Alumni Magazine of the Fashion Institute of Technology
volume 1 | number 3 | summer 2008
Inside Stories Meet three Interior Design alumni
hoto Finish P Candid snaps of commencement day, by graduating students
he Candy Dish T The world according to glamorous Style.com editor Candy Pratts Price
anuq of New York N Funky knitwear line takes student from Anchorage to FIT
Decade of Leadership A Dr. Joyce F. Brown’s achievements as president of FIT
ere, Here H Where were Giorgio Armani, James Galanos, and Calvin Klein this spring? Here at FIT!
Potent Totes Students devise new twists on an old accessory
22 Hue is the alumni magazine of the Fashion Institute of Technology, a State University of New York college of art and design, business and technology. It is published three times a year by the Division of Advancement and External Relations, Seventh Alumni Magazine of the Fashion Institute of Technology
Avenue at 27 Street, Room B905, New York City 10001-5992, 212 217.4700. Email: email@example.com
volume 1 | number 3 | summer 2008
Vice President for Advancement and External Relations Loretta Lawrence Keane Assistant Vice President for Communications Carol Leven
Editor Linda Angrilli Managing Editor Alex Joseph Staff Writer Gregory Herbowy Art Direction and Design Empire Design Studio
Address letters to the editor, Hue Magazine. Hue magazine on the web: fitnyc.edu/hue
4 Hue’s News Recent developments at and related to FIT 17
ue’s Who H VIPs at FIT events, from September to May.
Artifact A Rudi Gernreich creation, in poison green
aculty on… F Why images appear (or don’t) in art—and religion
ootprint F Using paper in a sustainable way
I Contact The journey of a Production Management student
lumni notes A Find out what your classmates are up to
parks S For this ITM alumna, “green” has many meanings
Covers: Front, drawing of Gucci store on Fifth Avenue, by Alberto Vélez, Interior Design’97. Vélez was a member of the Studio Sofield team that designed the store. See story, p. 6. Back, completed interior. Photo courtesy of Studio Sofield.
On FIT’s website, www.fitnyc.edu Continuing and Professional Studies: fitnyc.edu/continuinged FIT job openings: fitnyc.edu/jobs Gallery of student work: fitnyc.edu/studentgalleries Gladys Marcus Library: fitnyc.edu/library The Museum at FIT: fitnyc.edu/museum Email the FIT Alumni Association: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the last issue, we asked: Where is the most unexpected place you’ve come across an FIT alum? You answered: When I took a friend to a Middle Eastern restaurant called Magic Carpet, a belly dancer provided entertainment. After the show, the dancer said to me, “I know you! You were my career counselor at FIT.” She attributed the success of her belly-dancing career to the marketing skills she learned as an AMC student. – pam zuckerman, fit career services
I was living in Milan in the late ’80s, and as I was leaving the apartment I literally bumped into a blonde woman who looked somewhat familiar. She was a Fashion Illustration major I had known at FIT and had not seen in 13 years. We instantly recognized each other, had a quick aperitif, and never saw one another again. – bil donovan, fashion illustration ’77
While waiting to pick up my twins from pre-k, I started talking [with one of the other mothers] and we scheduled a play date for our sons. Over coffee, after talking about kids, houses, and families, we got to talking about life before kids and careers. We both attended FIT and shared majors, but she was an underclassman... Yes, I guess that makes me older. – christine cordeiro heinicke, fashion buying and merchandising ’82, marketing: fashion and related industries ’84
How does your life now compare to what you envisioned when you were at FIT? Email your story to email@example.com,
Second Sustainability Conference Held at FIT
Students Help Reinvent Harris Tweed
In what will become an annual event, FIT presented its second “green: conference, Designing Sustainability as the New Cultural Paradigm, on April 17, 2008. Topics ranged from theoretical to practical, drawing on the expertise of both FIT faculty and speakers from beyond campus. The daylong program gave an overview of sustainability issues, helping attendees understand everything from the science behind global climate change (presented by Geoffrey Rogers, chair of Science and Mathematics) to what “sustainability” actually means (from Arthur Kopelman, professor of Science) to the eco-friendly practices some companies are employing (Jim Thomas, JC Penney’s sustainability vice president, on the company’s corporate social responsibility, and Nate Paulson of Patagonia Westport on how his company is reducing its ecological footprint). SHoP Architects, the firm that is designing FIT’s new building, discussed sustainable architectural models. Two student presentations brought the sustainability issue home to FIT, showing how the campus and residence halls can go green. Suggestions included solar power, a rooftop organic garden, and ecofriendly dorm furnishings. Another more unconventional idea is to store and use energy produced by riding stationary exercise bikes. The students say it’s a “win-win situation: Students will physically and mentally benefit from exercising, while creating energy that can power FIT.”
Harris Tweed, the venerable wool fabric hand woven by islanders in the West of Scotland, is nothing if not traditional. But tradition must sometimes bend to changing market forces. The tweed itself had been made lighter and softer, but the brand’s somewhat stodgy image still needed to be updated. To take the makeover further, Harris Tweed Textiles and the American-Scottish Foundation sponsored an FIT Fashion Design competition in which students addressed what Art and Design Dean Joanne Arbuckle called the “nontraditional possibilities” of Harris Tweed. A fashion show of the finalists’ garments took place in March during New York Tartan Week. Alan Bain, president of HTT (USA), was pleased that the students’ designs not only successfully reinvented Harris Tweed, but reflected an understanding of the environment and culture the fabric comes from. The best-incompetition winner Jusil Carroll, received $2,500 and a trip to Edinburgh, Glasgow, and the Island of Harris and Lewis, where she’ll get an in-depth look at how Harris Tweed is woven.
or send it to the Editors at Hue Magazine. Submissions will be considered for publication in a future issue.
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Jusil Carroll’s winning design.
“Sniper! Sniper!” Uncommon words in an illustrator’s milieu, unless, like Melanie Reim, you’re in a Humvee at McChord Air
practicing what to do, should this happen when they’re in Iraq or Afghanistan. Reim observes, close range, and makes quick, edgy pencil sketches, which she’ll refine when she gets back to the relative calm of New York. As for the airmen, they’ll train for 28 days, and then deploy. Reim, acting assistant dean of Art and Design and assistant professor of Graduate Studies, was there as part of the Air Force Art Project’s collaboration with the New York Society of Illustrators. Artists have now been sent to document wars and other crises, from World War II to New Orleans after Katrina. Sometimes
about 40 pounds. I’m even given the rank of colonel for a week.” Every year, there’s a juried show at the Society of Illustrators; selected pieces go into the U.S. Air Force collection at the Smithsonian. McChord was Reim’s third mission. All were at bases in the U.S. “I’m a documentary artist. I love the idea of recording onsite,” she says. “When I was there, they were using blanks. The next day, they were using live ammo. I would’ve stayed if I had the chance.”
what’s happening on campus
During FIT’s commencement ceremonies at Radio City Music Hall on May 20, degrees were awarded to 20 Turkish students, the first to complete a new joint program offered by the college and Istanbul Technical University (ITU). It was initiated by SUNY and the Turkish Council of Higher Education. The students, who studied in both Istanbul and New York, received bachelor’s degrees in Fashion Design or Textile Development and Marketing from both institutions. The partnership with ITU is part of FIT’s mission to form strategic international alliances. Previously, FIT was instrumental in establishing China’s Zhejiang International Institute of Fashion Technology, India’s National Institute of Fashion Technology, and Israel’s Shenkar College. FIT also collaborates with educational institutions in Brazil, France, Japan, Mexico, Russia, and the UK.
FIT/Turkish University Program Graduates First Class
Reim’s blog is at sketchbookseduction.blogspot.com.
“I’m even given the rank of colonel for a week.” Force Base south of Tacoma, WA, participating with Red Horse Squadron airmen in a simulation exercise. Someone’s yelling, “We’ve been hit!” Yellow smoke is everywhere; the wounded cry out. The young airmen are
they document war games rather than real-life conflict. “It’s very official,” Reim says. “It’s called a ‘mission.’ You get your orders from a sergeant in Washington, DC. You’re fitted with body armor, which weighs
Above: Reim sketches at McChord Air Force Base. Below: Reim’s drawing of a training exercise, done while she was embedded with a squadron in Washington State.
Holocaust is Commemorated At FIT’s annual Holocaust Commemoration event, in April, Howard Blum—Vanity Fair contributing editor, Pulitzer Prize nominee, and best-selling author— gave a talk, “The Story of the Brigade: The Legacy of the First Modern Jewish Fighting Force on the Occasion of Israel’s 60th Anniversary.” It was based on his book, The Brigade: An Epic Story of Vengeance, Salvation, and WWII, about the unit of 5,000 Jews who fought with the British Eighth Army in Italy toward the end of the war. The event was sponsored by Hillel, FIT’s Jewish Student Association, and the Holocaust Commemoration Committee.
By A LE X JOSEPH
In May, at the BFA thesis presentations for Interior Design, Celina Huang was terrific After showing a short video about her project—an eco-friendly boutique hotel—she explained a set of plans, details, and cad renderings. Lighting concepts, furniture, and fabric choices were all included. Besides her instructor, Assistant Professor Andrew Seifer, critics included representatives from Callison and Gensler, two of the largest architecture and design firms in the country, and Lyudmyla Matyushko ’04, of the Boston firm Tsoi/Kobus & Associates. She told Huang, “Companies are going to be fighting over you.” Since its founding in 1956, the Interior Design program’s focus has shifted along with the profession. The original aas curriculum was written by faculty with a background in fine arts, according to Professor Nicholas Politis, who has taught at FIT since 1975. “The department taught classic interior decoration—high end, elegant, residential. There was no emphasis on commercial interiors,” he says. Gradually, architectural plans became an important component of the curriculum, and coursework began to incorporate office, restaurant, and hospitality design. A bfa program was launched in 1976, and its first class graduated in 1978. Both degree programs were accredited by FIDER (now called the Council for Interior Design Accreditation). The BFA curriculum included FIT’s first interdisciplinary course, The Environmental Experience, about the psychological effects of space, color, and ergonomics.
Today, approximately 350 students are enrolled in the program. It counts such top talents as restaurant designer Tony Chi ’79 and residential design expert Matthew Patrick Smythe ’80 among its alumni. In 1998, prominent store designer and former professor Lawrence J. Israel, who died in 2006, donated $50,000 to endow a lecture series. It has brought to campus such leading figures as Clodagh, Jamie Drake, and Charles Gwathmey, and this year, the award-winning firm AvroKO. Designer Rick Penny and Cindy Allen, editor in chief of Interior Design magazine, are among the notables who have served as critics. Politis says, “We’ve really become a role model in terms of the balance between the technical and aesthetic aspects of interior design.” This year, he points out, the New York chapter of the International Interior Design Association awarded three of its five $5,000 scholarships and four of its five honorable mentions to FIT students. Takashi Kamiya, department chairperson, says, “Students learn to work with real materials and building regulations. They can prepare actual construction documents to send to a contractor. They’re ready to work on the first day.” Founded in 1956, the department turns 52 this year. The 50th anniversary, in 2006, slipped by without commemoration, amid preparations for reaccreditation by the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER). Now, says Kamiya, there’s time for proper festivities, so they’ll be celebrating 50 years of graduates this fall. Here are three of them—and their stellar careers.
Celebrate 52 years of Interior Design at an alumni event on October 24. For details, contact Takashi Kamiya, department chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Courtesy of Soho Grand Hotel
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Courtesy of Soho Grand Hotel
´ As design director for Studio Sofield, a residential, retail, and product design firm, Alberto Vélez ’97 works on spaces intended to make people swoon. Under owner William Sofield, the firm has created store interiors for Gucci and the penthouse in the Soho Grand Hotel in Manhattan—settings for movie stars and other discerning visitors accustomed to a high fashion quotient. For Vélez, who specializes in furniture, that means custom work with fine detailing. On recent projects, he’s designed sofas shaped to reflect the contours of a room, and intricate circular staircases. “Those stairs are faceted, they’re not completely round,” he says, pointing out what is not apparent to the untrained eye. Proportions must be precise, and wit is sometimes appreciated—witness his “twig table,” a smoked glass disk with a metal base cast to look like intertwining branches, created for Sofield’s line with Baker Furniture. The new Tom Ford flagship store on Madison Avenue was perhaps the epitome of a chic design challenge. The 8,680-square-foot space had to be luxurious and modern, the antithesis of the gritty old-world bespoke shop. “The idea was to create a very masculine look,” Veléz explains. To showcase Ford’s suits, Vélez created austere glass ward-
robes, inspired by the only architecture design executed by philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Vélez says, “The building reflects Wittgenstein’s writings on the balance between functionalism and elegance. The windows have a vertical orientation, but the glass panes are divided vertically to create a slim, elegant rhythm. The display cases are inspired by these windows. They each have 12 or more layers of paint, simulating old, repainted steel.” In person, Vélez is as down-to-earth as his work is rarefied. His career isn’t all high-end assignments like the private screening room he designed for a Hollywood producer. He created a crib for his daughter, Matilde. “We were in a one-bedroom, and the cribs we found were all ‘Cadillacs,’” he says. He also teaches Interior Design studio classes at FIT. The most important lessons for students? “One, a great idea comes from exploring ten or 20. I want to see a lot of investigations and studies in sketch form,” he says. “Two, this is a profession of context: fabrics and furniture need to be looked at against their intended surroundings and concept. You must be able to give up things you love if they are not appropriate for the environment you have been asked to create.”
Courtesy of Tom Ford
VÉLEZ Previous page: The penthouse of the Soho Grand Hotel is a favorite of rock stars and other celebrities and is booked years in advance. Vélez designed the furniture.
Courtesy of Studio Sofield
This page, above: Tom Ford owned a number of high-end, vintage pieces, which Vélez incorporated into the design of Ford’s flagship store. Right: This Gucci store is notable for the millwork of its fixtures, designed by Vélez.
“Design,” Miyoung Huang ’92 says, “is a combination of art and science.” To Huang, a senior designer for tpg Architecture, which specializes in retail and corporate spaces, problem solving is just as exciting as dreaming up beautiful, dramatic interiors. What inspires her, she says, is “giving clients the right space for their identity, dealing with unexpected building conditions, and resolving problems without changing the design concept.” At tpg, she creates and develops concepts, then refines them to the specifications of clients. It’s a lot of detail-oriented work, making sure every joint and corner comes out perfectly. Collaborating with architect Daniel Rowen, Huang helped transform a 150,000-squarefoot space in the Starrett-Lehigh building for Martha Stewart Omnimedia. What had been an industrial space now houses photo studios, test kitchens, and facilities for the company’s web group and merchandising arm. For the Disney-abc Television Group, Huang recently created a sleek, clean, all-white design, with natural elements such as wood and limestone to provide warmth. Structural columns appear to extend above the ceiling, and feature wraparound millwork benches. The 22,000-square-foot space is currently in production. Huang says her greatest challenge is keeping up to date. That means more than simply reading interior design publications. “I need to be aware of what’s happening in society, technology, what’s new in style, and the economy,” she says. Not that she minds: “I love what I do and I don’t think of it as a job or work.”
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Huang Huang helped re-envision the StarrettLehigh Building, once a freight distribution center, as a streamlined, modern office space for Martha Stewart.
Courtesy of Studio Sofield
The graceful renderings of Ray Chuang ’07 conjure a world of sleek, curving lines, ingenious proportions, and nifty lighting schemes. A junior designer for the Rockwell Group architecture and design firm, Chuang is already, in the words of Hospitality Design magazine, a “rising star.” The trade publication has featured him three times and selected him, based on his student work, for its 2007 list of “fascinating” designers, the “HD Dozen.” His proposed scheme for a hotel lobby, guest suite, and spa featuring a unique Jacuzzi made up of concentric pools won him $30,000 in a Donghia Foundation competition. For a restaurant rendering that won an HD award, he designed booths that resembled Chinese “moon gate” garden entryways. His are spaces anyone would want to enter. Given his roundabout route to success, Chuang’s bright future is remarkable. Takashi chuckles at the irony: “He really couldn’t focus on anything at all until he got here.” Chuang agrees. He began an accounting degree in his native Taiwan. “But I was a bad student,” he says. “I didn’t like studying, and I was always reading design magazines under my desk.” He moved to New York with his family seven years ago, and applied to FIT’s Interior Design program. He was rejected three times. Undaunted, he applied to the Photography program instead, got in, and eventually transferred. Kamiya gave him a C-minus in his first studio class. “Everything was new to me,” Chuang says. “I always chose solid color fabric; I didn’t know how to use pattern.” He learned quickly, earning an A in his second studio and in every class thereafter. In October, Chuang joined Rockwell, where he’s been developing an MGM Grand casino floor plan. “Each space (casino, restaurant, lounge, lobby) has its square footage limit and seating counts,” he explains. “Also we need to consider security between casino cage and public space. If you’ve ever watched the movie Ocean’s Eleven, what we do is prevent this from happening again.” He also has a couple of independent projects currently in the works. A “bubble tea” shop design wittily incorporates bubble shapes; and a coolly streamlined Lower East Side apparel store reflects Chuang’s desire to, like his idol Philippe Starcke, “make classical things modern.”
Chuang Chuang’s economical bubble tea shop concept was designed for a Flushing, Queens location. It is currently in development. For his award-winning hotel design (done in CAD), Chuang imagined an ADA-compliant ramp that is both useful and graceful.
Photo Finish c o m m e n c e m e n t 2008
hey come from Staten Island, Jackson Heights, or the college’s residence halls. They depart for Radio City Music Hall with grandmothers, siblings, fathers—or just friends. They decorate their mortarboards, and crack each other up. They pay close attention to the ceremony (or don’t). Afterward, they party. The photos on this page represent a non scientific sampling, nine graduates from the class of 2008. We gave them disposable cameras and said, Document your day. It’s your graduation; show us what that means to you. What are they doing in the pictures? Nothing remarkable. Boarding the ferry, eating a croissant from a vendor, riding the subway with Mom, watching friends get dressed in a Radio City bathroom before the ceremony. Most of the 1,400 graduates won’t remember the specifics of that day. The shoes they wore? The little argument with Dad about the cell phone bill? Instantly forgotten. All they’ll recall is what the day meant. So what did it mean? Were they proud, thrilled, sad, or mixed? Was it a moment of triumph, or one last chore to get through before starting that new job? Whatever it was, the events that followed always lead in some way back to it. The choices you made, the roads not taken, the happiness, and the challenges: We can find clues in pictures that record the moments from that day. The impressions may be fleeting, but they never entirely flee. If there was a theme to this year’s commencement speeches, it was the twisty paths of today’s careers. President Brown compared
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them to a roller coaster. She talked about the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte (1749-1838), whose varied career required “that potent combination of energy, talent, creativity, and nerve.” Speaker Kate Betts, editor of Time Style + Design, said getting fired as Harper’s Bazaar’s editor in chief helped her “understand the creative value of failure.” Receiving the Marvin Feldman Award, Leslie Blodgett ’85, ceo of Bare Escentuals, said she was in her mid-30s before she found her true calling. After William Lauder of Estée Lauder received his honorary degree, Francisco Costa ’90, accepted the Mortimer C. Ritter Award. The creative director for Calvin Klein Collection, Costa said his garments didn’t make it into the FIT fashion show when he was a student, “so there’s hope out there.” He also said he never attended his own commencement. Here’s what he missed.
The photographers: Monica Brandwein, Visual Arts Management; Maura Drury, Jewelry Design ’06 and Visual Arts Management; Alyssa Frake, Fashion Design; Abigail Kong, Fashion Merchandising Management; Diana Luistro, Packaging Design; Anthony Marra, Advertising and Marketing Communications; Janira Martinez, Photography and the Digital Image; James Nunciato, FMM; Hillary Scott, Photography and the Digital Image. For a slideshow of additional images, go to www.fitnyc.edu/hue.
The Candy Dish Frank, fast, and funny, Candy Pratts Price is the force behind Style.com By Amy Goldwasser
The only way to get force of nature Candy Pratts Price to sit still is on the printed page. Pratts Price, who studied Fashion Buying and Merchandising at FIT in the early ’70s, is executive fashion director of Style.com—Vogue’s online home— and executive in charge of programming for Vogue TV. She’s the very definition of animated—all straight-talking speed and sass in the world of fashion. She’s also the star, in the form of an avatar (or illustrated character), of Style.com’s popular Candycast videos. Even though avatar-Candy is perched on the edge of her desk, the effect of motion comes through in her tell-it-like-it-is narration, eyebrow wiggles, and hand gestures. She’s irresistibly all over the place. As one blogger put it: “Hers is the kind of coverage that makes you want to weed out your entire wardrobe with an oversized cocktail in hand.” In this season’s Candycast #7, “Signals,” for example, she reports on the hidden meaning of everything from the “eternal fidelity” of ivy (“I would get ivy all over the house and all over my man”) to open versus closed teardrop prison tattoos (“This is from the jail books. This is not something I got from the fashion books”). Riffing on her favorite miniature things, Candy somehow makes the miniature horse Thumbelina and miniature Saltines (“little crackers, really cute!”) relevant on a fashion site, right
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there with the miniature Chanel bag. Also: “I love wallpaper that’s confusing—bulldozers and palm trees! Are you supposed to be relaxed or anxious?” It’s kind of the question with all things Candy Pratts Price, whose personal crest might be part palm tree, part bulldozer— both of which you can hear in her voice. The combination of frank and fashionista has driven a powerful career path for Pratts Price, whom the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) presented with its 2008 Eugenia Sheppard Award for excellence in journalism on June 2. Pratts Price spent eight years at Vogue in the ’80s, and returned to the Condé Nast family in 2001 when she joined Style.com. She in and has made it the definitive website for fashion, from its early days of covering the shows to its current multimedia editorial offerings. She has also been vice president and creative director for Ralph Lauren, fashion director of Harper’s Bazaar, and early in her career made a name for herself designing award-winning windows and displays for Bloomingdale’s. Here, the kinetic Pratts Price pauses to talk about her homemade-halter-dress days at FIT, wearing hot pants to work in the ’70s, the entertainment value of shopping, and wanting to teach Kate Moss to cook a chicken.
Photos 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, and 13: Steven Torres
1. Candy’s avatar, drawn by Bruno Frisoni, stars in Style.com’s Candycasts, reporting on fashion and anything else that catches Candy’s fancy. The front-of-desk pose was chosen so you can see her shoes.
3 Thank-you notes in Candy’s office. 4 Galliano by John Galliano jacket. 5 Bloomingdale’s window by Price, 1970s. Photo by Malan Studio. 6 Ivory cuff by Stephen Dweck.
2. Bloomingdale’s window designed by Price, 1970s. 6.
Photos 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, and 13: Steven Torres
My favorite thing about what I do, about being an editor, is the speed of information that you can get and give. There’s so much information, and then it’s up to you to filter it down to the essentials. I’m working with Anna [Wintour] to bring fabulous videos and great directors I’m dying to work with to Vogue TV. The medium’s cool and fast. And we’re doing a whole new Vogue.com for 2009. It’s going to be beyond. I came on a couple of years after the launch of Style.com. In the beginning, the site was just about covering the shows. But now Style. com is itself a brand—a complete online sort of magazine. We always want those [journalistic] standards: We want it first, we want it exclusive. There’s a reason why Style.com is where Vogue lives. We can make a judgment call because we’re the voice of Vogue. You’re hanging out with a good crowd. A lot of websites out there are really just search engines. We’re a search engine for shows, but also cover lifestyle, culture, and editorial like in a magazine. We’re reporting, writing. We’re even throwing a dagger every now and then. We still have complete show coverage, and you’re going to see the full collections, unedited. Yes, the stylists use it, and yes, any mom or whatever out there gets the same look we in the industry get. This is a service to the customer.
Four years ago, while I was doing my shopping page, I was thinking, why isn’t this moving? There’s no way I sit still. And I love animation. Then some kid had a great idea: We could make
you a character, put you in motion. So now I go to a studio, they’re called Gizmo, I mic up, I’m locked in a sound room, and I start talking. I walk around. I do my own writing, and it’s all chatter. I talk too much and too long, and it has to be three minutes, so then it gets edited. [Avatar Candy] does have an appeal. There’s nothing like her out there. People always say, “She’s so skinny! Why?” I say, “She’s a caricature! Not a photograph, a caricature.” Homer Simpson stays fat. Betty Boop stayed the same. Bugs Bunny stayed the same. There’s a familiarity, and now everybody knows her that way. I love the way Bruno [Frisoni] draws me, and if you change me, people just get confused. And I wanted her to be timeless in her clothes—all-black is something I own and have worn, sort of uniformish. She’s in an office, she’s reporting, but she’s a little off the cuff. I didn’t want to be too cartoon, and I didn’t want her just being a little fashionista—or for people to believe we’re CNN. That would be wrong. We are what we are: Our inside info and access is to the fashion industry.
Television…and Cooking I really, really love television. Every TV in the house is on from the minute I walk in. I’m a fan of The Simpsons. I watch CNN for the speed. I am the biggest fan of NBC; I think [White House correspondent] David Gregory is a star. He’s very funny. He’s modern, and I would always hope to stay modern. And then I love Turner Classic Movies, love old movies. I love the Sleuth channel. I don’t go to the movies—I get them at home because I like watching at my pace. I cook like this, too. I walk
7. Manolos. Photo by François Halard, Vogue, March 1996. 8. Wood articulated figure. 9. iPhone. 10. Candy Pratts Price. Photo by Mario Testino.
around, I stop, I go to the kitchen, I get a glass of wine. I look at my jewelry, say maybe I’ll wear this. I love the cooking channel. I cook on weekends, in our house in the country. My husband [artist Charles Price] is a great cook. We love cookbooks, I collect cookbooks, love all those magazines. I wanted to do a show, Cooking with Candy. It was like Laugh-In, where the doors would open, only behind that door would be Kate Moss, and I’d teach her how to cook a chicken!
The Pre-Internet Era I was born in 1950. What, after all those years of assistants making your travel plans, are you really going to lie? Everyone has copies of your passport for god’s sake. My full name is Candida Rosa Teresa Pratts Price. I’m Puerto Rican, totally Puerto Rican. My mother and father were both born there. Pratts was my grandfather’s name, not a made-up name. My parents got married in New York, and I was born here, went to St. Michael’s Academy for Girls. I got a scholarship to Marymount, but I went to FIT and studied fashion merchandising. Coming from private school, FIT wasn’t like being in school at all—there were no uniforms, and it was my first time in classes with boys, and a very new cultural experience. It was like being in a museum, in this great metropolis. It was all very interesting for me because I was not a hippie, I was not white. I was a fashionobsessed person. I wanted gauchos, I’d whip them up. I saw a halter dress and was going out on Saturday night, I made it. FIT was not a jeans-and-a-T-shirt college campus. You came to class in what I would
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call costumed. You’d always put together a look that at least you would consider so fabulous. Classes were relaxed, and I loved that, too. It was not what I came from, where it was regimented and we had to sit down. I loved drawing, loved carrying a big black portfolio around. I thought that was really cool. For my six-month internship while I was at FIT, I worked at Bergdorf Goodman as the Information Girl. Of course I was not allowed to stand up in the booth. I had to sit down, and when a customer would come in, I’d pop up and say, “Welcome to Bergdorf Goodman!” When I got out of the booth, I became what was known as a Bergdorf Goodman Girl. There was a bevy of girls, and we’d walk around the store [directing people to different departments]. They had a rack of clothes that we had to pick our outfits from each day. There were five or so pieces we were supposed to wear at intervals, but I only loved one outfit: a black turtleneck and a pony-skin skirt. I never wanted to change. I loved shoes, all along. One day I saw these yellow suede shoes— ankle strap with a high heel—in the Charles Jourdan window, and I said, I want that. I wanted those shoes, to create windows, whatever was happening inside that glass. I started as Jourdan’s only Englishspeaking salesgirl. Our sales floor was in the basement. Our customers were Cher, Jackie Kennedy, and we had to come upstairs and say, “Bonjour, Madame!” They paid for your hair once a week, and our uniforms were hot pants and boots—very much the stewardess mentality. Eventually the girl who did the window displays left, and I said, give me a chance. For my first window I went to MoMA;
11. Cookbooks: A Treasury of Great Recipes, by Mary and Vincent Price; Food in Vogue, by Maxime de La Falaise; and Les Diners de Gala, by Salvador Dali.
13. Chanel couture brooch. 14. Plaster sculpture by Charles Price, of their dog Ollie. Photo courtesy Candy Pratts Price.
12. Candy with her wedding party in Cairo, Egypt, 197_, photographed by her husband, Charles Price. 14.
I borrowed pieces from there and a London art gallery and had this modern art show with shoes thrown in front. I did a toilet window, where all the shoes were in the bathroom. Windows were enormous, really crucial then—the time of Studio 54 and all those boutiques built into department stores. I had a ball. And I always refused to learn French.
I’m not a baker. Baking is very precise. I’m a roaster and a braiser. You do recognize people as either bakers or cooks. I like to put things in the oven for a very long time till they cook right off the bone—I’m not into timing things, add the cream, put the bit of lemon here. My way, you drop in the chicken or the leg of lamb, you roast for 45 minutes or braise for seven hours. You walk away from the kitchen and it’s done.
The New Vogue I started at Vogue the same year
The Future of Retail A lot of this online
as Anna—1988? I’d been at Harper’s Bazaar as fashion director, then Anna left and brought me over. It was very Washington shakeup. New government, whole new team. It was powerful and pulsating to be there, finding those people who love it as much as you do. It was still the girls’ Vogue. Wonderful André [Leon Talley] would be walking around carrying a dress all day. They were all so inspirational to the assistants. There was a new Vogue. You really felt it everywhere.
buying bothers me. Through the beautifully photographed pages of a magazine, and the opportunity to see the full shows online, you take inspiration. But then you should go out there and get it—and retail hasn’t risen to meet this challenge by making stores more attractive than shopping online. A big problem is the lighting. I think we need to get more intimate with lighting so it feels cozier, more atmospheric. You walk into most stores and it’s so bright it’s like you could get a facial. It’s cold and supermarket. What, do they want to catch someone stealing? I’d like to get back to Bendel’s in the day, when they could really make it look delicious. I’d like to see retail bring back shopping as an entertainment and make the stores enticing again. People need to get out of the house! Maybe not for buying five alligator bags, but we’ve forgotten how wonderful it is to go buy little silver things and inexpensive gifts. You should be out there and be a part of it, not just have it delivered and then say, I hate the way it looks. Well, where were you?
Chuck and I have been married for 28 years. No kids. We have dogs, have always had them. Now it’s Ollie, a wirehaired fox terrier; he’s so special. If we had more time, we’d have ten dogs. I work a lot, but I like working, and I have the energy to do it. But I also know how to take private time and walk away. I’ll sit on the floor with books— picture books, architecture books, a Nureyev biography, Giacometti’s, all the expected ones. I like playing. I like scissors, tape, scrapbooks. I’m very crafty without being Martha Stewart. I don’t make cupcakes.
Nanuq of New York anchorage native tanner randall’s knitwear funds his fit degree
starting young man leaves the oil- and gamerich wilds of frontier country to carve out a place for himself in an overpopulated eastern metropolis. Though it may run counter to America’s cherished myth of pioneer spirit, for Tanner Randall, Menswear ’09, the move made sense. If you’re looking to break big in fashion, Alaska might not be the place for you. “Not at all,” Randall laughs. “People go there to get away from the commercial world.” Still, it wasn’t a bad place for him to start. In winter 2005—back in his native Anchorage after a year of modeling and traveling in Europe— Randall started his own knitwear label, Nanuq, with a line of “big, chunky” hats, scarves, and headbands. Made of Italian merino wool and
baby alpaca and retailing for $60-$100, Randall’s creations stood out amidst the name-brand, assembly-line winter wear in the city’s boutiques and outerwear stores. Within months, he put together a website for e-commerce and expanded his offerings to It’s the land of the midnight sun in summer, and in the winter, when it’s really dark and cold, I just stayed in and watched movies and knitted. include non-knitted items like belts (“The leather stores in Alaska are amazing”) and T-shirts. Randall, who makes each piece himself, was working nonstop. “I never slept,” he says. “It’s the land of the midnight sun in summer, and
in the winter, when it’s really dark and cold, I just stayed in and watched movies and knitted.” Nanuq’s proceeds, plus earnings from working at an Anchorage boutique, fund his FIT education; with summer—and another two semesters of tuition—just around the bend, the label will soon rise from its academic-year “hibernation.” Following graduation, Randall hopes to design for a more established label, to get a better sense of the business and forge contacts, with an eye toward eventually hatching a bigger, bolder version of Nanuq—one that pursues a nontraditional, cold-weather take on menswear. “I want to introduce new silhouettes, different fabrics and textures…” he says. “But there’ll always be an emphasis on winter wear and knitwear.” — Greg Herbowy
Tanner Randall and friends model Nanuq wear. Clockwise from bottom: Randall, sweater, scarf, and pants; Michel Serruya, Menswear ’09 hat and scarf; Frederico Viseu, Menswear ’09 hat and pants; Kara Bradley hat, scarf, vest, and legwarmers; Auston Bjorkman, Menswear ’09 cowl.
By Gregory Herbowy
hue | summer 2008
call it reverse prospecting: A self-
Here This Year
VIPs at FIT events this academic year
13 3 8
The Museum at FIT’s Couture Council honored Alber Elbaz with its Artistry of Fashion Award at the Rainbow Room. Guests included: 1. Demi Moore 2. Eve 3. Iris Apfel 4. Isabel Toledo 5. Iman 6. Linda Evangelistae 7. Glenda Baileye 8. Valerie Steele 9. Alber Elbaz† 10. Joyce F. Brown 11. Simon Doonan 12. Chloe Sevigny 13. Scaasi 14. Rosemary Ponzo
Alumni Star Salute: 1. Lisa Versacio †, Brocade Home 2. Janine Lopiano 3. Linda Bretti †, Linda Richards Design 4. Damon Dash, Roc-A-Fella Records 5. Tom Nastos †, Endurance, LLC. EFFI Fundraising Gala: 6. President Joyce F. Brown 7. Mike Ullmann†, JC Penney Home Products Breakfast: 8. Kenneth Cole 9. Neal Cole†, Iconix 10. Fred Richman 11. Carl Goldstein 12. Jim Richman†, Richloom 13. Jim Richman Arthur Tauber†, Avanti Linens.
3 9 10 8 7 5
Other VIPs at FIT events this year: 1. Joyce Tenneson 2. Christian Louboutin 3. Sante D’Orazio 4. Nina Garcia 5. Robert Verdi 6. Alek Wek 7. Betsey Johnsone 8. Kate Betts 9. Leslie Blodgett 10. Francisco Costa www.ﬁtnyc.edu/hue
*FIT alumna/us; † honoree
“I love what I’m doing and I think I’m managing to make a difference.”
—DR. joyce f. Brown
hue | summer 2008
After ten years as president, Dr. Joyce F. Brown guides a reinvigorated FIT By Lang Phipps The president of the Fashion Institute of Technology is
the only person in her family who doesn’t know how to sew. She grew up
first female and first African-American leader in the institution’s history.
with mannequins and spools of thread and pins on the floor, but she more
From the beginning, she was inspired by the passionate commitment of
or less forgot about all that until she came to FIT. Even though she saw
the students at this public institution. She saw an environment charged
bobbins and piles of fabric like the ones in her grandmother’s closet, Dr.
with the creativity of talented young people who “want to change the
Joyce F. Brown has wasted little time on nostalgia. “I happen to know how
world by making beautiful things.” Pragmatic and unsentimental, she also
to run a college. It happens to be a design college. The fact is, I love what
saw that there was a lot of work to be done.
I’m doing and I think I’m managing to make a difference.”
“The college was languishing somewhat when she arrived and it has
Whatever the impetus, President Brown has made her mark at FIT.
According to Edwin Goodman, chairman of FIT’s Board of Trustees,
Her tenure is now ten years and counting, in a field where, according to
certainly been tremendously energized since.” The college needed
the American Council of Education, the average is a historically high 8.5
reinvigoration, and key areas were in dire need of help. “We were woefully
years. Her longevity is no surprise to her fellow SUNY president Dr.
behind in technology and systems and processes, and if we didn’t
Shirley Strum Kenny of Stony Brook, who is also in the ten-plus tenure
strengthen our core we weren’t going to progress,” President Brown says.
club: “I think she’s the perfect president for FIT and FIT is the perfect
campus for her.”
and technology throughout the college. A new dining facility and the John
E. Reeves Great Hall, constructed in 2005, were the first major additions
Joyce Brown’s path to academia began early in life, in a Harlem
A five-year investment plan was set into motion, upgrading systems
household that valued education almost above all else. “My parents
to the campus in 25 years. A new residence hall on West 31st Street opened
instilled in my sister and me the importance of education, that it was the
in fall 2006, doubling the college’s housing capacity. The full-time faculty
one thing that no one could take away from you.” The other influence that
has grown by 40 new members, ten new undergraduate and graduate
made education what she calls “this force” in her life sat right outside her
programs have been added, and initiatives like the Center for Executive
window on Convent Avenue.
The object of her gaze was not a glamorous shop or the home of a
girlhood crush, but the solid and serious City College, part of the City University of New York. “I spent my childhood at that window looking at all the students who schlepped from the subway every day, making their lives better. I could look into the chemistry lab and see them doing experiments using Bunsen burners, not knowing what you could possibly be doing in a room with fire, but sensing that it was very important.” She watched people streaming up Convent Avenue all day and into the night, and she was inspired by their hard work and dedication. “I realized that it wasn’t just me who was going to have to work hard to get ahead— people were doing it by the hundreds every day,” she says. By high school
“There is no question that Dr. Brown has had a tremendous impact on the quality of FIT graduates.”
Education have expanded the college’s outreach to industry professionals. Beyond the Investment Plan, an ambitious, open-ended strategic plan was needed to ensure FIT’s continuing progress. “But it couldn’t be my idea alone about what could be done,” Dr. Brown says. “I needed to engage a cross-section of the people here.” In 2003, she began a wide-ranging
she had already decided she was going to earn a PhD in psychology, and by
—Roger Farah, COO,
planning process that involved
the age of 34 she was Dr. Brown.
Polo Ralph Lauren
many representatives of the FIT
She became the sixth president of FIT in June 1998, and is both the
Psychology attracted her because she was curious about what
motivated people. But she was certain she had no interest in an academic
tors, staff, and board members. She has had what Edwin Goodman
career. “Being a teacher was not my gift—I was smart enough to know
describes as the “fortitude and delicacy” to get all these constituencies, as
that,” she says. But she eventually began to “envision the big picture, and
well as public and private funding sources, on board behind a complex
how I could create opportunities for teachers, whose work I have pro-
initiative, and to allow the planning to unfold organically and somewhat
found respect for.”
Looking back at her distinguished career as an academic administra-
“I often say that I really appreciate incremental change,” Dr. Brown
tor, it’s clear that many have benefited from her dedication to education. In
says. “Think of the two things I do in life—one is I’m a psychologist, and in
30 years, she has held many senior administrative positions at the City
that field, how do you celebrate change but in increments? In higher
University of New York (CUNY). Before FIT, she was acting president and
education administration it’s the same thing—we don’t take huge sweeping
vice chancellor at Bernard Baruch College. In that time she got to see how
leaps. We ponder and we muse and move along as a collective.”
public institutions provide “a great ladder to fulfill the dreams of people
Nevertheless, when the strategic plan was instituted in 2006, it was a
who may not have many options because of finances or life situations.”
great step forward for the college.
A Decade of Leadership This comprehensive plan, called “2020: FIT at 75, Bringing the Future
members, which results in graduates who make desirable employees.
into Focus,” touches every area of the college. Its first goal, a strength-
Roger Farah, the chief operating officer of Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation,
ened academic core, addresses curriculum and faculty, calling for a
gives Dr. Brown some of the credit. “There is no question she has had a
thorough review, and redesign if necessary, of all programs; better
tremendous impact on the quality of FIT graduates. What makes them
integration of the liberal arts into the curriculum; and increasing the
valuable to us is what they’ve learned about all the new technology and
number of full-time faculty.
innovation in our industry as it is happening, and they are being taught
by leading industry experts. FIT is top-of-mind when we consider our
“The students are why we’re here—they are simply the best part of my
day,” the president says. “These are lives we are touching, and we don’t
want the nitty-gritty of administration to distract us from making this
administrative support, so the plan’s final goal is to put in place proce-
the best possible experience for them.”
dures, communications, and technologies to ensure the success of each
new initiative. This includes making sure needed funding can be
One student who has witnessed Dr. Brown’s student focus personally
Strategic planning means little unless it is backed up by effective
is Matthew Fiel, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing ’08, who just
secured, as well as an ongoing process for reviewing administrative
completed his term as president of the FIT Student Association. He was
policies and practices.
invited “as a colleague and student representative” to join the president
and other FIT administrators on a fund-raising trip to Albany. Dr. Brown
most of the stakeholders have pulled together in a truly collegial spirit.
asked Fiel to help make the case for funding a $75-million campus building
“I think having a vision and setting long-range goals feeds the creativity
project (a C-building extension, known as C2), which will include a
and electricity that FIT is all about. It would be Pollyanna-ish for me to
5,000-8,000-square-foot student center. She introduced him to several
say everyone’s on board and excited—that this is all just swell—but I think
State Senators as well as the Governor, and he came away “really impressed
there is an awful lot of good will and enthusiasm.”
that Dr. Brown would include a student in such high-level discussions.”
over time that FIT is going to improve, become a better place, then you
At FIT, the student-centered approach calls for improving every
Cooperation is crucial to the strategic planning effort, and so far,
Edwin Goodman agrees. “If you can convince all the stakeholders
aspect of a student’s college experience, from everyday transactions
can get their support. Dr. Brown has to build consensus, but then the buck
with, say, the Registrar or Financial Aid Office to how learning takes
stops with her and she’s got to make the decision and move on. She
place in the classroom to opportunities for personal growth. “We owe
manages those two extremely well.”
it to these students to send them out prepared to compete on the terms
that the world is going to demand,” Dr. Brown says.
with three FIT presidents. He says Joyce F. Brown has emerged as
uniquely successful. “She takes her work terribly seriously, but not
The third goal is to actively develop the institution into an interna-
tionally recognized center for creative innovation. President Brown’s first glimpse of a “creative hub” was out of that window on Convent Avenue. “City College was a nexus of cultural and socio-economic developments in the city. In its own way FIT mirrors that, working with its industry partners on a global scale.”
Conversation among faculty, students, industry, and the entrepre-
neurial community is the lifeblood nourishing FIT as an axis of creativity, and Dr. Brown is gifted in bringing people to the table for collaboration and idea-breeding talk. “My job has been herding all these various cats to create the opportunity for dialogue.” Her commitment to that exchange encourages a wider view of design at FIT beyond fashion.
Her friend and colleague Dr. Shirley Strum Kenny observes, “There’s
As chairman of the Board of Trustees, Edwin Goodman has worked
herself terribly seriously. She works long, long hours at her desk and
“The students are why we’re here—they are simply the best part of my day.” —DR. joyce f. Brown
I said to her once, ‘You know, Joyce, you’re working very hard, but you may not be working smart enough. Maybe you should hire one of those executive coaches to help you plan your time.’ And she said, ‘Oh, I don’t have time’ and then she giggled, seeing the humor immediately. She’s a workaholic, and we’re all the beneficiaries.”
When she takes the rare night
off, President Brown likes to go to the theater in her favorite place on
a kind of ‘design for living’ aspect that understands the role of FIT as being broader and more interactive with other parts of the culture.”
the planet, New York City. Often, she will get lost admiring the actors’
costumes and begin to wonder, “Maybe we should launch that new major
The fourth goal of the Strategic Plan is to re-focus student recruit-
ment and enrollment efforts with a view to answering the question,
we have been talking about…‘Costume Design.’ Or should it be a
“Whom does FIT want to teach?” Drawing on recent market research,
the college will be able to formulate a long-range recruitment plan that
effectively reaches those students who will not only be enriched by the
and has also set FIT’s course for the years ahead. Part of the strategic
FIT experience, but enrich FIT in return.
planning process is to ensure that planning never ends; as goals are met, as
new technologies develop, as the marketplace and the world beyond
“The bar has been significantly raised to even get into FIT,” says
The work of the past ten years has already yielded impressive results,
Abbey Doneger, president of The Doneger Group and a ten-year member
change over time, FIT must be constantly reinvented for the future. Joyce
of FIT’s Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries. He adds,
F. Brown plans to continue devoting herself to this endeavor. She recently
“The FIT students I’ve been exposed to not only have talent, but
signed a contract to stay on as president for the next five years.
understand the business of the business. When it’s time to enter the global marketplace, they really hit the ground running.”
Lang Phipps has written profiles for New York, Playboy, Town & Country, and
Avenue magazines. His subjects have included a Japanese anime artist, a
Indeed, the college is much in demand, allowing generous latitude
both in selecting competitive students and attracting strong faculty
hue | summer 2008
father-son croquet team, and the Duke of Marlborough’s daughter.
The plan’s second goal is to foster a culture centered on the students.
chosen by: Colleen Hill, Assistant curator of costume, The Museum at FIT object: Wool jersey evening dress with wool knit trim, appliquéd with pink and green circles date: c. 1968 origin: usa acquisition: Purchased by the museum in 1998
a captivating object from FIT’s collections
Rudi Gernreich Evening Dress
The slender cut and bold neon accents of this dress suggest that the wearer would have been svelte, confident, and tuned in to the quickly shifting trends of the 1960s. As Rudi Gernreich’s muse and favorite model Peggy Moffitt wrote, “[His] designs are so logical and pure that one design will work equally well for an elderly woman and a teenage girl.” Here, Gernreich has contemporized the ubiquitous black evening dress with appliquéd pop-art-inspired circles in hot pink and “poison” green. Credited as one of the first designers to mix bold, clashing colors, he often used them against basic black canvas for maximum effect. With its faux neckline created by orange and purple trim, this dress recalls a Chinese cheongsam, and showcases Gernreich’s ability to mix elements of ethnic dress into high fashion in new and often playful ways. Gernreich was known for his graphic knits, with patterns typically knitted into the fabric itself. Here, he instead appliquéd the circles onto the fabric, lending this dress a stronger sense of texture and vibrancy. This dress was part of a popular, moderately priced line Gernreich began designing for Harmon Knitwear in the early 1960s. It would have been sold in Gernreich’s showroom alongside pieces from his own, more expensive line, and worn by a woman who was extremely fashionable, but not necessarily wealthy. The simple silhouette recollects Gernreich’s early work in the 1950s, when he designed knit tube dresses with a minimum of understructure. Perhaps best known for the topless bathing suit (1964), Gernreich believed women’s bodies should be free from restraint, and spent his career liberating them from garments that distorted their natural form.
Here, Here A trio of fashion stars appeared at fit this spring. here they are—Klein, Armani, and Galanos, in their own words. by alex joseph
Giorgio Armani forever changed men’s suits by deconstructing the jacket and fabricating it in soft, subtly-colored textiles—but at his appearance at FIT in May, he decried the pursuit of novelty for its own sake. “Not everything that is new is beautiful,” he said, specifically addressing design students. “You must subdue the desire to give rein to your fantasy. Don’t go over the limits and make a jacket with three sleeves. You are making the male and female body more beautiful, not anachronistic or ridiculous.” Armani came for a short trip to New York—“a city where you can almost eat fashion,” as he put it. He visited in part to receive the first Award for Global Fashion Leadership from The Museum at FIT’s Couture Council. Presenting the award at the Hearst Tower, actress Glenn Close said, referring to her role in Fatal Attraction, “I’ve terrorized Michael Douglas while wearing Armani (perhaps my character’s only redeeming quality)... I, in fact, still have the first piece I ever bought—in the ’80s—a double-breasted, black blazer with fabulous shoulders.” At FIT, President Joyce F. Brown announced that the designer has endowed a $50,000 scholarship, offered to a full-time student to enter one of the college’s programs in Italy, at Polimoda in Florence or Politecnico di Milano. Wearing a navy blue jacket, white V-neck T-shirt, loose-fitting trousers, and white sneakers, Armani gave a short address in Italian (a translator assisted), then took questions from students, in a conversation moderated by Valerie Steele, director of the museum. 22
hue | summer 2008
Was there one moment when you realized you wanted to be a designer? No. I ended up in this profession by chance. Some young people think you have to have the profession in you, but I think you just have to believe in it at the right time. How did you manage to have such a successful, long-lasting career? As a designer, I could have [tried to impress the critics], but I decided to serve the public instead. It’s mainly a question of versatility—different commercial realities for different customers means I have to be different each time. In my new [flagship store on Fifth Avenue], you find both a $4,000 suit and a $200 skirt. A young woman today likes this variety. What inspired you to create the unstructured suit? When I started, some designers—Dior, Yves Saint Laurent —were already making great suits. I thought my best contribution would be to accompany the body, not as armor but as a complement to the self. Before, I had worked for a textile company, so I knew about more fluid fabrics. They made it possible to create suits for men who don’t have a perfect body. Is there anything you would have changed in your career? I don’t think you can renege on what you’ve done—even a mistake. Once, in Paris, I cancelled a show two hours before it was supposed to go on. The papers said, “The French are afraid of Armani!” So I managed to turn that to my advantage. What ventures are you currently working on? I’m so busy I ignore what awaits me tomorrow. So there are always a lot of surprises.
Illustrations: Stephen Gardner Photographs: Armani and Klein, Lorenzo Ciniglio; Galanos, Jennifer Weisbord
Decons truc ting Armani Designer’s talk suits s tudents perfec tly
C alvinisms A visit from FIT’s mos t famous alumnus “Most of what you read about me is probably not true.” That’s what Calvin Klein told students at his talk on April 3, when he was the speaker at the Business and Technology Dean’s Forum. In a short speech, he discussed the history of his company and his design philosophy. “I always had a vision for the kind of design I loved,” he said. “It’s simple. It’s not very decorative. Some describe it as ‘minimalist.’ I think it’s very American. And it hasn’t changed. That’s important because people have to know who you are and what you stand for. The challenge was to make sure the people who worked for me understood that vision.” Afterward, he opened the floor to questions.
Illustrations: Stephen Gardner Photographs: Armani and Klein, Lorenzo Ciniglio; Galanos, Jennifer Weisbord
What was your experience as a FIT student? I was not good at patternmaking or sewing. In my first sewing class, the needle went right through my finger and I said, “I am not touching these machines again.” I was always good at sketches, at art. And that was how I expressed myself. How did you choose the scents for your fragrances? We started by studying the market. If the trend is romantic, we go with a floral. If it’s sexy, we choose a musky scent. But then I think about myself; I have to come up with a story so that people know that the scent is Calvin Klein and no one else. So it starts with marketing, but it ends up being personal. Did you style the famous underwear shoots? Yes. I worked very closely with [photographers] Dick Avedon and Bruce Weber. We would talk endlessly about what I was feeling, and my obsessions. I always had a problem working with advertising agencies. I have a very specific idea of what I want, and I need to choose the people I work with. Were you going for controversy in the Brooke Shields campaign? I always say I never go for controversy because that is what one should say. Brooke was an actress. Was she innocent? Well, she was young. Doon Arbus—[photographer] Diane Arbus’s daughter—wrote the “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins” line. We thought it was funny, really. What’s the most rewarding thing about being Calvin Klein—the legend? You get a good table at a restaurant when you call in.
Here, Here continued
Inspir ation by Gal anos The vener able designer discus ses his work So, what’s it like to dress Nancy Reagan? “She’s a very clean, neat, particular person. Everything has to be perfect.” Diana Ross? “Terrific.” And Judy Garland? “Very nice, except she was always late. Time meant nothing to her.” A conversation with James Galanos provides insight into 60 years of dressing fashionable women. In a career that began in 1948, the designer, 84 this year, was known for ready-to-wear that rose to the standards of couture, incorporating the finest fabrics and perfect detailing. In May, the designer came to FIT for the opening of the Fashion Design AAS exhibition. Students had used more than 20 of his designs as inspiration for their final garments. Doug Simms, of the SIMMS Foundation, loaned the outfits, which had belonged to his mother. Colette Wong, Fashion Design chair, said students were quite impressed with the pieces: “They loved that his silhouettes are timeless.” Wearing a natty blue wool suit of his own design, Galanos sat down to answer a few of our questions.
What’s the secret for making top quality ready-to-wear? I insisted that my workers make the garments as perfect as possible. I chose the best fabrics—the same ones as Balenciaga. I knew someone in Lyon with an archive of fabrics dating from the 12th century. I would say, “I want a chiffon that coordinates with this wool jacket,” and they were able to work with that. What other fabrics inspired you? I used to make wool jersey evening gowns. The customers wanted silk, but eventually, they caught on to what I was doing. You could get great shapes with wool jersey. Granted, they were a little heavy. Does contemporary fashion interest you? There’s a lot of screwball stuff and gimmickry. Who can
wear a gown with ten miles of fabric dragging behind it? It’s stupid. Of course, the workmanship is unbelievable. Any tips on dressing divas? We had the most elegant, rich women—ladies with great taste, like Babe Paley. They would say, “Can you change this or that?” Usually I said, “No, this is the collection.” Maybe I’d change a collar. Tell us about your photographs. After I retired in 1998, I was feeling a little lost. I like to work, so I got very depressed. And I always liked to take pictures. A photographer saw some things I’d done and encouraged me. I make up things. I go into the kitchen and put things together—papers, different colors—and shoot them with different lenses. No fashion, no portraits. Word got around, and a San Francisco gallery gave me a show. Now [the gallery] is talking about putting a book together.
Do the student designs remind you of your own? No, not really. They’re kids—they’re going to do things
on their own.
hue | summer 2008
POTENT TOTES students giv e the classic h andbag a fresh spin
one year it was the leather cheeseburger. Another, the remote-controlled bag on wheels. What was the cleverest creation to come out of Accessories Design’s Experimental Handbag Techniques course this year? Maybe the harlequin-face backpack. Or the recreation of van Gogh’s Starry Night, done with lollipop sticks and magazine clippings. Or maybe one of the bags pictured here. Added to the department’s BFA program in 2003, the course was created by custom handbag designer Nicole Hogarty Malone, an adjunct assistant professor and an Accessories Design grad herself (AAS ’95, BFA ’04). Experimental Handbag Techniques consists of two assignments. One, create a bag using innovative construction. “The idea is to get students to synthesize all the bagmaking techniques they’ve learned in their previous classes,” Malone explains. Two, make a bag out of unconventional materials, a challenge that takes students out of their textile comfort zone, and encourages new ideas about handbag design. Sheet metal, tile, and latex are a few of the bolder choices they’ve made. These bags, created in spring 2008, are in the innovative construction category. Each offers its own surprises; each is a bag of tricks. –Greg Herbowy
1 “Harlequin” by Michelle Tiercy, leather with cotton lining. 2 “ Spider” by Sofia Klayn, lambskin and leather with satin and taffeta lining. 3 “ Box Monster” by Kim Woodbury, leather on cardboard (outer shell) and lambskin with snakeskin piping (inner bag). 4 “Tri” by Cara Clinton, patent lambskin on bonded leather.
5 “Ball” by Hohyeun Choung, leather with foam padding. 6 “ Flower Power” by Amanda Kaufman, suede with silk lining. 7 “ Tool-belt” by Camille Conaway, lambskin, embossed leather, and canvas. 8 “Ideal” by Jee Hye Kwon, nylon and leather.
Track all the paper you come across in one day and you might begin to wonder if paper isn’t the true fabric of our lives. The bad news: The paper and pulp industry is one of the most environmentally depleting in terms of electricity use and greenhouse gas emissions. But there’s good news: Compared to plastics or appliances, paper is relatively easy to recycle. When using paper for printing, packaging, or production, the benefits of going green—such as reduced wastewater, particulate emissions, and energy consumption—are measurable. For example, using paper with 100-percent recycled content (rather than virgin wood) produces 49 percent less solid waste while consuming 44 percent less energy. This is good for business, saving in production and energy costs and attracting environmentally conscious consumers. Smaller eco-friendly firms also have an opportunity to be a green link in the supply chains of larger companies that want to be greener. Besides cutting down on daily paper use, businesses should consider the source and content of the paper they do use. The quality and range of papers containing various percentages of recycled content are increasing, while their price is comparable to—and sometimes less than—the cost of paper with virgin fiber. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) can help identify sustainable fiber sources. An independent organization that promotes responsible forest management, the FSC sets stringent standards to ensure the wood and pulp used in the production process are grown, harvested, and manufactured to high environmental standards. When doing business, work with companies that manufacture and print cleaner, using renewable energy sources like hydroelectric or wind power. Hue magazine is printed on paper that is FSC-certified, and produced by a chlorine-free process with renewable hydroelectric energy— proof that green can look great.
A number of organizations are establishing standards
for responsible paper use. Learn more about the Forest Stewardship Council at fsc.org, the Sustainable Advertising Partnership at sustainableadvertisingpartnership.org, the Institute for Sustainable Communications at sustaincom.org, and the Environmental Paper Network and A Common Vision at environmentalpaper.org —Michelle Alumkal
hue | summer 2008
“When I teach the history of art, I often have to explain why there are so many iconic Christian images and so few Islamic or Judaic ones. All three religions worship the same god, but have a different interpretation of the Third Commandment, ‘Thou shalt not make images of anything in heaven, the earth, or the sea.’ (Students are always amazed that this comes before ‘Thou shalt not kill.’) The Jewish tradition defined itself as distinctly different from the image-rich polytheistic cultures that came before it; Judaism therefore prohibited all representation, not just of God, but of animals, plants, etc. When Islam developed centuries later, Muslims also opposed images; implicit in the commandment is the idea that creating imagery is hubris—usurping the role of God. For Christians, the idea that God became flesh in Christ led to iconic imagery in art, while the Jewish and Islamic traditions are rich in calligraphy, bookmaking, and beautiful mosaics that were predominantly visualizations of words or stylized abstractions. The idea of prohibiting images of any kind shocks FIT students, because they see themselves as visual communicators in New York, a radically image-saturated culture. Of all the things I teach, this is the one where students are most on the edge of their seats.”
insights from the classroom and beyond
Anna Blume, assistant professor, History of Art
a student in first person
Factories, Families, and American Dreams
Fashion Merchandising Management ’99, Production Management: Fashion and Related Industries ’08
As a teenager, you watched your mother run a factory in Chinatown. What did you learn? Everybody
has to work together. Some people do the cutting, some do collars, some the seams. Every department has a shipping schedule, and if you miss a day, you can lose a month. Your brain has to run fast. Once your brain stops, your factory stops. Good thing you knew all of that when you were running an apparel factory in Brooklyn after getting your AAS. My siblings and friends borrowed money to help me get started. I had about 30 people— sewers, a presser, different operators. At the same time, I was taking care of my son, Tim, who was still a baby. Once, I didn’t sleep for three days and three nights. But after six months, I paid everyone back. After two years, I left, and I had enough to rest for six months. You could probably teach a class in your current program. What do you plan to do after graduation?
I just got hired as a global sourcing manager, my dream job. But I’d also like to set up a nonprofit to help career women who are single mothers. I know how tough that is. Tell me about the small village near Hong Kong where you grew up. Everyone has their own house and
all the men come together to build them. You grow everything you eat because you don’t have money. You only get new clothes once a year. When they get old, you repair them. But it’s peaceful—lots of mountains, trees, rivers.... I can’t say that’s a better life. I can only say it’s a different life. Will your son go into the business? He’s still very young; he’s only nine. I have to let him be independent.
But he is taking piano lessons, because music brings happiness. It drives your heart.
KYOPO photo Project
suzanne marcincavage digeronimo, interior design,
of DiGeronimo PC, a full-service architectural firm based in Paramus, NJ. DiGeronimo’s clients range from individuals to government agencies. Recent projects include architectural conservation for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and serving as primary architectural/engineering consultants on the rehabilitation of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel’s
news from your classmates
Cindy Hwang, Fashion Design ’95 What role does ethnicity play in a world where cultural borders are permeable? That’s the question posed by Cindy “CYJO” Hwang’s ongoing photo project, Kyopo. A sampling of 171 images from a series is on view at Manhattan’s Korea Society through August 15. The One of the three Brooklyn Battery Tunnel towers rehabilitated by DiGeronimo PC.
project, whose name refers to Koreans who live outside of Korea, documents this group’s assimilations, imported traditions, and idiosyncratic identities. Hwang’s subjects include an MIT professor who won a MacArthur “genius grant,” a winner of the reality show Survivor, and novelist Chang-Rae Lee. She plans to publish a book of the work, and the
betsy delaney, fashion buying
eileen fitzgerald smith,
is a brand
Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Program is considering an exhibition. is a communi-
manager at McCubbin
cations designer for the
Hosiery, a third-generation
New York Daily News, where
family business that does
she transforms information
carmela mammas, marketing:
scott drevnig, advertising
private-label work for stores
into readily digestible
fashion and related indus-
like Nordstrom, Dillard’s, and
graphs and illustrations,
manager of events and art
sourcing at Parigi Group,
Kohl’s, and licenses high-
and designs spreads for the
York office of the U.S.
marketing for AIDS
makers of children’s wear
profile brands such as Buster
news, business, and features
Export Assistance Center,
for urban brands like Apple
is director of the New
devanshi jariwala , interior design,
is director of
Brown and Absorba. Delaney,
sections. A Fairfield, CT,
where she manages a staff of
Initiative of America, a
Bottoms, Baby Phat, and
who lives and works in
resident and avid photogra-
international trade special-
nonprofit organization that
Enyce. Jariwala’s primary
Kingston, PA, oversees
pher, Smith recently
ists who help small to
studies new treatments for
responsibility is selecting
Stride Rite’s hosiery and
mounted Transported, an
HIV/AIDS, conducts an HIV
the manufacturers, which
children’s slippers from
identify markets, locate
health literacy program, and
means near-constant travel
design concept through
her daily commute, at the
partners, and sell their
works directly with AIDS
to Europe, the Middle East,
marketing and sales. She
Fairfield Arts Council
wares abroad. (The EAC also
patients in New York’s
and Asia. Prior to Parigi,
previously worked at Kayser
promotes foreign trade by
Garment District. Every
she sourced factories for
working with ambassadors
year, Drevnig raises nearly
and commercial officers at
$1 million with events
American embassies and
ranging from a December
gopika jariwala , interior
consulates around the
holiday gala, hosted by
world.) Mammas, who
Donna Karan and InStyle, to
Devanshi), is vice president
previously managed EAC’s
a July Hamptons bash,
of design for CHF Indus-
Newark, NJ, office, got her
hosted by Calvin Klein and
tries, which creates home
start at the federal agency as
Roth and Sara Lee.
an FIT intern.
(and sister of
curtains, pillows, and more—for brands such as DKNY Home, Hello Kitty, and Umbra. Jariwala is involved in every step of the process, from concept
Night Passage by Eileen Fitzgerald (“E Fitz”) Smith ’81.
hue | summer 2008
boards to sourcing to sales.
1997 luis pagan, fine arts, is a
computer operations specialist for
the Bronx Council on the Arts, and a visual artist. His work ranges from large-scale latex “pour paintings”—incorporat-
Laura Rosenberg Advertising Design ’98, Packaging Design ’00
ing color schemes derived from African religions and professional sports teams—to small-scale handicrafts and miniature artist trading cards. His work can be found on eBay and Etsy.com. Pagan has recently shown at Haven Arts in the Bronx and the Ryan Chelsea Clinton Center in Manhattan.
“Rare wines. Rare occasions. Rare breeds. We looked for a name that evoked the special The Bad Lands, latex on plywood, 2½ by 3½ inches.
things in life. Rare also rolls off the tongue nicely,” says RareDaily.com’s creative director, Laura Rosenberg.
claudia kolfhaus wenger, illustration ’94 , textile /surface design,
is a CAD designer for Phillips-Van Heusen, where
More than a year ago, she and Anand Rakish launched RareDaily.com, a web
magazine spotlighting Manhattan’s newest restaurants, bars, and shops. Recently, they launched LA and national versions. Each site contains previously published articles from
she uses U4ia software to virtually model the men’s line
Rare’s electronic newsletters and additional content. One feature, “Rare Weekend,”
and prepare it for manufacture overseas. Wenger honed
offers a weekly roundup of openings, parties, and sales. “We’re obsessed with the next
her skills during nearly ten years of CAD work for The Gap.
cool things in New York City and Los Angeles,” Rosenberg says. One recent story featured
Current projects include her son, Oliver, who will be two
guided New York shopping tours with “style arbiter” Coup de Coeur. Another focused
on international fashion photographer Roger Moenks’s “Inheriting Beauty,” capturing “A-list socialites in their natural setting.”
1999 melanie testa , textile /surface design, is a
textile designer and
According to an LA tip, “If you’re itching for a vacay but have zero time-off days
banked up, we have just the place for you. The new Malibu Pier Club will transport you to
fiber artist based in Flagstaff, AZ. She moved to the
Waikiki circa the Gidget era. Located less than a hop, skip, and jump away from the sandy
Southwest a year and a half ago, after six years at Poster
Malibu shores, we’re talking prime real estate (not to mention generous eye candy).”
Conservation, Inc., in Stamford, CT, where she restored
vintage posters and prints by everyone from Warhol to
Fifteen new editions, from Boston to London, are planned. Another will focus on travel.
Toulouse-Lautrec. In addition to showing and selling her
“We get readers requesting—sometimes begging—us to start an edition in Chicago, Paris,
work, Testa is working on an instructional book, due in
and Sydney,” Rosenberg says.
spring 2009, for Interweave Press, and an exhibition/
symposium, Surface:Layered, running from late July
duties, such as updating source code, suggest site improvements, and optimizes images.
through early August in Flagstaff.
Rakish handles the editorial side, assigning stories, following up with writers, and
To stay au courant, subscribers may select any or all of Rare’s free newsletters.
While overseeing brand identity, advertising, and promotions, she also has technical
maintaining Rare’s “voice.” Two editors serve as “cool hunters,” and another prospects advertisers, a small but growing list.
RareDaily receives many pitches each week about what’s cool, including tips from
readers and public relations firms. Products and services are reviewed and sources are researched before the final selection.
“The greatest challenge at RareDaily is being ‘in the know’ and one step ahead of
local culture,” Rosenberg says. Rare magazine, a quarterly print publication covering New York, is scheduled to debut this fall. Because online readers—including “foodies, party hunters, and fashionistas”—prefer brief stories, the magazine will provide more in-depth coverage. Rare. Cool. Hot. Daily.
— Andrea K. Hammer Wandering, dyed cotton and silk, 32 by 42 inches.
The site, which receives 250,000 page hits a month, combines stock images with its logo to create ads like the one above
shefali khanna , fashion
missy heckman, fashion merchandising management,
owner of Glimmer PR in Los Angeles. Heckman spent a year
was recently promoted to
between her AAS and BS degrees working as a stylist and
“When I saw it, I knew it was the future of American
senior merchandiser in Old
writer for Salon News, and doing visual merchandising for
politics,” says David Eisenbach, Columbia University
Navy’s girls’ knits/graphics/
The Limited. She then traveled to California to open the
lecturer on American history. Heady words, perhaps,
sweaters division, after having
West Coast office of Pierce Mattie PR, where she worked
but intense scrutiny and unsought influence are par
driven their girls’ active
as a fashion and beauty publicist, before launching her own
for the course these days for actress and model Amber
division to historically high
company. Heckman hopes to open an office in New York
Lee Ettinger, a.k.a. Obama Girl.
retail sales. Khanna—who also
in a couple of years.
news from your classmates
holds a degree from the
is CEO and
Amber Lee Ettinger, Fashion Design ’02
For the uninitiated, Obama Girl is the kittenish
character Ettinger plays in a hugely popular online
National Institute of Fashion
Design in New Delhi, India—
dina white, advertising and
for her preferred candidate in a manner less like
was previously a buyer for
traditional political stumping, more like the slow-jam
Macy’s West and a merchan-
an art designer at L’Oréal,
gyrations of an R&B video. (Skimpy outfits and come-
diser for Federated. She now
where she works on promo-
hither glances also figure prominently.) Produced by
works with her own planning,
tional materials, packaging,
humor website Barely Political, the first spot, “I Got
design, marketing, and prod-
and direct response mailings
a Crush… on Obama,” was introduced in June 2007.
uction teams to set merchan-
for professional brands such
Within days, views numbered in the millions, a bemused
dising strategy for 1,000 Old
as L’Oréal Technique, L’Oréal
Obama campaign was fielding queries about their
Professionnel, and Mizani.
unasked-for surrogate, and Ettinger was being inter-
She landed the position through FIT’s Career Services Office,
viewed on cable news shows like Hardball, where host
david miles, fashion merchan -
with the help and encouragement of her mentor, Associate
Chris Matthews raved that she was a “gorgeous creature
dising management ’98, home
Professor Ron Sok. White is engaged to be married in September.
products and marketing
series of parody music videos, in which she advocates
development ’01, is celebrating
Twelve months and 30 videos later, the joke hasn’t
died—it’s gotten bigger and weirder. When Ettinger jill davis, jewelry design,
failed to vote in her registered state of New Jersey on
Hood and Company, his home
runs Jill K. Davis Jewelry
Super Tuesday, ostensibly serious journalists deemed it
furnishings, bath, and gift
and assists two other
newsworthy (Columbus Dispatch: “Barack’s backer
blows off ballot box”). In April, a reporter tracked down
Top Tops and Ashka Dymel.
Obama’s Kenyan grandmother, just to show her “Crush”
Davis has a preference for
(she approved). In May, a doctored version surfaced in
sterling silver and residen-
Russia, dubbed over with lyrics about President Dmitry
a Detroit native, came to FIT with ten years’ experience in retail. He is busy launching
the second anniversary of
store in Catskill, NY. Miles,
an e-commerce site for
tial themes; some of her rings depict entire neighborhoods.
Medvedev. The latest Obama Girl video features a duet
Hood, and credits Assistant
Her work can be seen online at Etsy.com and in shops
with Democratic primary also-ran Mike Gravel.
Professor David Brogna as
around the country. She’s also shown at Brooklyn’s Indie
Market and Artists in Sleeves fairs.
jewelry someday, laughs about her singular fame.
— Greg Herbowy
kelly scott, fashion merchandising management,
is the owner of the Miss Behavin’ boutique in Goleta, CA. Two blocks from the beach and close to the University of California, Santa Barbara, the women’s wear store skews young, casual, and hip. A native
2007, after a Vogue internship and a stint managing the Intermix shop on Fifth Avenue. Miss Behavin’ also sells online.
hue | summer 2008
Californian, Scott moved home to open the store in
Ettinger, who still plans to design clothes and
“It’s crazy,” she says. “Every day it amazes me.”
sources of inspiration
into the woods
I grew up in the woods of Pennsylvania, and my family home is still there. It’s as close as I can get to slowing time, slowing food, and slowing fashion. It reminds me that no matter how fast humankind may travel, for the time being we have no
Shona Barton Quinn International Trade and Marketing for the Fashion Industries ’00
place else to go; the earth is our vessel. Experiences that give me the greatest joy and inspiration are here…a songbird’s morning conversation, the colors of the sun at dusk, a vast expanse of trees “breathing in what we exhale,” as Barbara Kingsolver reminds me in her book, Small Wonder. The forest quiets my mind and inspires me to consider alternative methods for creating products, like apparel. Mother Nature also reminds me that despite how grand my ambitions may be, my plans are small in comparison to hers.
What inspires you? Email the editors at email@example.com
Shona Quinn is the sustainability leader at Eileen Fisher, where she guides the company’s environmental strategy.
Environmental Savings for Hue Issue 2 (20,000 copies)
334.62 trees preserved/planted 275.57 lbs waterborne waste not created 40,538 gallons wastewater flow saved 4,485 lbs solid waste not generated 13,298.79 lbs net greenhouse gases prevented 67,598,800 BTUs energy not consumed Printed by Monroe Litho Inc. Monroe Litho is certified as a Chain-of-Custody supplier by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and as an EPA Green Power Partner operating on 100% renewable, nonpolluting windpower. Printed on Monadnock Astrolite PC 100 FSC-certified, 100% post consumer waste reclaimed/recycled, made with 100% renewable energy; manufactured carbon neutral and chlorine free; certified ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management System. Please recycle or share this magazine.
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hue | summer 2008
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volume 1 |number 3