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The Magazine of the Fashion Institute of Technology

volume 11 | number 2 | spring 2018


The Magazine of the Fashion Institute of Technology Hue is for alumni and friends of FIT, a college of art and design, business and technology. It is published three times a year by the Division of Communications and External Relations, 227 W. 27th St., Room B905, New York, NY  10001-5992, (212) 217-4700.

Vice President for Communications and External Relations

Loretta Lawrence Keane Assistant Vice President for Communications

Carol Leven Editor

Linda Angrilli Managing Editor

Alex Joseph MA ’15

ON THE COVER

A dazzling portfolio of animal art begins on page 18.

CONTRIBUTORS

Ever since Hue began publishing in 2007, art by talented alumni has enlivened its pages. Almost all these illustrators and artists, we noticed, have a penchant for drawing animals. And why not? These creatures, wild or domesticated, lovable or maybe not, are compelling subjects. In this issue, we’ve given these beasts eight pages to roam free. The French bulldog eyeing us from the cover was created by Bri Hermanson, MFA Illustration ’11, as part of a series of life-size scratchboard drawings of dogs. To make these illustrations, she paints black ink onto a claycoated Masonite board, then cuts in texture with knives. Turn to page 18 to find gorgeously depicted critters by Hermanson and nine other alumni.

This illustration is by Anita Rundles ’13.

April Calahan (“The Fit Flapper,” p. 14) is the curator of manuscript collections for the Department of Special Collections and College Archives at FIT’s Gladys Marcus Library. She is also the co-creator and host of the podcast Dressed: The History of Fashion, produced by HowStuff Works.

Staff Writer

Jonathan Vatner Editorial Assistant

NOW PLAYING AT news.fitnyc.edu

Laura Hatmaker Photography Coordinator

Smiljana Peros Art Direction and Design

Gary Tooth/Empire Design Studio

Robin Catalano (“The Fashionable Alpaca,” p. 16) has written for dozens of magazines, books, blogs, websites, social media channels, and marketing projects. She has edited more than 350 books for publishers including Penguin Random House, Workman, and Simon & Schuster. She lives, reads, and writes voraciously in upstate New York.

Hue online: hue.fitnyc.edu Email: hue@fitnyc.edu FIT Newsroom: news.fitnyc.edu Like the FIT Alumni page on Facebook and follow @FITAlumni on Twitter. Email the Office of Alumni Engagement and Giving at alumnirelations@fitnyc.edu and let us know what you’ve been up to.

>> WATCH: Every fall, FIT students fill more than 1,500 volunteer jobs at New York Fashion Week. Watch them at work in the new Printed by Maar Printing Service on

8

Hue-produced video at news.fitnyc.edu/nyfw.

Ancient Forest Friendly Made with 100 percent post-consumer waste fiber

10 GRIDIRON GRAPHICS

Processed Chlorine Free Produced using biogas energy

The NFL needed to refresh its teams’ visual branding. Guess who they turned to?

Environmental savings as compared R. J. Kern

to paper using 100 percent virgin fiber: 106 trees preserved 102,496 gallons of water saved 10,486 lbs of waste not generated 34,452 lbs CO 2 not generated Smiljana Peros

88 MMBTUs of energy not consumed 44 lbs nitrous oxide gas prevented Please recycle or share this magazine.

THREE DIRECTORS Insights from cinéastes Josh Koury, Kenneth Lonergan, and the legendary Frederick Wiseman

Rolland Enviro Print. This paper is:

>> READ: In “The Coolest Job in New York,” read how Tae Smith, Museum Studies: Costume and Textiles, dressed the Museum of Modern Art exhibition Items: Is Fashion Modern? Visit news.fitnyc.edu/taesmith to learn more.

Erin Peterson (“Counter Intuitive,” p. 28) is a writer based in Minneapolis. She has written for more than 50 college and alumni magazines nationwide.

Departments

Features

12 FINDING ALDUS A 15th-century Venetian mystery solved, thanks to an Interior Design professor

14  THE FIT FLAPPER Working out in the Roaring Twenties: a stylish vintage exercise manual

16 THE FASHIONABLE ALPACA Global Fashion Management grads find a sustainable source of style in … camelids

18 AN FIT BESTIARY Feathers, fur, and scales, by 10 alumni artists

26  AN AMERICAN FAMILY A student tells his gender transition story— in a cartoon

28 COUNTER INTUITIVE In a digital world, these entrepreneurs thrive in bricks and mortar

4 HUE’S NEWS 17 I CONTACT 32 ALUMNI NOTES 35 WHAT INSPIRES YOU?


The Magazine of the Fashion Institute of Technology Hue is for alumni and friends of FIT, a college of art and design, business and technology. It is published three times a year by the Division of Communications and External Relations, 227 W. 27th St., Room B905, New York, NY  10001-5992, (212) 217-4700.

Vice President for Communications and External Relations

Loretta Lawrence Keane Assistant Vice President for Communications

Carol Leven Editor

Linda Angrilli Managing Editor

Alex Joseph MA ’15

ON THE COVER

A dazzling portfolio of animal art begins on page 18.

CONTRIBUTORS

Ever since Hue began publishing in 2007, art by talented alumni has enlivened its pages. Almost all these illustrators and artists, we noticed, have a penchant for drawing animals. And why not? These creatures, wild or domesticated, lovable or maybe not, are compelling subjects. In this issue, we’ve given these beasts eight pages to roam free. The French bulldog eyeing us from the cover was created by Bri Hermanson, MFA Illustration ’11, as part of a series of life-size scratchboard drawings of dogs. To make these illustrations, she paints black ink onto a claycoated Masonite board, then cuts in texture with knives. Turn to page 18 to find gorgeously depicted critters by Hermanson and nine other alumni.

This illustration is by Anita Rundles ’13.

April Calahan (“The Fit Flapper,” p. 14) is the curator of manuscript collections for the Department of Special Collections and College Archives at FIT’s Gladys Marcus Library. She is also the co-creator and host of the podcast Dressed: The History of Fashion, produced by HowStuff Works.

Staff Writer

Jonathan Vatner Editorial Assistant

NOW PLAYING AT news.fitnyc.edu

Laura Hatmaker Photography Coordinator

Smiljana Peros Art Direction and Design

Gary Tooth/Empire Design Studio

Robin Catalano (“The Fashionable Alpaca,” p. 16) has written for dozens of magazines, books, blogs, websites, social media channels, and marketing projects. She has edited more than 350 books for publishers including Penguin Random House, Workman, and Simon & Schuster. She lives, reads, and writes voraciously in upstate New York.

Hue online: hue.fitnyc.edu Email: hue@fitnyc.edu FIT Newsroom: news.fitnyc.edu Like the FIT Alumni page on Facebook and follow @FITAlumni on Twitter. Email the Office of Alumni Engagement and Giving at alumnirelations@fitnyc.edu and let us know what you’ve been up to.

>> WATCH: Every fall, FIT students fill more than 1,500 volunteer jobs at New York Fashion Week. Watch them at work in the new Printed by Maar Printing Service on

8

Hue-produced video at news.fitnyc.edu/nyfw.

Ancient Forest Friendly Made with 100 percent post-consumer waste fiber

10 GRIDIRON GRAPHICS  he NFL needed to refresh its teams’ visual T

Processed Chlorine Free Produced using biogas energy

branding. Guess who they turned to?

Environmental savings as compared R. J. Kern

to paper using 100 percent virgin fiber: 106 trees preserved 102,496 gallons of water saved 10,486 lbs of waste not generated 34,452 lbs CO 2 not generated Smiljana Peros

88 MMBTUs of energy not consumed 44 lbs nitrous oxide gas prevented Please recycle or share this magazine.

THREE DIRECTORS Insights from cinéastes Josh Koury, Kenneth Lonergan, and the legendary Frederick Wiseman

Rolland Enviro Print. This paper is:

>> READ: In “The Coolest Job in New York,” read how Tae Smith, Museum Studies: Costume and Textiles, dressed the Museum of Modern Art exhibition Items: Is Fashion Modern? Visit news.fitnyc.edu/taesmith to learn more.

Erin Peterson (“Counter Intuitive,” p. 28) is a writer based in Minneapolis. She has written for more than 50 college and alumni magazines nationwide.

Departments

Features

12  FINDING ALDUS A 15th-century Venetian mystery solved, thanks to an Interior Design professor

14  THE FIT FLAPPER Working out in the Roaring Twenties: a stylish vintage exercise manual

16 THE FASHIONABLE ALPACA Global Fashion Management grads find a sustainable source of style in … camelids

18 AN FIT BESTIARY Feathers, fur, and scales, by 10 alumni artists

26  AN AMERICAN FAMILY A student tells his gender transition story— in a cartoon

28 COUNTER INTUITIVE In a digital world, these entrepreneurs thrive in bricks and mortar

4 HUE’S NEWS 17 I CONTACT 32 ALUMNI NOTES 35 WHAT INSPIRES YOU?


hue’s news

hue’s news

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, REAL RESULTS

COUTURE COUNCIL HONORS THOM BROWNE At the annual September luncheon held by the Couture Council of The Museum at FIT, Thom Browne accepted the 2017 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion. Superfan Whoopi Goldberg emceed; Brooke Shields and Martha Stewart also attended. “You have now given me the responsibility to live up to this award,” Browne said, “and I hope I do not disappoint.”

Students work with IBM and Tommy Hilfiger to envision the future of the fashion industry

Students at FIT’s new Korea campus.

GADGETS AND GIZMOS APLENTY At FIT’s new Faculty Research and Innovation Space, on the fifth floor of the Pomerantz Center, professors can drop in to experiment with such emerging technologies as holographic projection, 3D printing, and virtual reality. Enterprising faculty members are already incorporating them into their lesson plans. At the launch in November, President Brown said, “This is a place for you. It is a place to experience, test, try things, and fail. I think we learn with each experiment and each frontier that we try and cross.”

Victoria Will

Superhero Costumes for Kids Battling Cancer For a heartwarming “Heroes Among Us” segment on NBC’s Today Nov. 29, students from the MFA program in Fashion Design created bright, fun superhero costumes for children with cancer.

CURVES AHEAD!

Zach Hilty/BFA

FIT now offers two AAS programs, in Fashion Design or Fashion Business Management, at SUNY Korea, a new campus in the Songdo business district of the city of Incheon. Korea, a growing global fashion center, is FIT’s third non-U.S. location; the college also has campuses in Milan and Florence, Italy. The campus is in the “smart city” of Songdo, an urban, eco-friendly business hub where computer technology is built into the infrastructure of the buildings and the streets. FIT President Joyce F. Brown and a delegation of FIT administrators traveled to South Korea in late October to celebrate the launch. They joined ChoonHo Kim, president of SUNY Korea, as well as Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D., president of Stony Brook University (the first SUNY school to offer programs in Korea, in 2012) for a gala reception, a fashion show, philharmonic and K-pop performances, and alumni events, among other activities. Dr. Brown said the campus “opens a new exciting chapter for the college.”

Annie Watt

FIT’s Korea Debut

On Wednesday, Nov. 15, plus-size supermodel Emme, celebrity stylist Susan Moses, and image consultant Catherine Schuller took the stage of the John E. Reeves Great Hall to talk about the growing plus-size market and the importance of offering stylish, flattering clothes to these often deep-pocketed, fashion-conscious, but neglected consumers. After a panel discussion led by Fern Mallis, creator of New York Fashion Week and a director of the FIT Foundation, curvaceous runway models showed off forward designs. The Business of Curves: Fashion’s Future was an installment of the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology Dean’s Forum.

Top: Stewart, President Brown, Browne. Above: Browne, Goldberg, MFIT director Valerie Steele.

Online Learning, Supercharged

Lorenzo Ciniglio

Jerry Speier

Ana Gambuto

Can artificial intelligence aid the fashion industry? FIT teamed up with IBM and Tommy Hilfiger last fall to design garments and retail experiences based on the futuristic technology of IBM’s Watson platform. The FIT/Infor Design and Tech Lab oversaw the project. The 15 students from three majors—Fashion Design, International Trade and Marketing, and Textile Development and Marketing—formed teams to brainstorm innovative concepts in design, retail, and production that Tommy Hilfiger could incorporate into its operations. Using Watson’s visual recognition capability, the software analyzed 15,000 recent Tommy Hilfiger product images, plus 600,000 more from all over the fashion map and 100,000 fabric patterns. Then, with the help of IBM researchers, Watson acted as a highly knowledgeable design assistant, guiding the students toward key silhouettes and colors, as well as novel prints and patterns likely to be hot in the near future. “The machine-learning analysis gave us insights about the Tommy Hilfiger DNA that the human mind couldn’t begin to understand,” said Michael Ferraro, executive director of the FIT/Infor Design and Tech Lab. “It was access to a vast brain that you could bounce ideas off of and see where that inspiration takes you.” The student designers used these insights to infuse their garments with innovative tech capabilities, while adhering to the brand’s core American Top: McCarty’s plaid jacket was one of three garments produced values. Grace McCarty ’18 designed a plaid jacket for NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show at the Javits Center in January. made with fibers that change color in response to Above: Eun and McCarty with the other two future-focused designs. Tommy Hilfiger has expressed interest in producing the wearer’s social media feed. (Those fibers don’t yet all of them. exist; the FIT/Infor Design and Tech Lab will aim to create them in an upcoming program on wearable technology.) Amy Tae Hwa Eun ’19 designed a sundress that reveals the wearer’s initials when the sun comes out. The business students used Watson’s social media listening capabilities to scour influencers’ accounts from around the world, to identify untapped markets for Tommy Hilfiger. For instance, some Korean pop stars were fans of the brand; their followers, who are spread throughout Asia, were potential customers. They also used that social media listening tool, as well as Watson’s voice and visual recognition features, to blueprint a personalized retail experience, complete with a talking mirror that advises shoppers based on current trends. They even developed a smart supply chain strategy to minimize waste and environmental impact. As Avery Baker, Tommy Hilfiger’s chief brand officer, said in a blog post on IBM’s site, “These young designers truly embody this spirit by showcasing the successful integration of fashion, technology, and science.”

Beauty Industry Essentials is a new online noncredit certificate program that introduces students to careers in the $265 billion global beauty industry. FIT’s Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing faculty designed the curriculum and teach the courses, along with top editors at Allure magazine and industry execs Bobbi Brown, Poppy King, Hannah Bronfman, and Tiffani Carter-Thompson. The self-paced program, at beauty.fitnyc.edu, was a collaboration between FIT’s Center for Continuing and Professional Studies and Qubed Education, an innovative online learning provider. FIT and Qubed are developing a similar program, Sneaker Essentials (sneakers.fitnyc.edu), with urban media giant Complex, launching in April.

QUICK READ Archroma, a Swiss resource for color management tools, has partnered with FIT to open the new Archroma Color Center in the Dubinsky Student Center. Students designed the center and named the 4,320 colors in the collection. 4

hue | spring 2018

In its third annual Global Fashion School rankings, the Business of Fashion placed FIT second in the U.S. and seventh in the world for undergraduate fashion programs. The Fashion Design MFA ranked fifth internationally among graduate fashion programs.

FIT has the second lowest rate of campus crime among the 100 largest U.S. colleges and universities, according to a recent survey by collegestats.org.

Troy Richards has been appointed dean for the School of Art and Design. The prolific interdisciplinary artist was previously interim associate dean of the arts, College of Arts and Sciences, at the University of Delaware.

FIT’s new vice president for advancement and executive director of the FIT Foundation is Philips McCarty, whose fundraising, branding, and marketing company worked with Heifer International, Brooks Brothers, Nationwide Insurance, and NBC Universal.

Alexis Katsafanas, Fashion Merchandising Management ’14, won the National Retail Federation’s Dream Big scholarship, which is providing full tuition for her MBA studies.

hue.fitnyc.edu

5


hue’s news

hue’s news

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, REAL RESULTS

COUTURE COUNCIL HONORS THOM BROWNE At the annual September luncheon held by the Couture Council of The Museum at FIT, Thom Browne accepted the 2017 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion. Superfan Whoopi Goldberg emceed; Brooke Shields and Martha Stewart also attended. “You have now given me the responsibility to live up to this award,” Browne said, “and I hope I do not disappoint.”

Students work with IBM and Tommy Hilfiger to envision the future of the fashion industry

Students at FIT’s new Korea campus.

GADGETS AND GIZMOS APLENTY At FIT’s new Faculty Research and Innovation Space, on the fifth floor of the Pomerantz Center, professors can drop in to experiment with such emerging technologies as holographic projection, 3D printing, and virtual reality. Enterprising faculty members are already incorporating them into their lesson plans. At the launch in November, President Brown said, “This is a place for you. It is a place to experience, test, try things, and fail. I think we learn with each experiment and each frontier that we try and cross.”

Victoria Will

Superhero Costumes for Kids Battling Cancer For a heartwarming “Heroes Among Us” segment on NBC’s Today Nov. 29, students from the MFA program in Fashion Design created bright, fun superhero costumes for children with cancer.

CURVES AHEAD!

Zach Hilty/BFA

FIT now offers two AAS programs, in Fashion Design or Fashion Business Management, at SUNY Korea, a new campus in the Songdo business district of the city of Incheon. Korea, a growing global fashion center, is FIT’s third non-U.S. location; the college also has campuses in Milan and Florence, Italy. The campus is in the “smart city” of Songdo, an urban, eco-friendly business hub where computer technology is built into the infrastructure of the buildings and the streets. FIT President Joyce F. Brown and a delegation of FIT administrators traveled to South Korea in late October to celebrate the launch. They joined ChoonHo Kim, president of SUNY Korea, as well as Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D., president of Stony Brook University (the first SUNY school to offer programs in Korea, in 2012) for a gala reception, a fashion show, philharmonic and K-pop performances, and alumni events, among other activities. Dr. Brown said the campus “opens a new exciting chapter for the college.”

Annie Watt

FIT’s Korea Debut

On Wednesday, Nov. 15, plus-size supermodel Emme, celebrity stylist Susan Moses, and image consultant Catherine Schuller took the stage of the John E. Reeves Great Hall to talk about the growing plus-size market and the importance of offering stylish, flattering clothes to these often deep-pocketed, fashion-conscious, but neglected consumers. After a panel discussion led by Fern Mallis, creator of New York Fashion Week and a director of the FIT Foundation, curvaceous runway models showed off forward designs. The Business of Curves: Fashion’s Future was an installment of the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology Dean’s Forum.

Top: Stewart, President Brown, Browne. Above: Browne, Goldberg, MFIT director Valerie Steele.

Online Learning, Supercharged

Lorenzo Ciniglio

Jerry Speier

Ana Gambuto

Can artificial intelligence aid the fashion industry? FIT teamed up with IBM and Tommy Hilfiger last fall to design garments and retail experiences based on the futuristic technology of IBM’s Watson platform. The FIT/Infor Design and Tech Lab oversaw the project. The 15 students from three majors—Fashion Design, International Trade and Marketing, and Textile Development and Marketing—formed teams to brainstorm innovative concepts in design, retail, and production that Tommy Hilfiger could incorporate into its operations. Using Watson’s visual recognition capability, the software analyzed 15,000 recent Tommy Hilfiger product images, plus 600,000 more from all over the fashion map and 100,000 fabric patterns. Then, with the help of IBM researchers, Watson acted as a highly knowledgeable design assistant, guiding the students toward key silhouettes and colors, as well as novel prints and patterns likely to be hot in the near future. “The machine-learning analysis gave us insights about the Tommy Hilfiger DNA that the human mind couldn’t begin to understand,” said Michael Ferraro, executive director of the FIT/Infor Design and Tech Lab. “It was access to a vast brain that you could bounce ideas off of and see where that inspiration takes you.” The student designers used these insights to infuse their garments with innovative tech capabilities, while adhering to the brand’s core American Top: McCarty’s plaid jacket was one of three garments produced values. Grace McCarty ’18 designed a plaid jacket for NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show at the Javits Center in January. made with fibers that change color in response to Above: Eun and McCarty with the other two future-focused designs. Tommy Hilfiger has expressed interest in producing the wearer’s social media feed. (Those fibers don’t yet all of them. exist; the FIT/Infor Design and Tech Lab will aim to create them in an upcoming program on wearable technology.) Amy Tae Hwa Eun ’19 designed a sundress that reveals the wearer’s initials when the sun comes out. The business students used Watson’s social media listening capabilities to scour influencers’ accounts from around the world, to identify untapped markets for Tommy Hilfiger. For instance, some Korean pop stars were fans of the brand; their followers, who are spread throughout Asia, were potential customers. They also used that social media listening tool, as well as Watson’s voice and visual recognition features, to blueprint a personalized retail experience, complete with a talking mirror that advises shoppers based on current trends. They even developed a smart supply chain strategy to minimize waste and environmental impact. As Avery Baker, Tommy Hilfiger’s chief brand officer, said in a blog post on IBM’s site, “These young designers truly embody this spirit by showcasing the successful integration of fashion, technology, and science.”

Beauty Industry Essentials is a new online noncredit certificate program that introduces students to careers in the $265 billion global beauty industry. FIT’s Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing faculty designed the curriculum and teach the courses, along with top editors at Allure magazine and industry execs Bobbi Brown, Poppy King, Hannah Bronfman, and Tiffani Carter-Thompson. The self-paced program, at beauty.fitnyc.edu, was a collaboration between FIT’s Center for Continuing and Professional Studies and Qubed Education, an innovative online learning provider. FIT and Qubed are developing a similar program, Sneaker Essentials (sneakers.fitnyc.edu), with urban media giant Complex, launching in April.

QUICK READ Archroma, a Swiss resource for color management tools, has partnered with FIT to open the new Archroma Color Center in the Dubinsky Student Center. Students designed the center and named the 4,320 colors in the collection. 4

hue | spring 2018

In its third annual Global Fashion School rankings, the Business of Fashion placed FIT second in the U.S. and seventh in the world for undergraduate fashion programs. The Fashion Design MFA ranked fifth internationally among graduate fashion programs.

FIT has the second lowest rate of campus crime among the 100 largest U.S. colleges and universities, according to a recent survey by collegestats.org.

Troy Richards has been appointed dean for the School of Art and Design. The prolific interdisciplinary artist was previously interim associate dean of the arts, College of Arts and Sciences, at the University of Delaware.

FIT’s new vice president for advancement and executive director of the FIT Foundation is Philips McCarty, whose fundraising, branding, and marketing company worked with Heifer International, Brooks Brothers, Nationwide Insurance, and NBC Universal.

Alexis Katsafanas, Fashion Merchandising Management ’14, won the National Retail Federation’s Dream Big scholarship, which is providing full tuition for her MBA studies.

hue.fitnyc.edu

5


hue’s news

hue’s news

BIOTECH BREAKTHROUGH A student project becomes a business that could redefine sustainable fashion In 2016, a team of FIT students won the Biodesign Challenge, a competition among top colleges and universities to envision future applications of biotechnology. They created a material out of alginate, a viscous substance derived from kelp, a fast-growing seaweed. Then they extruded it from a syringe to make a filament and knitted this “yarn” into fabric. Now their fiber is on the verge of becoming commercially viable. The team of FIT Fashion Design grads Tessa Callaghan ’16 and Aleksandra Gosiewski ’17, Pratt alumnus Aaron Nesser, and faculty members Theanne Schiros (Science and Math) and Asta Skocir (Fashion Design), formed a company called AlgiKnit. Working in labs at the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at Columbia University, where Schiros is a visiting scholar, they continued to look for ways to strengthen the fiber by blending in other nontoxic polymers found in nature. Once the fiber is strong and flexible enough to be knitted or woven on industrial equipment, it can be mass-produced and incorporated into commercially available textiles. Adidas and

The highlight of the exhibition is a central dais teeming with Norell’s dazzling yet comfortable eveningwear, including his exquisite “mermaid” gowns (left), glittering with sequins. Norell: Dean of American Fashion runs through April 14.

In response to the sorry state of public discourse in America, President Joyce F. Brown launched a civility initiative to promote a respectful learning environment at FIT. Students, faculty, and staff have pledged to make FIT safe, civil, and inclusive. Throughout the year, civility will be emphasized, through training seminars led by Dr. Ronald Milon, chief diversity officer; a social media campaign; a stipend program for faculty to conduct research on civil discourse; and a variety of other awareness efforts.

Top: For a TED Talk Schiros delivered at FIT on biomaterials, she wore a tank top made by AlgiKnit and shoes cocreated by AlgiKnit and #GrowAPair, another Biodesign Challenge team. Above: AlgiKnit fabric was dipped in cochineal, onion skin, and other natural dyes.

Dr. Brown introduced the initiative at convocation in January. “We are following a long and noble tradition,” she said, “in attempting to institutionalize and to inculcate in ourselves a pattern of behavior, based on common courtesy, that makes possible our ability to live together, to work together, to teach and learn together— to thrive together.”

The Communication Design Foundation AAS major lays the groundwork for four BFA majors: Advertising Design, Graphic Design, Packaging Design, and Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design. Given the interconnection among these fields, all five departments were recently reorganized under the umbrella of Communication Design Pathways. The change facilitates a more cohesive fouryear experience for students and gives them the opportunity to try out courses in all these fields. The combined department will give students access to a wider array of professional faculty, as well as expanded material and technology resources. It also paves the way for interdisciplinary teamwork: Already, students from the four BFA majors have collaborated on the visuals for a cybersecurity and cyberbullying conference at FIT, as well as exciting new graphics to promote the college’s new brand. “The world of experiential branding and designing in a digital space connects all these disciplines,” said Marianne Klimchuk, professor of Packaging Design and chair of the Communication Design Pathways Department. “There is now a lot more opportunity within the different professions to collaborate—and we’re looking to reimagine our curriculum with that collaboration in mind.”

Fine Art for 50 Cents

Illustration Professor Kam Mak’s 11th stamp in the U.S. Postal Service’s series, Celebrating Lunar New Year, was released in January. Marking the Year of the Dog, the stamp depicts three stalks of lucky bamboo to symbolize three types of good fortune: fu (happiness), lu (wealth), and soh (long life). “The red ribbon of fate floats throughout the middle,” Mak says, “signifying joy and rebirth, entwining us together in peace and cooperation while anchoring us firmly to the earth.”

Lorenzo Ciniglio

Fostering a Culture of Civility

Jon Brown

MFIT

Norman Norell (1900–1972), “the American Balenciaga,” is revered among American fashion designers for bringing couture techniques to ready-to-wear apparel and for elevating perceptions of New York’s “rag trade.” He pioneered the chemise dress and the culotte for day and formal wear, and designed for Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, and several first ladies. An exhibition at The Museum at FIT, guest-curated by designer/ author Jeffrey Banks, delves into his life’s work.

Ralph Lauren have already shown interest in working with the material. Last fall, AlgiKnit won National Geographic’s Chasing Genius Challenge from a pool of thousands of entrants, which awarded them $25,000 toward developing the material and gave them international exposure. Next, they were accepted into RebelBio, a startup accelerator program funded by venture capital firm SOSV, aimed at supporting “some of the most astonishing developments in the life sciences.” RebelBio invested $100,000 in the company and provided three months of business mentorship and lab time at Imperial College London, ending March 2018. The original idea was to extrude the alginate paste to create a fiber that can be knitted into a stretchable fabric. Now the team has also succeeded at other methods of working with the paste: 3D-printing it, molding it into a plastic-like material, and electrospinning it (adding voltage to stretch a droplet into a superfine thread). Every day brings them closer to perfecting a material that could make the fashion industry more sustainable. “There’s a reason people haven’t made clothes out of kelp before,” Schiros said. “Using kelp to get the strength and flexibility of a traditional textile is not a trivial challenge. But the results we’re seeing are promising.”

FIT AIDS EMERGING BUSINESSES

Five Departments Join Forces

A Giant of American Design

Israel Prize Goes to the “Prince of Plastic” Karim Rashid, possibly the world’s most famous industrial designer, was named the 2017 recipient of FIT’s Lawrence Israel Prize on Nov. 27. Known for his colorful, curvaceous furniture, Rashid has won more than 300 awards and worked in more than 40 countries; more than 3,000 of his designs are in production. He advised students not to worry about the future but to design for our world today. “If you work in the present,” he said, “inevitably you will shape the future.”

JOB-SEARCH POINTERS FROM FIT’S SEASONED COUNSELORS

The FIT Design Entrepreneurs Collaborative is a new studio and showroom on Eighth Avenue for nine fashion designers who are alumni of the college or the Design Entrepreneurs program. The shared 5,400-square-foot space provides a stepping stone for designers who need an affordable, professional office for presenting their work to buyers. The space is fully leased: Tenants include streetwear brand Control Sector, science fiction–inspired Slight Jewelry, and swimwear designer Kandice Pelletier.

“Employers actually value career-changers. They used to think jumping around didn’t show loyalty. Now employers say, ‘Oh, cool, you have a diversity of skills.’”

“There are pros to working for a small company that nobody’s heard of. You get to do all kinds of things. Sometimes the wellknown names make for the worst experiences.”

FIT’s Career and Internship Services office supports students and alumni looking to launch a new career, advance in their field, or change careers entirely. The unit’s 14 —Helene Verin, —Pam Zuckerman, associate counselors maintain close partnerships with adjunct assistant professor–counselor industry, giving students and alumni a leg up professor–counselor in the full spectrum of creative and business fields. And alumni have lifelong access “Finding the right job is like tasting to the job bank and career counseling, in person or a grapefruit. People will tell you “Your profile should online. “Our counselors different things, but only once you taste include the key words for are deeply committed it will you know if you like it. It’s not your industry. Otherwise, to our students and just about skills—you can acquire those. you’re not going to come up alumni,” says Tardis Is your personality, your nature, when recruiters do keyword Johnson, associate right for the job?” searches on LinkedIn.” dean for student acad—Nancy Ross, Gemology Certificate ’13, adjunct emic support, “wher—Bonnie Recca, adjunct associate professor–counselor ever they are in their assistant professor– careers.”

counselor

“Know the company you’re applying to. I recommend Glassdoor.com—it’s like Yelp for careers: For bigger companies, you can find a wealth of information, good or bad.”

“How do you network with people? It’s really about being curious about other people, and about finding ways of staying in contact.” —Linda Turner, Product Design: Textiles ’82, assistant professor–counselor

—Jennifer Miller Peters, associate professor–counselor

QUICK READ Alyssa Wardrop, Fashion Design ’17, won the 2017 Supima Design Competition for a cotton capsule collection inspired by the framing device of movie screens. This fall she will begin FIT’s MFA program in Fashion Design.

6

hue | spring 2018

The second edition of the Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry, co-authored by Joanne Arbuckle, deputy to the president for Industry Partnerships and Collaborative Programs, and Francesca Sterlacci, former Fashion Design chair, was released last fall.

FIT won an Energy Champion Award from the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services for carbon load reduction programs that reduced the college’s total energy use by almost 50 percent since 2007.

The National Endowment for the Arts awarded FIT a $20,000 grant to support a conference and seminar series about design innovation and the use of sustainable materials in fashion and other industries.

First Insight, Inc., and the Fashion Business Management department are offering a new course in predictive analytics, using consumer data to inform design and merchandising decisions.

George S. Kaufman, FIT trustee since 1982 and former chairman of the Kaufman Organization and Kaufman Astoria Studios, died Feb. 20. The real estate developer and namesake of FIT’s Kaufman Hall helped make New York a hub for film and TV production. hue.fitnyc.edu

7


hue’s news

hue’s news

BIOTECH BREAKTHROUGH A student project becomes a business that could redefine sustainable fashion In 2016, a team of FIT students won the Biodesign Challenge, a competition among top colleges and universities to envision future applications of biotechnology. They created a material out of alginate, a viscous substance derived from kelp, a fast-growing seaweed. Then they extruded it from a syringe to make a filament and knitted this “yarn” into fabric. Now their fiber is on the verge of becoming commercially viable. The team of FIT Fashion Design grads Tessa Callaghan ’16 and Aleksandra Gosiewski ’17, Pratt alumnus Aaron Nesser, and faculty members Theanne Schiros (Science and Math) and Asta Skocir (Fashion Design), formed a company called AlgiKnit. Working in labs at the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at Columbia University, where Schiros is a visiting scholar, they continued to look for ways to strengthen the fiber by blending in other nontoxic polymers found in nature. Once the fiber is strong and flexible enough to be knitted or woven on industrial equipment, it can be mass-produced and incorporated into commercially available textiles. Adidas and

The highlight of the exhibition is a central dais teeming with Norell’s dazzling yet comfortable eveningwear, including his exquisite “mermaid” gowns (left), glittering with sequins. Norell: Dean of American Fashion runs through April 14.

In response to the sorry state of public discourse in America, President Joyce F. Brown launched a civility initiative to promote a respectful learning environment at FIT. Students, faculty, and staff have pledged to make FIT safe, civil, and inclusive. Throughout the year, civility will be emphasized, through training seminars led by Dr. Ronald Milon, chief diversity officer; a social media campaign; a stipend program for faculty to conduct research on civil discourse; and a variety of other awareness efforts.

Top: For a TED Talk Schiros delivered at FIT on biomaterials, she wore a tank top made by AlgiKnit and shoes cocreated by AlgiKnit and #GrowAPair, another Biodesign Challenge team. Above: AlgiKnit fabric was dipped in cochineal, onion skin, and other natural dyes.

Dr. Brown introduced the initiative at convocation in January. “We are following a long and noble tradition,” she said, “in attempting to institutionalize and to inculcate in ourselves a pattern of behavior, based on common courtesy, that makes possible our ability to live together, to work together, to teach and learn together— to thrive together.”

The Communication Design Foundation AAS major lays the groundwork for four BFA majors: Advertising Design, Graphic Design, Packaging Design, and Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design. Given the interconnection among these fields, all five departments were recently reorganized under the umbrella of Communication Design Pathways. The change facilitates a more cohesive fouryear experience for students and gives them the opportunity to try out courses in all these fields. The combined department will give students access to a wider array of professional faculty, as well as expanded material and technology resources. It also paves the way for interdisciplinary teamwork: Already, students from the four BFA majors have collaborated on the visuals for a cybersecurity and cyberbullying conference at FIT, as well as exciting new graphics to promote the college’s new brand. “The world of experiential branding and designing in a digital space connects all these disciplines,” said Marianne Klimchuk, professor of Packaging Design and chair of the Communication Design Pathways Department. “There is now a lot more opportunity within the different professions to collaborate—and we’re looking to reimagine our curriculum with that collaboration in mind.”

Fine Art for 50 Cents

Illustration Professor Kam Mak’s 11th stamp in the U.S. Postal Service’s series, Celebrating Lunar New Year, was released in January. Marking the Year of the Dog, the stamp depicts three stalks of lucky bamboo to symbolize three types of good fortune: fu (happiness), lu (wealth), and soh (long life). “The red ribbon of fate floats throughout the middle,” Mak says, “signifying joy and rebirth, entwining us together in peace and cooperation while anchoring us firmly to the earth.”

Lorenzo Ciniglio

Fostering a Culture of Civility

Jon Brown

MFIT

Norman Norell (1900–1972), “the American Balenciaga,” is revered among American fashion designers for bringing couture techniques to ready-to-wear apparel and for elevating perceptions of New York’s “rag trade.” He pioneered the chemise dress and the culotte for day and formal wear, and designed for Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, and several first ladies. An exhibition at The Museum at FIT, guest-curated by designer/ author Jeffrey Banks, delves into his life’s work.

Ralph Lauren have already shown interest in working with the material. Last fall, AlgiKnit won National Geographic’s Chasing Genius Challenge from a pool of thousands of entrants, which awarded them $25,000 toward developing the material and gave them international exposure. Next, they were accepted into RebelBio, a startup accelerator program funded by venture capital firm SOSV, aimed at supporting “some of the most astonishing developments in the life sciences.” RebelBio invested $100,000 in the company and provided three months of business mentorship and lab time at Imperial College London, ending March 2018. The original idea was to extrude the alginate paste to create a fiber that can be knitted into a stretchable fabric. Now the team has also succeeded at other methods of working with the paste: 3D-printing it, molding it into a plastic-like material, and electrospinning it (adding voltage to stretch a droplet into a superfine thread). Every day brings them closer to perfecting a material that could make the fashion industry more sustainable. “There’s a reason people haven’t made clothes out of kelp before,” Schiros said. “Using kelp to get the strength and flexibility of a traditional textile is not a trivial challenge. But the results we’re seeing are promising.”

FIT AIDS EMERGING BUSINESSES

Five Departments Join Forces

A Giant of American Design

Israel Prize Goes to the “Prince of Plastic” Karim Rashid, possibly the world’s most famous industrial designer, was named the 2017 recipient of FIT’s Lawrence Israel Prize on Nov. 27. Known for his colorful, curvaceous furniture, Rashid has won more than 300 awards and worked in more than 40 countries; more than 3,000 of his designs are in production. He advised students not to worry about the future but to design for our world today. “If you work in the present,” he said, “inevitably you will shape the future.”

JOB-SEARCH POINTERS FROM FIT’S SEASONED COUNSELORS

The FIT Design Entrepreneurs Collaborative is a new studio and showroom on Eighth Avenue for nine fashion designers who are alumni of the college or the Design Entrepreneurs program. The shared 5,400-square-foot space provides a stepping stone for designers who need an affordable, professional office for presenting their work to buyers. The space is fully leased: Tenants include streetwear brand Control Sector, science fiction–inspired Slight Jewelry, and swimwear designer Kandice Pelletier.

“Employers actually value career-changers. They used to think jumping around didn’t show loyalty. Now employers say, ‘Oh, cool, you have a diversity of skills.’”

“There are pros to working for a small company that nobody’s heard of. You get to do all kinds of things. Sometimes the wellknown names make for the worst experiences.”

FIT’s Career and Internship Services office supports students and alumni looking to launch a new career, advance in their field, or change careers entirely. The unit’s 14 —Helene Verin, —Pam Zuckerman, associate counselors maintain close partnerships with adjunct assistant professor–counselor industry, giving students and alumni a leg up professor–counselor in the full spectrum of creative and business fields. And alumni have lifelong access “Finding the right job is like tasting to the job bank and career counseling, in person or a grapefruit. People will tell you “Your profile should online. “Our counselors different things, but only once you taste include the key words for are deeply committed it will you know if you like it. It’s not your industry. Otherwise, to our students and just about skills—you can acquire those. you’re not going to come up alumni,” says Tardis Is your personality, your nature, when recruiters do keyword Johnson, associate right for the job?” searches on LinkedIn.” dean for student acad—Nancy Ross, Gemology Certificate ’13, adjunct emic support, “wher—Bonnie Recca, adjunct associate professor–counselor ever they are in their assistant professor– careers.”

counselor

“Know the company you’re applying to. I recommend Glassdoor.com—it’s like Yelp for careers: For bigger companies, you can find a wealth of information, good or bad.”

“How do you network with people? It’s really about being curious about other people, and about finding ways of staying in contact.” —Linda Turner, Product Design: Textiles ’82, assistant professor–counselor

—Jennifer Miller Peters, associate professor–counselor

QUICK READ Alyssa Wardrop, Fashion Design ’17, won the 2017 Supima Design Competition for a cotton capsule collection inspired by the framing device of movie screens. This fall she will begin FIT’s MFA program in Fashion Design.

6

hue | spring 2018

The second edition of the Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry, co-authored by Joanne Arbuckle, deputy to the president for Industry Partnerships and Collaborative Programs, and Francesca Sterlacci, former Fashion Design chair, was released last fall.

FIT won an Energy Champion Award from the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services for carbon load reduction programs that reduced the college’s total energy use by almost 50 percent since 2007.

The National Endowment for the Arts awarded FIT a $20,000 grant to support a conference and seminar series about design innovation and the use of sustainable materials in fashion and other industries.

First Insight, Inc., and the Fashion Business Management department are offering a new course in predictive analytics, using consumer data to inform design and merchandising decisions.

George S. Kaufman, FIT trustee since 1982 and former chairman of the Kaufman Organization and Kaufman Astoria Studios, died Feb. 20. The real estate developer and namesake of FIT’s Kaufman Hall helped make New York a hub for film and TV production. hue.fitnyc.edu

7


JOSH KOU RY

I

n 2013, Josh Koury, adjunct associate professor of Film and Media, shadowed legendary journalist Gay Talese as he embarked on a bizarre book project. As is often the case in

3

DIRECTORS Filmmakers Frederick Wiseman, Josh Koury, and Kenneth Lonergan offer secrets of their craft at FIT

journalistic pursuits, both in print and on screen, Talese’s

investigation led to a much more complex and interesting narrative. The resulting documentary, Voyeur, which premiered at the New York Film Festival in September and is now on Netflix, follows Talese as he grapples with the story of Gerald Foos.

The Denver-area businessman purchased a motel in the 1960s

for the purpose of spying on guests through vents he installed in the ceilings. Foos chronicled his patrons’ sexual activities in detailed Wiseman’s Model reveals the tedium of the supposedly glamorous job.

notes, imagining himself a dispassionate, Kinsey-style researcher. In 1980, Foos invited Talese to the motel for a possible story. Talese went, intrigued by the similarities between his observational

FREDERICK W ISE M A N

in the piece, and Talese refused to write it without attribution. In 2013, Foos changed his mind, and plans for the book went forward.

N

informative intertitles, viewers have to engage and reflect

unsure if they would get access to Foos. “When we did, the story

Frederick Wiseman. His earliest documen-

on what they see. “The approach as far as I’m concerned

became more layered, and in the end it is about the complicated

taries, including Titicut Follies (1967),

is more novelistic than journalistic,” he said. “The novels I

relationship between subject and author,” Koury says.

which exposed the shocking conditions at

like best are the ones where I have to work to understand

a hospital for the criminally insane, are classics of social justice filmmaking. His more recent films, like Belfast,

why the novelist is having people do the things they do.” Some academics have interpreted Model as a harsh,

The film crew trails Talese as he researches Foos’s increasingly dubious story. Foos claimed to have witnessed a murder, but factcheckers found no record of the crime; his notebooks began in 1966,

S

creenwriter, playwright, and

was on the right path. For him, it was one

film director Kenneth Lonergan

of many details that enhanced the play’s

considers himself primarily a

verisimilitude.

writer, who went into directing

He talked at length about the necessity

Maine (1999) and At Berkeley (2013), demonstrate

Marxist statement, though it’s also humorous, and the

but records showed he didn’t buy the motel until 1969; documents

as a way “to have the script survive the film-

of great casting. For his 2011 film Margaret,

new modes of discursive storytelling. Wiseman won an

FIT audience laughed throughout. Asked about the

revealed Foos didn’t even own the property in the 1980s, and only

making process intact.” He learned this the

he narrowed the lead role down to three

Academy Award and a MacArthur “genius” grant for

divergence of reactions to his work, Wiseman said, “I’m

reacquired it at the end of the decade before selling it in 1995. As

hard way, after writing the screenplay for

actors who all had the right “front-foot”

his documentaries, which, seen together, compose an

not the first person to recognize the wide variety of

the discrepancies pile up, Foos and Talese clash on screen, each

Analyze This—the 1999 comedy starring

energy: Christina Ricci, Lindsay Lohan,

ambitious, influential series that analyzes societal

ambiguities in a lot of the human experience. My films

vying to control the film’s narrative. As tensions mount, the meaning

Robert De Niro he wrote on spec to break

and Anna Paquin. Ricci had played too many

institutions. On September 12, the 87-year-old artist

reflect that.” The movie includes a shot of FIT. “I deliber-

of the film’s title becomes clear. From Foos to Talese to the audience,

into screenwriting. He said that 14 editors

adults to be believable as a teenager, and he

came to FIT for a showing of his film Model (1980)

ately included it right after the moment where the street

Koury says, “we are all implicated in this chain of voyeurism; we are

rewrote it so thoroughly he decided never

was afraid Lohan’s burgeoning star power

and an interview.

vendor drops the apples,” Wiseman said. One wonders

all kind of in this strange soup together.”

to watch the film.

might attract the wrong kind of attention to

why, but Wiseman never answers questions about the

— Julianna Rose Dow, Fashion and Textile Studies

He may be a legend, but Wiseman appeared as an

Lonergan, best known for his films

the film (ultimately, she found another project

everyman, wearing a rumpled suede shirt, simple

meaning of his films. “My answer of course is the film,”

Manchester by the Sea (2016), Gangs of

brogans, and rather exquisite bedhead. (He was fresh off

he said. “If I thought I could explain the film, I wouldn’t

New York (2002), and You Can Count on Me

the plane from Paris, where he lives.) It was the first time

have made it.” The complexity of human experience is

(2000), came to FIT on September 26 to

job is “when the work seems to be writing

he’d seen Model in a while, he said, and “strangely

his real subject, and the viewers’ response is part of that:

discuss his work with Associate Professor

itself—like you’re hearing people talking and

enough, I liked it.” The movie goes behind the scenes of

“I do think my movies are funny. And a lot of what we as

of American History Daniel Levinson Wilk

are writing it down.”

Manhattan’s Zoli Modeling Agency, observing editorial

human beings do is funny. It’s also sad or tragic, but it’s

and to answer questions from students.

photo and TV commercial shoots, and an Oscar de la

also very funny.” — Alex Joseph MA ’15

Renta fashion show. Wiseman remembered the filming:

The event was sponsored by the FIT Film and Media Screening Series, Hue, and the Gladys Marcus Library.

Much of Lonergan’s work revolves

Lonergan said his favorite part of the

Then he added, “It’s a beautiful feeling when people connect to what you did.” — Jonathan Vatner

Casey Affleck’s character in Manchester by

The event was sponsored by the Department of Social Sciences.

the Sea is a residential janitor and handy-

few made good money. Most of them sat at home waiting

man. Lonergan has worked as a

for the telephone to ring. The moment they were taken

backstage doorman for the Shubert

on by an agency, there were a lot of people who wanted

Organization, a delivery manager

to be their best friend. There’s absolutely nothing

for a liquor store, and a bartender

glamorous about the life of a model.” He shot in black

on the Upper West Side. “These

and white, he said, because “it’s more stylized, so

jobs are no fun, but it’s always

I thought that fit the world of models.”

interesting to see a piece of the world, no matter what it is,” he said. One of the characters in Lon-

earlier, more polemical films to the more thematically ambitious movies. Wiseman acknowledged the change.

ergan’s 1996 play This Is Our Youth

“Titicut Follies and High School were more didactic,” he

is an FIT student. He explained

said. “In retrospect, that didacticism was a mistake,

that he wanted her to be doing something unconventional for her

because I’m not interested in instructing people.” Since his films never include extrinsic music, narration, or

and wasn’t available). Paquin won the role.

around characters in the service industry;

48. I thought [the models’] life was extremely hard. Very

Model marks a shift in Wiseman’s oeuvre, from the

hue | spring 2018

K E N N ET H L ON ERGA N

Koury and his filmmaking partner, Myles Kane, began the project

o one in the world makes movies like director

“It was fun to hang out with models for six weeks; I was

8

Affleck played a janitor and handyman haunted by tragedy in Manchester by the Sea.

journalism and voyeurism. But Foos didn’t want to be identified

The acclaimed documentarian addressed students at FIT.

The Denver-area motel where Voyeur was set. PORTRAITS BY JERRY SPEIER

peer group and not be sure she

Lonergan visited FIT last fall. hue.fitnyc.edu

9


JOSH KOU RY

I

n 2013, Josh Koury, adjunct associate professor of Film and Media, shadowed legendary journalist Gay Talese as he embarked on a bizarre book project. As is often the case in

3

DIRECTORS Filmmakers Frederick Wiseman, Josh Koury, and Kenneth Lonergan offer secrets of their craft at FIT

journalistic pursuits, both in print and on screen, Talese’s

investigation led to a much more complex and interesting narrative. The resulting documentary, Voyeur, which premiered at the New York Film Festival in September and is now on Netflix, follows Talese as he grapples with the story of Gerald Foos.

The Denver-area businessman purchased a motel in the 1960s

for the purpose of spying on guests through vents he installed in the ceilings. Foos chronicled his patrons’ sexual activities in detailed Wiseman’s Model reveals the tedium of the supposedly glamorous job.

notes, imagining himself a dispassionate, Kinsey-style researcher. In 1980, Foos invited Talese to the motel for a possible story. Talese went, intrigued by the similarities between his observational

FREDERICK W ISE M A N

in the piece, and Talese refused to write it without attribution. In 2013, Foos changed his mind, and plans for the book went forward.

N

informative intertitles, viewers have to engage and reflect

unsure if they would get access to Foos. “When we did, the story

Frederick Wiseman. His earliest documen-

on what they see. “The approach as far as I’m concerned

became more layered, and in the end it is about the complicated

taries, including Titicut Follies (1967),

is more novelistic than journalistic,” he said. “The novels I

relationship between subject and author,” Koury says.

which exposed the shocking conditions at

like best are the ones where I have to work to understand

a hospital for the criminally insane, are classics of social justice filmmaking. His more recent films, like Belfast,

why the novelist is having people do the things they do.” Some academics have interpreted Model as a harsh,

The film crew trails Talese as he researches Foos’s increasingly dubious story. Foos claimed to have witnessed a murder, but factcheckers found no record of the crime; his notebooks began in 1966,

S

creenwriter, playwright, and

was on the right path. For him, it was one

film director Kenneth Lonergan

of many details that enhanced the play’s

considers himself primarily a

verisimilitude.

writer, who went into directing

He talked at length about the necessity

Maine (1999) and At Berkeley (2013), demonstrate

Marxist statement, though it’s also humorous, and the

but records showed he didn’t buy the motel until 1969; documents

as a way “to have the script survive the film-

of great casting. For his 2011 film Margaret,

new modes of discursive storytelling. Wiseman won an

FIT audience laughed throughout. Asked about the

revealed Foos didn’t even own the property in the 1980s, and only

making process intact.” He learned this the

he narrowed the lead role down to three

Academy Award and a MacArthur “genius” grant for

divergence of reactions to his work, Wiseman said, “I’m

reacquired it at the end of the decade before selling it in 1995. As

hard way, after writing the screenplay for

actors who all had the right “front-foot”

his documentaries, which, seen together, compose an

not the first person to recognize the wide variety of

the discrepancies pile up, Foos and Talese clash on screen, each

Analyze This—the 1999 comedy starring

energy: Christina Ricci, Lindsay Lohan,

ambitious, influential series that analyzes societal

ambiguities in a lot of the human experience. My films

vying to control the film’s narrative. As tensions mount, the meaning

Robert De Niro he wrote on spec to break

and Anna Paquin. Ricci had played too many

institutions. On September 12, the 87-year-old artist

reflect that.” The movie includes a shot of FIT. “I deliber-

of the film’s title becomes clear. From Foos to Talese to the audience,

into screenwriting. He said that 14 editors

adults to be believable as a teenager, and he

came to FIT for a showing of his film Model (1980)

ately included it right after the moment where the street

Koury says, “we are all implicated in this chain of voyeurism; we are

rewrote it so thoroughly he decided never

was afraid Lohan’s burgeoning star power

and an interview.

vendor drops the apples,” Wiseman said. One wonders

all kind of in this strange soup together.”

to watch the film.

might attract the wrong kind of attention to

why, but Wiseman never answers questions about the

— Julianna Rose Dow, Fashion and Textile Studies

He may be a legend, but Wiseman appeared as an

Lonergan, best known for his films

the film (ultimately, she found another project

everyman, wearing a rumpled suede shirt, simple

meaning of his films. “My answer of course is the film,”

Manchester by the Sea (2016), Gangs of

brogans, and rather exquisite bedhead. (He was fresh off

he said. “If I thought I could explain the film, I wouldn’t

New York (2002), and You Can Count on Me

the plane from Paris, where he lives.) It was the first time

have made it.” The complexity of human experience is

(2000), came to FIT on September 26 to

job is “when the work seems to be writing

he’d seen Model in a while, he said, and “strangely

his real subject, and the viewers’ response is part of that:

discuss his work with Associate Professor

itself—like you’re hearing people talking and

enough, I liked it.” The movie goes behind the scenes of

“I do think my movies are funny. And a lot of what we as

of American History Daniel Levinson Wilk

are writing it down.”

Manhattan’s Zoli Modeling Agency, observing editorial

human beings do is funny. It’s also sad or tragic, but it’s

and to answer questions from students.

photo and TV commercial shoots, and an Oscar de la

also very funny.” — Alex Joseph MA ’15

Renta fashion show. Wiseman remembered the filming:

The event was sponsored by the FIT Film and Media Screening Series, Hue, and the Gladys Marcus Library.

Much of Lonergan’s work revolves

Lonergan said his favorite part of the

Then he added, “It’s a beautiful feeling when people connect to what you did.” — Jonathan Vatner

Casey Affleck’s character in Manchester by

The event was sponsored by the Department of Social Sciences.

the Sea is a residential janitor and handy-

few made good money. Most of them sat at home waiting

man. Lonergan has worked as a

for the telephone to ring. The moment they were taken

backstage doorman for the Shubert

on by an agency, there were a lot of people who wanted

Organization, a delivery manager

to be their best friend. There’s absolutely nothing

for a liquor store, and a bartender

glamorous about the life of a model.” He shot in black

on the Upper West Side. “These

and white, he said, because “it’s more stylized, so

jobs are no fun, but it’s always

I thought that fit the world of models.”

interesting to see a piece of the world, no matter what it is,” he said. One of the characters in Lon-

earlier, more polemical films to the more thematically ambitious movies. Wiseman acknowledged the change.

ergan’s 1996 play This Is Our Youth

“Titicut Follies and High School were more didactic,” he

is an FIT student. He explained

said. “In retrospect, that didacticism was a mistake,

that he wanted her to be doing something unconventional for her

because I’m not interested in instructing people.” Since his films never include extrinsic music, narration, or

and wasn’t available). Paquin won the role.

around characters in the service industry;

48. I thought [the models’] life was extremely hard. Very

Model marks a shift in Wiseman’s oeuvre, from the

hue | spring 2018

K E N N ET H L ON ERGA N

Koury and his filmmaking partner, Myles Kane, began the project

o one in the world makes movies like director

“It was fun to hang out with models for six weeks; I was

8

Affleck played a janitor and handyman haunted by tragedy in Manchester by the Sea.

journalism and voyeurism. But Foos didn’t want to be identified

The acclaimed documentarian addressed students at FIT.

The Denver-area motel where Voyeur was set. PORTRAITS BY JERRY SPEIER

peer group and not be sure she

Lonergan visited FIT last fall. hue.fitnyc.edu

9


GRIDIRON GRAPHICS

FIT students create new designs for use in official NFL merchandise B Y J O N AT H A N V AT N E R

Who says football fans can’t be clothes horses? Hoping to cater to a younger, more diverse fan base, the National Football League teamed up with FIT to develop new concepts for stylish merchandise for all 32 football teams in the league. The first crop of hats, travel mugs, blankets, and more debuted in late November. The collaboration was open to students in the Creative Technology minor, an innovative curriculum that equips students from a range of majors with skills in media design, digital culture, and cutting-edge technologies. “We didn’t want this to be just a contest,” says C.J. Yeh, professor and assistant chair of Communication Design and coordinator of the Creative Technology minor. “It’s not about winning the

prize; it’s an opportunity for guided experiential learning.” Throughout the 2016–17 academic year, Yeh and Christie Shin, assistant professor of Communication Design and assistant coordinator of the Creative Technology minor, taught the 24 participants best practices in research methodology, visual branding techniques, and professional presentation skills. The students came from varied design majors— Graphic Design, Interior Design, Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design, and more—but none had much experience with football. When they visited NFL headquarters to learn about the history of the sport and the passion of the fans, Yeh says, “They were asked, ‘If you’re an NFL fan, raise your hand.’ No one moved.”

An X-shaped display of team hats incorporating Quicksnap’s design concept at the launch on Nov. 28.

10 hue | spring 2018

FAN FAVORITES

The participants were divided into six interdisciplinary teams. They researched the sport and the market extensively, crafted a flexible design concept, and applied it to each NFL team. At each stage, they presented their work. Rhiannon Madden, Advertising and Marketing Communications ’99, vice president of consumer products for the NFL, initially approached FIT with the project. “I anticipated we’d see some cool and different graphics,” Madden says. “I never could have anticipated how professional and creative and forward-thinking the students were going to be. My committee was just blown away.” The winning team, announced in April 2017, was Quicksnap, which deconstructed and reconstructed the logos to emphasize their colors and organic shapes. The four students shared a $15,000 prize; the runner-up team, Sundrae, won $5,000, as did the People’s Choice Award–winning team, Blitz. The other students were each given $300 for participating. “It wasn’t at all an easy decision,” Madden says. “Quicksnap was so different and innovative. We hadn’t seen anything like it before, and the team were consummate professionals.” The products are sold at NFLshop.com/FIT and at three stadium stores—where the Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, and Seattle Seahawks play. This spring, Target will also carry a selection of apparel and tailgating necessities. The line will continue to expand in the next few years; Madden has not ruled out the possibility of bringing in the other teams’ designs. “This is something we foresee being long-term,” Madden says. “We want to carry these graphics year after year.” “If people see someone in a crowd with this stuff, they’re going to freak out,” said designer Cynthia Rowley, who appeared at the launch event on Nov. 28. “It’s recognizable, and it’s something you’ve never seen before. I really think it’s amazing.”

RHIANNON MADDEN, Advertising and Marketing Communications ’99

Top: Team Quicksnap is Wing-Sze Ho, Graphic Design ’18, Eun Su Yoo, Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design ’17, Arpi Dayian, Interior Design ’18, and Iwona Usakiewicz, Advertising Design ’17, Illustration ’14.

ALL PHOTOS BY MARK VON HOLDEN/AP EXCEPT MADDEN PORTRAIT BY ERIC ESPINO.

Rhiannon Madden is not just putting out product. She’s giving fans a way to express their passion for their team. As vice president of consumer products for the National Football League, Madden oversees the development and promotion of all the NFL-branded merchandise for use off the football field. That includes both apparel and hard lines: home décor, tailgating and “homegating” supplies, jewelry, and accessories. She works with a stable of trusted licensees to produce fresh, high-quality designs that are guided by extensive research into fan preferences. She also oversees multiplatform product marketing campaigns that include digital and print advertisements, press events, and sponsorships of influencers, including Giants receiver Sterling Shepard and model Chanel Iman. “We’re always trying to have product that our fans would be wearing whether it had a logo or not,” she says. “If you have a great silhouette and handfeel, all the better.” Though she has long been a football fan, Madden attended FIT to work in the fashion business. She interned at WWD and W magazine and worked at a Seventh Avenue showroom, then moved to Boston to work at an internet publication covering high school sports. In 2001, she was offered a job at NFL headquarters in New York. The FIT collaboration is not the first time she has infused the game with high style. To celebrate Super Bowl 50 in 2016, Madden worked with the CFDA, commissioning 50 designers to create beautifully ornamented footballs that were auctioned off for charity. She finds that branded product is especially important for fans who can’t make it to games or those who have moved away from their hometown. “It’s almost like a community when you see another fan of your team,” she says. “It’s another way for fans to connect to the game.” hue.fitnyc.edu

11


GRIDIRON GRAPHICS

FIT students create new designs for use in official NFL merchandise B Y J O N AT H A N V AT N E R

Who says football fans can’t be clothes horses? Hoping to cater to a younger, more diverse fan base, the National Football League teamed up with FIT to develop new concepts for stylish merchandise for all 32 football teams in the league. The first crop of hats, travel mugs, blankets, and more debuted in late November. The collaboration was open to students in the Creative Technology minor, an innovative curriculum that equips students from a range of majors with skills in media design, digital culture, and cutting-edge technologies. “We didn’t want this to be just a contest,” says C.J. Yeh, professor and assistant chair of Communication Design and coordinator of the Creative Technology minor. “It’s not about winning the

prize; it’s an opportunity for guided experiential learning.” Throughout the 2016–17 academic year, Yeh and Christie Shin, assistant professor of Communication Design and assistant coordinator of the Creative Technology minor, taught the 24 participants best practices in research methodology, visual branding techniques, and professional presentation skills. The students came from varied design majors— Graphic Design, Interior Design, Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design, and more—but none had much experience with football. When they visited NFL headquarters to learn about the history of the sport and the passion of the fans, Yeh says, “They were asked, ‘If you’re an NFL fan, raise your hand.’ No one moved.”

An X-shaped display of team hats incorporating Quicksnap’s design concept at the launch on Nov. 28.

10 hue | spring 2018

FAN FAVORITES

The participants were divided into six interdisciplinary teams. They researched the sport and the market extensively, crafted a flexible design concept, and applied it to each NFL team. At each stage, they presented their work. Rhiannon Madden, Advertising and Marketing Communications ’99, vice president of consumer products for the NFL, initially approached FIT with the project. “I anticipated we’d see some cool and different graphics,” Madden says. “I never could have anticipated how professional and creative and forward-thinking the students were going to be. My committee was just blown away.” The winning team, announced in April 2017, was Quicksnap, which deconstructed and reconstructed the logos to emphasize their colors and organic shapes. The four students shared a $15,000 prize; the runner-up team, Sundrae, won $5,000, as did the People’s Choice Award–winning team, Blitz. The other students were each given $300 for participating. “It wasn’t at all an easy decision,” Madden says. “Quicksnap was so different and innovative. We hadn’t seen anything like it before, and the team were consummate professionals.” The products are sold at NFLshop.com/FIT and at three stadium stores—where the Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, and Seattle Seahawks play. This spring, Target will also carry a selection of apparel and tailgating necessities. The line will continue to expand in the next few years; Madden has not ruled out the possibility of bringing in the other teams’ designs. “This is something we foresee being long-term,” Madden says. “We want to carry these graphics year after year.” “If people see someone in a crowd with this stuff, they’re going to freak out,” said designer Cynthia Rowley, who appeared at the launch event on Nov. 28. “It’s recognizable, and it’s something you’ve never seen before. I really think it’s amazing.”

RHIANNON MADDEN, Advertising and Marketing Communications ’99

Top: Team Quicksnap is Wing-Sze Ho, Graphic Design ’18, Eun Su Yoo, Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design ’17, Arpi Dayian, Interior Design ’18, and Iwona Usakiewicz, Advertising Design ’17, Illustration ’14.

ALL PHOTOS BY MARK VON HOLDEN/AP EXCEPT MADDEN PORTRAIT BY ERIC ESPINO.

Rhiannon Madden is not just putting out product. She’s giving fans a way to express their passion for their team. As vice president of consumer products for the National Football League, Madden oversees the development and promotion of all the NFL-branded merchandise for use off the football field. That includes both apparel and hard lines: home décor, tailgating and “homegating” supplies, jewelry, and accessories. She works with a stable of trusted licensees to produce fresh, high-quality designs that are guided by extensive research into fan preferences. She also oversees multiplatform product marketing campaigns that include digital and print advertisements, press events, and sponsorships of influencers, including Giants receiver Sterling Shepard and model Chanel Iman. “We’re always trying to have product that our fans would be wearing whether it had a logo or not,” she says. “If you have a great silhouette and handfeel, all the better.” Though she has long been a football fan, Madden attended FIT to work in the fashion business. She interned at WWD and W magazine and worked at a Seventh Avenue showroom, then moved to Boston to work at an internet publication covering high school sports. In 2001, she was offered a job at NFL headquarters in New York. The FIT collaboration is not the first time she has infused the game with high style. To celebrate Super Bowl 50 in 2016, Madden worked with the CFDA, commissioning 50 designers to create beautifully ornamented footballs that were auctioned off for charity. She finds that branded product is especially important for fans who can’t make it to games or those who have moved away from their hometown. “It’s almost like a community when you see another fan of your team,” she says. “It’s another way for fans to connect to the game.” hue.fitnyc.edu

11


F inding A ldus

PISANI PALA ZZO The Pisani Palazzo, the former home of an aristocratic Venetian family, is just a few steps from the entrance to 2311 Rio Terrá Secondo, where the plaques are. Knoops finds this juxtaposition unlikely. “Such an industrial trade with its clatter and odor of ink would not traditionally be located so close to a noble’s front door,” he notes.

A faculty member helped solve the mystery of a 15th-century Venetian printing press AT HIS ALDINE PRESS, founded in Venice in 1494, pioneering publisher Aldus Pius Manutius established the modern use of the semicolon, commissioned the Bembo and Garamond fonts, and created the first italic typeface. He is perhaps best known for pioneering a portable book size, the precursor to the paperback. Unfortunately, no one is certain exactly where his press was located. In 2015, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Aldus’ death, New York’s Grolier Club, a storied society of bibliophiles, staged an exhibition celebrating his accomplishments. At the show’s opening party, Johannes Knoops, associate professor of Interior Design, heard an intriguing opinion from George Fletcher, one of the curators: Fletcher, along with four other Aldus scholars, thought that the two plaques identifying the site of the press, placed in 1828 and 1877, were in the wrong location. They believed the press had operated in a building down the street. Knoops decided to investigate. By studying historical maps and writings, and with some deduction of his own, he built a sturdy case in favor of that nearby location. A monthlong residency from the Cini Foundation and an FIT faculty grant brought him back to Venice in 2017 to continue his research, and a yearlong sabbatical for the 2018–19 academic year will enable him to finish the project. He aims to publish his findings, convince the city to relocate the plaques, and design a contemporary memorial for Manutius in keeping with the great printer’s legacy. Here are some of the clues that helped him crack the case. —JONATHAN VATNER

Knoops is an architect who creates site-specific installations and memorials, including an alternative map of Venice that showed in the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. “I work a lot with memory and place,” he says. 12 hue | spring 2018

BAKERY A contemporaneous letter from Zaccaria Calergi, one of Aldus’ collaborators, providing directions to the Aldine Press, stated that it was near a bakery (pistor, in Venetian dialect). There is a bakery across the street from 2343 Rio Terrá Secondo, not 2311, the location of the plaques. Knoops believes that this is the same bakery mentioned in the letter, because the adjacent street has been named Calle del Pistor since 1661, and if a bakery, with its built-in oven and ventilation, has operated in one spot for 350 years, it’s unlikely that it was in a different place 150 years earlier.

2311 RIO TERR Á SECONDO Two commemorative plaques mark 2311 Rio Terrá Secondo as the location of the Aldine Press, but Knoops believes this building is more distinguished than a printing press would have been. The second-floor balcony, windows, and cornice are all quite ornamented, suggesting a building “more noble in stature than a commercial structure,” he writes.

RIO DELLA PERGOLA In Aldus’ time, a canal, Rio della Pergola, bordered the 2311 building, where the plaques are located—but no historical document about the Aldine Press mentions that canal, leading Knoops to believe that the true location has never been on the water. It’s easy to understand why the error occurred: historical maps show that in the late 1700s and early 1800s, parts of the canal were filled in and renamed Rio Terrá Secondo (as shown in the above map from 1886). When the first plaque was placed in 1828, 2311 was on a street made of stone.

CAMPO SANT’AGOSTIN Calergi’s letter also mentioned that the press was located directly on Campo Sant’Agostin (Saint Augustine Plaza). Due to the demolition of the Chiesa di Sant’Agostin (Church of Saint Augustine) in 1873 and the subsequent construction of an apartment building, that campo has been reduced to a mere street. Knoops used this illustration by Francesco Guardi and a map drawn in 1500 to construct a digital model of the church, which reveals that 2343 Rio Terrá Secondo, the hypothesized location, was on the campo in Aldus’ time, and 2311, the location of the plaques, was not.

2343 RIO TERR Á SECONDO Knoops and other scholars posit that the building at 2343 Rio Terrá Secondo, which now houses a restaurant, is the true location of the Aldine Press. Not only does its location match multiple historical descriptions, but the workaday architecture is fitting of a commercial building, the only ornamentation being a lunette (a half moon–shaped space for a mural) above one window and a ropelike trim around the doorframe.

hue.fitnyc.edu 13


F inding A ldus

PISANI PALA ZZO The Pisani Palazzo, the former home of an aristocratic Venetian family, is just a few steps from the entrance to 2311 Rio Terrá Secondo, where the plaques are. Knoops finds this juxtaposition unlikely. “Such an industrial trade with its clatter and odor of ink would not traditionally be located so close to a noble’s front door,” he notes.

A faculty member helped solve the mystery of a 15th-century Venetian printing press AT HIS ALDINE PRESS, founded in Venice in 1494, pioneering publisher Aldus Pius Manutius established the modern use of the semicolon, commissioned the Bembo and Garamond fonts, and created the first italic typeface. He is perhaps best known for pioneering a portable book size, the precursor to the paperback. Unfortunately, no one is certain exactly where his press was located. In 2015, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Aldus’ death, New York’s Grolier Club, a storied society of bibliophiles, staged an exhibition celebrating his accomplishments. At the show’s opening party, Johannes Knoops, associate professor of Interior Design, heard an intriguing opinion from George Fletcher, one of the curators: Fletcher, along with four other Aldus scholars, thought that the two plaques identifying the site of the press, placed in 1828 and 1877, were in the wrong location. They believed the press had operated in a building down the street. Knoops decided to investigate. By studying historical maps and writings, and with some deduction of his own, he built a sturdy case in favor of that nearby location. A monthlong residency from the Cini Foundation and an FIT faculty grant brought him back to Venice in 2017 to continue his research, and a yearlong sabbatical for the 2018–19 academic year will enable him to finish the project. He aims to publish his findings, convince the city to relocate the plaques, and design a contemporary memorial for Manutius in keeping with the great printer’s legacy. Here are some of the clues that helped him crack the case. —JONATHAN VATNER

Knoops is an architect who creates site-specific installations and memorials, including an alternative map of Venice that showed in the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. “I work a lot with memory and place,” he says. 12 hue | spring 2018

BAKERY A contemporaneous letter from Zaccaria Calergi, one of Aldus’ collaborators, providing directions to the Aldine Press, stated that it was near a bakery (pistor, in Venetian dialect). There is a bakery across the street from 2343 Rio Terrá Secondo, not 2311, the location of the plaques. Knoops believes that this is the same bakery mentioned in the letter, because the adjacent street has been named Calle del Pistor since 1661, and if a bakery, with its built-in oven and ventilation, has operated in one spot for 350 years, it’s unlikely that it was in a different place 150 years earlier.

2311 RIO TERR Á SECONDO Two commemorative plaques mark 2311 Rio Terrá Secondo as the location of the Aldine Press, but Knoops believes this building is more distinguished than a printing press would have been. The second-floor balcony, windows, and cornice are all quite ornamented, suggesting a building “more noble in stature than a commercial structure,” he writes.

RIO DELLA PERGOLA In Aldus’ time, a canal, Rio della Pergola, bordered the 2311 building, where the plaques are located—but no historical document about the Aldine Press mentions that canal, leading Knoops to believe that the true location has never been on the water. It’s easy to understand why the error occurred: historical maps show that in the late 1700s and early 1800s, parts of the canal were filled in and renamed Rio Terrá Secondo (as shown in the above map from 1886). When the first plaque was placed in 1828, 2311 was on a street made of stone.

CAMPO SANT’AGOSTIN Calergi’s letter also mentioned that the press was located directly on Campo Sant’Agostin (Saint Augustine Plaza). Due to the demolition of the Chiesa di Sant’Agostin (Church of Saint Augustine) in 1873 and the subsequent construction of an apartment building, that campo has been reduced to a mere street. Knoops used this illustration by Francesco Guardi and a map drawn in 1500 to construct a digital model of the church, which reveals that 2343 Rio Terrá Secondo, the hypothesized location, was on the campo in Aldus’ time, and 2311, the location of the plaques, was not.

2343 RIO TERR Á SECONDO Knoops and other scholars posit that the building at 2343 Rio Terrá Secondo, which now houses a restaurant, is the true location of the Aldine Press. Not only does its location match multiple historical descriptions, but the workaday architecture is fitting of a commercial building, the only ornamentation being a lunette (a half moon–shaped space for a mural) above one window and a ropelike trim around the doorframe.

hue.fitnyc.edu 13


The Fit Flapper F I T ’ S S P EC I A L CO L L EC T I O N S U N I T ACQ U I R E S A R A R E JA Z Z AG E E X E R C I S E G U I D E

By April Calahan, Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice ’09, Special Collections associate

1924, American Vogue opined, “At the beginning of beauty lies the beautiful figure. For it is the single thing about a woman that comes nearest to dominating in the ensemble of her attractiveness.” During the 1920s, the ideal figure shifted from the voluptuous curves of the Edwardian era toward a narrow-hipped, flat-chested look that the French termed garçonne—the word for “boy” given an ironic, feminine twist. Undergarments were intended to support the body rather than shape it (as the corset had for previous generations), and women were encouraged to shape and tone their bodies through exercise. Articles on the benefits and practices of exercise appeared regularly in fashion magazines throughout the decade, as did features on the practice of “reducing” via visits to “body culture salons.” There, according to Vogue, a client would be “given a thorough examination and questioned about her past ills until the specialist has a chart complete as one will find in a doctor’s index of patients. After the diagnosis, special exercises intended to correct faults of figure and carriage are prescribed for her individual case.” A less clinical approach could be taken at the one— that’s right, one—fitness studio catering to women in Manhattan in 1925. Vogue introduced the concept of the modern-day gym to its readers by admitting that

“Who is the woman that does not wish to stay beautiful or become so?” “it may be a new suggestion to many who have not yet experienced the physical and mental satisfaction that comes from a sensible health course.” Women paid a membership fee and could come as frequently as they wished to exercise at the “beautifully equipped” studio

14 hue | spring 2018

“with a sunny gymnasium, a handball court, and immaculate bath and massage rooms.” Thus began the women’s health and fitness industry. The publication La Culture Physique de la Femme Elégante, recently acquired by the Special Collections and College Archives unit of FIT’s Gladys Marcus Library, is an exquisitely rare and beautiful testament to these early days of fitness for women. It was issued as a folio containing 12 pochoir (watercolors hand-applied by stencil) plates on board depicting women in a variety of calisthenic poses. Its French preface begins, “Who is the woman that does not wish to stay beautiful or become so?” The author extols the benefits of exercise and recommends the services of one Dr. Mortat to any woman who wished to “breathe better, have better deportment and, above all, not gain weight.” The illustrations are the work of Germaine-Paule Joumard, who was also the director of several pochoir fashion magazines of the era, including Trés Parisien and Les Idées Nouvelles de la Mode.

hue.fitnyc.edu 15


The Fit Flapper F I T ’ S S P EC I A L CO L L EC T I O N S U N I T ACQ U I R E S A R A R E JA Z Z AG E E X E R C I S E G U I D E

By April Calahan, Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice ’09, Special Collections associate

1924, American Vogue opined, “At the beginning of beauty lies the beautiful figure. For it is the single thing about a woman that comes nearest to dominating in the ensemble of her attractiveness.” During the 1920s, the ideal figure shifted from the voluptuous curves of the Edwardian era toward a narrow-hipped, flat-chested look that the French termed garçonne—the word for “boy” given an ironic, feminine twist. Undergarments were intended to support the body rather than shape it (as the corset had for previous generations), and women were encouraged to shape and tone their bodies through exercise. Articles on the benefits and practices of exercise appeared regularly in fashion magazines throughout the decade, as did features on the practice of “reducing” via visits to “body culture salons.” There, according to Vogue, a client would be “given a thorough examination and questioned about her past ills until the specialist has a chart complete as one will find in a doctor’s index of patients. After the diagnosis, special exercises intended to correct faults of figure and carriage are prescribed for her individual case.” A less clinical approach could be taken at the one— that’s right, one—fitness studio catering to women in Manhattan in 1925. Vogue introduced the concept of the modern-day gym to its readers by admitting that

“Who is the woman that does not wish to stay beautiful or become so?” “it may be a new suggestion to many who have not yet experienced the physical and mental satisfaction that comes from a sensible health course.” Women paid a membership fee and could come as frequently as they wished to exercise at the “beautifully equipped” studio

14 hue | spring 2018

“with a sunny gymnasium, a handball court, and immaculate bath and massage rooms.” Thus began the women’s health and fitness industry. The publication La Culture Physique de la Femme Elégante, recently acquired by the Special Collections and College Archives unit of FIT’s Gladys Marcus Library, is an exquisitely rare and beautiful testament to these early days of fitness for women. It was issued as a folio containing 12 pochoir (watercolors hand-applied by stencil) plates on board depicting women in a variety of calisthenic poses. Its French preface begins, “Who is the woman that does not wish to stay beautiful or become so?” The author extols the benefits of exercise and recommends the services of one Dr. Mortat to any woman who wished to “breathe better, have better deportment and, above all, not gain weight.” The illustrations are the work of Germaine-Paule Joumard, who was also the director of several pochoir fashion magazines of the era, including Trés Parisien and Les Idées Nouvelles de la Mode.

hue.fitnyc.edu 15


i contact: student

THE FASHIONABLE ALPACA

BRINGING BIGFOOT HOME Emily Vulpis Home Products Development ’18

How three Global Fashion Management alumni launched a business at FIT

Your company, The Forest Fleur, sells Bigfoot merchandise—coasters, wood bowls, sachet pillows, and other items decorated with Bigfoot’s portrait. You even make favors for Bigfoot-themed weddings. Um, why Bigfoot? My grandfather was a big believer, so I grew up watching documentaries with him and my mom. While on vacation in upstate New York, my family visited a town called Whitehall, which has a huge Bigfoot statue. Years later, in a supply-chain management course for my associate’s in Production Management, we had to create a brand around an original product. Everyone was doing fashion and I hate fashion, so I thought, “Let me do something different.”

BY ROBIN CATALANO

16 hue | spring 2018

Can you really build a business on it? According to a Live Science report, 96 million people believe in Bigfoot. There are more than 20 Facebook pages and some 30 annual Bigfoot conferences in the U.S. My primary market is adults between ages 45 and 60 making $60K or more who live in the Pacific Northwest and other rural, wooded areas. My other market is millennials, 18 to 29. For them, it’s a novelty purchase. I’m very careful about the target market: Is my customer in rural Illinois going to pay $25 for a set of coasters? Probably not—more like $15. What’s the difference between Bigfoot and Sasquatch? Bigfoot has been spotted all over the world. In the U.S. they’re called Bigfoot, but in Canada they’re called Sasquatch; in the Himalayas, Yeti. In China, the government recognizes Orang Pendek as a real creature. The differences are in size, hair color, and behavioral characteristics. They all walk on two legs. How did you develop the venture? I created an image of Bigfoot using a still from the famous 1967 PattersonGimlin film, and put it on several products that I sell on Etsy. I’m currently in the process of establishing a trademark for the design. I also research the connections between humans and apes and possible “missing links” in National Geographic and other publications. My site has a blog that uses these sources to explore questions like: “Could Bigfoot live underground?” “Can we mate with them?” Can we? Possibly! Homo sapiens used to mate with Neanderthals.

Smiljana Peros

Urenda, Zauscher, and Manrique founded Lamini as part of their coursework in the Global Fashion Management program in FIT’s School of Graduate Studies.

remove this common allergen, is kinder to the earth than most fabrics. But, she says, “What’s exported is very basic or artisanal. There aren’t many products that are fashionable.” Alpaca’s cachet had also been dulled after Chinese manufacturers in the 1970s and 1980s blended it with lesser-quality wools to keep up with an explosion in popularity. By meeting with Peruvian suppliers—connections facilitated by the country’s chamber of commerce—Lamini’s founders tapped into a reliable, smallfarm co-op supply chain. They combined the ancient skills of Peruvian weavers with a modern aesthetic influenced by the Art Deco architecture of New York. Their brand story focuses on the uniqueness of alpaca fiber and the intersection between design, sustainability, and responsible consumption. Zauscher says, “One of the great things about [the GFM program] was that we were able to reach out to our mentors—faculty, marketers, brand storytellers—and really work on the communication.” By the time they presented their thesis in December 2016, they had a 12-piece collection, branded videos, marketing materials, a website, and a budding presence on social media to help sell their product—and their story. Lamini, named after the type of camelid that includes the alpaca, now offers six pieces through Anthropologie, 13 through Nordstrom, and 20 at Lamini.co. They launched that third collection after inking the first two deals, using a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise money and brand awareness. Pamela Ellsworth, chair of Global Fashion Management, describes the program as a potent business incubator for motivated students. She notes that much of Lamini’s early success is due to its founders’ dedication to conducting thorough research, their ability to communicate their brand’s distinctive attributes, and their expertise in handling day-to-day business operations—skills honed in the program. For Lamini’s founders, the rewards come not only from confidence in their business savvy, but in bringing customers original fashion with a low environmental footprint. Urenda says, “When I think about somebody wearing one of our products that doesn’t have chemicals, that does great things for the country it comes from, and that’s not destroying the earth, I see all of the good come to life that we’ve envisioned along the way.”

Smiljana Peros

F

or Vanessa Urenda, Nancy Zauscher, and Paula Manrique, collaborating in the Global Fashion Management (GFM) program was more than a meeting of the minds; it was the foundation of a business. The trio, all of whom were working fashion professionals in the U.S. or Latin America, used their shared cultural roots and business acumen to create Lamini, a line of cozy, buttery-soft alpaca accessories that sells in Anthropologie and Nordstrom, and on their own e-commerce site. For their GFM capstone project, which requires students to address a need or problem in the fashion industry, the team chose to focus on sustainability. Manrique, who hails from Peru, which produces 80 percent of the world’s alpaca, knew that processing of the fiber, which does not contain lanolin (unlike wool and cashmere) and thus doesn’t require harsh chemical washing to

Has your company been successful? When I joined the Home Products Development major, my business took off. With the advice of professors [David] Brogna and [Shannon] Maher, I’ve learned to enhance my product assortment to better fit the customer. You may see Bigfoot on apparel and novelty items, but you’ll never see a Bigfoot coaster in a store like Pier 1. I’m the first company that’s bringing Bigfoot home.

hue.fitnyc.edu

17


i contact: student

THE FASHIONABLE ALPACA

BRINGING BIGFOOT HOME Emily Vulpis Home Products Development ’18

How three Global Fashion Management alumni launched a business at FIT

Your company, The Forest Fleur, sells Bigfoot merchandise—coasters, wood bowls, sachet pillows, and other items decorated with Bigfoot’s portrait. You even make favors for Bigfoot-themed weddings. Um, why Bigfoot? My grandfather was a big believer, so I grew up watching documentaries with him and my mom. While on vacation in upstate New York, my family visited a town called Whitehall, which has a huge Bigfoot statue. Years later, in a supply-chain management course for my associate’s in Production Management, we had to create a brand around an original product. Everyone was doing fashion and I hate fashion, so I thought, “Let me do something different.”

BY ROBIN CATALANO

16 hue | spring 2018

Can you really build a business on it? According to a Live Science report, 96 million people believe in Bigfoot. There are more than 20 Facebook pages and some 30 annual Bigfoot conferences in the U.S. My primary market is adults between ages 45 and 60 making $60K or more who live in the Pacific Northwest and other rural, wooded areas. My other market is millennials, 18 to 29. For them, it’s a novelty purchase. I’m very careful about the target market: Is my customer in rural Illinois going to pay $25 for a set of coasters? Probably not—more like $15. What’s the difference between Bigfoot and Sasquatch? Bigfoot has been spotted all over the world. In the U.S. they’re called Bigfoot, but in Canada they’re called Sasquatch; in the Himalayas, Yeti. In China, the government recognizes Orang Pendek as a real creature. The differences are in size, hair color, and behavioral characteristics. They all walk on two legs. How did you develop the venture? I created an image of Bigfoot using a still from the famous 1967 PattersonGimlin film, and put it on several products that I sell on Etsy. I’m currently in the process of establishing a trademark for the design. I also research the connections between humans and apes and possible “missing links” in National Geographic and other publications. My site has a blog that uses these sources to explore questions like: “Could Bigfoot live underground?” “Can we mate with them?” Can we? Possibly! Homo sapiens used to mate with Neanderthals.

Smiljana Peros

Urenda, Zauscher, and Manrique founded Lamini as part of their coursework in the Global Fashion Management program in FIT’s School of Graduate Studies.

remove this common allergen, is kinder to the earth than most fabrics. But, she says, “What’s exported is very basic or artisanal. There aren’t many products that are fashionable.” Alpaca’s cachet had also been dulled after Chinese manufacturers in the 1970s and 1980s blended it with lesser-quality wools to keep up with an explosion in popularity. By meeting with Peruvian suppliers—connections facilitated by the country’s chamber of commerce—Lamini’s founders tapped into a reliable, smallfarm co-op supply chain. They combined the ancient skills of Peruvian weavers with a modern aesthetic influenced by the Art Deco architecture of New York. Their brand story focuses on the uniqueness of alpaca fiber and the intersection between design, sustainability, and responsible consumption. Zauscher says, “One of the great things about [the GFM program] was that we were able to reach out to our mentors—faculty, marketers, brand storytellers—and really work on the communication.” By the time they presented their thesis in December 2016, they had a 12-piece collection, branded videos, marketing materials, a website, and a budding presence on social media to help sell their product—and their story. Lamini, named after the type of camelid that includes the alpaca, now offers six pieces through Anthropologie, 13 through Nordstrom, and 20 at Lamini.co. They launched that third collection after inking the first two deals, using a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise money and brand awareness. Pamela Ellsworth, chair of Global Fashion Management, describes the program as a potent business incubator for motivated students. She notes that much of Lamini’s early success is due to its founders’ dedication to conducting thorough research, their ability to communicate their brand’s distinctive attributes, and their expertise in handling day-to-day business operations—skills honed in the program. For Lamini’s founders, the rewards come not only from confidence in their business savvy, but in bringing customers original fashion with a low environmental footprint. Urenda says, “When I think about somebody wearing one of our products that doesn’t have chemicals, that does great things for the country it comes from, and that’s not destroying the earth, I see all of the good come to life that we’ve envisioned along the way.”

Smiljana Peros

F

or Vanessa Urenda, Nancy Zauscher, and Paula Manrique, collaborating in the Global Fashion Management (GFM) program was more than a meeting of the minds; it was the foundation of a business. The trio, all of whom were working fashion professionals in the U.S. or Latin America, used their shared cultural roots and business acumen to create Lamini, a line of cozy, buttery-soft alpaca accessories that sells in Anthropologie and Nordstrom, and on their own e-commerce site. For their GFM capstone project, which requires students to address a need or problem in the fashion industry, the team chose to focus on sustainability. Manrique, who hails from Peru, which produces 80 percent of the world’s alpaca, knew that processing of the fiber, which does not contain lanolin (unlike wool and cashmere) and thus doesn’t require harsh chemical washing to

Has your company been successful? When I joined the Home Products Development major, my business took off. With the advice of professors [David] Brogna and [Shannon] Maher, I’ve learned to enhance my product assortment to better fit the customer. You may see Bigfoot on apparel and novelty items, but you’ll never see a Bigfoot coaster in a store like Pier 1. I’m the first company that’s bringing Bigfoot home.

hue.fitnyc.edu

17


“I’m not sure what it is about birds. There’s such variety with colors and patterns. This piece was for a nature show in a gallery. I put in all my favorite species of birds. I like succulents, too. And mushrooms …” Angela Rizza BFA Illustration ’11 Rizza, based in Putnam County, New York, illustrated The Book of Beasts and The Book of Prehistoric Beasts, both published by Buster Books. She shows in the Light Grey Art Lab in Minneapolis, and one piece was selected for the 2018 Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibition.

“I drew this kiwi for an article about birdwatching in a Korean magazine called Luxury Magazine. The editor wanted me to create it realistically, but I emphasized its characteristics to make it cute.” Heekyung Hur MA Illustration ’08 Hur, based in Korea, has illustrated toothpaste and bath-product packaging, magazine articles, and a picture book called The Little Silkworm (Raindrop Valley Productions). She also rendered FIT’s bees on the back cover. 18 hue | spring 2018

This portfolio of work by alumni artists and illustrators shows why animal art will never go extinct

Humans have been drawing animals ever since our prehistoric ancestors could pick up a stick and scratch an image in the dirt. The earliest known depiction of an animal—an aurochs, or wild cow, engraved on a limestone slab found in southwestern France in 2012—dates back 38,000 years. Our fellow creatures, so like us and so different, have always fascinated us, evoking feelings from terror to curiosity to tenderness. We marvel at their savage teeth, their gorgeous pelts, their darling babies. We turn them into gods, pets, stories, clothes, dinner. And art, in endless variety. — ­ Linda Angrilli

hue.fitnyc.edu 19


“I’m not sure what it is about birds. There’s such variety with colors and patterns. This piece was for a nature show in a gallery. I put in all my favorite species of birds. I like succulents, too. And mushrooms …” Angela Rizza BFA Illustration ’11 Rizza, based in Putnam County, New York, illustrated The Book of Beasts and The Book of Prehistoric Beasts, both published by Buster Books. She shows in the Light Grey Art Lab in Minneapolis, and one piece was selected for the 2018 Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibition.

“I drew this kiwi for an article about birdwatching in a Korean magazine called Luxury Magazine. The editor wanted me to create it realistically, but I emphasized its characteristics to make it cute.” Heekyung Hur MA Illustration ’08 Hur, based in Korea, has illustrated toothpaste and bath-product packaging, magazine articles, and a picture book called The Little Silkworm (Raindrop Valley Productions). She also rendered FIT’s bees on the back cover. 18 hue | spring 2018

This portfolio of work by alumni artists and illustrators shows why animal art will never go extinct

Humans have been drawing animals ever since our prehistoric ancestors could pick up a stick and scratch an image in the dirt. The earliest known depiction of an animal—an aurochs, or wild cow, engraved on a limestone slab found in southwestern France in 2012—dates back 38,000 years. Our fellow creatures, so like us and so different, have always fascinated us, evoking feelings from terror to curiosity to tenderness. We marvel at their savage teeth, their gorgeous pelts, their darling babies. We turn them into gods, pets, stories, clothes, dinner. And art, in endless variety. — ­ Linda Angrilli

hue.fitnyc.edu 19


“I’ve had over 100 pets in my lifetime. I grew up in Oklahoma, and we always had tons of dogs, cats, horses, and bunnies. I’ve probably had more deep relationships with animals than with people.” Bri Hermanson MFA Illustration ’11 Hermanson’s scratchboard illustrations grace book and magazine covers, as well as a gin bottle label. They will accompany her partner Margot Douaihy’s poetry in the forthcoming Scranton Lace (Clemson University Press), about the derelict factory, and one inspired by marriage equality is in the Norman Rockwell Museum’s traveling exhibition, Reimagining the Four Freedoms. She volunteers on the board of directors for ICON, the Illustration Conference.

“Animals are my muse. For my final project at FIT, I drew one cat every day and posted it on social media. To this day, I still do one drawing a day, and I do a lot of cats. Whenever I’m at a loss, I’ll just do a cat.” Maria Carluccio MFA Illustration ’16 Carluccio, assistant professor of illustration at Columbus College of Art and Design, is the author and illustrator of D Is for Dress-Up (Chronicle Books), I’m 3! Look What I Can Do (Henry Holt and Co.), and others. Her licensed artwork appears on stationery, children’s products, and wall decals. 20 hue | spring 2018

hue.fitnyc.edu 21


“I’ve had over 100 pets in my lifetime. I grew up in Oklahoma, and we always had tons of dogs, cats, horses, and bunnies. I’ve probably had more deep relationships with animals than with people.” Bri Hermanson MFA Illustration ’11 Hermanson’s scratchboard illustrations grace book and magazine covers, as well as a gin bottle label. They will accompany her partner Margot Douaihy’s poetry in the forthcoming Scranton Lace (Clemson University Press), about the derelict factory, and one inspired by marriage equality is in the Norman Rockwell Museum’s traveling exhibition, Reimagining the Four Freedoms. She volunteers on the board of directors for ICON, the Illustration Conference.

“Animals are my muse. For my final project at FIT, I drew one cat every day and posted it on social media. To this day, I still do one drawing a day, and I do a lot of cats. Whenever I’m at a loss, I’ll just do a cat.” Maria Carluccio MFA Illustration ’16 Carluccio, assistant professor of illustration at Columbus College of Art and Design, is the author and illustrator of D Is for Dress-Up (Chronicle Books), I’m 3! Look What I Can Do (Henry Holt and Co.), and others. Her licensed artwork appears on stationery, children’s products, and wall decals. 20 hue | spring 2018

hue.fitnyc.edu 21


“This is just graphite pencil. Pencil helps you get to the core of things quickly—the initial thoughts, inklings. Animals have so much human expression, and the ostrich face is so interesting. They’re like a couple of old ladies sitting on a train. They may not be thinking anything … or they might be thinking anything at all.” Yishai Minkin MFA Illustration ’14 Minkin teaches illustration, painting, and color theory to FIT undergraduates. He has drawn for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, New York magazine, Playboy, Spin, and Rolling Stone.

“Human beings like to think of themselves as above other animals, but I see us as all connected. From a cockroach to a tiger to a human, we all play our special role. In art, you can use animals as symbols to get across a feeling or message. Snakes can be very beautiful, but they have nearly universal negative connotations—duplicitousness, deception. You can make the face look sort of evil. Snakes are good for that.” Anita Rundles BFA Illustration ’13 Rundles is a Brooklyn-based illustrator and fine artist originally from New England. Clients have included Bloomberg, Abrams Books, and WNYC (New York Public Radio). She drew this snake illustration for FIT’s 2016–17 annual report.

“Vultures are fascinating creatures, majestic and repulsive at the same time. My animal paintings are portraits—they’re very specific. I treat them as I would a human subject; I try to give them a soul.” Demetrio Belenky Fine Arts ’09 The Brooklyn-based Belenky shows his work through Urban Studio Unbound, an independent artist collective and gallery birthed at FIT.


“This is just graphite pencil. Pencil helps you get to the core of things quickly—the initial thoughts, inklings. Animals have so much human expression, and the ostrich face is so interesting. They’re like a couple of old ladies sitting on a train. They may not be thinking anything … or they might be thinking anything at all.” Yishai Minkin MFA Illustration ’14 Minkin teaches illustration, painting, and color theory to FIT undergraduates. He has drawn for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, New York magazine, Playboy, Spin, and Rolling Stone.

“Human beings like to think of themselves as above other animals, but I see us as all connected. From a cockroach to a tiger to a human, we all play our special role. In art, you can use animals as symbols to get across a feeling or message. Snakes can be very beautiful, but they have nearly universal negative connotations—duplicitousness, deception. You can make the face look sort of evil. Snakes are good for that.” Anita Rundles BFA Illustration ’13 Rundles is a Brooklyn-based illustrator and fine artist originally from New England. Clients have included Bloomberg, Abrams Books, and WNYC (New York Public Radio). She drew this snake illustration for FIT’s 2016–17 annual report.

“Vultures are fascinating creatures, majestic and repulsive at the same time. My animal paintings are portraits—they’re very specific. I treat them as I would a human subject; I try to give them a soul.” Demetrio Belenky Fine Arts ’09 The Brooklyn-based Belenky shows his work through Urban Studio Unbound, an independent artist collective and gallery birthed at FIT.


“I made this illustration for the Year of the Chicken (or Rooster) last year. I like the contrast between the body and the legs. I love the various shapes and colors of animals. Birds, reptiles, and fishes are my favorite.” Ligang Luo MFA Illustration ’16 Luo 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.

“I show a lot of domestic spaces in my work, and they’re similar to the apartment I live in. I love furniture, books, knickknacks— and I love cats. They’ve become part of my universe as an artist. There’s something mysterious and unknowable about them, but I appreciate being able to have a relationship with them.” Sam Kalda MFA Illustration ’14 Kalda is an illustrator and cat fancier in Brooklyn. His illustrations have enlivened the pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Vogue.com, and WWD, among many others. His book, Of Cats and Men, was published by Ten Speed Press in 2017.

“The way I draw animals is super simple. It’s two dots for the eyes, a little circle for the nose, a line for the mouth. Very little changes to those dots and lines change the whole facial impression. I want a little kid to look at it and think, ‘I could do that too.’” Basak Agaoglu Fashion Design ’09 Agaoglu’s children’s books, published by Penguin Books USA, are The Almost Impossible Thing, about a bunny who wants to fly, and These Words I Shaped for You (written by Megan Merchant). She designed for Alice and Olivia and Elie Tahari before becoming a full-time illustrator. 24 hue | spring 2018

hue.fitnyc.edu 25


“I made this illustration for the Year of the Chicken (or Rooster) last year. I like the contrast between the body and the legs. I love the various shapes and colors of animals. Birds, reptiles, and fishes are my favorite.” Ligang Luo MFA Illustration ’16 Luo 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.

“I show a lot of domestic spaces in my work, and they’re similar to the apartment I live in. I love furniture, books, knickknacks— and I love cats. They’ve become part of my universe as an artist. There’s something mysterious and unknowable about them, but I appreciate being able to have a relationship with them.” Sam Kalda MFA Illustration ’14 Kalda is an illustrator and cat fancier in Brooklyn. His illustrations have enlivened the pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Vogue.com, and WWD, among many others. His book, Of Cats and Men, was published by Ten Speed Press in 2017.

“The way I draw animals is super simple. It’s two dots for the eyes, a little circle for the nose, a line for the mouth. Very little changes to those dots and lines change the whole facial impression. I want a little kid to look at it and think, ‘I could do that too.’” Basak Agaoglu Fashion Design ’09 Agaoglu’s children’s books, published by Penguin Books USA, are The Almost Impossible Thing, about a bunny who wants to fly, and These Words I Shaped for You (written by Megan Merchant). She designed for Alice and Olivia and Elie Tahari before becoming a full-time illustrator. 24 hue | spring 2018

hue.fitnyc.edu 25


An American Family Three generations of Restrepos found their footing at FIT BY JONATHAN VATNER

O

n a chilly Saturday in November, Maria Restrepo Courtos, an alumna in her 80s, barrels across the parking lot of the Brentwood, New York, public library in a trim, stylish coat, beret, and chunky heels. Her eldest son, Bernabé “Bernie” Restrepo, Patternmaking Technology ’79, clings to her arm, smiling grandly. Bernie’s son Nate, Illustration ’19, welcomes them at the front door. All three are eager to tell their stories. Nate, with long hair, lip rings, and a game-for-anything enthusiasm, comes across as a quirky, confident, super-friendly artist. He also happens to be transgender. I first encountered him at FIT’s 2017 commencement, where he delivered an inspirational valedictory address (he earned his associate’s degree that year) about the courage to come out to his family and friends, and the courage his family needed to emigrate from Colombia. Their gratitude to FIT was palpable: I had to meet them. •••

The library staff greets Maria by name, and we sit down to talk. In 1965, as is common with immigrant families, she left her husband and children and arrived in New York with nothing but hope and a fierce love of America. “I decided to give my children a chance for a good life,” she says. “I could not do that in Bogotá.” To learn English and improve her design skills, she took night classes at FIT while working at a knitting mill in Queens. An FIT workshop in fashion planning and coordination, a class about trends in silhouettes and colors,

“opened all the doors to the industry,” she recalls. Her patternmaking professor, Harry Greenberg, was the production manager at Stacy Ames, and that connection landed her an assistant designer job at the company. One by one, Maria brought her five children to the U.S. Bernie arrived in 1968 and, after working at the New York Hilton for a few years, he came to FIT. At 29, he was hired as a patternmaker, converting designers’ sketches into patterns and analyzing factory samples. Today, most patternmakers work overseas, and he is one of the few remaining in the city. He works for Jump Design Group, which sells to Macy’s, Nordstrom, and other stores. “It’s a beautiful job, but it’s a lot of pressure,” Bernie says. “You have to meet tight delivery dates, and everything has to be perfect.” Maria designed for more than 30 years, at Barbara Dance Frocks, Liz Claiborne, and for a short-lived family business, Maria Designs New York, on 40th Street. She retired in 1997. ••• Nate, born Natali, realized he was transgender at 16, after a year of thinking he might be a lesbian. He told his mother on his 17th birthday, in 2008, seven years before Caitlyn Jenner appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair. It did not go well: She wasn’t ready to accept him as trans. But a few years later, she asked, out of the blue, if he wanted to be called Nate. “It was oddly uneventful,” he says. “I guess it just had to stew for a while.” He didn’t come out to his father until he began hormone treatments in 2015. He wrote Bernie a letter, but they never discussed it. “There was no need to respond,” Bernie says. “I understood absolutely.” Still, when I interview them, Maria keeps referring to Nate as “she,” and Bernie slips up too. It’s surprising, because Nate passes: you wouldn’t know he was anything but biologically male. But for those who raised him as a girl, remembering the new pronoun might not be so easy. Before he transferred to FIT, Nate was in –Nate Restrepo a communication arts program at Virginia Commonwealth University, and not doing well. He wasn’t interested in the coursework and wasn’t making friends. He moved back to New York, and when a high school buddy recommended FIT, Nate applied for Illustration. “At the time, I was really skeptical of art schools,” he says. “It helped that my father and his mother had come here.” He appreciates that the faculty, working artists themselves, teach not just how to make art but also how to make a living. And he relies on his “crew”— fellow FIT students from all over the world, many queer and a few trans—who critique each other’s work honestly. “I’m in the right major, finally,” he says. “I’ve always felt like an outsider, but not here.” Nate also appreciates FIT’s culture of acceptance. No professor or peer has ever disparaged his identity. And he was very happy to see FIT’s new inclusive restroom signs that welcome all male-identified people into the men’s. “Ideally, it shouldn’t have to be stated,” he says. “The reality is, there is a lot of transphobia rampant in mainstream culture. The bathroom signs are a step in the right direction.” •••

“I’ve always felt like an outsider, but not here.”

We go to lunch at an Islip diner heavily bedizened with Christmas lights and plastic icicle trim. One by one, the servers and the manager stop by to say hello to Maria and Bernie. The Restrepos are truly part of this community. And here, in their element, it’s clear that all three are pioneers in their own way. Three FIT grads: Bernie, Maria, and Nate Restrepo.

26 hue | spring 2018

Nate drew a comic strip (opposite) to tell some of his story. NICK PARISSE, PHOTOGRAPHY ’09

hue.fitnyc.edu 27


An American Family Three generations of Restrepos found their footing at FIT BY JONATHAN VATNER

O

n a chilly Saturday in November, Maria Restrepo Courtos, an alumna in her 80s, barrels across the parking lot of the Brentwood, New York, public library in a trim, stylish coat, beret, and chunky heels. Her eldest son, Bernabé “Bernie” Restrepo, Patternmaking Technology ’79, clings to her arm, smiling grandly. Bernie’s son Nate, Illustration ’19, welcomes them at the front door. All three are eager to tell their stories. Nate, with long hair, lip rings, and a game-for-anything enthusiasm, comes across as a quirky, confident, super-friendly artist. He also happens to be transgender. I first encountered him at FIT’s 2017 commencement, where he delivered an inspirational valedictory address (he earned his associate’s degree that year) about the courage to come out to his family and friends, and the courage his family needed to emigrate from Colombia. Their gratitude to FIT was palpable: I had to meet them. •••

The library staff greets Maria by name, and we sit down to talk. In 1965, as is common with immigrant families, she left her husband and children and arrived in New York with nothing but hope and a fierce love of America. “I decided to give my children a chance for a good life,” she says. “I could not do that in Bogotá.” To learn English and improve her design skills, she took night classes at FIT while working at a knitting mill in Queens. An FIT workshop in fashion planning and coordination, a class about trends in silhouettes and colors,

“opened all the doors to the industry,” she recalls. Her patternmaking professor, Harry Greenberg, was the production manager at Stacy Ames, and that connection landed her an assistant designer job at the company. One by one, Maria brought her five children to the U.S. Bernie arrived in 1968 and, after working at the New York Hilton for a few years, he came to FIT. At 29, he was hired as a patternmaker, converting designers’ sketches into patterns and analyzing factory samples. Today, most patternmakers work overseas, and he is one of the few remaining in the city. He works for Jump Design Group, which sells to Macy’s, Nordstrom, and other stores. “It’s a beautiful job, but it’s a lot of pressure,” Bernie says. “You have to meet tight delivery dates, and everything has to be perfect.” Maria designed for more than 30 years, at Barbara Dance Frocks, Liz Claiborne, and for a short-lived family business, Maria Designs New York, on 40th Street. She retired in 1997. ••• Nate, born Natali, realized he was transgender at 16, after a year of thinking he might be a lesbian. He told his mother on his 17th birthday, in 2008, seven years before Caitlyn Jenner appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair. It did not go well: She wasn’t ready to accept him as trans. But a few years later, she asked, out of the blue, if he wanted to be called Nate. “It was oddly uneventful,” he says. “I guess it just had to stew for a while.” He didn’t come out to his father until he began hormone treatments in 2015. He wrote Bernie a letter, but they never discussed it. “There was no need to respond,” Bernie says. “I understood absolutely.” Still, when I interview them, Maria keeps referring to Nate as “she,” and Bernie slips up too. It’s surprising, because Nate passes: you wouldn’t know he was anything but biologically male. But for those who raised him as a girl, remembering the new pronoun might not be so easy. Before he transferred to FIT, Nate was in –Nate Restrepo a communication arts program at Virginia Commonwealth University, and not doing well. He wasn’t interested in the coursework and wasn’t making friends. He moved back to New York, and when a high school buddy recommended FIT, Nate applied for Illustration. “At the time, I was really skeptical of art schools,” he says. “It helped that my father and his mother had come here.” He appreciates that the faculty, working artists themselves, teach not just how to make art but also how to make a living. And he relies on his “crew”— fellow FIT students from all over the world, many queer and a few trans—who critique each other’s work honestly. “I’m in the right major, finally,” he says. “I’ve always felt like an outsider, but not here.” Nate also appreciates FIT’s culture of acceptance. No professor or peer has ever disparaged his identity. And he was very happy to see FIT’s new inclusive restroom signs that welcome all male-identified people into the men’s. “Ideally, it shouldn’t have to be stated,” he says. “The reality is, there is a lot of transphobia rampant in mainstream culture. The bathroom signs are a step in the right direction.” •••

“I’ve always felt like an outsider, but not here.”

We go to lunch at an Islip diner heavily bedizened with Christmas lights and plastic icicle trim. One by one, the servers and the manager stop by to say hello to Maria and Bernie. The Restrepos are truly part of this community. And here, in their element, it’s clear that all three are pioneers in their own way. Three FIT grads: Bernie, Maria, and Nate Restrepo.

26 hue | spring 2018

Nate drew a comic strip (opposite) to tell some of his story. NICK PARISSE, PHOTOGRAPHY ’09

hue.fitnyc.edu 27


COUNTER

Oregon

INTUITIVE

These four alumni have cracked the code to the successful brick-and-mortar shop

DEBBE HAMADA Marketing: Fashion and Related Industries ’88

TILDE

BY ERIN PE TERSON

When Cantrell’s not running her shop—which

been gobbled up by Amazon. But despite our culture’s

recently celebrated its 10th anniversary—she’s in

increasing love for online shopping, there’s still plen-

the classroom, teaching

ty of room for a real storefront.

students the nuts and

from experience that people still want to go to beau-

“When people walk into a store, they just running their own retail want to have fun and stores. In her courses, get away from real including Small Store life for 20 minutes.” Fashion Retailing and —ANN CANTRELL

tiful spaces where they can hold well-crafted items

Fashion Forecasting for

in their hands. They want to talk to real people about

Merchandisers, she shares practical insights and

their lives and their needs before they buy. “Stores

time-tested strategies on everything from LLCs and

can transport people in a way that can’t be done

partnerships to merchandising and business plans.

online,” she says.

“We talk about things like understanding who your

Just ask Ann Cantrell, assistant professor of Fashion Business Management and owner of the Brooklyn gift shop Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store, an ironic version of an old-fashioned dry goods store. She knows

bolts of launching and

target customer is, how to look at a store from a profitability perspective, and omnichannel marketing,” she says. Like the other faculty members at FIT, Cantrell frequently talks to students outside the classroom to help them develop the skills they need to get a successful business up and running. “We’re always willing to guide and mentor students along the way,” she says. For many alumni, such coursework and guidance

iness Saturday, the shopping day that follows Thanksgiving. She was also interviewed on ABC’s World News Tonight and Good Morning America. 28 hue | spring 2018

who have built successful retail stores around the country—and what it took to get there.

Rayon Richards

have paid off. Here are the stories of several alumni USA Today featured Cantrell’s shop in a recent article about Small Bus-

Stephen Funk

Debbe Hamada sells handbags, scarves, jewelry, and art at her store, Tilde, but in mid-November 2017, she’s dreaming of llamas. “Bedecked, glam llamas,” she says. It’s not a fever dream, but rather the window display she’s developing for the holiday season. “They’re going to be giant,” she says of the animals. “Draped in textiles and pom poms and everything. It’s going to be fantastic.” It’s creative, whimsical work like this that’s helped Hamada build a rabid following for her store, which has grown every year since its 2006 inception. Thousands follow the shop’s Pinterest and Instagram pages, and the shop bustles with people looking for unique, Portland-made gifts. Customers love the personal feel of every product in the shop—items feel hand-crafted and real, not churned out via assembly line. “If you’re going to pay a little more for something, if you’re going to drive out of your way to come here and shop at a small business, it helps to have a little story behind [the items],” she says. Hamada has mastered the store’s marketing, but her success is also rooted in deep experience and knowledge. Before she launched her shop, she spent nearly 20 years with a diverse array of titles: a trainee at Saks Fifth Avenue, a special event coordinator, and a community senator for the local parks department. She started her own jewelry line. By the time she started writing a business plan for her shop, she had mastered all the skills she needed to excel, from managing staff to working with talented local artists. While Hamada is delighted that her efforts have paid off over the past decade, she says the larger joy comes from knowing that her shop bolsters a small ecosystem of store workers and creatives. “It’s nice to be able to support the staff here and all sorts of different makers [whose work is] here.”

Tilde sells a range of quirky locally made gifts.

“During a recession, people might not go out and buy clothes, because they might feel it’s an extravagance. But they might come out and buy a lipstick or a pair of earrings.” –DEBBE HAMADA

BESTSELLER: Rachel Austin, a Portlandbased visual artist, creates original paintings—flowers, birds on wires, campers— that are on maps of Portland (above). “It’s a little bit of Portland that visitors can take with them, and prints start at around $25,” Hamada says.

Joshua Chang

We live in a world that sometimes seems like it’s

Portland, Ore.

Debbe Hamada.

hue.fitnyc.edu 29


COUNTER

Oregon

INTUITIVE

These four alumni have cracked the code to the successful brick-and-mortar shop

DEBBE HAMADA Marketing: Fashion and Related Industries ’88

TILDE

BY ERIN PE TERSON

When Cantrell’s not running her shop—which

been gobbled up by Amazon. But despite our culture’s

recently celebrated its 10th anniversary—she’s in

increasing love for online shopping, there’s still plen-

the classroom, teaching

ty of room for a real storefront.

students the nuts and

from experience that people still want to go to beau-

“When people walk into a store, they just running their own retail want to have fun and stores. In her courses, get away from real including Small Store life for 20 minutes.” Fashion Retailing and —ANN CANTRELL

tiful spaces where they can hold well-crafted items

Fashion Forecasting for

in their hands. They want to talk to real people about

Merchandisers, she shares practical insights and

their lives and their needs before they buy. “Stores

time-tested strategies on everything from LLCs and

can transport people in a way that can’t be done

partnerships to merchandising and business plans.

online,” she says.

“We talk about things like understanding who your

Just ask Ann Cantrell, assistant professor of Fashion Business Management and owner of the Brooklyn gift shop Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store, an ironic version of an old-fashioned dry goods store. She knows

bolts of launching and

target customer is, how to look at a store from a profitability perspective, and omnichannel marketing,” she says. Like the other faculty members at FIT, Cantrell frequently talks to students outside the classroom to help them develop the skills they need to get a successful business up and running. “We’re always willing to guide and mentor students along the way,” she says. For many alumni, such coursework and guidance

iness Saturday, the shopping day that follows Thanksgiving. She was also interviewed on ABC’s World News Tonight and Good Morning America. 28 hue | spring 2018

who have built successful retail stores around the country—and what it took to get there.

Rayon Richards

have paid off. Here are the stories of several alumni USA Today featured Cantrell’s shop in a recent article about Small Bus-

Stephen Funk

Debbe Hamada sells handbags, scarves, jewelry, and art at her store, Tilde, but in mid-November 2017, she’s dreaming of llamas. “Bedecked, glam llamas,” she says. It’s not a fever dream, but rather the window display she’s developing for the holiday season. “They’re going to be giant,” she says of the animals. “Draped in textiles and pom poms and everything. It’s going to be fantastic.” It’s creative, whimsical work like this that’s helped Hamada build a rabid following for her store, which has grown every year since its 2006 inception. Thousands follow the shop’s Pinterest and Instagram pages, and the shop bustles with people looking for unique, Portland-made gifts. Customers love the personal feel of every product in the shop—items feel hand-crafted and real, not churned out via assembly line. “If you’re going to pay a little more for something, if you’re going to drive out of your way to come here and shop at a small business, it helps to have a little story behind [the items],” she says. Hamada has mastered the store’s marketing, but her success is also rooted in deep experience and knowledge. Before she launched her shop, she spent nearly 20 years with a diverse array of titles: a trainee at Saks Fifth Avenue, a special event coordinator, and a community senator for the local parks department. She started her own jewelry line. By the time she started writing a business plan for her shop, she had mastered all the skills she needed to excel, from managing staff to working with talented local artists. While Hamada is delighted that her efforts have paid off over the past decade, she says the larger joy comes from knowing that her shop bolsters a small ecosystem of store workers and creatives. “It’s nice to be able to support the staff here and all sorts of different makers [whose work is] here.”

Tilde sells a range of quirky locally made gifts.

“During a recession, people might not go out and buy clothes, because they might feel it’s an extravagance. But they might come out and buy a lipstick or a pair of earrings.” –DEBBE HAMADA

BESTSELLER: Rachel Austin, a Portlandbased visual artist, creates original paintings—flowers, birds on wires, campers— that are on maps of Portland (above). “It’s a little bit of Portland that visitors can take with them, and prints start at around $25,” Hamada says.

Joshua Chang

We live in a world that sometimes seems like it’s

Portland, Ore.

Debbe Hamada.

hue.fitnyc.edu 29


MARCI FORTGANG KESSLER Fashion Buying and Merchandising ’81

Connecticut

DOUBLETAKE LUXURY CONSIGNMENT

Virginia

CLAUDETTE LEWIS ROTHMAN CLAUDETTE Old Greenwich, Conn.

In the toniest neighborhoods of Greenwich— home to top hedge funds and financial services companies—many women don’t think twice about paying a cool grand (or more) for a cashmere top. One of their favorite places to do just that is alumna Claudette Rothman’s shop, Claudette. The boutique, which offers a selection of women’s clothing, accessories, and gifts, has been wowing customers since it opened in 2012. Rothman has earned a place in the hearts (and pocketbooks) of her customers thanks to a deep understanding of their needs. “If a woman

Red Bank, Ridgewood, and Short Hills, N.J.

KRISTY SANTELLI COTTER Advertising and Marketing Communications ’05,

“When a customer says to you, ‘I’m looking for a dress for a wedding, or to this party that I don’t want to go to, remember those stories. When they come back to you, ask them about it—how was the wedding, how was the party? That’s what will differentiate you.” –CLAUDETTE ROTHMAN

comes in and tries something on that doesn’t look good on her, you’ve got to be honest in a nice way,” she says. “Because if you don’t tell her, when she tries it on later for her husband or her girlfriends, they’ll say ‘What were you thinking?’ and that will be the last time you ever see her.” And for customers who fall in love with a piece that isn’t quite the perfect fit? Knowledge Rothman gained in an FIT course on patternmaking has occasionally helped her prescribe just the changes to a talented tailor who can spin such figurative straw into sartorial gold. Rothman’s honesty and expertise is a big part of what keeps her in business, despite extreme price competition from online behemoths. Amazon, she says, will never be able to offer that personal touch. Even on her toughest days—when she spends hours on the floor selling, unpacking boxes, and steaming clothes—that human connection matters. “Sometimes, you can tell just by the expression on a woman’s face when she walks in that she feels miserable,” Rothman says. “When you can put her in flattering clothes for her shape and her age, you can watch her walk out with confidence, feeling stylish. That keeps me going.”

Fashion Merchandising Management ’03

DEAR NEIGHBOR

BESTSELLER:

Richmond, Va.

The Drift/Riot molten hoop earrings are a perennial favorite. “They’re organic, they’re sexy. They’re good for the evening, but you can also throw them on with a T-shirt and jeans.”

Dear Neighbor was just supposed to be a jewelry store. In 2012, Kristy Santelli Cotter had developed a jewelry line, Drift/Riot, which had seen significant success. Its edgy and unexpected design—“it’s jewelry for people who don’t like jewelry, feminine and badass” she explains—had been featured in Vogue, InStyle, and Refinery29. It was sold at Urban Outfitters. The line’s success made Cotter and her husband, Evan, think about opening their own shop to sell her wares. In 2016, when they found a small retail space just down the street from a bustling, award-winning bakery—a sure sign of consistent foot traffic—they knew they were in luck. It quickly became clear that they had plenty of space to offer more than just Drift/Riot designs, so they expanded—within limits. The tightly

curated store features jewelry, bath and body items, scarves, and sunglasses. Almost everything is black or white, with a few pops of color for the holidays. (For 2017’s holiday season, their collections featured burgundy and silver; pastels were on display this past Easter.) While the singular approach has had an impact, Cotter says a strong staff has been essential to keeping the store up and running—especially since she gave birth this past fall. “I’m still running [the Dear Neighbor and the jewelry] businesses, and I feel like I’m losing my mind,” she jokes. “But having a super-strong team—they’re great at sales, Instagram, outreach, management— has been really important.” Surrounding herself with the right people has long been part of her success formula. “I met amazing people through the program who I could bounce ideas off of, have them in my network, and meet up with them at Capsule,” a fashion and lifestyle trade event. Next up? Working with her husband to expand the shop’s online presence while continuing to run the brick-and-mortar location and the Drift/Riot business. “We do it because it’s fun,” she says. “But also, I’m a madwoman.”

“I just found this incredible designer, Beaut Outerwear [left]. He is a one-man operation who makes pieces that make you say: ‘Oh my God, I can see Olivia Pope [from Scandal] in that.’”

Mary Otanez

BEST-SELLING ITEMS:

30 hue | spring 2018

New Jersey

“This store is for people who want to look like they’ve spent a lot of time picking out something. We’re always asking: ‘Would somebody give this as a gift?’” –KRISTY SANTELLI COTTER

Kessler (right) offers DoubleTake shoppers personalized recommendations.

In the early 1990s, after spending years as a buyer for retail and fashion powerhouse The Doneger Group, Marci Kessler had a closet filled with more gorgeous designer clothes and accessories than she could ever possibly wear. So when it was time to clear her closet, she took everything to a New Jersey consignment store—and was shocked by the experience. “I felt like I was walking into a smelly thrift store,” she says. Clothes were haphazardly displayed and

BEST-SELLING ITEMS: Though the selection is constantly changing, Kessler says that Chanel bags, Hermès jewelry and scarves, and Louis Vuitton merchandise are always in high demand.

often in poor condition. The chance of finding an amazing piece among the clutter felt vanishingly small. Kessler was certain that she could create something better. She imagined a consignment store unlike any she’d seen—one that felt like walking into Neiman Marcus, not a rummage sale. It would have beautifully displayed designer merchandise in perfect condition, attentive staff, and an odor-free space. She had a hunch that it was a killer concept that would thrive, but she also did her homework. Over the next nine months, she traveled across the country visiting consignment stores. She talked to owners and took notes. She wrote up a business plan and found a perfect storefront in the affluent Short Hills community in New Jersey. And in 1992, DoubleTake officially opened its doors. It was a hit from day one, and the venture has expanded from one store to three. It also sells a selection of merchandise online. Kessler attributes the store’s success not just to the quality of the merchandise, but to the experience customers have. “We really get to know them and their life stories,” she says. “We want this to be a place where they walk in and feel like they know people, and feel like we can help with anything— even finding a good restaurant—whether it has to do with our store or not. That’s our priority.” hue.fitnyc.edu 31


MARCI FORTGANG KESSLER Fashion Buying and Merchandising ’81

Connecticut

DOUBLETAKE LUXURY CONSIGNMENT

Virginia

CLAUDETTE LEWIS ROTHMAN CLAUDETTE Old Greenwich, Conn.

In the toniest neighborhoods of Greenwich— home to top hedge funds and financial services companies—many women don’t think twice about paying a cool grand (or more) for a cashmere top. One of their favorite places to do just that is alumna Claudette Rothman’s shop, Claudette. The boutique, which offers a selection of women’s clothing, accessories, and gifts, has been wowing customers since it opened in 2012. Rothman has earned a place in the hearts (and pocketbooks) of her customers thanks to a deep understanding of their needs. “If a woman

Red Bank, Ridgewood, and Short Hills, N.J.

KRISTY SANTELLI COTTER Advertising and Marketing Communications ’05,

“When a customer says to you, ‘I’m looking for a dress for a wedding, or to this party that I don’t want to go to, remember those stories. When they come back to you, ask them about it—how was the wedding, how was the party? That’s what will differentiate you.” –CLAUDETTE ROTHMAN

comes in and tries something on that doesn’t look good on her, you’ve got to be honest in a nice way,” she says. “Because if you don’t tell her, when she tries it on later for her husband or her girlfriends, they’ll say ‘What were you thinking?’ and that will be the last time you ever see her.” And for customers who fall in love with a piece that isn’t quite the perfect fit? Knowledge Rothman gained in an FIT course on patternmaking has occasionally helped her prescribe just the changes to a talented tailor who can spin such figurative straw into sartorial gold. Rothman’s honesty and expertise is a big part of what keeps her in business, despite extreme price competition from online behemoths. Amazon, she says, will never be able to offer that personal touch. Even on her toughest days—when she spends hours on the floor selling, unpacking boxes, and steaming clothes—that human connection matters. “Sometimes, you can tell just by the expression on a woman’s face when she walks in that she feels miserable,” Rothman says. “When you can put her in flattering clothes for her shape and her age, you can watch her walk out with confidence, feeling stylish. That keeps me going.”

Fashion Merchandising Management ’03

DEAR NEIGHBOR

BESTSELLER:

Richmond, Va.

The Drift/Riot molten hoop earrings are a perennial favorite. “They’re organic, they’re sexy. They’re good for the evening, but you can also throw them on with a T-shirt and jeans.”

Dear Neighbor was just supposed to be a jewelry store. In 2012, Kristy Santelli Cotter had developed a jewelry line, Drift/Riot, which had seen significant success. Its edgy and unexpected design—“it’s jewelry for people who don’t like jewelry, feminine and badass” she explains—had been featured in Vogue, InStyle, and Refinery29. It was sold at Urban Outfitters. The line’s success made Cotter and her husband, Evan, think about opening their own shop to sell her wares. In 2016, when they found a small retail space just down the street from a bustling, award-winning bakery—a sure sign of consistent foot traffic—they knew they were in luck. It quickly became clear that they had plenty of space to offer more than just Drift/Riot designs, so they expanded—within limits. The tightly

curated store features jewelry, bath and body items, scarves, and sunglasses. Almost everything is black or white, with a few pops of color for the holidays. (For 2017’s holiday season, their collections featured burgundy and silver; pastels were on display this past Easter.) While the singular approach has had an impact, Cotter says a strong staff has been essential to keeping the store up and running—especially since she gave birth this past fall. “I’m still running [the Dear Neighbor and the jewelry] businesses, and I feel like I’m losing my mind,” she jokes. “But having a super-strong team—they’re great at sales, Instagram, outreach, management— has been really important.” Surrounding herself with the right people has long been part of her success formula. “I met amazing people through the program who I could bounce ideas off of, have them in my network, and meet up with them at Capsule,” a fashion and lifestyle trade event. Next up? Working with her husband to expand the shop’s online presence while continuing to run the brick-and-mortar location and the Drift/Riot business. “We do it because it’s fun,” she says. “But also, I’m a madwoman.”

“I just found this incredible designer, Beaut Outerwear [left]. He is a one-man operation who makes pieces that make you say: ‘Oh my God, I can see Olivia Pope [from Scandal] in that.’”

Mary Otanez

BEST-SELLING ITEMS:

30 hue | spring 2018

New Jersey

“This store is for people who want to look like they’ve spent a lot of time picking out something. We’re always asking: ‘Would somebody give this as a gift?’” –KRISTY SANTELLI COTTER

Kessler (right) offers DoubleTake shoppers personalized recommendations.

In the early 1990s, after spending years as a buyer for retail and fashion powerhouse The Doneger Group, Marci Kessler had a closet filled with more gorgeous designer clothes and accessories than she could ever possibly wear. So when it was time to clear her closet, she took everything to a New Jersey consignment store—and was shocked by the experience. “I felt like I was walking into a smelly thrift store,” she says. Clothes were haphazardly displayed and

BEST-SELLING ITEMS: Though the selection is constantly changing, Kessler says that Chanel bags, Hermès jewelry and scarves, and Louis Vuitton merchandise are always in high demand.

often in poor condition. The chance of finding an amazing piece among the clutter felt vanishingly small. Kessler was certain that she could create something better. She imagined a consignment store unlike any she’d seen—one that felt like walking into Neiman Marcus, not a rummage sale. It would have beautifully displayed designer merchandise in perfect condition, attentive staff, and an odor-free space. She had a hunch that it was a killer concept that would thrive, but she also did her homework. Over the next nine months, she traveled across the country visiting consignment stores. She talked to owners and took notes. She wrote up a business plan and found a perfect storefront in the affluent Short Hills community in New Jersey. And in 1992, DoubleTake officially opened its doors. It was a hit from day one, and the venture has expanded from one store to three. It also sells a selection of merchandise online. Kessler attributes the store’s success not just to the quality of the merchandise, but to the experience customers have. “We really get to know them and their life stories,” she says. “We want this to be a place where they walk in and feel like they know people, and feel like we can help with anything— even finding a good restaurant—whether it has to do with our store or not. That’s our priority.” hue.fitnyc.edu 31


alumni notes

alumni notes

Walter Katz, Scientific Management, oversaw factory operations for Harry Frechtel and Company, a suit and coat house in New York, until he was drafted to fight in the Korean War. After being discharged, he worked as a Chicagobased sales rep for home goods maker Cameo Curtains, then ran a business selling novelties to convenience stores for 15 years. He is now retired in Kennesaw, Georgia.

2001

MUMMY DEAREST

Camille Myers Breeze, Museum Studies: Costume and Textiles ’93

Lisa Reali, Fashion Design, debuted Reali New York, a collection of classic men’s knitwear, in 2017. Formerly a knitwear designer for Liz Claiborne, Leslie Fay, and the MJM Group, Reali saw a need for well-made, sustainable modern knits for men. The organic wool is sourced from Mongolia (cashmere) and Australia (merino), spun in Italy, and knitted in New York City on zero-waste machines. So far, she has grown the brand through trunk shows in homes and country clubs. She also offers customized garments at any size.

Museum Textile Services

1986 The Wings of Lace Cuff with antiqued silver finish.

Shane LaVancher

Apryl Miller, Fashion Design, is an “accidental artist” whose first and most ambitious project was her fourbedroom home on the Upper East Side, a palace of color, pattern, and texture in which she raised her two daughters. Art blog Hyperallergic called the space “one of the most immersive, intricate, vibrant, and inhabitable art installations in the city.” It has been used for photo shoots by Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Lee Jeans, Glamour, and others. Miller’s sculpture, painting, and jewelry all reflect “our universal state of imperfection and how it binds us together,” she says. Her family is part of an upcoming Netflix series about people with creative homes called Amazing on the Inside.

Reali New York’s shawl-collar cardigan, inspired by classic Hollywood, is a six-ply cashmere knit with logoed horn buttons and leather elbow patches.

Stephanie Occhipinti, Jewelry Design, launched an eponymous fashion jewelry brand in 2016 after designing behind the scenes for 30 years. Occhipinti, who has practiced Shotokan karate for more than 20 years, named her first collection Empi, which is a kata, or form, of karate that means 32 hue | spring 2018

Doug Holt

1987

For a group exhibit at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in 2017, Miller created the Chairs for Hope upholstered in a jumble of vintage apparel fabrics. “They look like furniture. You can sit on them. But they’re really art pieces that tell stories.”

Galen Magee, Fashion Design, makes beautiful, feminine robes for women with cancer. A sweater designer for White House Black Market in Fort Myers, Florida, he came up with the idea after giving robes to his mother, Jayne, and cousin, Melissa, when they went through chemotherapy for breast cancer. “I wanted to wrap them in love,” he says, “and show them the community is taking care of them.” For every robe purchased, Magee gives one to a newly diagnosed woman through Susan G. Komen. This year, he is debuting a zipfront camisole for use while healing from a mastectomy.

Taylor Kuhn, Packaging Design, Communication Design ’06, created Design for Agency, a participatory organization geared toward solving civic problems using design thinking. After polling neighbors in the Flatbush/ Ditmas Park area of Brooklyn to discover that waste management was their second most pressing local concern (after affordable housing), Kuhn gathered focus groups to brainstorm solutions. She is now encouraging residents to design and steward tree pits along sidewalks and searching for ways to increase green space in the neighborhood.

Sarah Scaturro ’10, a participant in Breeze’s conservation program at Huaca Malena, surfacecleans an infant mummy bundle.

Kuhn (left) invites participation in Brooklyn.

2008

Hue: What’s a Peruvian mummy bundle? Breeze: In ancient Peru, the dead were usually buried in the fetal position in a

mummy bundle made of layers of fabric. The outer layers are some of the finest textiles discovered in the world. These mummy bundles are particularly well-preserved because the Peruvian coast is one of the driest places on earth. Without water (and oxygen), organic material does not break down. Why did you become interested in them?

My parents did doctoral research in Peru. Our house was full of Peruvian arts and crafts, and we spoke both English and Spanish. When I told my father I wanted to be a textile conservator, he gave me a collection of 25 pre-Columbian textiles they had brought back in 1972, before the UNESCO treaty forbade the exportation of antiquities. From my first semester at FIT, I focused all of my papers and projects, including my thesis, on this collection. At a conference in Lima in 2002, I heard archaeologist Rommel Angeles Falcon speak passionately about preserving textiles from Huaca Malena, 100 kilometers to the south. Every January from 2004 through 2010, we brought students from North America, including from FIT, to the site to conserve a total of 80 textiles, mummy bundles, and mummified heads.

The Purple Flower Kimono.

2003 Nan Lung Palmer, Fashion Merchandising Management, owns FACEts, a Denver-based consultancy that helps jewelry brands become more profitable. She previously oversaw merchandising at David Yurman, helping launch the company’s collection made from meteorite. She is president of the Colorado chapter of the Women’s Jewelry Association and in her spare time does Muay Thai, a combat sport that combines kicking and punching. “It’s my form of yoga,” she says.

Cyndie Spiegel, Global Fashion Management, Fashion Merchandising Management ’01, created the Collective (of Us), strategy and business consulting for female “solopreneurs” wanting to evolve an idea into a profitable company. Spiegel worked for 15 years in fashion, most recently as product development director of accessories for Narciso Rodriguez, but changed her focus in 2013 after taking a yoga teacher training recommended by her close friend-turned-yogi, Christin Scarcello, Fashion Merchandising Management ’02. This year, she launched the Community (of Us), a monthly videoconference for discussing contentious topics with women from diverse backgrounds. “It’s a safe space to be honest about what you think,” she says. “It’s not about changing minds unless you want your mind to be changed.”

How did you preserve them?

We surface-cleaned loose soil, wrapped the storage boxes in Tyvek to make them archival, cushioned them with storage pillows, and, if any of the mummy wrappings had deteriorated, stabilized weak areas with new cotton fabric. We turned fragile mummy bundles that were only suited for study and storage into objects that could be exhibited.

A DRAWER OF DRAWERS

Laura Harari Dweck, Fashion Merchandising Management ’11

Each Basic Outfitters drawer contains T-shirts, socks, underwear, and more.

Historical flags are the typical fodder for Museum Textile Services, an independent conservation studio in Andover, Massachusetts, that takes commissions from museums, cultural agencies, the military, and private collectors. In her spare time, though, director and chief conservator Camille Myers Breeze conserves pre-Columbian textiles and mummy bundles in Peru. She speaks at archaeology conferences and is cowriting a book about ancient textiles found at Huaca Malena, a ceremonial center and burial site used by ancient Peruvian cultures, including the Huari and Inca, from the 7th through 16th centuries.

Museum Textile Services

1989

2007

A mummified skull wearing a pre-Columbian net cap.

A motivational speaker, Spiegel recently gave a TED Talk about fear and the imposter syndrome.

In 2014, when Laura Dweck moved in with her new husband, she was appalled by the state of his clothes. “Michael’s drawers were stuffed to the brim with worn-out things ... T-shirts and socks he had since college,” the Brooklyn native says. “When he went to replace everything at once, it was a challenge to find quality affordable pieces all in one place.” Wondering if other men were as reluctant as Michael to freshen up these essentials, the couple conceived of Basic Outfitters, an online retailer that simplifies that process. “Guys are disgusting!” Dweck states. “We did some initial research and found out that on average, men keep their underwear for seven years.” The couple launched the site in November 2017. Though items can be purchased individually, the core offering is a drawer of T-shirts, socks, and underwear, as well as a hat or fleece jogging pant, for $60. Dweck says, “Our goal is to make it so easy that there is no excuse not to replace your drawers.” As is common with web startups, the biggest challenge was getting the word out. “People would always suggest we go on Shark Tank, so in 2016 I just sent a cold email to casting. A few months later, they called us for an interview!” The couple prepared for months for the 12-minute segment that aired in January 2017. “We had to look at every aspect of the business from all perspectives and be prepared for any question the sharks might ask,” Dweck recalls. “I was surprised by how real it was. In the end, they edit it to tell the story, but we really just had an hour-and-a-half conversation with the sharks.” They left without a deal, but the publicity from their appearance, combined with making the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the same month, spurred exponential growth in 2017. The next step for the six-employee company is women’s staples. After all, Dweck points out, “women buy our [men’s] jogger for themselves already.” —Julianna Rose Dow, Fashion and Textile Studies

2010 Angelica DeLuccia Morrissey, Advertising and Marketing Communications, is senior account executive at Griffin Communications Group in Melbourne, Florida. Her clients include World View, which makes “stratollites,” or high-altitude balloons; the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex; the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, which manages the International Space Station; and Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ spaceflight company. She is also the immediate past president of the Space Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association.

World View

“flying swallow.” Indeed, swallows dance throughout the pieces, made of sterling silver with a choice of finishes. She also co-founded the Jewelry Design Professionals’ Network in 1995 and volunteers teaching jewelry design to people with cerebral palsy.

Corey Anthony

1949

World View stratollites can fly to the edge of space.

hue.fitnyc.edu 33


alumni notes

alumni notes

Walter Katz, Scientific Management, oversaw factory operations for Harry Frechtel and Company, a suit and coat house in New York, until he was drafted to fight in the Korean War. After being discharged, he worked as a Chicagobased sales rep for home goods maker Cameo Curtains, then ran a business selling novelties to convenience stores for 15 years. He is now retired in Kennesaw, Georgia.

2001

MUMMY DEAREST

Camille Myers Breeze, Museum Studies: Costume and Textiles ’93

Lisa Reali, Fashion Design, debuted Reali New York, a collection of classic men’s knitwear, in 2017. Formerly a knitwear designer for Liz Claiborne, Leslie Fay, and the MJM Group, Reali saw a need for well-made, sustainable modern knits for men. The organic wool is sourced from Mongolia (cashmere) and Australia (merino), spun in Italy, and knitted in New York City on zero-waste machines. So far, she has grown the brand through trunk shows in homes and country clubs. She also offers customized garments at any size.

Museum Textile Services

1986 The Wings of Lace Cuff with antiqued silver finish.

Shane LaVancher

Apryl Miller, Fashion Design, is an “accidental artist” whose first and most ambitious project was her fourbedroom home on the Upper East Side, a palace of color, pattern, and texture in which she raised her two daughters. Art blog Hyperallergic called the space “one of the most immersive, intricate, vibrant, and inhabitable art installations in the city.” It has been used for photo shoots by Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Lee Jeans, Glamour, and others. Miller’s sculpture, painting, and jewelry all reflect “our universal state of imperfection and how it binds us together,” she says. Her family is part of an upcoming Netflix series about people with creative homes called Amazing on the Inside.

Reali New York’s shawl-collar cardigan, inspired by classic Hollywood, is a six-ply cashmere knit with logoed horn buttons and leather elbow patches.

Stephanie Occhipinti, Jewelry Design, launched an eponymous fashion jewelry brand in 2016 after designing behind the scenes for 30 years. Occhipinti, who has practiced Shotokan karate for more than 20 years, named her first collection Empi, which is a kata, or form, of karate that means 32 hue | spring 2018

Doug Holt

1987

For a group exhibit at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in 2017, Miller created the Chairs for Hope upholstered in a jumble of vintage apparel fabrics. “They look like furniture. You can sit on them. But they’re really art pieces that tell stories.”

Galen Magee, Fashion Design, makes beautiful, feminine robes for women with cancer. A sweater designer for White House Black Market in Fort Myers, Florida, he came up with the idea after giving robes to his mother, Jayne, and cousin, Melissa, when they went through chemotherapy for breast cancer. “I wanted to wrap them in love,” he says, “and show them the community is taking care of them.” For every robe purchased, Magee gives one to a newly diagnosed woman through Susan G. Komen. This year, he is debuting a zipfront camisole for use while healing from a mastectomy.

Taylor Kuhn, Packaging Design, Communication Design ’06, created Design for Agency, a participatory organization geared toward solving civic problems using design thinking. After polling neighbors in the Flatbush/ Ditmas Park area of Brooklyn to discover that waste management was their second most pressing local concern (after affordable housing), Kuhn gathered focus groups to brainstorm solutions. She is now encouraging residents to design and steward tree pits along sidewalks and searching for ways to increase green space in the neighborhood.

Sarah Scaturro ’10, a participant in Breeze’s conservation program at Huaca Malena, surfacecleans an infant mummy bundle.

Kuhn (left) invites participation in Brooklyn.

2008

Hue: What’s a Peruvian mummy bundle? Breeze: In ancient Peru, the dead were usually buried in the fetal position in a

mummy bundle made of layers of fabric. The outer layers are some of the finest textiles discovered in the world. These mummy bundles are particularly well-preserved because the Peruvian coast is one of the driest places on earth. Without water (and oxygen), organic material does not break down. Why did you become interested in them?

My parents did doctoral research in Peru. Our house was full of Peruvian arts and crafts, and we spoke both English and Spanish. When I told my father I wanted to be a textile conservator, he gave me a collection of 25 pre-Columbian textiles they had brought back in 1972, before the UNESCO treaty forbade the exportation of antiquities. From my first semester at FIT, I focused all of my papers and projects, including my thesis, on this collection. At a conference in Lima in 2002, I heard archaeologist Rommel Angeles Falcon speak passionately about preserving textiles from Huaca Malena, 100 kilometers to the south. Every January from 2004 through 2010, we brought students from North America, including from FIT, to the site to conserve a total of 80 textiles, mummy bundles, and mummified heads.

The Purple Flower Kimono.

2003 Nan Lung Palmer, Fashion Merchandising Management, owns FACEts, a Denver-based consultancy that helps jewelry brands become more profitable. She previously oversaw merchandising at David Yurman, helping launch the company’s collection made from meteorite. She is president of the Colorado chapter of the Women’s Jewelry Association and in her spare time does Muay Thai, a combat sport that combines kicking and punching. “It’s my form of yoga,” she says.

Cyndie Spiegel, Global Fashion Management, Fashion Merchandising Management ’01, created the Collective (of Us), strategy and business consulting for female “solopreneurs” wanting to evolve an idea into a profitable company. Spiegel worked for 15 years in fashion, most recently as product development director of accessories for Narciso Rodriguez, but changed her focus in 2013 after taking a yoga teacher training recommended by her close friend-turned-yogi, Christin Scarcello, Fashion Merchandising Management ’02. This year, she launched the Community (of Us), a monthly videoconference for discussing contentious topics with women from diverse backgrounds. “It’s a safe space to be honest about what you think,” she says. “It’s not about changing minds unless you want your mind to be changed.”

How did you preserve them?

We surface-cleaned loose soil, wrapped the storage boxes in Tyvek to make them archival, cushioned them with storage pillows, and, if any of the mummy wrappings had deteriorated, stabilized weak areas with new cotton fabric. We turned fragile mummy bundles that were only suited for study and storage into objects that could be exhibited.

A DRAWER OF DRAWERS

Laura Harari Dweck, Fashion Merchandising Management ’11

Each Basic Outfitters drawer contains T-shirts, socks, underwear, and more.

Historical flags are the typical fodder for Museum Textile Services, an independent conservation studio in Andover, Massachusetts, that takes commissions from museums, cultural agencies, the military, and private collectors. In her spare time, though, director and chief conservator Camille Myers Breeze conserves pre-Columbian textiles and mummy bundles in Peru. She speaks at archaeology conferences and is cowriting a book about ancient textiles found at Huaca Malena, a ceremonial center and burial site used by ancient Peruvian cultures, including the Huari and Inca, from the 7th through 16th centuries.

Museum Textile Services

1989

2007

A mummified skull wearing a pre-Columbian net cap.

A motivational speaker, Spiegel recently gave a TED Talk about fear and the imposter syndrome.

In 2014, when Laura Dweck moved in with her new husband, she was appalled by the state of his clothes. “Michael’s drawers were stuffed to the brim with worn-out things ... T-shirts and socks he had since college,” the Brooklyn native says. “When he went to replace everything at once, it was a challenge to find quality affordable pieces all in one place.” Wondering if other men were as reluctant as Michael to freshen up these essentials, the couple conceived of Basic Outfitters, an online retailer that simplifies that process. “Guys are disgusting!” Dweck states. “We did some initial research and found out that on average, men keep their underwear for seven years.” The couple launched the site in November 2017. Though items can be purchased individually, the core offering is a drawer of T-shirts, socks, and underwear, as well as a hat or fleece jogging pant, for $60. Dweck says, “Our goal is to make it so easy that there is no excuse not to replace your drawers.” As is common with web startups, the biggest challenge was getting the word out. “People would always suggest we go on Shark Tank, so in 2016 I just sent a cold email to casting. A few months later, they called us for an interview!” The couple prepared for months for the 12-minute segment that aired in January 2017. “We had to look at every aspect of the business from all perspectives and be prepared for any question the sharks might ask,” Dweck recalls. “I was surprised by how real it was. In the end, they edit it to tell the story, but we really just had an hour-and-a-half conversation with the sharks.” They left without a deal, but the publicity from their appearance, combined with making the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the same month, spurred exponential growth in 2017. The next step for the six-employee company is women’s staples. After all, Dweck points out, “women buy our [men’s] jogger for themselves already.” —Julianna Rose Dow, Fashion and Textile Studies

2010 Angelica DeLuccia Morrissey, Advertising and Marketing Communications, is senior account executive at Griffin Communications Group in Melbourne, Florida. Her clients include World View, which makes “stratollites,” or high-altitude balloons; the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex; the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, which manages the International Space Station; and Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ spaceflight company. She is also the immediate past president of the Space Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association.

World View

“flying swallow.” Indeed, swallows dance throughout the pieces, made of sterling silver with a choice of finishes. She also co-founded the Jewelry Design Professionals’ Network in 1995 and volunteers teaching jewelry design to people with cerebral palsy.

Corey Anthony

1949

World View stratollites can fly to the edge of space.

hue.fitnyc.edu 33


alumni notes

what inspires you?

2011

to designers in the U.S. and Argentina. “I believed that as long as a product was natural, it couldn’t pose a serious threat to the environment,” Chojecki says. “But I learned that in most places where sheep are raised for meat or wool, wildlife populations are disappearing at an alarming pace.”

KNIT WITS

Thomas Paul Fernez, Fabric Styling ’95

2013 C.A. (Conor) MacFinn, Computer Animation and Interactive Media, is a principal of CGMuse, a motion graphics company, with his mother. His awardwinning shorts, including Glooscap and the Baby and The No Face Doll, have played in 27 film festivals internationally; those two films were shown to children at the Water Protectors’ School at Standing Rock (MacFinn is partly of Mi’kmaq descent). He also creates animation for apps and educational software, and he teaches at Rockland (New York) Community College and to low-income and at-risk children at Mamaroneck Community Resource Center.

Amber Morgan, Fabric Styling, rehabbed a 1973 Shasta trailer into the Mani-Camper, a mobile nail salon that she brings to birthday and bachelorette parties, bridal showers, and employee events within driving distance of her home in Amarillo, Texas. The mid-century vibe of Palm Springs, California, inspired the interior, and she designed the Art Deco–influenced wallpaper; finding the pink marble countertop was a stroke of luck.

Bennett and Sander (as Brini) welcome all experience levels at Knit@Nite.

On a Tuesday night in December, a diverse crowd gathered in actor Alan Cumming’s cozy East Village cabaret, Club Cumming. They weren’t there to watch a show, listen to music, or dance. They were there to knit. “It’s a great place to have a couple drinks, bang out some noncommittal knitting, and socialize,” said Josh Bennett, the night’s knitter-in-chief. Knit@Nite launched shortly after the club opened in September. The goal was to bring in a different guest instructor each time. First up was Bennett, a former men’s sweater designer at Tommy Hilfiger with an exclusive line of hand-knitted sweaters at Bergdorf Goodman and a collection of luxe superhero-themed sweaters, developed in collaboration with Marvel Comics and sold on his website. He also teaches at knitting retreats worldwide. (Yes, Chriselda Martina

Tamara Mayne

The Valdes Peninsula.

One of the most popular scents is Fern + Moss, a blend of sage, lavender, spruce, and pine inspired by a trip Mayne took to Fern Canyon in Northern California.

34 hue | spring 2018

that’s a thing.) The personable Bennett was a hit from the start. “He was so wonderful, we decided he’d be the regular knit pro,” said Brini Maxwell, the charming host of the evening. Brini, perhaps best known for her homemaking cable TV show that ran on the Style Network, is the drag alter ego of Ben Sander, who

Tati Vitsic (Tatiana Vieitas De Siqueira), Textile/Surface Design, is a Brazilian graphic and textile designer who has designed Christmas sweaters for Fashion Avenue Knits, and apparel and accessories for Elle Baby and Baby Lounge. Pommy New York is her line of handbags, lunchboxes, and other products, featuring her playful art.

designs interiors when he’s not being Brini. Sander also sewed the chartreuse ensemble Brini was wearing. “I made a commitment to make everything I wear to this event.” Bennett has always loved knitting, but at first he didn’t consider it as a career because he believed men were not supposed to knit. After going into theater, his colleagues convinced him otherwise. At FIT, he became known for teaching his classmates the skill. As Brini pointed out, in medieval times, knitting was originally a man’s trade.

When I was a kid, I had really bad eyesight. I would sit literally right in front of the television. Even today, I sit in the third row of the movie theater: I like everything to be magnified. At FIT, I was awful at making repeats. When I was starting out in the industry, if I found this really great motif for a pillow, instead of having to put it into a repeat, I’d blow up the image to the size of the pillow. I became known for that. If you’re just focusing on one icon—a bird, an animal, a flower—it becomes much more important, almost like a portrait. When it’s in a repeat, you lose it a little bit. It got crazier when I expanded to duvet covers and shower curtains. Still no repeats. But sometimes I don’t have a choice. I have a license for upholstery and drapery fabrics with Duralee, and the designers there take my raw art and make a workable repeat. Of course, when they lay everything out for me, they know exactly what I’m going to say: “Can we make the image 25 percent bigger?” Fernez is the founder of thomaspaul, a textile design company with products for every aspect of the home. His aesthetic blends contemporary pop art and minimalist art; vintage illustrations; and floral, nautical, and geometric patterns. Some of his designs are produced through licensing agreements with brands including VCNY Home (bedding), Gartner Studios (stationery), Duralee (upholstery), and Nuloom (rugs).

Fernez finds most of his images, including the octopus used on this pillow (top) and shower curtain (in production, above), from books of vintage illustrations.

On that December night, Brini welcomed everyone graciously while

2014

Bennett coached beginners through tricky stitches. Most of those present were seasoned knitters. Robert Cole, a high-school teacher, was knitting a pair of shorts. Angela DeLuccia, a PhD student, was constructing a complex afghan with 40 repeating rows. “I do well with structured mathematics,” she said. The week’s theme was “ugly sweaters”; toward the end, Brini and Bennett Ronaldo DeMorais

Sarah Chojecki, Fashion Design, is an attorney and knitwear designer who created Merino de Valdes, an environmental certification for ranchers on the Valdes peninsula of Argentina. The certification protects biodiversity and maintains grasslands by limiting sheep populations and banning the killing of predators and competitive herbivores. Six ranchers have signed on thus far, and the organic wool is sold

SINGULAR SENSATION

Josh Bennett, Menswear ’12, and Ben Sander, Fashion Design ’93

The Drunken Photographer

Tamara Jerardo Mayne, Communication Design, created the Brooklyn Candle Studio in 2013 after her homemade candles (and their soothing, minimalist packaging) inspired a frenzy on Etsy. Now the candles are produced in Sunset Park by a sevenperson team and sold in more than 300 stores, including West Elm, Urban Outfitters, Lou & Grey, and Lululemon. One reason for her success: It’s hard to find statement candles at an affordable price.

This elephant, which Vitsic painted using salt to create the texture, was printed on Pommy New York handbags.

took the stage and invited the knitters to show off their most hideous creations. The winners got knit kits, containing a pattern, needles, and yarn. Cairo Romaguera, a makeup artist who knits black accessories to wear to work, won a kit on the strength of a strange knitted brassiere. “None of my friends understand my excitement about knitting,” he said, “but they do here.”

hue.fitnyc.edu 35


alumni notes

what inspires you?

2011

to designers in the U.S. and Argentina. “I believed that as long as a product was natural, it couldn’t pose a serious threat to the environment,” Chojecki says. “But I learned that in most places where sheep are raised for meat or wool, wildlife populations are disappearing at an alarming pace.”

KNIT WITS

Thomas Paul Fernez, Fabric Styling ’95

2013 C.A. (Conor) MacFinn, Computer Animation and Interactive Media, is a principal of CGMuse, a motion graphics company, with his mother. His awardwinning shorts, including Glooscap and the Baby and The No Face Doll, have played in 27 film festivals internationally; those two films were shown to children at the Water Protectors’ School at Standing Rock (MacFinn is partly of Mi’kmaq descent). He also creates animation for apps and educational software, and he teaches at Rockland (New York) Community College and to low-income and at-risk children at Mamaroneck Community Resource Center.

Amber Morgan, Fabric Styling, rehabbed a 1973 Shasta trailer into the Mani-Camper, a mobile nail salon that she brings to birthday and bachelorette parties, bridal showers, and employee events within driving distance of her home in Amarillo, Texas. The mid-century vibe of Palm Springs, California, inspired the interior, and she designed the Art Deco–influenced wallpaper; finding the pink marble countertop was a stroke of luck.

Bennett and Sander (as Brini) welcome all experience levels at Knit@Nite.

On a Tuesday night in December, a diverse crowd gathered in actor Alan Cumming’s cozy East Village cabaret, Club Cumming. They weren’t there to watch a show, listen to music, or dance. They were there to knit. “It’s a great place to have a couple drinks, bang out some noncommittal knitting, and socialize,” said Josh Bennett, the night’s knitter-in-chief. Knit@Nite launched shortly after the club opened in September. The goal was to bring in a different guest instructor each time. First up was Bennett, a former men’s sweater designer at Tommy Hilfiger with an exclusive line of hand-knitted sweaters at Bergdorf Goodman and a collection of luxe superhero-themed sweaters, developed in collaboration with Marvel Comics and sold on his website. He also teaches at knitting retreats worldwide. (Yes, Chriselda Martina

Tamara Mayne

The Valdes Peninsula.

One of the most popular scents is Fern + Moss, a blend of sage, lavender, spruce, and pine inspired by a trip Mayne took to Fern Canyon in Northern California.

34 hue | spring 2018

that’s a thing.) The personable Bennett was a hit from the start. “He was so wonderful, we decided he’d be the regular knit pro,” said Brini Maxwell, the charming host of the evening. Brini, perhaps best known for her homemaking cable TV show that ran on the Style Network, is the drag alter ego of Ben Sander, who

Tati Vitsic (Tatiana Vieitas De Siqueira), Textile/Surface Design, is a Brazilian graphic and textile designer who has designed Christmas sweaters for Fashion Avenue Knits, and apparel and accessories for Elle Baby and Baby Lounge. Pommy New York is her line of handbags, lunchboxes, and other products, featuring her playful art.

designs interiors when he’s not being Brini. Sander also sewed the chartreuse ensemble Brini was wearing. “I made a commitment to make everything I wear to this event.” Bennett has always loved knitting, but at first he didn’t consider it as a career because he believed men were not supposed to knit. After going into theater, his colleagues convinced him otherwise. At FIT, he became known for teaching his classmates the skill. As Brini pointed out, in medieval times, knitting was originally a man’s trade.

When I was a kid, I had really bad eyesight. I would sit literally right in front of the television. Even today, I sit in the third row of the movie theater: I like everything to be magnified. At FIT, I was awful at making repeats. When I was starting out in the industry, if I found this really great motif for a pillow, instead of having to put it into a repeat, I’d blow up the image to the size of the pillow. I became known for that. If you’re just focusing on one icon—a bird, an animal, a flower—it becomes much more important, almost like a portrait. When it’s in a repeat, you lose it a little bit. It got crazier when I expanded to duvet covers and shower curtains. Still no repeats. But sometimes I don’t have a choice. I have a license for upholstery and drapery fabrics with Duralee, and the designers there take my raw art and make a workable repeat. Of course, when they lay everything out for me, they know exactly what I’m going to say: “Can we make the image 25 percent bigger?” Fernez is the founder of thomaspaul, a textile design company with products for every aspect of the home. His aesthetic blends contemporary pop art and minimalist art; vintage illustrations; and floral, nautical, and geometric patterns. Some of his designs are produced through licensing agreements with brands including VCNY Home (bedding), Gartner Studios (stationery), Duralee (upholstery), and Nuloom (rugs).

Fernez finds most of his images, including the octopus used on this pillow (top) and shower curtain (in production, above), from books of vintage illustrations.

On that December night, Brini welcomed everyone graciously while

2014

Bennett coached beginners through tricky stitches. Most of those present were seasoned knitters. Robert Cole, a high-school teacher, was knitting a pair of shorts. Angela DeLuccia, a PhD student, was constructing a complex afghan with 40 repeating rows. “I do well with structured mathematics,” she said. The week’s theme was “ugly sweaters”; toward the end, Brini and Bennett Ronaldo DeMorais

Sarah Chojecki, Fashion Design, is an attorney and knitwear designer who created Merino de Valdes, an environmental certification for ranchers on the Valdes peninsula of Argentina. The certification protects biodiversity and maintains grasslands by limiting sheep populations and banning the killing of predators and competitive herbivores. Six ranchers have signed on thus far, and the organic wool is sold

SINGULAR SENSATION

Josh Bennett, Menswear ’12, and Ben Sander, Fashion Design ’93

The Drunken Photographer

Tamara Jerardo Mayne, Communication Design, created the Brooklyn Candle Studio in 2013 after her homemade candles (and their soothing, minimalist packaging) inspired a frenzy on Etsy. Now the candles are produced in Sunset Park by a sevenperson team and sold in more than 300 stores, including West Elm, Urban Outfitters, Lou & Grey, and Lululemon. One reason for her success: It’s hard to find statement candles at an affordable price.

This elephant, which Vitsic painted using salt to create the texture, was printed on Pommy New York handbags.

took the stage and invited the knitters to show off their most hideous creations. The winners got knit kits, containing a pattern, needles, and yarn. Cairo Romaguera, a makeup artist who knits black accessories to wear to work, won a kit on the strength of a strange knitted brassiere. “None of my friends understand my excitement about knitting,” he said, “but they do here.”

hue.fitnyc.edu 35


227 W. 27th St. New York, NY 10001-5992 return service requested

SOMETHING’S BUZZING ON THE ROOF FIT’s hives are part of a citywide effort to increase the local bee population— and it seems to be working. Guillermo Fernandez, executive director of the Honeybee Conservancy and the steward of FIT’s hives, spotted three species of bees feasting on the yellow sedum planted on the college’s 11/3 acres of green roofs. The first, of course, is the Carniolan honeybee, the hardy, fecund species brought in to populate the hives. The other two are the brown-belted bumble bee and the cellophane bee, named for the plasticky material it uses for its hive instead of wax. Where are these other species coming from? Fernandez believes that FIT is a link in a “pollinator corridor” of rooftop gardens that provide rest stops for bees flying between the High Line and Madison Square Park. Illustration by Heekyung Hur MA ’08

Hue Spring 2018  

volume 11| number 2

Hue Spring 2018  

volume 11| number 2