, and it’s where her FIT training comes into play. “I make sure all the details are there and precise,” she says. “I think, ‘What have they done incorrectly? What’s wrong here?’” If the drawings and specifications meet those standards, she searches the patent office’s database, as well as the internet and international registries, for a prior design for the proposed invention. If an invention’s appearance is unique and is not an obvious modification to a prior design, the patent will be granted. The process can take anywhere from a few hours to a week. One day, she was shopping for groceries when she noticed a shampoo bottle whose design she had approved. “It’s very exciting, because you know the precise reasons why that bottle is special, and it feels good to know that you’ve helped that inventor protect their invention.” —Carol P. Bartold
Joe Carrotta, Photography ’17
2010 Senem Oezdogan, Communication Design, makes abstract geometric fiber art by wrapping colored floss around rope, then winding the rope around a wooden board. Her work is represented by Uprise Art, a virtual gallery that exhibits at art fairs, organizes group shows, and connects oneon-one with collectors. Her inspirations range from Ellsworth Kelly to Martha Graham, who “has this way of translating emotional experience into a form. That’s what I think abstract art is.”
Piston I; wood, rope, and cotton; 16 by 20 inches, 2016. Oezdogan’s fiber art is informed by urban landscapes and architecture.
Jon Gorman, Advertising and Marketing Communications, is a project manager at PhotoShelter, a cloud-based online service that helps professional photographers display and sell their work and organize their archives. Hosting interdepartmental meetings and communicating constantly, Gorman keeps everyone at the company informed about new features and products in the pipeline.
Lily Chehrazi, Fashion Merchandising Management, founded Together California, an eco-conscious “active glamwear” brand, with her husband, Benedict, in 2014. She creates repeats from Benedict’s photography and prints them on high-tech, sustainable materials, including a seaweed-based textile called SeaCell, spandex made from recycled plastic bottles, and bamboo charcoal. The clothes are manufactured in downtown Los Angeles and sold at Colette and Le Bon Marché in Paris, Fred Segal in L.A., and Juja Active in New York. “People think going green is a lot more expensive,” Chehrazi says. “We price ourselves comparably to brands that are not sustainable.”
Chehrazi models the Ginger Juice zipper dress from the spring/summer 2017 collection.
Michelle Hernández, Fashion Merchandising Management, Fashion Design ’04, is a compost educator/coordinator for New York City’s Zero Waste Programs at GrowNYC, a nonprofit sustainability resource that runs New York City’s Greenmarkets. She staffs compost collection at the Bowling Green, Brooklyn Borough Hall, and Carroll Gardens markets, teaching residents about composting and textile recycling. She also works at a GrowNYC Fresh Food Box site in the Bronx, selling $20 to $30 worth of local, seasonal produce for $12, and she educates children and teachers about farming at Governors Island Teaching Garden.
Hernández at the Bowling Green greenmarket in the Financial District.
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Marvin Menke, Packaging Design, Advertising Design ’91, founded Hemel, a brand of affordably priced, militaryinspired wristwatches. A graphic designer and lifelong timepiece aficionado, Menke used seed funding from a Kickstarter campaign to design and manufacture a collectible, state-ofthe-art watch selling at $400, less than half of what the major brands charge for similar quality. Features include a movement (that is, the gears) made by the Japanese company Miyota, a surgical-grade stainless steel case, and a crystal (the window into the watch) made of sapphire. “Hemel” is a Dutch word for “sky,” that primorThe Hemel 24, the most dial indicator of the popular watch in the collection. passage of time.
2016 Zachary Cavaluzzi, Illustration, put on an exhibition of eight “Tape Babes” at Lambs and Wolves, an edgy hair salon in Red Bank, NJ. He created the wild-haired bombshells with colored tape on wood or foam board, then sealed them with a fluid medium to make a traditionally fleeting art form permanent. He was inspired by the work of street artists Buff Diss and Broken Fingaz, and honed his tape skills in an FIT class taught by Carlos Aponte, adjunct instructor of Illustration.
“Endless Summer” from Cavaluzzi’s Tape Babes show.
SOLE PROPRIETORS Moti Ankari, Advertising and Marketing Communications ’14, Marcel Floruss, Fashion Merchandising Management ’14 Authentic, high-quality, and dapper describe Ankari Floruss, a new online men’s footwear brand inspiring the gent in all of us. Founders Moti Ankari and Marcel Floruss sought to create a direct-toconsumer business that provides high-octane design while educating its wearers on the grammar of elegance. Culling from his experiences as an associate fashion editor at Bloomberg Pursuits and as the founder of the blog The Metro Man, Ankari first conceived of this idea in late 2015. He then approached Floruss, a close friend whom he had met at a party for Nylon magazine while Ankari wears “Tuesday Espresso” double monk straps, both were attending FIT. Floruss and Floruss wears “Wednesday Sand” calf suede was a seasoned blogger himself, Chelsea boots. running One Dapper Street since 2013. Social media accounts for all of their sales, with Instagram providing the most engagement: even the brand’s 2,000 followers are enough to move product. (It should be noted that Floruss’s own Instagram account has 320,000 followers.) Ankari Floruss veers away from advertising or overly promotional posts and opts for organic posts laced with storytelling potential. “Authenticity is very important to both of us, so our brand voice is critical to building our community,” Ankari says. “We’re our target customers’ age, and we talk to them like that. Colloquial yet respectful, like friends with good manners. After all, we all do aspire to be gentlemen.” Featuring a different design for every day of the week, Ankari Floruss’s fall/winter 2016 collection focuses on core styles that reflect the brand’s elevated-yetapproachable sensibility. Take, for example, the lean contours and whimsical tassels of their “Friday Navy” calf suede loafers ($245) “Friday Navy” tasseled calf suede loafers. or their buttery nappa leather “Saturday White” sneakers ($195). Both classic styles demonstrate expert craftsmanship. The dress shoes are produced in Spain while their leather kicks are made in Italy. Funded through both founders and a silent investor, Ankari Floruss is a three-person operation that also includes a licensor with years of industry experience. “We wanted to create a collection consisting of any guy’s favorite pairs of shoes,” Ankari says. “Nothing more, nothing less. We want to be a trustworthy source for our customers...a place where they can shop without having to second-guess the validity of our fashion choices, neither too bland nor too extravagant.” —Christiane Nickel, Fashion and Textile Studies ’11
what inspires you?
With a little oil, Margaret Pasqualino’s Singer sewing machine still works. Her yardstick is still nailed to the front, as is the apron that held her pocketbook and belongings while she labored.
My Mother’s Sewing Machine Connie Iacovetti Chambers My mother, Margaret, had the talent, knowledge, and ambition to be a fashion designer. But her father had a stroke when she was 15, and she was forced to quit school to support her mother and five younger siblings in the midst of the Great Depression. She worked in a sweatshop on 37th Street off Seventh Avenue, sewing piecework on a black Singer tabletop sewing machine that was likely salvaged from the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory after the 1911 fire. She bought the machine for $25 when the 37th Street factory closed. She kept working as a sample maker through all three of her pregnancies. She relocated to a factory closer to where we lived, on the border of Howard Beach and Ozone Park, Queens, and continued to provide for us. She sewed for 52 SMILJANA PEROS
years, wearing earplugs to avoid the noise, not stopping even when the needle went through her finger. When she passed away in 1999, I kept her sewing machine. Now I’m looking for its final home, an institution that could display it or a person who could use it. Mom couldn’t pursue her dream of design, but I could. I qualified to work as the assistant to the director of sales at Leslie Fay, alongside founder Fred Pomerantz and his son John. In the ’70s, the company sent me to FIT to learn the fundamentals of textiles, so that I could visit the mills in North Carolina and Pennsylvania to keep abreast of the latest textile technology. My mother was so proud that my position was in the “front office,” not in the factory. I was proud, too, to fulfill my mother’s dream.
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