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Alumni Magazine of the Fashion Institute of Technology

volume 3 | number 2 | spring 2010 Hue_Issue08_m5.1.indd 1

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C H E F ’S S P E C I A L S



showstoppers! Alumni style stars for the stage—and beyond

food, glorious food Special section begins here



the small-town girl

the art of cooking This Fine Arts alum is a mos def chef

and the

femme fatale Claire McCardell and Valentina: two takes on American fashion


born to run Life for this faculty member is no walk in the park


scrap shoot A faculty art show reimagines metal


golden opportunity A Display and Exhibit Design alum makes a display for Michael Kors


cutting the apron strings An alumna takes cooks’ uniforms from shabby to chic


heirloom recipes A conceptual artist cooks up a project at FIT


divine inspiration Baker extraordinaire Rose Levy Beranbaum ’68


the mouse that roared This alumna finds selling chocolate palatable


kitchen cred Questions for Top Chef Lee Anne Wong ’98


steeped in the past Think outside the bag with this tea and food historian




caribbean queen A taste of the tropics, via Brooklyn

Hue is the alumni magazine of the Fashion Institute of Technology, a State University of New York college of art and design, business and technology. It is published three times a year by the Division of Advancement and External Relations, Seventh Alumni Magazine of the Fashion Institute of Technology

Avenue at 27 Street, Room B905, New York City  10001-5992, 212 217.4700. Email:

volume 3 | number 2 | spring 2010

Address letters to the editors, Hue magazine. 

Vice President for Advancement and External Relations Loretta Lawrence Keane Assistant Vice President for Communications Carol Leven

Editor Linda Angrilli Managing Editor Alex Joseph Staff Writer Gregory Herbowy Editorial Assistant Vanessa Machir Art Direction and Design Empire Design Studio

Hue magazine on the web:  

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D epart m e n ts


hue’s news Recent developments at and related to FIT



faculty on... What makes a great chocolate bar wrapper?



27/7 What’s the most exotic food you’ve ever eaten?


i contact Face time with a Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing student


alumni notes Find out what your classmates are up to


sparks The beet of an Advertising Design alum’s heart

ON THE COVER What does an FIT student eat in a week? For the cover of Hue’s food issue, we asked Matty Brown, Photography ’10, to show us. For seven days, everything headed to his gullet passed before his lens. The resulting mosaic features many diners’ delights available near the college—including Ginger House, Taco Bandito, Brooklyn Bagels, the Fashion Hot Dog cart (“Charlie’s the man,” Brown says of the proprietor), and Brown’s favorite, Johny’s Luncheonette, where he took the self portrait, below. One conspicuous absence? Pizza. (“I just didn’t get to it.”) And in short supply: dessert. (“I don’t have much of a sweet tooth.”) Brown, who grew up eating his mother’s Italian cooking in Erskine Lake, NJ, worked at a deli for four years, and writes a blog, Sandwich Mansion, for serious sandwich aficionados. He says the key to a great one is to “take stuff you like, and put it on there.” His favorite: the Sloppy Johny, from the eatery which gives it its name—a chicken cutlet with bacon, coleslaw, and American cheese (see in photo). As for the experience of documenting his chow, Brown says, “I ate like a king. It was awesome.”

Back cover: Rose Levy Beranbaum’s rose-shaped cake pan. ( p.18). Photo: Matthew Septimus.


Pencil drawings in this issue were created by staff writer Greg Herbowy, who has studied Fine Arts at FIT.


On FIT’s website, Continuing and Professional Studies: FIT job openings: Gallery of student work: Gladys Marcus Library: The Museum at FIT: To view videos about the college, go to: Email the FIT Alumni Association: Go to to answer The Ask, tell us what inspires you for Sparks, or update your alumni info.

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The Museum at FIT

The Museum at FIT is currently hosting three exhibitions: Scandal Sandals and Lady Slippers: A History of Delman Shoes, through April 3; American Beauty: Aesthetics and Innovation in Fashion, through April 10; and Night & Day, through May 11. Night & Day, in the Fashion and Textile History Gallery, is an exploration of 250 years of evolution in women’s evening- and daywear. Scandal Sandals is this year’s exhibition by graduate students in the Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice program, celebrating its 25th anniversary. It covers the history of the Delman footwear brand, worn by stars from Marilyn Monroe to Anne Hathaway. Drawn from the collections of The Museum at FIT and the Delman

archive, the show features approximately 50 shoe styles, newsreel footage, advertisements, and illustrated patents. The museum also has a full schedule for its spring Fashion Culture programs. The Fashion Conversation series features discussions with designers Thom Browne, Prabal Gurung, and Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, and Vogue editor André Leon Talley. There will also be a lecture and book signing with historian Caroline Weber. Reservations are required for all events. For more information, visit From The Museum at FIT’s show, Scandal Sandals: Delman, ankle strap sandal with peep-toe, red/blue/ yellow/green suede, circa 1939.

Jerry Speier

what’s happening on campus

This Spring at The Museum at FIT

President Joyce F. Brown tips off FIT’s homecoming basketball game, Tigers versus Borough of Manhattan Community College, last fall.

In the last issue, we asked: Was your first job after FIT great? Or grim?

Lauren Reich, Textile/Surface Design ’09, answered:

“Posh Pound,” textile design by Reich.


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Great. I interned at a textile company, Tyler Hall [owned by Dennis Lee, Interior Design ’78, a Textile/ Surface Design instructor]. I worked on their new, whimsical line for retail and consumers, called Tyler and Friends. Then when I graduated, they hired me. Now I’m the marketing director. I write press releases and handle all aspects of the media. I created the logo, too. But I also design. All our original artwork is hand-painted. That’s what makes us unique. The business aspect of the job isn’t what I pictured while I was in school, but I couldn’t be happier. I even have time to tutor at FIT.

Send us the best picture you’ve taken with your phone, and the story behind it. Email your story to, or send it to the editors at Hue magazine. Submissions will be considered for publication in a future issue.

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FIT’s Fashion Show to Air Live, Online

The Future of Fashion features work by graduating students in the categories of sportswear, special occasion, knitwear, intimate apparel, menswear, and children’s wear. In addition to runway footage, the show’s webpage will host supplemental materials such as photos from past years’ events and critics’ and judges’ bios. This year’s critics and judges include Calvin Klein, Fashion Design ’63, and Kate Betts, Time contributing editor. The show is sponsored by Cotton Incorporated. For information on the live streaming, go to

>> A shly Juskus, Fashion Merchandising Management ’10, won one of the four top $25,000 awards at the 2010 Geoffrey Beene Fashion Scholarship Awards Dinner, held January 13

>> The School of Continuing and Professional

at Cipriani 42nd Street. Created by the YMA

Studies has introduced two new certificate

Fashion Scholarship Fund and The Geoffrey

programs. Performance Athletic Footwear,

Beene Foundation, the funds are given annually

a credit certificate program, offers courses in

to exceptional students in fashion-related fields.

sneaker-specific drafting, ergonomics, and materials. Sustainable Design Entrepreneur, a noncredit certificate program, provides the knowledge and access to resources needed for a business based on sustainable design practices. For more information, go to

Illustrators’ Stevan Dohanos Award. The 2009 honoree was Stephen Gardner ’07. In 2008, Chad Wallace ’07 won. The award is given to the members’ exhibition.

>> FIT’s ePortfolio system, which allows applicants to art and design programs to submit their portfolios online, won two awards last year: a Campus Technology Innovators Award, from Campus Technology magazine, and a Digital Education Achievement Award for sustainability, from the Center for Digital Education and Converge magazine.

>> On November 19, the Foreign Languages Department celebrated the 20th anniversary of its poetry recitation competition, in which students recite celebrated works in Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish. The event was founded and is organized by James Cascaito, department chairperson and associate professor of Italian.

>> The State University of New York had a record percent increase from 2008 and the largest one-year bump in SUNY history. In other SUNY news, Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher has launched an expansive strategic plan for the university this spring. For more information,

>> FIT’s women’s volleyball team had an impressive fall season, with a 14-0 record in regularseason play, a top-ten Division III ranking, and Region XV Player and Coach of the Year honors for Corinne Ribiere, Fashion Merchandising Management ’11, and Max Auguste, respectively.


Board of Trustees Appoints New Members

Meet FIT’s First Alumni Relations Manager

FIT’s Board of Trustees appointed three new members and reappointed longstanding member George S. Kaufman in December. The new members are Amsale Aberra, Fashion Design ’83 and cofounder, co-CEO, and creative director of the Amsale Design Group; Chris Casson Madden, a Fashion Buying and Merchandising alumna and founder and CEO of Chris Madden, Inc.; and Robert Savage, cofounder and president of Nanette Lepore, NY, and husband of Lepore, Fashion Design ’83. Kaufman—appointed for a fourth term— is chairman of Kaufman Astoria Studios, a film and television production center, and the Kaufman Organization, a real estate company. A $4 million gift from Kaufman and his wife helped make possible the George S. and Mariana Kaufman Residence Hall, FIT’s largest housing facility.

As part of its strategic plan, 2020: FIT at 75, FIT has launched an effort to build relationships and enhance communications with alumni. To support this goal, Allison Oldehoff has joined FIT and its Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries as the first manager of Alumni and Faculty Relations. She will work with alumni, faculty, students, and administrators to develop alumni programs, provide services, and strengthen ties between former students and the college. Allison comes to the Office of Development and Alumni Relations from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Look for more about Oldehoff in an upcoming issue of Hue. Contact her at

Hue_Issue08_m5.1.indd 5

Illustration MA alumnus won the Society of

piece judged best-in-show at the society’s annual

enrollment of 464,981 in fall 2009—a six

Featured illustration for The Future of Fashion by Melanie Reim, Illustration MA chair.

>> Last year was the second in a row in which an

what’s happening on campus

You don’t have to be a ticket-holder—or even be in Manhattan—to check out FIT’s 2010 Fashion Design BFA and Menswear AAS runway show, The Future of Fashion, taking place in the John E. Reeves Great Hall on April 26 at 7:30 pm. For the first time ever, the event will stream live online—and be archived for later viewing.



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four alumni make the clothes that make the music

by Greg Herbowy


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PA Photos/Landov

Allen Ying ’03

Opposite and above: Lady Gaga performs

B e yon d th e m usic

Scott Nylund Fashion Design ’00

in Zaldy ensembles. Left: The designer in his Chelsea Hotel studio. Below: Zaldy’s sketch for a “Billie Jean”- inspired

There are many hard truths in life, and this

Jackson outfit. Zaldy worked with Philips Technology

is one of them: you aren’t Beyoncé. But you can

to create clothes that would light up in any color

cop her style. Since 2003, the superstar’s mother,

combination. Jackson called it “everything I’ve

Tina Knowles, has been creating looks inspired

ever wanted.”

by Beyoncé’s music and image through her

per fo r man c e ar t

clothing company, Beyond Productions. FIT grad Scott Nylund has been there for six years and

Zaldy Goco

counting, and he’s been design director—working directly under Knowles and her daughter—

Fashion Design ’90

since 2006.  nine costume changes for Gaga and her ten dancers.

flew to Los Angeles to meet Michael Jackson. Jackson

of Deréon, the flagship, offers dresses for  

was preparing for a 50-concert engagement in London

different performers—Lady Gaga ascendant, her visual

$300 – 500 at stores like Bloomingdale’s;

and he’d hired Zaldy to design some outfits. Though  

language still evolving; Jackson a legend, his iconogra-

Deréon, younger and casual, sells at midrange

Last spring, designer Zaldy Goco (known as Zaldy)

Zaldy’s way of working with these two very

Beyond comprises three brands: House  

no stranger to celebrity—he’s built his career working

phy firmly established—was similar. “I look at all the

department stores; Miss Tina, exclusive to the

with performers like Gwen Stefani and Mary J. Blige—

people I work with as muses,” he says. “I want their

Home Shopping Network, is geared toward the

Zaldy was unsure what to expect. “I thought I’d be led

creative input.” With Gaga, he drew on their shared

channel’s typical viewer—middle-aged, trending

into a room and given the protocol,” he says. “Like, don’t

inspirations: Helmut Newton, Alfred Hitchcock, Thierry

conservative. All are licensed. Each season,

shake his hand, look in his eyes. But I just went and sat

Mugler, and celebrities of all eras—Egyptian queens,

Knowles, Nylund, and their design team choose

next to him on the couch. We talked about Baroque art,

gun molls, tabloid-hounded stars. With Jackson, he

concepts, colors, and specific details (say, a

old movies. He was absolutely magnificent.”

repurposed and synthesized elements from the

buckle that looks like a lion’s head doorknocker

musician’s rich visual history. The illuminated sidewalk

for an “Old English” themed collection), then coordinate and develop the licensees’ best

Zaldy had completed ten outfits when Jackson

died. “I was so depressed,” Zaldy recalls. “Not only for

from the “Billie Jean” video, for example, became an

the personal loss, but I thought, ‘Who else am I ever

illuminated outfit (see sketch, below). Above all, Zaldy

going to work with that is so inspiring?’”

made sure the clothes, no matter how outrageous, were

comfortable enough to perform in and not improbable

Enter Lady Gaga, renowned for her audacious

get-ups, stage shows, and videos. Last fall, a sometime-

to picture on the runway. “It has to work as fashion.  

collaborator offered  

If it’s too theatrical, I’m not interested.”

to introduce Zaldy to

Gaga’s team, then

to the stage, the clothes were shown in London last fall

planning her Monster

in a memorial exhibition at the O2 Arena, and can be

Ball tour. “I really didn’t

seen in the Jackson documentary This Is It, on DVD.

know that much about

The Scissor Sisters, a disco-pop group the designer has

Though Zaldy’s work for Jackson never made it  

her,” Zaldy says. “But

dressed since 2005, will release a new album this spring.

when I heard they were

Meanwhile, Zaldy has created paper dresses for M.A.C

interested, I started  

Cosmetics, which the store will use to promote new

to do research and

stores in Asia and Eastern Europe, and he’s working on

came across things like

clothes for singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright’s

‘Paparazzi’”—one of

upcoming tour.

Splash News

her hits—“and became a rabid, rabid fan.” He

For video of Zaldy and to see more of his work, go to

eventually designed

Nylund with Beyoncé

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dar k arts

Left: The singer’s ’09 Oscars dress—a black mermaid gown with

Marc Sasso,

gold metallic floral design—from House of Deréon’s Fall/Winter

Illustration ’89

2009 collection. Below: Nylund’s sketch for the

There’s pop art, and then there’s

dress. An exhibition of his art was at the Owatonna Arts Center, in

heavy-metal art. Rife with fire, demons,

Minnesota, last summer.

and sword-brandishing skeletons, heavy-metal art is every bit as aggressive and ornate as the music it promotes. One of the top names in the

David Roemer

business is Marc Sasso, art director of Metal God Entertainment.

the music, Sasso began working in the

Metal God is the multimedia

Though he’s a lifelong fan of  

production company of Rob Halford,

metal world somewhat recently. He

frontman of seminal metal act Judas

spent his first ten years after gradua-

Priest and newer bands Halford and

tion in Los Angeles, designing visual

Fight, selling Halford-related recordings,

effects and title sequences for films  

videos, and merchandise. With his

and freelance illustrating for comics,

sketchpad and computer, Sasso creates

sci-fi and fantasy novels, and video

the look of it all.

games. In 2003, he broke into album

art, working on releases by artists like

Last September the company

launched Metal God Apparel, a line of

legendary vocalist Ronnie James Dio.

premium quality tees and thermals,

Then a mutual friend introduced him 

retailing online. The designs all play on

to Halford—a personal favorite of

classic metal themes—metal studs,

Sasso’s and someone he’d long been

lightning, and ominous deities

trying to collaborate with. Impressed

abound—but ditch the usual black-

with his work, Halford recruited Sasso

and-blood color template for softer

for Metal God.

blues and browns. And unlike the stiff,

bulky gear peddled at concert merch

in Phoenix, but Sasso works mostly 

Metal God’s operations are based

tables, Metal God’s all-cotton shirts  

from his studio in Westchester County

ideas. Beyond’s design credo is to “accentuate the positive,” Nylund says.

are prewashed twice—“for that  

(he also lives there, with wife Lisa

“Our clothes work with and complement a woman’s natural curves.” 

vintage feel,” Sasso says—and cut  

Yanoff, Marketing: Fashion and Related

for a sleeker fit.

Industries ’89), not far from his

Knowles divides her time between her home in Houston and

Beyond’s offices in Manhattan. Together, she and Nylund make a tight

hometown, where he “grew up drawing

pair. “She’s my design mother,” he says. “We’ll go fabric shopping at 11

and going to metal shows—Judas

and not get back until 5.” Their abilities are complementary. She designs

Priest, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath.…  

by draping and tailoring, he by sketching—a skill he developed obsessively

I still have high-school notebooks

in his Minnesota childhood and at FIT. Each month, they spend a few days

covered with illustrations inspired by

at HSN’s studios in St. Petersburg, FL, hosting live Miss Tina segments, a

their songs.”

duty Nylund first assumed by default (Knowles had to leave unexpectedly) and with trepidation (“I was terrified”) but now excels at. He credits his

For more of Sasso’s work visit

marketing skills to the three years he spent at Ralph Lauren after

graduating, working in retail. “It taught me about what consumers want, Beyoncé is Beyond’s co-creative director, muse, and face. But as there

is no shortage of designers looking to dress the star, all Deréon clothes go into her stylist’s racks, where they compete alongside others’ work. “There are no guarantees she’ll wear anything of ours,” Nylund says. 

This makes it all the more satisfying when she does. A while back,

Knowles and Nylund created a deco-patterned gown with a box-pleated back. Beyoncé loved it, wore it for an Ebony spread, and asked for a glossier version, to be considered for her awards-season wear. Eagerly, Nylund watched red-carpet coverage for the BET, Grammy, and Golden Globe awards. Nothing. By the Academy Awards, the last and biggest spectacle of them all, he was resigned to a near-miss, but tuned in anyway.


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Beyoncé wore the dress.

Photos courtesy of Beyond Productions; sketch courtesy of Scott Nylund.

how fit works … things I’d never really thought about.” 

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Opposite: Sasso and Halford at Metal God Apparel’s launch party last fall; “Steel Wings” tee design. Right: Sasso-designed album cover for Dio. Below: a cover illustration for Dungeon magazine, which covers

Mike Hagler

role-playing games.

dr essin g u p dolly

Steve Summers Designing clothes is hard. Designing them for an extravagantly proportioned country legend with flashy tastes is even harder. So when Steve Summers, creative director for Dolly Parton’s multimedia empire and the star’s couturier, reached the limit of his self-taught skills, Dolly suggested he “find the best school and go.”

Summers—who also art-directs all of Parton’s photo shoots, videos,

album covers, and merchandise—chose FIT, decamping from Nashville to Manhattan in summer 2007 to study sketching and sewing through the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. “I absolutely loved it,” he says, “and I absolutely plan on going back.”

If only he had time. Parton’s nonstop schedule requires an endless

supply of clothes; with the help of five full-time seamstresses, Summers creates 300-plus pieces annually. His design M.O.: “It’s about, ‘What   are the needs?’ Is she going to be sitting or standing? Will there be any stairs? Will she need to change quickly?” One thing he doesn’t worry about: “I don’t have to figure out if it’s going to be flashy or over the top.   That’s a non-negotiable.”

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The Sm a llTown Gir l a nd the Femme Fata le

Claire McCardell and Valentina model two approaches to American fashion Claire McCardell (1905-1958) and Valentina Schlee (1899-1989) were American designers working in the mid-20th century at opposite ends of the market. McCardell created affordable sportswear, while the Russian-born Schlee, known as Valentina, ran a custom business serving an elite clientele. At The Museum at FIT’s American Style symposium in December, cultural historian and curator Kohle Yohannan gave a talk comparing the two. Below are excerpts.


laire Mc Cardell and Valentina are often seen as radically different designers in that they addressed polar opposites in the marketplace. McCardell could sell you a dress for $6.95, Valentina for $1,300. Sometimes the only way those two dresses differed was in the way they were sold. The designer’s image also affected the way her garments were priced. McCardell addressed the mass market, shamelessly proud of that double-needle top stitching that said “American machinery.” Valentina hid every seam like a rarefied French couturière. Both women, however, swore that America did not need France to teach us how to dress. These women designed nearly the same clothing, in varying fabrics, for about 25 years. The difference in how they were marketed sets up an expectation of two types of American fashion—the wearable, practical, and down-to-earth McCardell, with her casual ease, versus the bulletproof grandeur of Valentina’s femme-fatale façade. By the late ’30s, each of these cleverly self-created style makers had her public image down perfectly. Minimalism played a big role in both women’s careers. Whereas Valentina would walk up to you with her scissors and cut off dangling bits of decoration she didn’t like, Claire just worked with her eraser. So these were two approaches to the idea that less was more. In a $20 McCardell outfit, it’s called simplicity; chez Valentina, it’s Minimalism for $1,000.


If Valentina felt a woman did not have the body the designer’s clothes looked good on, she would tell her to shop elsewhere. You can imagine Mrs. Rockefeller’s outrage at being told, “I am sorry, Madame, my gowns won’t suit you.” McCardell was much more democratic. Her idea was that a good dress looks good in every size. Both women were fashion models in their early days. McCardell worked at the French room in B. Altman, and she trained her models to have that slouchy hand-in-pocket stance—that smirky, casual, I’m-too-cool-for-my-shirt look is what Claire brought to clothes. Buyers liked that high/low, throwaway chic—a sort of half-modest “oh, this old thing?” attitude that is quintessentially American. If McCardell told the models to walk like her, Valentina said, “I’ll model the clothes myself.” At her shows, she would come out in full performance-art mode and say outrageous things like, “This outfit is perfect for a funeral—after you kill your lover’s wife.” Valentina would have charged $475 to $650 for a wrap-and-tie dress. Claire’s version was maybe $65. Now, why did some American women look at McCardell and buy Valentina? McCardell had studied in France and dissected Vionnet’s dresses with the idea of making them mass-marketMcCardell crafted her able. Valentina took image with drawing board, something very scissors, and fabric bolts different from Paris—the lavish, in the background. indulgent, customer-service-centered experience of buying couture. If America wanted anything, it was titles and aristocracy. Valentina brought a little bit of Paris to the Upper East Side. McCardell stayed with the practical, sound, and true, and if that sounds nostalgic, it was a strong midcentury sentiment because of the war effort. Valentina was a dancer and actress prior to becoming a designer. The extremely glamorous way she presented herself to the media seemed somehow to justify her cost. She showed a singular vision—

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Bettman / Corbis

Condé Nast / Corbis

Valentina, 1940. She said, “You want bows? Go to Macy’s!”

McCardell, 1940. “I do not like glitter; only fabric well cut and beautifully constructed,” she said.

high culture, fantasy and theatrics, and her own icy, modern—even stoic—appearance. Enrapt with her own beauty, she had her passport photo shot by Horst! By contrast, McCardell saw herself as a craftsman: she trained as a designer, and crafted her image with drawing board, scissors, and fabric bolts always in the background. Claire went beyond the sketch and the sample room by showing up at the factory, on the production line, bringing a comparable Valentina had her attention to detail to her off-therack customer that Valentina passport photo brought to her couture clients. shot by Horst. Working miracles by delivering well-priced simple clothes that were anything but simple to design, McCardell became known as “the designer’s designer.” Their clothes pushed boundaries in each market. They were rebels with similar causes: both went braless their entire life, and they wouldn’t let their designs be shown with undergarments of any kind. The wrap and tie, the shirred jersey—these were things designers had played with in the past, so they were not new. What was new was the exposure of the body, the respect for the body, the “body first” aesthetic, and the lack of restricted movement that each woman adamantly promoted. By contrast, Charles James (one of Valentina’s competitors) built sculptures, or “hypotheses,” in silk satin—which the woman was later crow-barred into. And while you weren’t expected to go out and plow a field in McCardell or Valentina’s clothes, each of these designers insisted you could do what you do—as designer, wife, shopper, actress, whatever you were that moment of the day—in the clothing they sold you. I see Valentina and McCardell as the movie star and the maverick. Valentina took the high road—America’s fascination with Hollywood and glamour. McCardell took America’s fascination with being American. Her idea was that the freedoms we enjoy, and the machinery behind American success, were something to be celebrated. They were very different but they were running a similar business plan, and that was to address women on a level that empowered them. One of them did it at a price and one of them did it at a ransom, but Valentina—America’s resident sphinx of haute couture—and Claire McCardell—with her democratizing practicality and American can-doism—each rolled-up her sleeves, and mastered the business of American style. Kohle Yohannan wrote Claire McCardell: Redefining Modernism and Valentina: American Couture and the Cult of Celebrity, and worked on corresponding exhibitions at The Museum at FIT (McCardell) and the Museum of the City of New York (Valentina). He also contributed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s show, The Model as Muse.

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In 1995, Tanser founded the charitable organization Shoe4Africa, which is currently engaged in developing a children’s hospital in Kenya. [Natalie Portman is a supporter.] Tanser received the 2008 Runner’s World

FIT coach Toby Tanser shares secrets of competitive running “My FIT job is the most legit job I have,” Toby Tanser says. The elite runner and international competitor has published three books, including The Essential Guide to Running the New York City Marathon. Head coach of the New York Flyers, the city’s largest running team, he came to FIT in 2005 to coach the cross country and half marathon teams. At some colleges, Tanser says, coaches train athletes so hard that they’re “run into the ground” and quit after graduation. That’s contrary to Tanser’s philosophy: “I want people to develop a lifelong love of running.” The former sub-2:20 marathoner developed his passion while living and training in Kenya. Kenyan runners dominate the international running scene, and scientists say their narrow hips, high, springy arches, natural diet, and superior cardiovascular fitness (due to the country’s high altitude) give them an edge. Tanser has his own theory, as he explains in his latest book, More Fire: How to Run the Kenyan Way. Attitude, he says, sets Kenyans apart. They don’t complain

Heroes Humanitarian Award.

or give up, and they expect to win. When not training, they focus completely on resting, whereas Western runners train year-round. Tanser’s coaching method mimics the Africans’: train hard, then rest. It works. FIT running teams have won regional and national recognition in Division III of the National Junior College Athletic Association. The 2008 Cross Country Women finished second in the region and eighth in the nation. The 2008 and 2007 women’s half-marathon teams finished 13th and tenth nationally, and the men’s teams placed 14th in 2007 and 15th in 2006. Tanser, who is on the board of Achilles International (for athletes with disabilities), and lectures for the New York Marathon and Road Runner events, advises integrating workouts into daily routine. “Be active in life and you don’t need gym work,” he says. “If you have friends who play soccer on Thursdays and you jump on for fun, then you have cross-training right!” —Norma Campbell

Scrap Shoot Scott Nobles, adjunct instructor of Photography, shot the man in Flying Dream 2 in a studio against a white backdrop, and later digitally added the wings and antique fire extinguisher that compose his flying apparatus. The background is a composite of historical images taken from the New York municipal archives. Nobles changed a sign that read “Eastern Terra Cotta Company” in the original to “Eastern Rocket Company.” The image appeared in a faculty art show at The Museum at FIT called Metal Transfigured, which explored the creative possibilities of metal. Nobles says the idea of transforming scrap metal inspired the self-assigned series from which Flying Dream 2 is taken. Most of his work is commercial book covers for publishers including Simon & Schuster and St. Martin’s Press. He recently created one for Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, from the author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. To see more of Metal Transfigured, go to:


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Food, Glorious Food Would it surprise you that a lot of FIT alumni are

making their careers in the food industry? It shouldn’t. Food and fashion have a lot in common—and it’s not just about good taste. Everyone has to eat, and everyone has to get dressed. But what you eat and wear are guided by many forces, from where you live to how much you earn, from the technologies used to produce your cheese and your shoes to the mysterious forces that drive trends. Skinny jeans and local produce? Hot. Fondue and pillbox hats? Not. The drive, creativity, and focus required of people in the food field would be familiar to alumni from many FIT programs. Like design, food is a craft that occasionally rises to an art form. But the food industry, like design, takes more than creativity; it requires a mind geared to business as well. Alumni own and market food companies, design restaurants, create food packaging, and cook in chic eateries. Food and fashion are on people’s minds, and all over the media. So flip through Hue’s food section, and you’ll find alumni taking a big piece of the pie. Bon appétit!

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A night in the kitchen with Antonio Mora, Fine Arts By Greg Herbowy t i s t wo h o u r s before dinner service starts at

the staff to try. A thick slice of radicchio, braised in red wine, goes in the

Morandi, a supremely fashionable trattoria in Green-

center. The liver-and-pear mixture, spooned onto a slice of baguette

wich Village, and executive chef Tony Liu and sous

that’s been fried in olive oil and rubbed with garlic, he props against one

chef Antonio Mora have just decided how to prepare

side. He cuts the breast on the bias and fans it out in a semicircle on the

tonight’s special, pheasant.

other. The final touch is a drizzling of jus. His coworkers are impressed.

Mora takes apart a dozen or so birds with un-

Mora frowns. “The jus needs more vegetable flavor.”

hurried efficiency. He sets aside the legs to be used for

ravioli later in the week. The wings and necks he

start with an idea in your head of how something is going to smell and

browns in a pan, later adding duck stock, to make a jus.

taste and look. You never get it exactly, but you keep trying.”

He cooks the livers with shallots and garlic, then chops

and mixes them with diced Asian pear—“for texture,”

kitchen’s plating station, in front of the ranges, he rattles off orders as

he explains—into a rough-hewn sort of pâté. He wraps the pheasant

they come in, coordinates the line cooks’ efforts so a table’s food is all

breasts, still on the bone, in boar bacon and roasts them in the oven.

ready at the same time, and scrutinizes plates before they go out.

“Getting wild with recipes isn’t really what we do here,” Mora says.

Occasionally, a hostess or server comes in to announce “V.I.P.s”; tonight’s

“You know how you’ll go to a restaurant and a dish will have all these

include a soap-opera star (“He needs his food fast,” the hostess says) and

things going on with it? Like barbecued salmon with 20 different spices?

Gene Hackman.

You wouldn’t know if something was wrong with the fish. The ingredi-

ents we use are so high quality, you don’t want to mess with them.”

licitous as a grandmother, asking with increasing frequency whether

Mora grew up in Manhattan. He and his mother, who worked late,

you’d like something to eat, and each time it sounds less like a question.

ate out often, and he fantasized about opening a restaurant of his own.

He sets food before you, unasked for: a small, tender rabbit chop; slippery

From 1992 to 1994 he majored in Fine Arts at FIT—“I’d paint or make

ribbons of pappardelle with a jam-thick boar ragú; pici—an eggless

sculpture for six, eight hours straight”—while grilling burgers at a

pasta—with tart and creamy lemon and parmesan; cacio e pepe, or pasta

Village bar. Then a family friend got him an apprenticeship at the criti-

with pecorino and freshly grated black pepper; red-wine risotto; spa-

cally lauded Ryland Inn in New Jersey. He’s worked in kitchens ever

ghetti with sundried tomatoes; a softball-sized lump of mozzarella

since. Early last year, Liu—with whom Mora cooked for two years at cu-

stuffed with curds and cream, called burrata; broccoli rabe; delicate

linary superstar Daniel Boulud’s Daniel, in Manhattan—poached Mora

miniature cannoli.

from Avenue, a Jersey bistro where Mora was executive chef.

have a real dinner.”

As the night progresses, Mora shifts to management. Standing at the

The mood in the kitchen stays low-key—homey, even. Mora is as so-

“Come back,” Mora says at the end of the evening. “Come back and

Photographs: Claudio Papapietro

At the start of dinner service, Mora plates a sample of the special for

“Cooking’s similar to art in that a lot of it is craft,” he says. “You


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Cutting the Apron Strings Shannon Reed, Fashion Design ’88, makes chef uniforms fashionable


hink of your ordinary chef’s uniform and “stylish” is probably not the first word that comes to mind. Boxy, drab, and ill-fitting are more like it. Two years ago, Shannon Reed saw a reason to change that. “A lot of the bigger chefs are celebrities these days,” she says, “and I wanted to give them something a little nicer to wear.” Reed pictured hip, modern chef’s uniforms, a concept she dubbed “utility chic.” Her friend, award-winning chef (and fellow Bostonian) Barbara Lynch, provided encouragement. “She said, ‘I think it’s brilliant!’” Reed recalls. With years of design experience— sweaters for Sigrid Olsen, women’s wear for Susan Bristol—Reed knew how to get started. “I made a sample line, and the next thing I knew I had a logo and a website.” Oversized snaps and grommets make Reed’s aprons, bibs, shirts, and jackets distinctive. Her Rebel chef jacket, inspired by a pair of vintage Levi’s, comes in black denim. But comfort and mobility matter, too, so she added stretch to her canvas jackets. Designs can also be ordered in a quick-drying, stain-resistant fabric, imported from Switzerland, that rapidly wicks moisture away from the body— popular features for splash-prone cooks who slave over hot burners. Chefs from around the world wear Reed’s creations, as do celebrated chef-restaurateurs Ana Sortun, in Cambridge, and Suzanne Goin, in LA. Reed’s website also features a line of handmade Italian knives with bicycle-grip handles. In the future, she hopes to offer everything from pants to shoes and bags: “My goal is to have a lifestyle brand for chefs.” —Alexander Gelfand

Reed’s trench chef jacket, left, has empire waist seam details and an a-line shape. Her grey stripe tie-neck shirt sells for $136.

Scenes from an Italian restaurant: sous chef Mora and coworkers prepare rustic Italian fare at Morandi. “These are simple preparations,” he says, “meant to highlight the quality of the ingredients.”

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The Heirloom Recipe Project

New York artist Tattfoo Tan works in a very tasteful medium: food. His Nature Matching System (2008), a billboard-sized mosaic of color squares matched to shades of fruits and vegetables, was displayed in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood. For Food Game (2009), he set up chess and checker boards in the Brooklyn Museum’s lobby, but replaced the game pieces with cookies he baked. “Playing with your food should be encouraged,” he explains. The artist came to campus in the fall to create a conceptual piece, the “Heirloom Recipe Project,” funded by an FIT Diversity Council grant. Tan visited some 30 classes and asked students to share a family recipe, the story behind it, and personal photos, then

A conceptual artist visits FIT to make a piece about food

posted submissions on his blog. “The project is not about food; it’s about why food is important to the students,” he says. Tan, born in Malaysia, says food is the best catalyst for understanding diversity. “To learn about a new culture, you try their food first.” Here, Hue presents a few excerpts. For more about the project, see Tan’s blog:

Galbi-Jjim (for Hana),

by Chun-Soon Li, Visual Art Management ’11 Being a Korean-American adoptee in the U.S. means living, and not living, in two worlds. It means growing up looking different from everyone around you. It means feeling displaced among white Americans, yet uncomfortable around too many Asians. It will take a lifetime to unravel this crown of thorns. Here’s a start: collect together the following ingredients on a crisp fall day. Wear your best warm sweater—the one with the sleeves too long—and your nicest long skirt. This is most auspicious. 2 pounds free-range, grass-fed beef short ribs (from the Union Square farmer’s market) 1 tablespoon baekseju, Korean rice liquor marketed to intellectuals and ladies 4 tablespoons soy sauce – organic Black pepper 1 tablespoon brown sugar or raw unprocessed turbinado sugar from the food co-op 8 cloves fresh organic garlic, minced 1 stalk diced green onion – organic ½ sliced onion – organic Sesame oil – not the cheap kind but a very rich, aromatic, expensive kind Turnip (Traditionally, you use radish, but I mistook turnip for radish and it turned out even better! The turnip breaks down like a dishonest but sweet child under interrogation) Carrots – organic

Gather these items and, if possible, carry them together in your long, hanbok-like skirt. Never mind if Korean women actually do this. That’s not the point. You are going to make galbi-jjim, the traditional beef short rib stew that has warmed Korean cockles for centuries. Soak the short ribs in a bowl of cold water for half an hour, then boil them for five minutes and rinse. This removes excess fat. In another bowl, mix two cups of water with the soy sauce, brown sugar, baekseju, garlic, and onion. Add the short ribs to this bowl and boil for 20 minutes over medium heat. Prepare in a large bowl diced chunks of carrots and turnips and slices of mushroom. Add to the boiling pot of short ribs and simmer, covered, for an hour. Stir occasionally and ladle the juices over the ingredients in the pot. Add a generous amount of sesame oil, corn syrup, and black pepper to taste. When the beef looks richly colored and shiny, serve over white rice and garnish with green onion slices. When you first make galbi-jjim for your Korean man, his eyes will roll back and he will make a grunt from deep within the place of his happiness. This sound will come to you as an animal sound, and then you will feel almost-quite like a true Korean. When you marry this man and bear him a daughter, the first of your bloodline, you will teach her this recipe so that she, too, can have this feeling. P.S. Hana is the (planned) name of my first daughter. It means “one” in Korean. The author owns a pet care business in Brooklyn:

Shiitake mushrooms (portobellos or morels if you prefer a heartier mushroom) 2 tablespoons corn syrup


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Sweet Potato Poem,

by Rachel Weaver, Fashion Design ’10 My aunt has this great recipe for sweet potato pone (mispronounced by my siblings and me as “sweet potato poem”). She never really cooked until about six years ago, when my mother passed away. We went to live with her immediately after. She made sure that she learned some of my mother’s recipes. Food is very important to my family. My aunt knew that we missed our mother’s cooking so she cooked to help comfort us through a hard time. We were all in pain but a good home-cooked meal helped take our minds off of things for a while. Sweet potato poem was always our favorite dish.

4 sweet potatoes 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup packaged coconut 1½ sticks of butter 1 8-ounce can evaporated milk 1 cup raisins 2 cups sugar Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Boil sweet potatoes until soft. Mash them up. Pour in vanilla, butter, canned milk, sugar, and eggs. Mix with electric mixer until fluffy. Add raisins and coconut; mix. Fill a small Pyrex or glass pan with the potatoes. Cover the top with a thin layer of coconut. Bake 20-30 minutes, until edges begin to brown.

Kulich, by Julia Movchan, Illustration ’13 Every family has a recipe that goes from mother to daughter and from that daughter to her daughter and so on. In my family, it is a recipe for kulich, traditional Russian Easter bread. There are many different ways to make it, although in my opinion there is nothing better than my grandma’s recipe. She got it from my great-grandmother and gave it to my mother, and so to me.

Movchan’s grandmother is at right. Top: Kulich recipe in Russian.

Most Russian people are very religious, and Easter dinner (Paskha) is a special holiday when all the family gets together. Kulich is supposed to be prepared on Thursday night before the Sunday dinner. (The house should also be cleaned and that’s why the Thursday before Paskha is called “Clean Thursday.”) My grandma used to say that you should talk to the kulich all the way through preparation. First, make what Russians call opara—a mix of flour, milk, and yeast—and leave it overnight. Mix in the rest of the yeast, add some flour, sugar, a soup spoon of butter, ten eggs, raisins, vanilla, and salt. You really have to feel how much you should add; to make a good kulich is like a work of art. After the dough rises you have to knead it then let it rise again; repeat. It is really hard work so my grandma never hesitated to ask my grandfather to do it. After the dough rises the last time, bake it—oil the baking form and only fill it one-third with dough since it’s going to rise three times its size or more. After it’s baked, top it with sugar and white egg frosting, and garnish with rainbow sprinkles. Let me tell you, still-hot-from-theoven kulich is something to die for.

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Grandma’s Apple Pie, by Danielle

Moody, Photography ’10

Almost every Thanksgiving and Christmas we bake an apple pie for either a family get-together or just ourselves. I have so many memories in the kitchen with my mother and younger sister. My sister and I would stand next to each other, hovering over the kitchen counter with a huge bowl of shiny, green Granny Smith apples. We would each have our peelers at the ready, and once cued by Mom we would start peeling the skins onto a napkin in the middle of the bowls. hue


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Divine Inpiration How Rose Levy Beranbaum ’68 taught me to strive for perfection (but less than perfect is still pretty delicious)

by Linda Angrilli

The cake was shockingly red.

I asked for comments from my “testers.”

Almost gory, in fact, against the swirl of cream-cheese and white chocolate frosting, ivory-hued,

Mostly, they said, “Mmmf!”) I regularly

like the delicate throat of a pale maiden. I could think of it only as the Vampire Cake. When

read Beranbaum’s blog, Real Baking with

I rinsed the mixing bowl, it looked as if I had dismembered a body in the sink. But the cake

Rose, and the Heavenly Cake Baker blog,

was luscious, tender and yielding as…you get the idea. This baking project was going to be fun.

by fans who are baking their way through

the new book, posting photos of every step.

The Vampire Cake (actually red velvet) was my first dip into Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, the

latest book by Rose Levy Beranbaum, Fashion Design ’68—a food-world luminary of the first

Her fans are, to say the least, passionate.

order. She’s written nine books, including three comprehensive “bibles” on cake, bread, and

As USA Today puts it, “Rose Levy

pie and pastry. Her TV show, Baking Magic, ran on PBS for three years. She’s been inducted

Beranbaum is a worshipped woman.”

into the James Beard Foundation/D’Artagnan Cervena Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in

America. Hue couldn’t do a food issue without her. I set up an interview.

Village apartment. The tiny woman who

opens the door isn’t the intimidatingly fussy

The thing about Beranbaum, the thing she’s famous for, is precision, the tiny details and

I meet Beranbaum at her Greenwich

extra steps required to achieve perfection. The New York Times said “she may be the most

person you might expect. She’s chatty and

meticulous cook who ever lived.” A recipe might say: add egg yolks individually, beating for

charming, the kind of person who instantly

30 seconds after each. She tells you “medium speed” on a Kitchen Aid stand mixer is 4, on a

makes lifelong friends.

Cuisinart, 6. Her recipes tend to have more steps, and more explanations, than anyone else’s.

She wants you to get it right.

precisely organized, her apartment, which

she shares with her radiologist husband,

Now, I had a history with Rose. I’d baked an apple pie from her Pie and Pastry Bible,

If her cookbooks are orderly and

and I cheated. I obediently chilled the dough before rolling, and the pie itself before baking, but I skipped a step. “Rose, please,” I said to her invisible presence. “I am not chilling the flour before I make this dough.” And that crust was fine. The pie was gone before comparison studies could be made.

But this time, in the weeks before our meeting, I wanted the real Rose experience: no

substitutions, no shortcuts. I wanted to know: is it all worth it?

In full geek mode, I stocked my kitchen with sugar (Muscovado light brown, superfine

white, turbinado unrefined); dairy products (crème fraîche, sour cream, buttermilk, heavy cream, cream cheese, and cultured European-style butter; chocolate (alkalized cocoa powder, a sizable hunk of 62 percent cacao, white with cocoa solids and Madagascar vanilla seeds); flour (cake and all-purpose), nuts (almonds, walnuts), and, of course, lots of eggs.

Beranbaum, like many serious bakers, prefers to weigh ingredients rather than measure

Then I baked. Apple-cinnamon crumb coffee cake, chocolate layer with caramel ganache,

lemon almond (Rose’s favorite), shortbready gateau Breton. The stunning Bernachon palet d’or on the Heavenly Cakes cover. The infamous Vampire Cake, twice. (Since this was research,


Ben Fink

by volume, so I bought a digital scale. And cake strips, which make cakes cook more evenly.

Bernachon palet d’or gateau from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes.

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Elliott, is not. The tools of her trade are everywhere. Kitchen Aid and Cuisinart stand mixers,

10 minutes, until the edges were softly set.

and a giant industrial Hobart, seldom used. Gorgeous French copper pots, pans, and molds in

But mine cooled completely in three minutes,

every size and shape. A large marble-topped island with many drawers is the heart of the room.

and turned lumpy. So much for delicacy;

There’s a simple, elegant hutch, made by her father, a cabinetmaker. Wine glasses are displayed

I stirred frantically, and eventually it became

in a shallow cabinet, also her father’s work, which once held instruments used by her mother,

smooth as, well, chiffon. I gently heaped it

a dentist. The sofa is, mystifyingly, lined with many small identical potato-shaped stuffed dolls

into the crust and carefully arranged the

in Idaho Potato shirts.

pear slices on the surface. I dissolved arrow-

root in the last of the poaching liquid to

She’s wearing a multicolored sweater that she knitted herself. That leads to the story of how

the future cake maven got to FIT. One grandmother was a sample maker, the other a finisher.

make a shiny, clear glaze, and brushed it on

Early on, Rose learned to sew, knit, and embroider. “I was a prodigy with my hands,” she says.

the pears. Perfect? No. Beautiful? Delicious?

Though she earned praise from her FIT teachers, she says, “I thought I was a great craftsman,

Yes and yes.

but I didn’t think my gift was superior.” She had studied with James Beard before going to FIT,

and now decided food was her field after all. She attended NYU (her master’s thesis was on

though in the end it wasn’t about achieving

sifting), honed her skills working in the Ladies’ Home Journal test kitchen, and studied pastry

perfection. Much of the pleasure is in the

at Lenôtre, the famed culinary school near Paris.

process, and I gained knowledge of tech-

niques and ingredients that I’ll use forever.

FIT alumni would easily relate to the qualities that make Beranbaum a success. The preci-

My adventure with Rose was worth it,

sion and perfectionism, certainly, and the dedication to craft; also the well of creativity that

Meanwhile, my next cake will be neither

drives her to see the familiar in new ways. She has a remarkable visual sense that shows in the

biblical nor heavenly. It’s a honey cake

look of her cakes and her books. The jacket of Rose’s Heavenly Cakes shows a smooth-as-glass

recipe scribbled on a card by a friend of

lacquered chocolate cake festooned with red currants. “I know what sells: chocolate and red,”

my mother’s years ago. The instructions

she says. “See the translucency of those currants? They capture the light like rubies.” Amazon

include “Throw in some nuts, and

named it the best cookbook cover of 2009.

bake in a fairly large tube pan.”

It’s yummy.

Beranbaum is at the top of her game, and she loves it. The Cake Bible, published in 1988,

is in its 45th printing. Rose’s Heavenly Cakes will be out on Kindle this spring; it will be Kindle’s first interactive cookbook, linking to video demos. Her blog is number 30 among food and wine blogs worldwide. “I know everybody, living and dead, in the food business,” she says. “I’m one of the founding members of what food is today.”

My baking experiment ended with the

Gingery Pear Chiffon Tart from The Pie and Pastry Bible. The photo looked beautiful, with a lovely ribbon of yellow-green peel edging each pear slice. It was a bit risky, since I had promised to bring it to my office potluck. It was a three-day, after-work affair—1) poach unpeeled pear halves in a syrup infused with vanilla bean and pear brandy; 2) make crisp cookie-type crust spiced with grated fresh ginger; and 3) make pear custard and glaze, and assemble tart. To make the custard— egg yolks, whipped cream, meringue, and the poaching liquid from the pears—and the glaze, I used six bowls, two saucepans, a stand mixer, and a hand mixer. (I do not have a dishwasher.)

Various things went wrong along the way.

Matthew Septimus

After poaching, the pear skins darkened in the fridge, so I peeled them, losing the yellowgreen edges. The crust was a bit too brown. But I panicked just once. The recipe said stir the warm custard slowly but constantly for

Beranbaum at home, holding the beater from her industrial Hobart mixer.

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the mouse that roared

By Greg Herbowy

In 1987, Paula and Larry Burdick were launching their chocolate company, L.A. Burdick, from their workshop in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Paula, when not running the sweater business she co-owned with a friend, was handling the business end. Larry, a Swiss-trained chocolatier, was perfecting his mouse bonbons. With ganache-filled bodies, silk tails, and almond-sliver ears, the mice were an upgrade of a children’s treat Larry had seen while abroad and an embodiment of the Burdicks’ chocolate ethos—European-inspired, handcrafted, made with the best available ingredients. Their landlord’s young daughter, however, felt differently. “She thought they were terrible,” Paula recalls. “Being from New York, all she could think of were rats.” Thankfully, this was a minority opinion. The mice, and Larry’s other creations, proved hugely popular with caterers, restaurants like Bouley, and corporate clients like Barneys, and L.A. Burdick has grown mightily in the intervening years. The company is now based in Walpole, NH, where the Burdicks and their 100-some employees not only make the products and run the mail-order business, but also operate a chocolate shop-and-café, gourmet grocery store, chocolate making school, and restaurant. They also own two satellite cafés. One, in Harvard Square, has been a fixture for over a decade. The second, opened in late 2009, is in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood, steps from FIT. These days, Paula mostly works on brand management. She art-directs Burdick catalogues, packaging, website, and inserts, all created in house. She also helps select and


maintain the stores’ decor—this past holiday season, she drove the four-plus hours to New York City just to help hang wreaths. Everything—whether it’s the dovetail-jointed wooden chocolate boxes or the petite whisks included with their fondue gift sets—is chosen to reflect the company’s continuing artisanal practices (the chocolates are still handmade) and attention to the smallest detail. “I’m always going to ribbon stores, gift and packaging trade shows,” she says. “I use all my FIT training.” Paula also pitches in with product ideas, even though, as she confesses, “chocolate’s not my thing.” It was her idea to prepare their hot chocolate with a milk steamer, more commonly used to make latte or cappuccino. The drink has since become the cafés’ biggest draw, particularly in Cambridge, where it has a devoted following among the students on nearby Harvard campus. In fact, within hours of opening the Manhattan shop, staffers were fielding calls and visits from nostalgic, and excitable, Harvard grads. “One woman screamed—screamed—into the phone,” says Craig Ortiz, the café’s manager. “Fifteen minutes later, she pulled up in a cab.” Paula, too, is excited about the new location. Though she grew up outside of Boston and lives in small-town New England, she retains a special affection for New York City, home to both her alma mater and the early days of L.A. Burdick. “I definitely plan on spending more time in Manhattan,” she says. “I can’t remember why I left.”

Photographs: Claudio Papapietro

Paula Burns Burdick, Fashion Buying and Merchandising ’76

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Kitchen Cred

Lee Anne Wong, Fashion Design ’98, is cooking up a great career

So what came in between FIT and Top Chef?

You were a culinary producer for Top Chef and a consultant for the Catherine Zeta-Jones film No Reservations. Is it true that the hot lights used in filming melt food?

For No Reservations, I helped develop prop food that I wouldn’t recommend anyone eat. The problem with Top Chef was that everything had to be edible. For the season finale in Puerto Rico, we had to bring out 50-pound trays of raw meat and seafood in 95-degree heat. We had to keep changing the ice, and the fly situation was gnarly. I was covered in meat juice, and when I walked off camera, I looked like Pig Pen. Is cooking a craft, or an art?

Most chefs will say they are not artists, they’re tradespeople. But my art background definitely plays into how I look at a plate. It’s all about texture and shape and color. You eat with your eyes first. Are there any ingredients you hate?

Canned tuna fish. In first grade a classmate poured chocolate milk on his tuna salad and ate it. I gagged. He ruined canned tuna fish for me forever. What’s cooking these days?

I’m consulting on a few projects, and I hope to have a business plan for my own restaurant by early summer.

Photographs: Claudio Papapietro

Aren’t you also working on a book called Sexy Food?

That’s my homage to my former life at FIT. It’s going to be a combination of fashion, food, and art, all rolled up into one glorious book.

Photograph: Matthew Septimus

I lived in Brooklyn with a Bernina machine, freelancing as a seamstress, and I worked as a waitress and bartender. It was tough. One New Year’s I was crashing with friends and watching a lot of Food Network, and I made a big dinner: pasta carbonara and Cornish game hens. They were like, “You should be a cook!” I enrolled at the French Culinary Institute a month later.

insights from the classroom and beyond

Many people know Lee Anne Wong as one of four finalists on season one of Bravo’s Top Chef. They probably don’t know that she later worked as a producer for the show, sourcing and styling ingredients for challenges and determining the budget—or that she once slaved over a sewing machine in her Brooklyn apartment.

Life on Mars Marianne Klimchuk Associate chairperson and associate professor, Packaging Design Last spring, Mars sponsored a competition for our Interdisciplinary Projects course, to design packaging for a new line of chocolates. It was an extension of one of their brands, aimed at passionate, discerning chocoholics. Mars ended up optioning all of the designs, but it was a grueling 15 weeks for the students. One of the challenges was to create packaging that fit the brand’s preexisting personality. It’s not unlike how you dress—there are certain things you wouldn’t wear. This brand has a fluidity and sexy silkiness, so you wouldn’t do something cartoony or blocky. One group’s design was structured almost like origami. It unfolded into a beautiful gold bowl that served as a table centerpiece, which played on the notion that this is an indulgent experience to share. Another had the chocolate as the “hero”—that’s branding-speak for when the image of a product is the focus of the design. Mars was very involved throughout. Students met with their director of brand management, director of packaging, and a packaging scientist. Their industrial designers visited twice, to advise students on the structural integrity of their concepts—how well they will sit on the shelf—and ways to reduce packaging waste. Mars bused us to their factory for a tour. We put on our jumpsuits, goggles, and hats and watched as Mars Bars, Milky Ways, and Dove chocolates were produced and packaged. We even got to eat some fresh off the line. They were still warm.

—Alexander Gelfand

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one question, many answers


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one question, many answers

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Steeped in the


Meet food historian and tea expert Judith Krall-Russo, Fashion Buying and Merchandising ’67



The Jamaican patty empire of Beryl Levi, Apparel Design

For the casual tea drinker, the beverage might seem like a few leaves in hot water. But for Judith Krall-Russo, it’s a drink steeped in mystery and cultural traditions, with more than 3,000 varieties and subtle differences in terroir that make it similar to wine. As a child, Krall-Russo was intrigued by English-style tea service, with proper cups and, at least in her imagination, tea bags. When she traveled to Britain as a young adult, she discovered the cult of loose-leaf, flavorful tea. “It was so different from the tepid-water tea bag,” she says. From there, she went back to the source: Asia, where all tea is grown. She has studied the plant’s origins, its role in formal Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies, how it’s prepared, and its accompaniments, and currently holds tea specialist certifications from the Tea School, of Pomfret, CT, and the Specialty Tea Institute, of New York City. She also collects teapots and accoutrements, including Japanese teapots and chawans (tea bowls), Turkish teapots, Russian samovars, and Iranian tea glasses. When asked which favorites are currently in her cabinet, Krall-Russo lets loose a huge laugh. “Cabinet?” she says. “I have cabinets full of them.” Eventually, she singles out a Japanese matcha for the morning; a fresh, grassy Tie Kuan Yin for the afternoon; and a late-afternoon cuppa English black with milk and sugar. —Robin Catalano


“If you want to know about my time at FIT, you will have to bear with me,” Beryl Levi, president of Tower Isle’s Frozen Foods, says. “I loved fashion, but that was nearly 60 years ago.” Levi was just 19 when she moved to New York from Jamaica in the early 1950s to study dressmaking. She draped for designers for several years, making samples for buyers at stores like Lord & Taylor. But she’s spent most of her time here as an entrepreneur, selling Jamaican patties. In the ’60s, Levi and her husband, Earl, opened Tower Isle’s as a Brooklyn bakery, taking the name from a popular Jamaican resort. “It was difficult to find the foods we ate at home here,” she says. Their richly spiced, meat-filled pastries—“grandma’s recipe”—were far and away the most popular item, and the couple soon dropped everything else. Within a few years, the patties were available in supermarkets, cafeterias, and pizzerias. Today, with a 41,000-square-foot plant in the borough, the company sells about 3 million units a month—in most states and countries such as Mexico, Trinidad, and Chile. Now in her late 70s, Levi, who assumed full control of the company after her husband’s death in 1995, still takes a hands-on approach. Between setups with a photographer, she joins the workers in boxing patties as they come down the belt. “My employees are very loyal to me and I am loyal to them,” she says. “I work wherever I am needed.” —Greg Herbowy

Photos: Paul Russo (Krall-Russo); Matty Brown (Levi).

Although Judith Krall-Russo always felt drawn to food, she wasn’t sure how to turn it into a job. “I’ve always loved history—anything from the history of a country to the history of the bra. I wanted to know why certain people gravitate toward certain foods, and where those foods come from,” she says. She took classes on everything from English tea to farming practices, and her career as a food historian was born. Today, Krall-Russo offers lectures and demos for museums, colleges, libraries, and stores such as Williams-Sonoma. Her areas of expertise are tea and New Jersey specialties like tomatoes, cranberries, and peaches. She notes, “We see New Jersey today as this state of oil refineries, but it was known in Colonial times as the breadbasket of the colonies. In the southern part of the state, there’s really good soil and a more temperate climate than in New England. It’s my mission to spread the word about the work that’s being done here.” For more about Krall-Russo, visit

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Skin Deep Stephanie Skorka

Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing ’10 a student in first person

You’ve interned for Avon. You’ve worked for Estée Lauder and Equinox Spa. Your major is cosmetics. Seems you’ve found your calling. I’m obsessed. It’s all I want to do or learn about. What’s been most interesting in your coursework so far? Maybe learning the history, how products have been used or developed over time. In ancient Egypt they wore kohl to protect their eyes from the sun, like how football players use eye-black today. During the Depression, women drew lines down the backs of their legs with eyeliner pencil to make it look like they were wearing stockings they couldn’t afford. Cosmetics are big business, but some still swear by homemade treatments. Ever try any of that? Yeah! I like to. You can make face scrubs with oats and honey, or facemasks with yogurt or egg whites. I just read about washing your hair with dark beer, though that sounds kind of gross. I’ve heard if you put steeped teabags under your arms it works as a deodorant. What’s one cosmetic practice or product you think people should do or use more often? Exfoliation, especially for men. Just take five minutes twice a week to exfoliate your face and body. It improves circulation and your skin looks luminous. You’re now interning at Redbook, which is aimed at an older readership. Is it hard to relate to its content? For the most part, the trends are similar to trends in magazines for younger audiences. A magazine like Redbook just makes them more doable, less intimidating. A big trend right now is the bold red lip. Girls my age would go dramatic with a lipstick or a stain. A magazine with a mature audience might suggest a gloss, which is more subtle. For girls my age, all-over face shimmers are popular. An older woman might want to keep it to the apples of her cheeks. Has makeup ever felt intimidating to you? I didn’t know anything about it until eighth grade, get over how I looked. Makeup’s a little tool—it can be your escape or your comfort.

Matthew Septimus

Photos: Paul Russo (Krall-Russo); Matty Brown (Levi).

when a friend made me over for a dance. I couldn’t

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golden opportunity edward sajovic, display and exhibit design ’05, creates a holiday window, step by step by alex joseph


What does it take to craft a holiday window for Michael Kors? For Edward Sajovic, president of his own five-year-old display company, it was a complicated seven-month process. In the spring, Marc Rosenbaum, national sales director for Edward J. Sajovic Design, LLC, submitted a portfolio of work to John Mason, senior visual director for Kors. Sajovic had worked for Henri Bendel and Bergdorf Goodman, among others. Mason noted the company’s experience creating lavish window displays, and felt encouraged by their initial talks: “Michael Kors is edgy, but subdued edgy. Ed got that immediately.” The Kors creative team provided

a concept and general direction: Kors’s current line and the sculpted furniture of Paul Evans (19311987) were touchstones. Using CAD, Sajovic created a draft of what would become the display wall featuring the black, red, and silver that Kors used in his collection, but Mason thought the colors would compete with the clothes. The final version picked up Kors’s gold and metallic hues, Sajovic said, “but we took it a step further by mimicking the finishes,” including the hammered gold in the heel of a Kors shoe. Sajovic suggested making the wall more three-dimensional, like an Evans line of furniture called Cityscape. He called the result “a combina-

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Putting It All Together Inspiration: Kors accessories and Paul Evans furniture (1, 2), Concept: CAD renderings of the first proposal (3) and final (4), Fabrication in Ed’s studio (5), and Installation (6).


Window photos, Kristina Fetkovich; #5, Samantha Wilkinson




tion of the beat of the city and the beat of Michael Kors.” Mason gave the ultimate compliment: “It’s like something you’d see in Michael’s house.” (Kors studied Fashion Design at FIT in the ’70s.) One brisk November evening, Sajovic, Mason, and Rosenbaum oversaw the assembly of the wall, by professional installers, in the Madison Avenue store window. Each panel was approximately 140 pieces, made of hammered metal, gold mirror acrylic, and gold laminate, attached to a platform and adhered to a medium-density fiberboard backing. Sajovic was very hands-on, securing the wall by attaching microfilament thread to the top. Passersby stopped to



stare, and Rosenbaum proudly noted the display’s subtlety: “This doesn’t scream, ‘Hello! Holiday!’” Mason was pleased, too: “With this economy, we definitely were in a certain mindset, and they worked with us on cost and made it very seamless. I couldn’t have asked for a smoother process.” Walls were sent to all Michael Kors Collection stores—Palm Beach, Beverly Hills, and Costa Mesa, CA; Manhasset, NY; Chicago, London, Milan—where installers followed a step-by-step guide. Joining the group on the sidewalk, Sajovic said the displays had been constructed in his studio. “This wall was made in America— that’s an anomaly.” (Most displays

are made in Asia.) This season, in addition to the Kors job, Sajovic created in-store holiday displays and windows for nearly 70 Club Monaco stores, 35 North Face stores, and all 650 Jones Apparel Group stores, as well as some residential holiday work. He plans to hire his seventh full-time employee in 2010, and to develop two specific sales departments—retail and residential. Though based in art, Sajovic’s work provides him with a businesslike thrill. “It’s great working with all the different price points,” the Cleveland-born designer says. “It’s a constant challenge to meet a certain price with a certain look.”

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Fashion System

1963 leona molotch rubin, apparel design,

moved to New Mexico

in the ’60s and became an artist specializing in South-

Christina Neault, Production Management: Textiles ’92 Production Management: Apparel ’90

western themes. But when her restaurant-owner son asked for some work, she began painting fanciful oils of fruits and vegetables. Rubin exhibited at Albuquerque’s Harwood Art Center last year, and is taking commissions.

1965 audrey saltzman -schilt,

news from your classmates


worked 22 years

for Ralph Lauren, where, as creative director of collection, she interpreted the designer’s lifestyle concepts. A show of her sketches ran in the Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center in January.

1981 josephine jackson, interior design,

sells gourmet

cakes through her Brooklyn-based business, Josephina’s Bakery. Drawing on

As executive producer for IMG Fashion, Christina Neault is responsible for ensuring

her Southern grand-

that Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week goes off without a hitch twice a year in New York

mother’s recipes, Jackson makes treats like mascarpone cheesecake and chocolate ganache from scratch, using all natural ingredients.

francesca salamone lum, advertising design,

is a principal

international clients since 1990. Her client list includes Oasis Hotels & Resorts and White Plains Hospital.

“For eight days, we work 24 hours a day.”

While overseeing the venue managers who run as many as ten shows per day inside

place elsewhere in the city. (Scheduling a Donna Karan show at the same time as Calvin Klein’s is a no-no, for example, since they might employ the same models.)

This year, Neault is thinking even further ahead than usual—to 2011, when Fashion

Week will move to the newly renovated Lincoln Center Plaza. Trading the muddy sod



princess jenkins, fashion

sharon tabak, marketing:

buying and merchandising ,

fashion and related indus-

owns The Brownstone, a

tries, fashion design ’89,

Harlem boutique offering

a freelance fashion buyer

women’s clothing and

and developer in her native

accessories. Jenkins, who

Tel Aviv. Originally a

teaches at FIT’s Enter-

menswear designer, Tabak

prise Center, sells work

switched to children’s wear

by designers from or

following the birth of her

inspired by Africa, Asia,

son in 1995.

wear line.

By early December, with the New York extravaganza still two months away, Neault

already had 282 unread emails in her inbox. It takes nearly a month to schedule the

the tents, Neault heads off conflicts between the Bryant Park events and the 130 that take

provided advertising and graphic design to local and

launch her own women’s

eight-day series of shows held in a “tent city” in Bryant Park. “It’s about 70,000 square

of Lum & Associates, a Long Island-based firm that’s

Middle East. She will soon

and Miami. After 14 years with IMG, she’s accustomed to a certain amount of craziness.

feet, and we bring in every single item, from water to the tents themselves,” Neault says.


Latin America, and the

New York Fashion Week, in Bryant Park. Neault schedules the eight-day, twice-a-year event.

of Bryant Park for the hard concrete and digital multimedia displays of the city’s premier is

arts complex will be nice, but even as she anticipates better times, Neault speaks fondly of her old stomping grounds.

“We’ve probably had a thousand great shows there, and we’ll definitely miss it,”

she says. “But doing something new and fresh is always exciting, and we’re really looking forward to reinventing this event.”

—Alexander Gelfand



summer mccormick- meyer, fashion design,

jayne travers conway, marketing: fashion and

is a technical and CAD designer for

related industries, advertising and communica-

is senior marketing manager for

Royal Robbins, an outdoor and travel

tions ’92 ,

clothing company. In addition to

Ananke IT Solutions in Providence, RI, and

designing the fit of women’s knits,

owner of Sage Media, a marketing agency.

McCormick-Meyer selects, colors, and

For both, Conway handles social media, web

edits all print work for the men’s and

design, corporate identity, and direct mail.

women’s lines.

She also runs an internship program for area college marketing students.


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A million little Pieces

1996 chris andrews, fine arts,

is production manager for

Allison Rott Goldstein, Fashion Design ’97

Fantastic Fabrics & Promotions, a manufacturer of apparel, accessories, and promotional products. Andrews ensures that orders for clients such as Marc Jacobs and Kenneth Cole move smoothly from vendor to vendor. heather lerner corrigan, fashion buying and merchandising ,

is vice president for sales at Go Gorilla Media, a guerilla marketing company. Corrigan sells ad space on nontraditional media like postcards and doormats to clients such as Corrigan, pregnant, at Go Gorilla. Her daughter was born last September.

HBO and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She also owns a party planning business, Heather’s Heydayz.

yvette shadlich lusha , textile /surface design,

freelanced in

textile design for Gap and Limited Too before founding Nutty Over Sweets, her Sparta, NJ, candy store. In addition to selling candies, nuts, pastries, and gelato, Lusha designs gift baskets, makes custom wedding and

Bradley R. Hubbard; © 2008 Nutty Over Sweets

shower favors, and hosts children’s parties.

Mixed-up Mosaics projects, clockwise from top: L’Oréal Paris’s New York headquarters; a private residence in Aspen, CO; fountain piece for a Florida resort. (That’s Goldstein with the frog.)

It sounds old-fashioned now, but when Allison Goldstein and her friend Lesley Provenzano started Mixed-up Mosaics, their custom mosaic business, ten-plus years laura spero - english, advertising and communications,

is a

ago, their most consequential decision was to buy a Yellow Pages listing. Goldstein,

senior manager at Mediamark Research and Intelligence,

a former designer for Nautica, had been selling their small mosaic works (flowerpots,

a media and consumer research company. In addition

vases) to galleries and home décor stores for a few months, but no larger jobs had come

to designing surveys used to collect data for magazines,

as a result. Then Burger King called. The fast-food giant was opening its latest

cable stations, and advertising agencies, Spero-English

Manhattan franchise and needed an 800-square-foot floor leveled and tiled within

crafts reports on the consumption habits of various

48 hours. Goldstein accepted, then rushed to Home Depot to buy a how-to video. She

demographic groups.

had never tiled a floor before.

1997 christina conti nadeau, advertising design,

In the years since, Mixed-up Mosaics has gone on to execute large-scale projects

for homes, offices, hotels, restaurants, and casinos all over the country and abroad. is a

They sell their own tiles online and via catalogue and employ more than 30 artisans. All designs are tailored to clients’ whims (though vibrant colors and dynamic patterns—

graphic designer for

whether representative or abstract—are specialties) and assembled in the company’s

Dartmouth College in

midtown Manhattan studio, where patterns are laid out in sections on worktables,

New Hampshire, where

fixed into place with tape, and shipped to clients’ contractors with a corresponding

she works on everything

schematic, making on-site installations the construction equivalent of paint-by-numbers.

from logo design to

The method is cost-efficient—eliminating the need for a skilled mosaic worker on site—

annual reports.

and deliberately New York-centric. “We’ll never leave Manhattan,” the Californiaraised Goldstein says.

—Greg Herbowy

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1998 jennifer tibesar albaugh, marketing: fashion and related

kalimah sincere silver, direct

runs Quiltique, a creative sewing center in

marketing , fashion merchan -


lidia amirova , fashion design,

is launching a line

Las Vegas, with her sister and parents. Quiltique started

dising management ’99,

in 2003, and offers quilts, supplies, and classes in machine

associate buyer for Totally

accessories to be sold at

embroidery and garment sewing.

Kids, a chain of children’s

high-end stores and to

stores selling clothing,

private clients. In addition


is an

of women’s wear and

©2009 NBC Universal, Inc.

robert sansone, cosmetics and fragrance marketing ,

news from your classmates



toys, and infant furniture.

to designing women’s wear,

sales manager for Arylessence, a fragrance and flavor

Working from Manhattan,

manufacturer in Marietta, GA, serving the household

Silver selects product lines,

and fine-fragrance markets. Sansone, previously a makeup

negotiates with vendors,

artist and fragrance evaluator, accompanies account

and places orders for

managers on client visits across the country.

shops in Baltimore and

Fashion Show last year, competing through seven of the


ten episodes. In addition, her garments were featured on


America’s Next Top Model in 2004.

victoria castello, graphic design,

is a graphic designer

intimate apparel, and accessories for a number of fashion houses, Amirova was a contestant on Bravo’s

jenna lutz montone, fashion merchandising management,

is the senior merchant for knits, swimwear, and outer-

for global marketing

wear at White House Black Market, in Fort Myers, FL.

firm STC Associates, in

She previously worked at Mother’s Work, Inc., as a knits

Manhattan. She designs

and outerwear buyer.

logos, websites, and event materials ranging from invitations to signage for companies in the U.S., India, and Singapore. Uss interviews Paul Smith for Videofashion News. elizabeth uss, advertising and marketing communications, fashion design ’96 ,

is a producer and reporter for Video-



nicole hajko, advertising and marketing communications,

rebecca soldinger, fashion

fashion News, a syndicated TV show. In addition to

is senior broker in media buying at Incremental Media,

merchandising management,

fashion shows in New York, London, Milan, Paris, and

Inc., on Long Island. Hajko develops marketing collateral

is an associate producer for

Miami, Uss’s beat includes movie premieres, exhibition

(direct mail, inserts, email) for infomercials for

Rachael Ray, the TV person-

openings, and features on designers and models. She

companies like Great American Products and Your Baby

ality’s syndicated daily talk

joined the show after graduation, as an editorial assistant.

Can Read!

show. She develops segment


dina silberstein, interior design,

ideas, finds guests, and cooris completing an MBA

dinates trade-outs (goods

jacqueline kenion hand,

in real estate at Baruch College. Before enrolling full

and services exchanged

fashion merchandising

time, Silberstein designed corporate interiors for the

for on-air publicity) for

Switzer Group in Manhattan, and for Nelson &

merchandise and give-

un- and underemployed

Associates in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts,

aways. Soldinger started at

find work at CobbWorks in

and Pennsylvania.

the show as an FIT intern.


helps the

Marietta, GA—a job that

Three-strand necklace with Murano glass pendant, by Hand.


stacy suvino, display and

is visual

income women acquire

exhibit design,

appropriate work and

director at Miss Jackson’s,

interview outfits. Hand

a department store in Tulsa,

also runs Ayana Nicole

OK. Suvino, who previously

High Fashion Jewelry, an online retailer of sterling silver,

worked at Bergdorf Good-

Swarovski, and semiprecious stones.

man, handles everything


installations to merchandis-

from window and interior

chris rucker, graphic design, communication design ’98 ,

ing and trunk shows.

is marketing art director for Broadcasting & Cable and

She recently received a

Multichannel News, two business-to-business magazines

Rising Star Award from

and websites serving the TV industry. Rucker works on

the Planning and Visual

media kits, sales aids, and event promotions, designing

Education Partnership

materials like magazine mockups and tradeshow logos.


Stacy Suvino

includes helping low-

A holiday 2009 window by Suvino for Miss Jackson’s, featuring a replica of a 1920s circus wagon.

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sources of inspiration

Food for Thought Ho Sang Shin Advertising Design ’95

I like to design rooms that are traditional yet informal, where you can wear a tuxedo or jeans. When I have a dinner party, I treat the plate like a room, using really simple, clean lines. I start with potato blinis with egg and onion mayonnaise, sour cream, and for the top, I shave an avocado and add caviar. I’m not a professional cook, and I can’t judge the taste. My biggest concern is to make the food visually appetizing. Where do I get inspiration? Once, when I was designing a room for a show house, I found this turquoise vase that I liked, so the room ended up being all beautiful turquoise and white. My company does mainly residential work, and I’ll use a client’s sentimental pieces, or fabrics with incredible textures or colors. To get inspired to cook, I go to the market for fresh veggies or cheese— something organically grown, so you see what it should taste like—or I’ll notice interesting shapes or colors, like beautiful red beets. Those

Digital art: Monika Maniecki, Illustration MA ‘07,

colors inspire me to do a plate. Shin’s firm, Antine Shin, designed interiors for The Point Resort in the Adirondacks. Shin’s work has been featured twice in the Kips Bay Decorator Show House, and twice on the cover of Interior Design magazine. His late partner, Anthony Antine, who founded the company, also graduated from FIT. Shin’s recipes were recently featured in (201) magazine.

What inspires you?   Email the editors at

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Hue Spring 2010  

volume 3 |number 2

Hue Spring 2010  

volume 3 |number 2