The Magazine of the Fashion Institute of Technology
VOLUME 11 | NUMBER 3 | SUMMER 2018
ON THE COVER
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
Staff Writer Jonathan Vatner
This backstage shot of the Future of Fashion, the BFA fashion show, by Joe Carrotta, Photography ‘17, captures the intensity of a model getting ready to take the runway. The professionally produced show, supported since 2012 by a $1 million gift from Calvin Klein ’63 and a matching gift from Calvin Klein, Inc., highlights the most creative, accomplished, innovative garments by graduating Fashion Design students. Turn to page 11 for a portfolio of Carrotta’s gorgeous, atmospheric photographs, behind the scenes and on the runway.
NOW PLAYING AT FITNYC.EDU If you missed FIT’s 2018 commencement exercises at Radio City Music Hall, you can watch them anytime at fitnyc.edu/commencement. Speakers and honorees included apparel industry legend Luciano Benetton, artist Harry Bertschmann, inventor Chuck Hoberman (below, with his “Hoberman sphere”), and stylist and TV personality Lilliana Vazquez.
Fred Bernstein (“Artists in Residence,” p. 22) studied architecture (at Princeton) and law (at NYU) and writes about both subjects. He has contributed hundreds of articles, including many on interior design, to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and magazines like Architectural Record and Architectural Digest. He is a winner of the Oculus Award, bestowed annually by the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for excellence in architecture writing.
Photography Coordinator Smiljana Peros Mark Kornbluth
Art Direction and Design Gary Tooth/Empire Design Studio Hue online: hue.fitnyc.edu Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexander Gelfand (“Ethical Threads,” p. 18) is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in outlets ranging from The New York Times to Bartender magazine. He lives in Jackson Heights, Queens, with his wife and children.
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 email@example.com and
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CHECK OUT HUE’S NEW WEBSITE Hue is launching a completely redesigned website with bigger images, a more readable interface, and more responsive design for maximum impact on PC, tablet, and mobile devices. Visit hue.fitnyc.edu to see what’s developing, and let us know what you think!
LEARN THE LATEST AT FIT NEWSROOM FIT Newsroom (news.fitnyc.edu) is the college’s central resource for articles about institutional initiatives, faculty achievements, unconventional students, and successful alumni. The site also offers a robust events calendar and multimedia. Recent features include a fashion history quiz, a slide show of images from the Future of Fashion, and a 24/7 livestream from inside FIT’s beehive.
Vanessa Machir (“New Views,” p. 26) is a Brooklyn-based writer, strategist, and defender of the Oxford comma. She has written for Nielsen, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Kenneth Cole, and co-founded the consultancy BLØW Branding. Interests/vices include puns, Bauhaus design, and unnecessary shoes.
FASHION FORWARD This ensemble by Hannah Lajba ’18, in this year’s Future of Fashion runway show, features a fauna print dress, yellow skirt, black beaded shift, and silk faille robe. In the front row: Zac Posen, Neiman Marcus fashion director Ken Downing, TV personality Lilliana Vazquez, Dennis Basso ’73, President Joyce F. Brown, and retired Fashion Design professor George Simonton ’65. See page 11 for more from the show.
Features 10 Precious Jewelry designer David Yurman donates a trove of gems
18 Ethical Threads Industry efforts to aid garment workers worldwide
4 Hue’s News 8
11 Chasing the Light The Future of Fashion, backstage and on the catwalk, in evocative images by Joe Carrotta ’17
20 Making the Office Work Interior Design alumna helps transform how workplaces function
14 Lost and Found A portrait of the college in misplaced objects 16 Brighter An enduring campus artwork gets a face-lift 17 Watch This Space Can a pie in the face be art?
Joe Carrotta ’17
22 Artists in Residence Carrier and Company’s elegant interiors attract clients like Jessica Chastain and Anna Wintour 26 New Views A cornucopia of faculty art
32 Alumni Notes 35 What Inspires You?
In 2007, then-mayor Michael Bloomberg challenged New York City colleges and hospitals to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. FIT was the first to succeed, with a 40 percent reduction in less than four years. President Joyce F. Brown, along with leaders of 12 other institutions, then pledged to reduce the college’s carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2025. FIT is first again, with a 55 percent reduction, seven years ahead of schedule. Most of the energy reduction resulted from new steam-powered heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, which are much more efficient than electrical turbines. LED lighting with occupancy sensors also made a significant impact. The 55 percent carbon reduction is especially important because the college serves as a test case for buildings in New York and around the country. If other cities invest in energy-efficient infrastructure—Boston and Chicago are already taking action—the amount of greenhouse gases the U.S. releases could drop significantly. In 2017, the New York Independent System Operators and the New York Power Authority recognized the college for outstanding performance in the Demand Response program: On particularly hot summer days, when air conditioners drain the city’s available power, institutions are paid to minimize electrical usage, because operating a “peak load” power plant is extremely costly. So far, the city has awarded FIT $1.25 million, which has been reinvested into additional energy-efficient equipment. More recently, the college won an Energy Champion award from New York’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services for its carbon reduction. And President Joyce F. Brown was honored at City & State magazine’s Sustainable New York Summit in May for her work in greening FIT. The college’s commitment to sustainability continues to evolve. Three students—Tessa Beltrano, Fashion Business Management; Laura Leung, Interior Design; and Majlinda Qafa, Fashion Business Management—are partnering with GrowNYC and the New York City DepartFIT’s green roofs help insulate the academic buildings, ment of Sanitation to reducing energy consumption. place compost bins in the residence halls. This spring, one bin was set up outside between Nagler and Co-Ed halls; the rest may come as early as this fall. “As a college that prepares students to create, produce, and market the consumer goods that make up so much of our abundant lifestyle, FIT has a special obligation regarding issues of sustainability,” Dr. Brown said. “The decisions our students make once they are professionals—just a few years down the road—will help shape our planet’s future. As it happens, our students are helping to lead the way.”
FIT REDUCES CARBON FOOTPRINT BY 55 PERCENT. (MIC DROP.)
MICHELLE WEARS MILLY
In February, former First Lady Michelle Obama’s official portrait became a talking point not only for its nontraditional look by artist Amy Sherald, but also for the dress Obama wears in the painting, from the spring 2017 collection of Milly, designed by Michelle Smith ’92. Sherald said the dress reminded her of a quilt from Gee’s Bend, an all-black community of quiltmakers in Alabama whose work is considered an important contribution to the history of art in the United States. Smith said that the minimal geometric print in stretch cotton poplin gave the dress a forward-thinking sensibility, much like Obama herself.
PRACTICING CIVILITY ONLINE FIT is a pioneer in higher education for promoting cybercivility, responsible and respectful online conduct. The college has greater percentage of female and LGBTQ students than the general population, and Chief Information Security Officer Walter Kerner noted that those demographics are primary targets of cyberbullying. Cybercivility was a central topic at FIT’s Cybersafe Day on April 12, an annual event to raise awareness about online security and civility. Also, in response to the “Roast Me” trend started by online discussion site Reddit, in which people ask strangers on the internet to insult them, the Information Technology Department produced a “Boast Me” video and @BoastxFIT Instagram account to encourage positivity. “Don’t do or say things online that you wouldn’t do or say if the person was in the room,” Kerner said. “Once you post it, you have no control on where that information is going.” Kerner and IT Training Associate Patricia Krakow presented their innovative cybercivility program at the Educause Security Professionals Conference in April.
Kritika Manchanda, a first-year in FIT’s new MFA in Fashion Design, was chosen as the 2018 CFDA Geoffrey Beene Scholar based on her portfolio and presentation. The award comes with a $25,000 scholarship.
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Narciso Rodriguez will receive the 2018 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion on Sept. 5 at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center.
On May 11, the first graduating class of the Film and Media BS program presented a film festival of the shorts they created.
BUSINESS PROGRAMS MUSEUM EARN NEW DIRECTOR ACCREDITATION RECEIVES
Dr. Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT, was awarded the State University of New York Honorary Medallion of Distinction for her work in forging the modern field of fashion studies and raising awareness of the cultural significance of fashion. The medallion is given annually to one prominent individual who has enhanced SUNY’s research, teaching, or service components. With this distinction, Steele becomes an honorary member of the SUNY Distinguished Academy, which builds and supports academic excellence within the university.
Lorenzo Ciniglio / Jerry Speier
MAJOR SUNY HONOR
The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) has accredited seven programs in the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology. The programs are Advertising and Marketing Communications, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing, Fashion Business Management, Home Products Development, International Trade and Marketing for the Fashion Industries, Production Management: Fashion and Related Industries, and Textile Development and Marketing. To obtain the accreditation, FIT went through a two-year selfstudy, followed by ACBSP’s comprehensive review. ACBSP, founded in 1988, is the only organization offering specialized business accreditation for all degree levels. Based on the Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence, ACBSP accreditation evaluates aspects of leadership, strategic planning, relationships with stakeholders, quality of academic programs, faculty credentials, and educational support to determine whether the programs offer a rigorous educational experience and demonstrate continuous improvement. “Their benchmarks provide a framework that makes us a better school,” said Steven Frumkin, dean of the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology. Fewer than 50 percent of higher education institutions in the United States with business programs are accredited. FIT itself is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the School of Art and Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
Clockwise from top left: President Brown and Hoberman; Bertschmann, Dr. Brown, and Vazquez; SUNY Trustee Edward M. Spiro and Benetton.
GRADUATES, COMMENCE YOUR ENGINES! FIT’s 2018 commencement ceremonies, held at Radio City Music Hall on May 24, sent graduates off into the real world with a hearty boost of inspiration and cheer. Style correspondent and TV personality Lilliana Vazquez gave the morning keynote to the School of Art and Design and the School of Liberal Arts, sharing her story and advising graduates to slow down and celebrate life’s successes. Abstract painter and graphic designer Harry Bertschmann, who labored out of the spotlight for years before being rediscovered in his 80s, received the President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement. Chuck Hoberman, the visionary designer best known for inventing the Hoberman sphere, addressed the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology in the afternoon, offering advice from an engineering perspective. Hoberman and Luciano Benetton, who co-founded Benetton Group, the global fashion company known for its bright colors and provocative, inclusive advertising, received honorary degrees.
GUERRILLAS IN OUR MIDST The Guerrilla Girls, an internationally renowned group of feminist activist artists, performed to a packed house in the Haft Theater on May 2. Remaining anonymous in their trademark gorilla masks, they levied a trenchant critique at the art world for its lack of diversity.
Anne Kong, associate professor and program coordinator for Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design, won the 22nd annual Markopoulos Award from industry magazine design:retail, for her visual displays and more than 20 years of teaching at FIT.
Flawed garments are often overlooked within museum collections. In recent years, however, as interest in the “biographies” of garments has grown, fashion historians have begun to reassess imperfect objects. Colleen Hill, curator of costume and accessories at The Museum at FIT, has done just that with Fashion Unraveled, in the Fashion and Textile History Gallery through Nov. 17. By focusing on garments that have been altered, left unfinished, or deconstructed, the exhibition explores the roles of memory and imperfection in fashion. Studies of specific items reveal intriguing histories about their wearers and/or makers, poignant reminders of the deeply personal and physical relationships we have with our clothes.
The international symposium Digital Meets Handmade: Jewelry in the 21st Century, held at FIT May 15 to 17, explored how both fabrication methods will shape the future of jewelry design.
Anne Valérie Hash’s brown wool tweed and light gray cotton dress (fall 2007) was made from a pair of men’s trousers.
Biodesign Challenge team #Werewool was one of three finalists from a pool of 29 schools for the Stella McCartney x PETA Animal-Free Wool Prize, for creating a protein-based fiber from human cells.
Faculty Win Grants From the NEH and NEA FIT has secured a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Smiljana Peros
(NEH) and a $20,000 grant from the “Teaching Labor History to Art and Design Students” is a three-year faculty and curriculum development project in a
In April, the FIT/Infor Design and Tech Lab was taken over by Big Alice, a 6-meter photogrammetric scanning studio outfitted with 64 high-resolution DSLR cameras that, in the blink of an eye, capture the full dimensions of a person or object for conversion into 3D data that can be used for virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D printing. The college used Big Alice—which is owned by 3DCopySystems, headquartered in Austria—to explore applications for bringing an immersive experience to online fashion retail.
HIGHLIGHTING FIT’S FUTUREFOCUSED RESEARCH Fragrances customized to an individual’s DNA. Using virtual reality art to treat opioid addiction. These and eight other groundbreaking faculty and student projects are described in depth in FIT’s new innovation kiosk, unveiled in May in the Feldman Center lobby. The interactive touchscreen kiosk was developed to highlight the college’s commitment to cutting-edge research.
range of majors, funded by an implementation grant from the NEH Humanities Connections program. Course content in this interdisciplinary project, led by Kyunghee Pyun, assistant professor of History of Art, and Daniel Levinson Wilk, professor of U.S. History, will explore how business and labor history affects today’s industries, careers, and professional decision-making. The project, to begin this fall, will result in new experiential courses and two conferences. FIT was the only college in Manhattan to receive one of the 199 Humanities Connections implementation grants awarded this year. The NEA Art Works grant, titled, “New Sustainable Design: How Materials Advance Innovation,” is headed by Karen Pearson, professor and assistant chair of Science and Math, and Joanne Arbuckle, deputy to the president for industry partnerships and collaborative programs. It will fund an enhancement to FIT’s Sustainable Business and Design Conference, as well as a series of separate workshops, in the
SWIM TEAM CLINCHES FIRST NATIONAL VICTORY
2018–19 academic year. Combining science and the arts, the program will teach students
To cap off a record-breaking season, the FIT women’s swim team won its first-ever team title in the non-scholarship division at the NJCAA Nationals in March. In this final meet of the season, many swam personal bests and shattered FIT records. Seventh in the nation overall, FIT came in first among schools that don’t offer athletic scholarships. At the end of the semester, first-year Photography student Leah King won a 2017–18 SUNY Scholar Athlete Award for balancing academic and athletic achievement.
ALICE’S ADVENTURES AT FIT
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
about innovative, sustainable textiles and other materials, with an emphasis on the underlying scientific principles. If successful, the programming could be replicated in future years. “At FIT, science and the arts beautifully support each other,” Arbuckle said. “Students don’t have to choose between them.” The NEA awarded 262 grants for New York State this year in 15 categories; this is FIT’s first NEA grant in the Design category.
Top: Kaufman was honored at the 2013 FIT Foundation Gala; Tony Bennett presented the award. Above: Aberra advised students in the Fashion Design program.
FIT LOSES TWO LEADERS George S. Kaufman, FIT trustee and former chairman of the Kaufman Organization and Kaufman Astoria Studios, died Feb. 20. Kaufman, a prominent New York real estate developer, civic leader, and philanthropist, had been on FIT’s Board of Trustees since 1982. A gift from Kaufman and his wife, Mariana, enabled the college to purchase and renovate a former bookbindery on West 31st Street, converting it into the George S. and Mariana Kaufman Residence Hall, which houses 1,100 students. “George’s devotion to the college, to public education, to the arts, and to the spirit of public service has had— and will continue to have—an indelible impact on all New Yorkers,” President Joyce F. Brown said. Amsale Aberra, Fashion Design ’82, a noted Ethiopian-American bridal designer, died April 1. She served on FIT’s Board of Trustees since 2009 and as a critic for the college’s Future of Fashion runway show. “Amsale was deeply committed to the college both as an alumna and trustee,” Dr. Brown said. “We have been the fortunate beneficiaries of her wise advice, contributions, and friendship.”
As part of FIT’s annual Holocaust commemoration, Dr. Stacy Gallin, director of the Center for Human Dignity in Bioethics, Medicine, and Health at Misericordia University in Pennsylvania, spoke about the medically sanctioned genocide that took place in World War II Germany. 6
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At its annual gala on June 14, the FIT Foundation honored Ivan Bart, president of IMG Models and Fashion Properties; Jane Hertzmark Hudis, group president of the Estée Lauder Companies; and J. Michael Stanley, managing director of Rosenthal & Rosenthal.
A team of Business and Technology students from FIT took second place in the Future Retail Challenge at the 2018 World Retail Congress in Madrid. Their task was to design a new consumer experience in an empty storefront in the Spanish city.
MAKING IT IN NEW YORK
Accessories Design professor by day, Special Olympics swim coach by night
Alumni Win $200K Grant from CFDA and NYCEDC
Peter Chan ’92 and Terri Huang ’98, business partners and owners of Sunrise Studio, a factory on 38th Street in the Garment District, received a $200,000 matching grant from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s Fashion Manufacturing Initiative (FMI). This is the second time they have won the grant; in 2015, they received $100,000. Chan, who is an assistant professor of Production Management, says his firm used the first grant to buy 30 industrial sewing machines and attract new customers. “One of the reasons we could double our grant this time,” he said, “is because we showed evidence that we used the previous grant effectively. In addition, we are one of the few factories that passed the compliance audit, which was required by the CFDA and NYCEDC.” Sunrise Studio employs 70 people. They create sampleto-medium-sized garments in runs of 100 to 1,000 pieces for Calvin Klein, The Row, Urban Zen (Donna Karan), and Alexander Wang, among others. With the new grant, Chan says, “We will be able to upgrade all other machines to make us more competitive and efficient.” The funds will also help Sunrise service CFDA designers who seek domestic production and sampling resources. The CFDA and NYCEDC created the grant initiative to encourage manufacturing in New York, so designers could produce locally. Chan earned three FIT degrees: Production Management: Textiles ’92, Production Management: Apparel: ’89, and Fashion Design ’87. Huang graduated in Fashion Buying and Merchandising in ’98. “I believe ‘Made in the USA’ has a value to it,” Chan has said. “Manufacturing in China doesn’t reflect the American dream.” —ALEX JOSEPH
Professor Ellen Lynch, Accessories Design, teaches FIT students the finer points of creating footwear—lasts, uppers, the anatomy of the foot. A bit of a sneakerhead herself, she can be spotted around campus sporting bright-red Chuck Taylors. Friday nights, she goes to the pool at Mineola’s Chaminade High School on Long Island, and coaches an extraordinary swim team, the Shark Waves. These 18 athletes are Special Olympians. “Every one of them has intellectual disabilities,” Lynch says. “They excel in spite of their challenges.” After a warm-up, the group does endurance exercises, then practices whichever strokes the athletes need to improve most. “The repetition is what’s most helpful,” she says. Lynch created the schedule and structure of the classes. Athletes also learn teamwork and socialization skills. “I have only one female athlete, Shelby, who was afraid to swim,” Lynch says. “Her parents have a pool, but she had never gotten into it. I told her parents, ‘Tell her to lie across the bed so her arms and legs are off, and practice the strokes that way.’ The
next week, Shelby got in the pool with the Shark Waves and started swimming. Her parents were in tears.” Lynch was once an Olympic swimming hopeful, but at age 12, she was injured and missed tryouts. Ever since, she has worked as a swim coach or lifeguard. A few years ago, she was watching her nephew, who has fragile X syndrome, a condition that affects learning and cognitive development, play basketball with a Special Olympics team. She wondered why a swimming option wasn’t available. After Lynch became certified as a Special Olympics coach, she developed plans for the team with her co-captain, now a senior at Chaminade. About 20 student volunteers help out. Lynch also raised funds and developed a logo for team hats and bags. The team’s first divisional tournament took place in Bethpage, Long Island. In every event they participated in, they won a gold medal, though winning isn’t the point. “This is the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had,” Lynch says. —ALEX JOSEPH
Lynch with Sammy Ho, who won a gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle, and the co-captain of the swim team, Walter Szczech.
Sarah Farid’s Etsy shop is an online destination for antique jewelry
Growing up in South Florida, Sarah Farid, Advertising and Marketing Communications ’09, spent long hours in thrift shops and flea markets with her mom, snapping up all types of unique and unexpected jewelry. But in 2010, at home during a school break, she saw more than just a collection of beautiful vintage items; she saw a business opportunity. With her mom’s permission, she gathered up a few of the items and started up an Etsy shop, LUXXORVintage. Sales were brisk from the start, but it was an offhand comment from a savvy buyer that helped her realize the shop’s true potential. “I sold an agate heart for pretty cheap, and the person who bought it told me that the piece was actually Victorian, and worth a lot more than what I sold it for,” she recalls. “That’s when I got really serious about it.” Farid pored through reference books and talked to antiques dealers to learn what older pieces were really worth. Slowly, she learned to separate valuable vintage pieces from newer knockoffs. While she kept the shop as a side business for a little while after graduation—she landed a job in sales and public relations to pay most of her bills—it was never far from her mind. In 2013, she partnered with textile artist Margot Becker to open a vintage and handmade goods store called, transparently enough, the Store at 17 N. 5th, in Hudson, New York. It included many of the items she’d been selling through her Etsy shop. The retail location closed after just a year, when the owner converted the space into an apartment, but Farid’s interest in her online venture grew. Since opening LUXXORVintage, she’s sold nearly 2,000 items and has hundreds of five-star reviews; it’s currently her full-time job. For Farid, the joy of having the shop is the freedom it gives her. “It requires dedication, but I really like being in control of everything,” she says. —ERIN PETERSON 8
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BESTSELLING ITEMS Many of the items in her shop are one of a kind, but horoscope pendants— ’70s-era medallions with an astrological symbol on one side and the corresponding constellation on the other— are in demand. “They’re really cool, and they make amazing gifts,” she says.
Farid learned many of the principles of marketing from the company where she worked briefly after college. “And I saw my own business as the long-term opportunity,” she says.
i contact: student
FASHION ABLE Kyle Brogan, Fashion Design ’19
In January, Teen Vogue featured you in an article about disability representation in fashion. How did that come about? My roommates got me tickets to a panel discussion at Parsons called “Fashion Culture and Justice.” One of the panelists was the editor in chief of Teen Vogue. I felt my narrative wasn’t represented, so I went to the mike and said, “What are you doing to promote people with disabilities in the industry? We’re the largest minority group in America, but there’s still no diversity. Growing up, I never saw TV characters like me.” The editor grabbed the mike and said, “I want to work with you.” What was the collaboration like? I was interviewed at Condé Nast headquarters. I wrote a sidebar— a Q&A about questions I get as an individual with a disability, like, “How do I ask about someone’s condition?” I even got paid for it. It was really great. Tell me about your condition. It’s a facial anomaly called Treacher Collins Syndrome. My mom has it also. One possible side effect is hearing impairment, so I wear hearing aids. I grew up disabled and gay in the suburbs of Virginia, where everyone’s the same. Here in New York, I think kids are more exposed to difference. You teach gymnastics part time at Chelsea Piers. Why that gig? From age 7 to 17, I was a competitive gymnast. I did all the events— floor exercise, horizontal bar, parallel bars, still rings, vault, and pommel horse. The sport was a constant adrenaline rush, but what excited me more was the audience’s reaction to seeing me do a flip. Able-bodied individuals tend to have limited expectations of what an individual with a disability can achieve. Why is something like gymnastics or fashion something I couldn’t do? How did you get interested in fashion? Early on, I realized I stood out for how I looked, but I wanted to get beyond that. I’d study what the popular kids wore. I used fashion to blend in. Now I want my work to represent me. My ideas stand out.
What do you see as your role in the industry? I want to translate my story into fashion. For example, I’m exploring the possibility of weaving 3D-printed copies of my hearing aid batteries into a textile, for ornamentation. This summer, I have a paid internship at Tommy Hilfiger. They have me working in multiple departments, including their new Tommy Adaptive line for individuals with disabilities. You won a critic award in your fourth semester. What was your garment? It was a white double-face wool top embroidered with the words “Never Settle,” with more than 400 strands of yarn unraveling from the text. I later got this phrase tattooed on my arm because it’s something my mother always told me. When I’m older and I can look back and say I’ve attempted everything I dreamed of, I want to add a “d” at the end.
PRECIOUS David Yurman donates half a million dollars’ worth of gemstones to FIT
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one of three gemologists in the department. “They never made it to the store. But that doesn’t make them any less beautiful.” Coan and other faculty members have reserved some of these stones as teaching tools in gemology classes, but most are available for student projects. Lina Krakue, Jewelry Design ’17, used strands of faceted lapis lazuli and citrine in her final project, a massive statement necklace inspired by collars worn by the Maasai and the ancient Egyptians. Originally, she had envisioned a smaller piece, partly to keep it within her budget, but Coan encouraged her to use more of the Yurman collection for maximum impact. Mainly on the strength of that necklace, Krakue won the Next Generation Award for Jewelry Design, sponsored and judged by the Accessories Council. “Giving us these stones was a big investment in our students,” Coan says. —JONATHAN VATNER
Clockwise from top: Cushionshaped faceted checkerboardcut citrine, 15 by 15 by 91/2 millimeters; round faceted checkerboard-cut citrine, 10 by 6 millimeters; cushionshaped brilliant faceted amethyst, 9 by 7 by 2.7 millimeters; oval faceted checkerboard-cut rock crystal, 18 by 13 by 8 millimeters; an identical round citrine; and a round faceted checkerboardcut rock crystal, 14 by 7 1/2 millimeters. Alessandro Casagli
nside an unremarkable storage room in the Marvin Feldman Center, 16 translucent plastic boxes house an astounding 10,000 gems: opalescent rose quartz cabochons fused with mother of pearl, strings of turquoise beads shot through with archipelagic ironstone matrix, and tiny citrine briolettes that glitter like golden tears. Each box reveals more wonders: quench-crackled rock crystal, creamy blue lace agate, brooding smoky quartz, and shimmering navy goldstone beads. This trove, valued at almost half a million dollars, was owned by jeweler David Yurman, co-founder with his wife, Sybil, of the world-renowned David Yurman brand. The stones, which Yurman hand-selected during his travels throughout his career, reflect his penchant for big statement pieces rich with facets. But he never found a use for them in his designs and donated them to FIT in 2016. “A lot of these are from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s,” says Michael Coan, assistant professor of Jewelry Design, and
CHASING THE LIGHT
FIT’s BFA fashion show, through the lens of Joe Carrotta, Photography and the Digital Image ’17 BY ALEX JOSEPH
This multicolored, screen-printed leather jacket by Stacy Isaacs won a Critic Award for sportswear.
t takes a photographer with a certain chutzpah to capture the essence of the Future of Fashion, FIT’s BFA fashion show. A whirlwind of make-or-break transitions and heightened emotions, it’s one of the college’s signature events. The pressure’s on, but Joe Carrotta ’17, who shot most of these images backstage and behind the scenes, shrugs it off. “I’m just chasing the light, looking for moments,” he says. That’s it? What about the torturous decisions about composition, frame, depth of field? What about creative angst? Carrotta reflects again on the endeavor—in particular, maneuvering around the stage managers, ushers, and VIP handlers. “The biggest challenge is not getting yelled at.” The May 3 event in the John E. Reeves Great Hall presented 77 looks from five concentrations. The product of four years of learning and hard work, each garment was perfected over the spring semester with guidance from an industry critic, and selected for the show by a jury of fashion media professionals. A few of these styles could become iconic; most will go into portfolios to help Fashion Design graduates build careers. A year after graduation, Carrotta is well on his way. An alumnus of the prestigious Eddie Adams Workshop for photography, he shoots regularly for The New York Times, which recently printed his images of marine mammal ecologist and SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Arthur Kopelman. Carrotta had created the portfolio as his final BFA project. “The Times printed Joe’s thesis,” says Brad Paris, chair of the department. “That doesn’t happen.” Those pictures were a little different, Carrotta says. “When I do my personal work, I’m looking for the same thing—moments— but I can plan the moments.” Here, every image records the end of a chase, when the photographer made a split-second discovery. No angst required. Watch the Future of Fashion at fashionshow.fitnyc.edu.
Right: Michelle Porrazzoâ€™s ivory Chantilly lace and 3D flower lace bridal gown with pearl beading. Above right: A childrenâ€™s cropped jacket and stripe vest by Chi Hee (Annie) Han. Opposite: A silver sequined compression bodysuit and tan glen plaid corset dress by Jose Holguin. 12 hue | summer 2018
“I’m just looking for moments.” –JOE CARROTTA ’17
What FIT leaves behind
Scads of forgotten treasures find their way to FIT’s lost and found, from backpacks to books to bikes to bottles, from Polaroids to passports to pencils to paint. There are hundreds of misplaced ID cards, a shopping basket full of sunglasses, and sacks of key chains and flash drives, sorted by the month when they were discovered. When students leave for the summer, objects flood in, abandoned in the rush: final projects, dress forms, furniture, even diplomas. Every item is logged and tagged when it arrives at the Office of Public Safety, in Room D442 of the Pomerantz Center. Credit cards are immediately shredded. Cash is stored in a lock box. Food is discarded. When possible, Public Safety staff contact owners at their FIT email addresses. They will power on computers to find the username; on the other hand, cell phones don’t reveal their secrets. Some objects are reclaimed, but most are forgotten. After 30 days, Public Safety staff begin finding them new homes. Art supplies are donated to the School of Art and Design. Given the risk of viruses, flash drives are destroyed. Goodwill takes anything else of value. As a group, these objects paint a portrait of our stylish, quirky, creative community. Now if only their owners would come pick them up. —JONATHAN VATNER
14 hue | summer 2018
Above: Casbon, Eidelheit, Menache, and Soll in the lab.
After a cleaning, a vintage piece of fiber art returns to FIT For years, a colorful work of fiber art by former Textile Design faculty member Wilma Grayson hung in the lobby of FIT’s Pomerantz Center. The design, a grid of colored rectangles over white ground, was selected in 1975 by FIT’s Art Committee (and approved by the Art Commission of the City of New York) for manufacture by the Edward Fields carpet company. Grayson’s name, and the manufacturer’s initials, were incorporated into the piece. In spring 2017, when the college began renovating the lobby for an expansion, the piece was sent to the Textile Conservation Lab at Saint John the Divine, where experts undertook a careful cleaning. FIT alumni, faculty, and students were instrumental in making this happen. The lab’s director, Marlene Eidelheit, Museum Studies: Costume and Textiles ’88, 16 hue | summer 2018
said the piece had to be cleaned carefully because some of the dyes in the colored wool rectangles were “fugitive”—vulnerable to fading. Individual wicking cloths were placed over the rectangles to protect them. Foam cleaner was applied, then vacuumed off, said senior textile conservator Valerie Soll, who teaches costume collections management and conservation theory and practice in FIT’s School of Graduate Studies. The white ground was cleaned in a similar way—with swabs and gauze. Two Fashion and Textile Studies alumnae helped out with the project: Jamie Casbon ’12 and Marina Kastan Hays ’17, who is now a Polaire Weissman Conservation Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Students Kaelyn Garcia ’18 and Meredith Menache ’18 worked on the piece as interns.
In February, the work was returned and installed in a new location in the Katie Murphy Amphitheatre. “It was pretty dirty,” Soll says. “Hopefully it will be noticeably brighter now.” Remarkably, the 10-by-15-foot artwork, which weighs about 170 pounds, had been held in place by a mere two-inch strip of Velcro, which was glued all along the top. It now has 6 inches of Velcro, all sewn to a header (a long piece of fabric) on the back to distribute the weight. —ALEX JOSEPH
Valerie Soll / Smiljana Peros
Left: Soll sews a support piece to the back of the artwork.
WATCH THIS SPACE An alumna’s new art gallery makes a splash
From top: A pie in the face becomes an exploration of the relationship between artist, art, and audience; art-world notables are discovering Rosen’s 34th Street gallery; students from the Art Market Studies MA program in FIT’s School of Graduate Studies learned serious lessons from the performance.
ne evening in March, students from FIT’s Art Market Studies MA program gathered in the new namesake gallery of Meredith Rosen ’10 to smash pies in an artist’s face. The artist, Jennifer Rubell, orchestrated this masochistic destruction of dessert for a 30-minute performance piece entitled “Consent.” At the appointed hour, Rubell, wearing head-to-toe black, mounted a platform behind stanchions and several rows of cream pies. Silence. For long minutes, no one moved. What promised, in descriptions of the piece, to be hilarious, seemed sober, even somber. The students and other audience members whispered together. “I’m too chicken,” one woman said. “It seems so sadistic,” her friend replied. To wield a pie, participants had to sign a three-page legal waiver that included specifications for how to handle them— smashed, not thrown, for example. Multiple meanings of “Consent” slowly dawned on everyone. At last, a woman in a stylish coat carried a pie up the platform stairs; she smeared it in Rubell’s face, clumsily dropped the remains, and fled. More silence. Another pie got smooshed. The third actor was a man. “I’ve waited my whole life to do this,” he told Rubell, “or to have it done to me.” He shoved the pie in the artist’s face; she rocked back, face slathered, and slowly righted herself. A golf ball–sized dollop of cream fell from her sweater to the floor with a plop. Student Yiyan Liu ’18 also struck Rubell. “It was a little awkward,” Liu said afterward. “At the moment I did it, I said, ‘Sorry,’ because I hit her hard, and the pie was heavy.” Liu, who hopes to create a nonprofit that organizes collaborations between American and Chinese artists, said the piece explores “how far the audience will go.” Kristal Viera ’18 was equally discomfited. “I didn’t want to hurt the artist,” she said, though she liked the work: “I think it’s about how people don’t know how to ask for consent.” “It’s interesting how the themes being explored here connect to the MeToo movement,” said Art Market Studies Chair Natasha Degen. The performance was a teachable moment for the students, she said, for more than its political implications: “The program looks at how art is transacted and circulated. A gallery is a commercial space, yet a performance is not easily commodified.” Outside the gallery’s performance space, Rosen was exhibiting a number of Rubell’s paintings. “Given their impermanence, performances are inherently newsworthy, and thus effective at drawing attention to more salable art,” Degen explained. Rubell was the first artist to appear in Rosen’s 34th Street gallery, which opened Feb. 8, garnering favorable notices in Artsy, Artnet, and The Daily Beast, among others. (Noted gallerist and curator Jeffrey Deitch signed the guest book on the day of the event.) “I want to bring the best art to the table, really push the limits of what’s being done now,” Rosen said. In 2014, she co-founded Sargent’s Daughters, a gallery on the Lower East Side, but she’s thrilled to have her own venture. “I’m not just interested in feminist art or performance art,” she said. “I’ll show every medium. I want everything.” Rubell’s performance raised questions large and small. “I got to taste a pie,” said Patricia Daher ’18. “It wasn’t whipped cream, it was vanilla something, and it was pretty hard. Why did she choose that medium?” —ALEX JOSEPH
Behind the global apparel industry’s push for human rights BY ALEXANDER GELFAND
According to Shireen Musa, an assistant professor of International Trade and Marketing who teaches international corporate responsibility and wrote her doctoral dissertation on sustainable sourcing, the fashion industry helped create this problem. Having invented a market for fast fashion, companies needed to source products more quickly and cheaply, so they looked to developing countries, where low wages, long hours, and poor working conditions are common. But in recent years, many companies have taken a stand, introducing a variety of measures aimed at protecting workers. IMPROVING FACTORY AUDITS According to Pulos, few international standards exist for factory safety. But many brands and retailers now have their own codes of conduct that align with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals— along with in-house departments dedicated to enforcing them. Verifying the practices of a factory halfway around the world is neither cheap nor easy. Most large corporations pay third-party auditors to conduct inspections, and since these companies deal with many different factories, the expense of regular audits quickly adds up. It’s costly for factories, too: a single one might contract with scores of apparel companies, forcing managers and workers to meet with several teams of auditors every week. Jason Kibbey, CEO of the Sustainable Apparel
n 2013, dozens of American and European fashion firms were producing garments at the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh when it collapsed, killing more than 1,100 workers and injuring 2,500. The building had not been designed or permitted to house a factory, and management had ignored large cracks that had appeared in the walls the previous day. In the five years since, the global reaction resulted in the rectification of 97,000 safety hazards in 1,600 Bangladeshi factories. Yet protecting workers’ health and safety—not to mention their basic human rights—remains a challenge. In India, children as young as 8 labor for pennies a day in sweatshops. Cambodian garment workers are scolded for taking bathroom breaks, fired for getting pregnant, and beaten or shot by police when they organize protests for higher wages. Elizabeth Pulos, International Trade and Marketing for the Fashion Industries ’15, an associate manager of social compliance at Macy’s, says the ongoing migrant and refugee crises have contributed to a surge in forced labor and human trafficking, with recruiters holding workers hostage by seizing their passports and garnishing their wages. In some countries, the government itself is the problem: Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, for example, force citizens to work in their countries’ cotton fields, harvesting plants that eventually enter the global supply chain.
18 hue | summer 2018
Coalition (SAC), a consortium of apparel brands and manufacturers, says the trivial demands of some audits prevent factory owners from investing in meaningful improvements to worker health and safety. The (possibly apocryphal) tale of the “three fire extinguishers” illustrates this: a factory in Bangladesh had three fire extinguishers mounted to a wall, one above the other—each satisfying the height requirement for a different inspection. Audits aren’t foolproof, either. Many inspections begin and end at the factory, overlooking infractions at farms and mills. Fraud and corruption (keeping multiple sets of books, coaching workers to mislead auditors) are commonplace. And as Andrea Reyes, Global Fashion Management ’12, International Trade and Marketing ’09, points out, workers may be reluctant to tell the truth even when they aren’t afraid of being fired or beaten. Reyes, who chairs the New York City Fair Trade Coalition (NYCFT), cofounded A. Bernadette, a company that works with female artisans in Uganda to create fair-trade accessories from recycled materials. She sources her goods in a socially responsible manner, visiting her artisans regularly and relying Illustration by Anita Rundles BFA ’13
on a trusted local production manager in her absence. But she suspects that her artisans, like apparel workers the world over, would lie to an auditor if she asked them to. “My artisans are going to say whatever I want them to say, because they don’t want to risk me walking away with my American dollar bills,” she says. One solution to the problem of ineffective audits, Reyes suggests, is to use inspectors who are embedded in the communities where they work and understand the local culture and conditions. Better Work, a collaboration between the United Nations and the World Bank, takes this approach in order to improve working conditions while boosting competitiveness. Technology can help as well. Confidential textmessaging hotlines are enabling garment workers to provide honest feedback in the auditing process. Mapping software that shows the location of every factory, mill, and farm involved in the production of a garment is giving companies a clearer look at their supply chains. Remote sensors and blockchain, a secure digital ledger, may one day provide a more reliable view of what’s actually happening on the shop floor. Kibbey, meanwhile, advocates moving from a pass-fail auditing system to scaled social responsibility assessments that score factories’ performance and offer incentives to improve, such as more business or better pricing. The Social Labor and Convergence Project, which originated as an offshoot of the SAC, is poised to unveil a uniform auditing questionnaire. Any user will be able to share data, elimi nating the need to audit
lives, explains Bitu Cao Minh, Fashion Design ’04, director of social compliance and human rights at J. Crew. Cao Minh visited a factory in India where workers used the funds to build a grocery store in their village. “This store was not only helping the factory workers, but also the community,” Cao Minh says. “For me, this is a great example of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility done right.” SPREADING THE MESSAGE Ultimately, however, the power to help garment workers lies with consumers: The more strongly we support ethically sourced goods, the more socially responsible the industry will become. That support exists, at least among millennial consumers. According to the Robin Report, a website devoted to retail apparel and related industries founded by former faculty member Robin Lewis, 65 to 70 percent of consumers under 35 around the world say they choose brands or retailers based on their ethical practices. And two thirds of global respondents in a recent Nielsen study said they would pay more for merchandise produced by firms that support social and environmental causes. But brands need to communicate their corporate social responsibility efforts to consumers. To that end, the NYFTC recently formed a committee of fairtrade advocates devoted to education and social media, to help people understand what socially responsible sourcing means, and why it matters— something Reyes tries to accomplish by leading her own fair-trade education trips to Uganda.
To better inform the public about the importance of ethical sourcing, she and her colleagues in the coalition are asking themselves a deceptively simple question: “How can we use our marketing skills to push this movement forward, grab people’s attention, and make this information known not just to the fashion community, but to everyone?”
WHAT IS OUR
TO OVERSEAS GARMENT WORKERS? In a 1972 essay, “Famine, Affluence, and Morality,” philosopher Peter Singer argued that, just as we have a moral responsibility to save a drowning child, we have a moral responsibility to save lives in other countries. Lucy Collins, assistant professor of Social Sciences, teaches this essay in the Business Ethics course required for all Fashion Business Management and International Trade and Marketing students. “If we were face to face with starving people or endangered factory workers, most people would do what they could to prevent that,” Collins says. “But it’s so far removed—these are places most people will never go. However, the fact that we are not observing it doesn’t change our moral responsibility. My preference for buying clothes does not outweigh someone else’s preference for life.” —Jonathan Vatner
the same factories over and over. More than 160 manufacturers, retailers, audit firms, and national governments have signed on. THE CASE FOR ETHICAL SOURCING The motivation for companies to treat factory workers well isn’t entirely altruistic: Pulos, who co-wrote an e-textbook on business ethics (Good Corporation, Bad Corporation: Corporate Social Responsibility in the Global Economy) with Guillermo Jimenez, associate professor of International Trade and Marketing, says that companies enjoy lower turnover and greater efficiency when they pay attention to fair wages and worker safety. Also, nonprofits like the Clean Clothes Campaign and the SAC that promote workers’ rights can sway investor and consumer sentiment, as can social media campaigns by fair-trade activists. Companies that behave irresponsibly risk damaging their reputations and, ultimately, their bottom lines. Many companies therefore belong to nonprofitcertifying organizations such as the Fair Trade Federation and the World Fair Trade Organization. Brands pay a premium on Fair Trade products, which funds community projects that improve workers’
How Suzette Subance Ferrier’s workplace designs foster innovation
20 hue | summer 2018
ast year, Contract, a national magazine devoted to commercial interior design, named Suzette Subance Ferrier its Designer of the Year. Over the past 20 years, as design director at TPG Architecture and in her past roles at HLW and Gensler, she has modernized the workplaces of Condé Nast, Time Inc., Disney Theatrical Group, JPMorgan Chase, Hofstra University, and the Institute of Culinary Education. And she helped draft the master plan for Google’s New York headquarters, the gold standard for the 21st-century office, beloved by employees and widely envied for its game rooms, multiple free cafeterias, and ladders between floors. Subance Ferrier, Interior Design ’96, Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design ’92, crafts workplaces for companies trying to shatter their traditional hierarchies and adopt the democratic, nimble dynamics of tech startups. This means breaking down office walls in favor of open workstations and flexible communal spaces for impromptu meetings: comfy lounges, gourmet coffee bars, private conference areas, and scrum rooms lined with whiteboards.
Clockwise from opposite page: The new Hoboken, New Jersey, headquarters for academic publisher John Wiley & Sons, offers plenty of alternative work spaces: sofas, communal tables, and private rooms. Subance Ferrier says that the new headquarters for McCann, the legacy advertising firm, is “a very slick, high-design space. We wanted you to feel the power of McCann when you walk in.”
Of all her creations, she most adores this wooden staircase, hovering above a koi pond, that connects the various units within marketing conglomerate CMG’s New York headquarters. The construction is highly technical, but, encased in wood, it looks almost handwrought. Subance Ferrier, of Trinidadian descent, grew up in Hell’s Kitchen and walked to FIT every day.
Eric Laignel / Portrait: Mackenzie Stroh
“In the past, companies were siloed. Everyone was sitting in these Dilbert cubicles,” she says. “Now they want to collaborate more. We try to create spaces that align with that and reflect a company’s branding and culture as opposed to trying to cram in as many people as possible.” To counterbalance all that openness, and to ensure that employees get privacy when they need it, she incorporates plenty of soundproof telephone rooms and private meeting spaces. “When we started doing open plan 15 years ago, we didn’t have those types of rooms, and it was a failure,” she says. Recently, Subance Ferrier engineered a workplace for John Wiley & Sons in Hoboken, New Jersey, that helped the academic publishing company transition into the digital age. Wiley did away with private offices entirely— even the CEO now sits in a sea of workstations—and brought in “hot desks,” letting employees migrate as
ad hoc teams shift. Relaxed communal spaces round out the design. “The key to success is giving people choice,” Subance Ferrier says. “In your home, you’re not in one room all the time. You’re doing different things at different times of the day. The same thing is happening in the workplace. If you’re sitting in one place all the time, you get bored. Moving around keeps your mind fresh and thinking differently.” Though her stylistic thumbprint is visible in the juxtaposition of high-touch materials—wood, glass, steel, and fabric—as well as an obsessive focus on soothing sounds and lighting, she mainly tries to disappear into the design, letting the office represent each client’s brand, mission, and culture. “When we’re finished with a project, our clients have to live there,” she says. “They shouldn’t be living in Suzette’s house. They should be living in their house.” —JONATHAN VATNER
ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
Interior Design grads Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller create refuges for A-list clientele By Fred Bernstein
few years ago, designer Jason Wu moved his office/showroom to an industrial building in New York’s Garment District. Wu hired an architect to reconfigure the space, but he needed an interiors firm to give it personality. Vogue editor Anna Wintour recommended Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller, both Interior Design ’96, who have been working for Wintour since they started their firm, Carrier and Company, in 2005. When they first saw Wu’s space, Carrier says, it was “a harsh white box. Our objective was to soften it a bit.” The couple added some vintage elements, like a pair of 19th-century parlor doors, to create patina, and some contemporary elements, like iron display tables. “Jason’s aesthetic is modern, but it has a hint of vintage to it,” Carrier explains, “and we wanted the space to reflect that.” It also reflected Wu’s penchant for mixing rough and refined elements. “It’s about being dressed up and dressed down at the same time,” Wu said as he surveyed the finished space. Dressed up and dressed down is a good description of the work of Carrier and Miller. They employ their extensive decorative arts expertise in settings that are not at all museum-like. Architectural Digest, in naming Carrier and Company one of the 100 top design firms in the country, described their rooms as sophisticated but livable and lauded them “for spicing the appropriate with the strikingly unusual.” 22 hue | summer 2018
These days, their eight-person firm lists Jessica Chastain and Annie Leibovitz among its clients. Carrier and Miller see their job as providing comfortable retreats, not showplaces. Carrier says, “Their personas may be rather grand, but when you get to the bottom of it they’re really very family-focused.” Leibovitz, a longtime resident of Greenwich Village, came to them when she moved uptown to be near her daughters’ schools. And Chastain hired them to design her three-bedroom Manhattan pied-à-terre. “The word she used the most was ‘cozy,’” Miller recalls, adding, “We’re something like method actors. We need to understand who the clients are, what part they want the residence to play.” Miller and Carrier met during their senior year at FIT, where they bonded over their shared love of residential decor. Most of their classmates, they say, focused on commercial interiors, which seemed the likelier route to success: Since every hotel, restaurant, office, airport, and medical facility requires a designer, that’s where the jobs are (and FIT is very good about making sure its graduates get jobs, Carrier says). But Miller and Carrier preferred working on a domestic scale. Once they started dating, flea markets were frequent destinations. They also began attending New York’s Winter Antiques Show. “I remember being able to touch the kind of things that I had seen behind glass at the Metropolitan Museum,” Miller says. “It blew my mind that they were so accessible.”
Left: Miller and Carrier on the porch of a shingle-style Southampton house that they decorated.
Portrait by Sang An / Interior shots by Douglas Friedman
Above: “We wanted to go with the rich, dark, moody, vibe of the building,” Carrier says of Jessica Chastain’s Manhattan apartment. The living room walls are a suede-finished, moss green paint; furniture is contemporary but compatible with the building’s Victorian architecture. Right: In Chastain’s library, which doubles as a screening room, the designers covered the walls with red silk and hung an antique mirror that hides a 70-inch TV. Far right: In the high-ceilinged kitchen, they added the substantial island and the two-tier, Flemish style chandelier (in a nickel finish that goes with the appliances and fixtures).
“We’re something like method actors. We need to understand who the clients are, what part they want the residence to play.”
Above: The table in Jason Wu’s showroom is steel, but its carved legs playfully replicate turned wood. Above right: The designers took a lighthearted approach to Wu’s private office, hanging wallpaper made from pages of the New York Observer. The paper’s salmon color is flattering to clients Wu meets with in the room, Carrier notes. Left: Gray flannel is one of Wu’s favorite fabrics. The drapery panel of that material in the foreground is substantial enough to serve as a room divider.
24 hue | summer 2018
When Carrier and Miller finished school, each took a job with a top designer—he with Jeffrey Bilhuber, she with Stephen Sills. Though they gained valuable experience, their conflicting schedules often kept them apart. Miller might be out of town, installing a job in Palm Beach, say, while Carrier was at home—or vice versa. After they married in 2002, they decided that if they were going to raise a family (they now have a son and a daughter), they would need to set their own schedules, which meant starting their own firm. Once they established Carrier and Company, the first call they got was from Wintour, who had been working with Carrier at his previous job. Since then, Carrier and Miller have designed Wintour’s townhouse in Manhattan, her offices (first in Times Square, now at the World Trade Center), her estate on Long Island, and even her children’s college dorm rooms. “The projects keep going and going,” Carrier says. One reason is that Wintour entertains a lot. “Things always need to be refreshed because there’s so much traffic.” In their studio on the Upper East Side, Carrier and Miller complement each other’s strengths. “I’m more about broad strokes and Mara is more the fine details,” Carrier says. Miller agrees. “Jesse is a visionary; I can be kind of myopic.” Though they both work on every project, one of them is always in charge. “There has to be a lead who’s reading and answering every email in a timely fashion,” Miller says. Their success is due not just to their design talent, but also to their business acumen. And much of what they knew about running a business, they say, they learned at FIT, where they were required to take courses in management and professional practice. Their efficiency and attention to detail make them exceptionally easy to work with. Referring to their celebrity clients, Carrier says, “Their lives are plenty full of drama. They don’t need us bringing any more drama to the table.”
All photos by Jesse Carrier except above image by William Waldron
—M A R A MILL ER
This page: All of Anna Wintour’s homes are “warm and lush and colorful and pretty,” Carrier says. For her country house on Long Island, the design “speaks to her British roots and her love of Swedish painted furniture.” To keep things casual, they chose pieces “with chips and scars—a patina that shows their age,” including the framed mirrors, the green-hued dresser, and the plank-topped coffee table.
NEW VIEWS Highlights from the fourth annual Art and Design faculty exhibition BY VANESSA MACHIR
26 hue | summer 2018
et’s dispense with the head-in-the-
about recognition. “I like when people look at my
clouds artist stereotype once and for
work long enough to draw from it and interpret
all: Artists are resilient, says Harriet
it,” says Sue Willis, adjunct associate professor of
Korman, an adjunct assistant profes-
sor of Fine Arts whose work has been exhibited
at MoMA PS1 and in two Whitney Biennials.
ating beautiful work, but to educating the next
“There are ups and downs, but artists keep going.”
generation at FIT. They get satisfaction from
watching students go on to fulfilling careers.
The artists featured here—all of whose pieces
These artists are committed not just to cre-
were selected for FIT’s Art and Design faculty
“I love seeing them getting really great jobs,”
show, New Views 2018—have had many ups.
says Karen Scheetz, associate professor of
They’ve rubbed elbows with Warhol and Lichten-
stein and worked with artists like ’70s wunderkind
Nancy Graves and renowned fashion illustrator
former students in action. “My reward is taking
Kenneth Paul Block. Their work has won awards,
students on a field trip to a company, and someone
appeared in shows all over the world, and been
working there says, ‘You were my teacher. I use
showcased in books. Several have published books
what you taught me every day,’” says Ellen Oster,
of their own.
adjunct assistant professor of Textile/Surface
Design and recipient of a 2018 SUNY Chancellor’s
There are also the inevitable downs—creative
It’s even better when teachers get to see their
lulls, lack of funding, rejection. But they do keep
Award for Excellence in Teaching. “It’s important
going. It’s not hard to understand why. “It’s like
to me to give tools to people”—tools to pursue
breathing,” says Ron Amato, professor of Photo-
their vision and remain resilient.
graphy. “I’m driven to do it whether it sells or not.”
Visibility is important too, but it’s not always
go forward bravely with all that they do,” he says.
Amato agrees. “I want to empower students to
ELLEN OSTER TEXTILE/SURFACE DESIGN Magicians never reveal their secrets, and neither does Ellen Oster. She won’t disclose the inspiration behind the work pictured below to the general audience (and this writer has promised not to tell). “I don’t want people to know what the special ingredient is,” she says. The self-professed foodie does drop one hint—the piece is called Panned. The work itself is something of an illusion. It looks like a watercolor, but it’s actually a digitally manipulated image. She took a photograph of the mystery subject and added color, texture, and lines. Oster, Textile Design ’79, has spent her professional life combining art and technology. While pursuing her degree at FIT, she mastered one of the earliest computer design programs. She made a career out of providing design software training for companies like Ralph Lauren and Komar while also working as a freelance textile designer and teacher. “It’s my right and left brain staying balanced,” she says. This balance is present in her artwork. About half is done in Photoshop, and the rest in pastels. And while she’s an expert at demystifying complex computer programs for others, she appreciates the challenge of working with analog tools. “Pastels are not very forgiving,” Oster says. “You make a mistake and you’re done.” Panned, photography and digital painting, 36 by 24 inches, 2017.
ERIC VELASQUEZ ILLUSTRATION Pictured here is Arturo Schomburg, AfroPuerto Rican scholar and namesake of Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, examining possible acquisitions. A teacher once told him that black people had no history or heroes—so he dedicated his life to documenting what others ignored. He collected the artwork, manuscripts, and other black history artifacts that formed the basis of the center, a research unit of the New York Public Library. A similar dedication drives Spanish Harlem native Eric Velasquez, adjunct instructor of Illustration. “Growing up, there were no books with kids that looked like me,” he says. “The lack of representation had an effect.” He’s spent more than 30 years illustrating children’s books (three of which he also wrote) that often highlight black history and heroes. His subjects include Matthew Henson, the first black Arctic explorer; Alice Coachman, the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal; and Muhammad Ali. Velasquez’s work on the boxer landed him an interview on C-SPAN2’s Book TV. This illustration is from Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library, which won a We Need Diverse Books Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature. Released in 2017, it took 10 years to get published— but Velasquez always kept his goal in mind. “I want to inspire children of African descent to be artists and storytellers,” he says. And maybe even Schomburgs. Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library, oil on watercolor paper, 15 by 22 inches, 2017.
RON AMATO PHOTOGRAPHY
“It’s a myth to say artists have it all figured out before they make the work,” Ron Amato says. Much of his career has been influenced by the unexpected, or even the seemingly impossible. He spent five years shooting for magazines like Men’s Health, but wanted to find his own voice as a gay artist. “I grew up in a repressive Catholic environment in a tough neighborhood in Brooklyn, and coming out seemed not doable,” he says, “so my personal work centers around my sexuality.” Amato’s 2000 solo exhibition at Richard Anderson Fine Arts showcased erotic portraits of him with partners. “That was my declaration, planting my flag,” he says. More recently, he published a photo series and book, The Box, which won the 2017 American Photographic Artists Award for Outstanding Photographic Series. It started out as an examination of a box’s role: It can support you, or it can confine you. But after a couple of shoots, “a narrative revealed itself,” he says. “It chronicles my life as a gay man, from isolation to empowerment.” The above image is Amato’s response to the 2016 presidential election. It’s part of his Gay in Trumpland series, on view at Provincetown’s CUSP Gallery this summer. The portrait is of an interracial couple, completely covered and standing apart. “They’re holding hands,” Amato says. “They’re reaching across the societal divide.” Gay in Trumpland, Q and Evan, photography, 73 by 60 inches, 2017.
28 hue | summer 2018
SUE WILLIS FINE ARTS “We asked Richard Serra, but would you like to do it?” A dream question for any young artist—and a reality for Sue Willis, who began working as an architectural model maker in the ’80s. The asker was the late Ivan Chermayeff, co-founder of iconic design firm Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, and the question was about the sculpture commissions the firm often received. Willis ultimately worked on many of them, including fabricating the Kennedy Center medallions and designing sculptures for Altria Group’s Richmond, Virginia, headquarters. While she got her start in the corporate world, her personal work concentrates on nature, and the importance of protecting it. “There’s no separation between us—animals, humans, minerals,” she says. “Everything is connected in nature.” Her 2016 installation The Upper Worlds at the Corner Room in the Mid-Manhattan Library depicted a place where humans’ energies are collected and then mirrored back to Earth, causing both harmony and destruction. The Longest Night, shown here, represents waiting for enlightenment. Night is humanity’s lack of awareness, and day is the awakening that will bring compassion. “Unless we have compassion for one another, the Earth doesn’t stand a chance,” Willis says. Part of The Longest Night, porcelain, stoneware, glass, and gold luster, 12 by 18 by 5 inches, 2017-18.
KAREN SCHEETZ FASHION DESIGN Life moves fast, as Karen Scheetz knows well. She’s dedicated to capturing its (very) fleeting moments, sans camera. “I love drawing from life,” she says, “and people move. It’s really about being able to observe and quickly put down the essence of what you’re seeing.” Scheetz focused much of her career on fashion illustration, which, like life drawing, emphasizes speed. “Fashion models can only pose for 20 minutes or so,” she points out. But it’s not just about drawing fast; it’s also about quick decisions. “In fashion drawing, we edit what we see and turn it into a more perfected form.” She’s worked as an illustrator, art director, and designer for companies like the Tobe Report and Natori, and the latter was one of her favorite experiences. “It was great to see Josie Natori in action,” Scheetz says. “She’s a dynamic force.” Scheetz’s love of drawing from life was reawakened during her time in FIT’s Illustration MFA program (she earned her degree in 2017). She now draws whenever she travels; the watercolor here is the result of a trip to Varanasi, India. As always, she observed and translated what was most interesting, quickly. “While the women here are religious, they’re wearing jeans. Quite a contrast to the other women wearing formal saris,” she says. “I’m fascinated by how the present and future relate to the past.” Varanasi Street Scene, pen and watercolor, 61/2 by 10 inches, 2018.
BILL PANGBURN FINE ARTS Bill Pangburn, adjunct instructor of Fine Arts, goes with the flow: His daily bike rides along the Hudson River inspired Hudson Beiseite, at left. “I think about my speed and how the river is moving under its own forces,” he says. “The flow of the river corresponds to my sense of time, but the millennia that the river has flowed and will continue to flow are beyond our time.” Sometimes, letting natural forces guide you can be beneficial. “You never know what’s around the corner,” he says. Case in point: His career as an international artist was kickstarted by a chance encounter. He showed at Tibor de Nagy Gallery and the Brooklyn Museum early in his career, got married, had children, and then worked in academic computing at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (he’s now the director of its art galleries). An art history professor, who was also an international curator, called him about a computer problem—then asked to see his work. “Total serendipity,” Pangburn says. Since then, he’s exhibited all over the globe, but his fascination with water was born closer to home. During a trip to the Texas Panhandle, the Amarillo native was contemplating how to reintroduce lines into his work (previous pieces featured planes of color). Out the airplane window, he saw the Canadian River snake through the landscape and thought, There’s my line. “The way rivers erode the land and create these geological sculptures is just phenomenal.” Hudson Beiseite 1 Black, woodcut, 48 by 24 inches, 2016. 30 hue | summer 2018
JOAN MELNICK INTERIOR DESIGN Joan Melnick ’61, professor of Interior Design, can see life in anything. Even a rock. “I have a great fixation with them,” she says. “There’s the mystery of the rock … you turn it and it’s different.” Based on the light and the position of the viewer, everything about a rock can change in an instant. This is true of all the natural forms— landscapes, corals—that inform her work, which has been exhibited in New York galleries like Phoenix, A.I.R., and JHB. Her newest source of inspiration is another natural form: the human body. A human muscle is similar to a rock, she explains, because they’re both unique, even unpredictable. “Nothing repeats itself.” The lack of repetition is important: she confesses to getting bored easily. In addition to painting and teaching, Melnick has an architectural and interior rendering business. Her clients include interior design power couple Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller ’96, the principals of Carrier and Company, who were also her students (and who are profiled on page 22). And she’s added yet another role to her resume: godmother to another former student’s daughters. “That feels pretty damn good,” she says. Man, watercolor, 14 by 11 inches, 2015.
HARRIET KORMAN FINE ARTS The blank canvas staring back at you. A challenge? Yes. An inspiration? Definitely—if you’re Harriet Korman. “How can you take something as simple as a square and explore it in many ways?” she asks. “How do you divide it, and how do you push the divisions further?” These questions have fueled her impressive 50-year career, which has included showing in two Whitney Biennials, MoMA PS1, and the Lennon, Weinberg gallery. Challenge is essential to Korman’s work. “I put limitations on myself because I’m curious, and [the work] keeps evolving in different ways,” she says. For example, the ultra-saturated hues she’s known for are the result of a self-imposed constraint: 25 years ago, she wondered what would happen if she stopped adding white to her colors. The challenges she faces as a teacher also propel her evolution. “It pushed me forward in ways I didn’t expect. Artists spend a lot of time alone in the studio, and teaching put me in a situation where I was interacting with more people. I had to get better at verbalizing the visual.” The work here is the result of more exploration and represents another step forward. She used oil sticks to blend the lines and create new forms. And though her dedication to dividing the canvas is unwavering, over time, “it becomes more interesting. I want to see how it can change.” Untitled, oil stick on paper, 111/2 by 15 inches, 2018.
1947 Rita Rosenberg Feinstein, Apparel Design, worked as a saleswoman in the oval room of Ohrbach’s department store, and then in various fashion buying offices in Manhattan, including Weiss Brothers, before marrying and moving to California. Now in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, she has three sons, four grandchildren and four greatgrandchildren.
Stephen A. Smith, Advertising and Communications
Montañez, right, hands out flashlights to Puerto Ricans in need.
Feinstein, when she was an FIT student and today.
1963 Joy Goldkind, Apparel Design, photographs dancers, geishas, drag queens, and circus performers, then creates ghostly, evocative images using vintage processes such as bromoil, which involves replacing the silver in a gelatin print with lithograph ink. The photos are sold in Tilt Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Wave Photogallery in Brescia, Italy. She also teaches bromoil at New York’s Penumbra Foundation.
whom she met at FIT. He ran a factory that made Inner World women’s and children’s sleepwear, while she did the patternmaking for the factory and taught English. She has been a tireless advocate for Arecibo, helping to open an outpost of the University of Puerto Rico, supporting orphanages and retirement homes, and renovating a derelict theater.
This wedding mezuzah incorporates sterling silver orchids.
Steven Cooper, Jewelry Design, is a metalsmith who fabricates jewelry and Judaica by hand. He sells the pieces online, through synagogues, and in U.S. Judaica shops and museum stores. His most popular creations are wedding mezuzahs, which contain shards of the glass that is broken during a Jewish marriage ceremony. He takes inspiration from nature. “There is design all around us,” he says. “Most people don’t take the time to see it.” A bromoil print of Goldkind’s husband in drag made the cover of Eyemazing magazine and was shown in the Louvre.
1964 Carolyn Allman Montañez, Apparel Design, is president of the Rotary Club in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. After Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017, taking out the electric grid, she raised $13,000 to purchase 800 solar-powered flashlights for the elderly, handicapped, and unwell living in the dark. She moved to Puerto Rico shortly after graduation with her now-deceased husband, 32 hue | summer 2018
1979 Regina Rubino, Advertising Design, owns Image: Global Vision, a strategic branding design firm in Santa Monica, California. Her company helped develop and rebrand luxury hotel chains including Andaz, Park Hyatt, and Rosewood, fashioning the brand identity, standards, verbiage, logo, and signage. For Andaz Hotels, Rubino’s team created a personalized experience by removing the check-in, concierge, and bell desks, empowering staff to handle all lobby functions and freeing guests from having to wait in line.
Agustín Montañez, Management ’64,
Whenever something happens in the world of sports—whether it’s a Game 7, a blockbuster trade, or an incendiary tweet—Stephen A. Smith is there to offer his expert opinion. A brash, provocative pundit with the volume turned up to 11, Smith never minces words when it comes to sports, a stance that has earned him a Saturday Night Live parody. But this former newspaper reporter is having the last laugh. As the co-host of ESPN’s First Take, the host of the Stephen A. Smith Show on ESPN Radio, and an NBA analyst across ESPN programming, Smith has a foothold in both television and radio. Here, he reveals how he came to thrive in sports media. You were one of the first newspaper journalists to jump to TV. Did you see media moving in that direction? When you see leagues signing contracts for billions of dollars with networks, you know that TV is where it’s at. The defining moment for me was in 2001, when the Philadelphia 76ers made the NBA Finals. I was breaking stories left and right as a beat writer, covering the team every day for The Philadelphia Inquirer. But once the playoffs arrived, the newspaper relegated me to just writing game stories and off-day stories. I realized how insignificant the beat writer was in the grand scheme of things and found that entirely unacceptable as it pertained to my career aspirations. I knew I wanted to matter more. The way to ensure that was to elevate myself in a different forum, which is where radio and TV came into play. How did you develop your voice for TV? I had no television training whatsoever. I basically was myself, and people saw me on TV and loved it. My career has soared because of it. What goes through your mind when watching a game, knowing that you’ll have to comment on it almost immediately? I try to anticipate what questions folks are going to ask about the game or what kind of reaction they are going to have to it. What makes First Take stand out from similar shows? There are a lot of debate shows. There’s only one Stephen A. —THOMAS GOLIANOPOULOS For the guest-floor signage in the Rosewood Baha Mar, a new luxury hotel in Nassau, The Bahamas, Rubino worked with local artisans to cut, dry, smoke, and weave palm leaves.
Gable Chase Shaikh, Production Management: Apparel ’99, Fashion Design ’98, founded Hadleigh’s, an upscale apparel boutique with locations in Dallas and New York, with her husband, Ed. She designs the women’s wear and manages the website and marketing, while Ed creates bespoke suiting and handles social media. Rather than following trends, she finds inspiration in high-quality materials, especially menswear fabrics, and the clothes are handmade in the same Italian factory where Fendi is produced.
Jooyoung Shin, Museum Studies: Costume and Textiles ’00
Petr David Josek/AP
Joan Campbell Madison, Fashion Design, was a finalist in 2018 Charleston Fashion Week’s Emerging Designer Competition, with a collection that channeled old Hollywood glamour in luxurious gold and black fabrics. A production patternmaker for much of her career, she now owns Joan’s Bridal Couture, designing and sewing bridal and special occasion gowns in Columbus, Ohio. “When you put on one of my pieces, you command the room,” she says. “You look amazing, like a queen, like royalty.”
This mermaid gown with detachable cape, from Madison’s spring 2018 Queendom bridal collection, features gold cracked-ice fabric in a lace pattern over a silk taﬀeta underdress.
1992 Steve Tetrault, Advertising Design, co-owns GigSalad, an online marketplace for booking entertainment and event services that draws 1 million monthly visitors. More than 110,000 businesses list their services, including 460 Elvis impersonators, 1,488 Santas, and 28,000 bands. Tetrault, who ran a graphic design business for years, oversees the site’s design from the Wilmington, North Carolina, office. Founded in 2006, GigSalad now has 30 employees and has been one of Inc. magazine’s 5,000 fastest-growing companies for the past three years.
Slippers in a range of bright colors are one of Hadleigh’s signature oﬀerings. “I grew up in New York,” Shaikh says, “and all those dark colors pushed me in the other direction.”
2007 Amanda Len, Advertising and Marketing Communications, is director of special events at the Bowery Hotel. As a child, she helped her mother with private catering jobs; now she plans events, trains and manages staff, and organizes tastings. The hotel’s oldworld spaces and lush terrace host a wedding almost every weekend.
A romantic wedding setup at the Bowery Hotel.
The home page of GigSalad.com features rotating images of event performers.
The following is an excerpt from an article Jooyoung Shin wrote for CNN Style— the network’s web platform for arts, architecture, design, and fashion—about the decision to have North and South Koreans wear joint Olympics uniforms in 2018, both for the parade and competition. Dr. Shin, assistant professor of Fiber Science and Apparel Design at the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University, studies cultural perspectives toward clothing. The article drew from her paper, “Clad With National Identity: Parade Uniforms of the Olympic Games,” in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology, and Education.
Paula Bolla-Sorrentino, Graphic Design, owns three Italian restaurants in New York City with her husband, Gianfranco: Il Gattopardo, the Leopard at des Artistes (in the iconic Café des Artistes space), and Mozzarella & Vino. Formerly a designer at Pentagram, she handles the art direction, graphic and web design, floral arrangements, and customer service, and helps run their
Sasithon Photography/The Wedding Artists Collective
Representatives from North and South Korea in a joint uniform at the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in PyeongChang, South Korea.
It could be argued that the team’s new identity represents an Olympic spirit that promotes peace and unity. But dressing athletes in a joint uniform may be only that—dressing, rather than inspiring a true sense of solidarity between two sides who, politically, economically, and ideologically, share so little in common. When the athletes march into the stadium, the joint team will undoubtedly be welcomed and cheered on by the world. It will be celebrated for its symbolic, emotional, and political significance—an embodiment of Olympic values. Nonetheless, the question remains: What real purpose does a parade uniform, a shared flag, and a forced national identity serve? Are they just superficial responses to serious political issues and North Korea’s ongoing threats of war? The joint uniform conveys nothing but a simplistic message that Korea is one. But South and North Korea are two sovereign nations that were established on different ideologies and now share few cultural attributes. Rather than repeating a gesture that has, over multiple Olympics, failed to bring significant improvement to relations, the two countries should work toward constructing a meaningful shared identity that can resonate in the hearts and minds of all Koreans. Until then, the teams should wear separate outfits and march as two independent nations. A compromised identity serves no purpose for either side. nonprofit, Gruppo Italiano, which promotes Italian culinary culture and funds education and scholarships. Clients of Il Gattopardo Catering include Cartier, Brunello Cucinelli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bergdorf Goodman, and Kiton. Right: One of Bolla-Sorrentino’s arrangements for a group dinner at Il Gattopardo.
2008 Jess Yeomans, Illustration, works as a deckhand on a tugboat that pulls oil barges to refuel container and cruise ships in New York Harbor. She maintains the deck, does line handling (coiling and tossing ropes to secure the boat to a dock), and keeps watch. The schedule is six hours on, six hours off for two weeks, followed by a two-week furlough, during which Yeomans creates nautical art to sell on Etsy. She has also illustrated nine children’s books for Cavendish Square Publishing.
Alexandra Climent, Fashion Merchandising Management, creates furnishings from exotic hardwood under the brand name Sustainably Sliced. To source the wood, she digs up stumps of exotic trees (always with the landowner’s permission): purpleheart, lemonkalli, shibadan, wamara, pentaglone. Cutting the extremely dense wood requires diamond-tipped blades, but the resulting natural colors—purple, pink, blue, and orange—are stunning. She has partnered with a range of companies, including Carhartt, to develop and promote women’s clothing for the woodshop and the jungle, and Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, to emphasize the importance of skin protection in harsh conditions.
A FANTASTIC WOMAN
William Graper, Advertising and Marketing Communications ’08
Graper dressed transgender actress Daniela Vega in Maria Cornejo for the Oscar Concert.
The annular cross-section table from Sustainably Sliced is available in diameters from 22 to 25 inches.
Top: Yeomans’ sketchbook is full of nautical wonders. Above: Yeomans on the tugboat. Eventually, she wants to become a captain.
2009 Jamar Dunnigan, Advertising and Marketing Communications, wrote Notes From an Usher (Just in Case You Missed Church), a book of 40 life lessons based on sermons that inspired him; chapter titles include “God Will Shape You in a Messy Situation” and “You Are Your Biggest Stumbling Block.” He originally intended to write a memoir about growing up in foster care and becoming the first in his family to earn a college degree, but realized that “it’s no longer about me” and wrote the book to help others navigate challenges.
Dunnigan hopes his book will shine a light on the foster care system.
34 hue | summer 2018
Kelsey Ives, Fashion Merchandising Management, is senior global merchandising manager for women’s bags at Coach. In this “hub role,” connecting multiple departments, she studies the global market and trend forecasting services to help guide designers toward specific silhouettes and materials, and reinforce brand messaging. Then she presents each season’s assortment to international buyers. Customers in the U.S. and Europe prefer classic leathers and traditional craftsmanship, whereas Chinese customers want dressier styles with more hardware and shinier leathers, and the Japanese favor alternative materials such as nylon and denim.
Coach’s new Quilted Rogue Bag, featuring a linear smooth quilted leather with micro studding, from the Spring 2018 Coach 1941 Collection.
This year, Daniela Vega became the first openly transgender presenter at the Academy Awards. William Graper, working with W magazine, dressed her for the red carpet. Vega, star of A Fantastic Woman, the Chilean winner for Best Foreign Language Film, was invited to introduce a performance by Sufjan Stevens. W had arranged to style her and produce an article and video about it, and they hired contributing editor Graper to work with her on-site in Los Angeles. Graper had been affiliated with W since he was a student—he landed a paid internship that evolved into an editorial assistant position under the fashion director. “I took interning as seriously as my classes,” Graper says. “Just going to school is not enough. Being in New York gives you the opportunity to meet people while you’re still in school.” He assisted on photo shoots for W, Vogue Russia, Vogue Italia, and V magazine for nearly six years, working with some of the biggest stylists in the industry, many of whom became his mentors. Armed with a solid portfolio, he struck out on his own as a freelance editor for Harper’s Bazaar, W, Elle, and The Cut. He has also styled celebrities including Katy Perry, Jared Leto, and Lorde. A week before the Oscars, Vega tried on a dozen of the 40 dresses picked for her and chose a fuchsia chiffon with a high neck and a ruffled hem by Maria Lucia Hohan. “When she put it on, she started dancing—she came alive,” Graper says. “I knew that was the dress.” He paired it with Chopard emerald earrings and a shoe with a Vega, styled by Graper, poses on the red stacked heel, which provided extra carpet in a Maria Lucia Hohan gown at the stability and comfort for the high2018 Academy Awards. pressure night. “I just want to help women feel beautiful,” Graper says. “I don’t want to get my name out there by doing something crazy. In styling photographs, it’s a different story—I can play there. But not when you’re dealing with real people.” Until the LGBT news outlets picked up the story, Graper didn’t realize quite how important Vega’s presence was for trans visibility. “I don’t get caught up in that stuff. That’s about everyone else. I try to stay with the task at hand: to make someone as beautiful as possible with the resources I have in front of me.” —JONATHAN VATNER
what inspires you?
MY GRANDFATHER’S LEGACY Lisa Tyson, Marketing: Fashion and Related Industries ’93 I never met my grandfather. As a child, I’d heard he survived the Holocaust, but it wasn’t something we talked about. About 10 years ago, my aunt found pictures of him, including this one. Dates and messages in German were written on the backs of the photographs; I had them translated and did some genealogy research to learn his story. He was sent to Dachau in one of the first roundups. This was before the Final Solution, when Germany was deporting Jews rather than killing them. His mother called everyone in America with their last name—Leopoldstadl— and found a family of shirtmakers in New York who were willing to sponsor him, to promise the
U.S. government that he would never go on welfare. Without that chance connection, he would never have made it out. The rest of his family, including his mother, was killed. This photo was taken in Kitchener Camp in Kent, England, a men’s refugee settlement where he was held while waiting to enter the United States. The camp was shut down shortly after he left. Right now, the hatred and blame our administration, and much of our country, is piling on undocumented immigrants reminds me of how very quickly Hitler harnessed people’s hatred to kill millions. This could happen here if we don’t speak up. I run a social justice organization, and
when I testify to legislatures, I talk about how strangers in America saved my grandfather’s life. This is what America is for: to fight for people in need, wherever they come from.
As director of the Massapequa, New York–based Long Island Progressive Coalition since 2002, Tyson has advocated for affordable housing, fair elections, a living wage, tax reform, sound climate policy, access to health care, and more resources for education. She campaigns for progressive politicians and is a founding member of the Working Families Party.
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FASHION ABLE “I grew up disabled and gay in the suburbs of Virginia, where everyone’s the same.” Learn about Kyle Brogan, Fashion Design ’19, and his tattoo on page 9.
volume 11|number 3