Page 1


Neil Blumenthal & David Gilboa of Warby Parker


MASTHEAD Taisa Veras Editor-in-Chief Caroline Nelson Sarah Dill Deputy Editors



LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Once again, it is our pleasure to have the work of stylist and FIT student, Chelsea Rizzo in our issue; her Valentine’s Day inspired fashion story graces our centerfold. Another exciting collaboration that occurred this month during New York Fashion Week was the fact that Editors from W27 Newspaper had the opportunity to writer for the official Mercedes-Benz Program. The booklets were available at Lincoln Center and the Editors (including myself) were invited to the Monique Lhuillier show. It was a pleasure to represent FIT in this collaboration and inspire future journalists aspiring to one day be published in such a relevant medium.

Fernanda DeSouza Executive & Culture Editor Georgi Dwiggins Nicole Tan Venus Wong Senior Editors Keely-Shea Smith Managing Editor Alyssa Kyle Copy Editor Megan Venere Treasurer Mollie Yarsike Community Manager Advertising Jessica McClintock Advertising Manager Art Kári Emil Helgason Art Director Christina Garcia Junior Designer Ruodan Bai Siva-Jack Sernvongsat Illustrators

Sustainability has become such a relevant topic in today’s society. Do we really need to buy that extra shirt? How can we recycle, reuse, and repurpose? I’ve noticed so many brands in the past four years become involved in sustainable practices that have made huge impact in the world, and now our very own school has a Sustainable Packaging Design Certificate Program, allowing us to learn more about this emerging field and creating awareness about the cause. The work of companies such as Warby Paker is an excellent example of how a brand that has embraced sustainability in every aspect from packaging to marketing. Turn to pp. 10–11 to learn more about their efforts.

I would like to remind you that we featured Calvin Klein Collection on the cover of our September issue last year and it is an honor to learn that the company donated $2 million to our school to support the Fashion Design department. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day and in remembrance of Whitney Houston, I would like to thank our readers for our successes and quote Houston, “I will always love you.” Cheers,

David Paul Larson Gianna Rovelli Photographers Chelsea Rizzo Contributing Stylist Contributors Megan Bates Francesca Beltran Raquel Rose Burger Colleen Dengel Suzanne Dengel Rich Gilmartin Armah Jones Dianna Mazzone Victoria McClellan Marissa Mule Madeleine Thompson Alessandra Della Vecchia Megan Venere John Simone Editorial Faculty Advisor Albert Romano Advertising Faculty Advisor




The first issue of the Spring 2012 semester features Neil Blumenthal and David Gilboa, two of the four founders of eyewear company Warby Parker, shot exclusively for W27 by photographer David Paul Larson. The two men are captured sporting their own creations outside their SoHo showroom showcasing the classic style synonymous with the brand.




Welcome to the Boardroom Tapping Into Sustainable Water Just BookScan It! What the Health? Future Mode: Alicia Benedetto Briefcase Faculty Spotlight: Sandra Krasovec


7 7 8 8 9 9

Q&A: Nghi Nguyen of NN BY NGHI W27 Editors Contribute to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Keystone XL Pipeline: The Good and the Bad Policy Brief: Brazil Beauty Buzz: Top Sustainable & Eco-Friendly Beauty Brands Beauty Runs Skin Deep...Literally


10 11 12

Warby Parker Staff Picks: Warby Parker Glasses Fashion Editorial: Will You Be My Valentine?


14 14 14

Afingo Fashion Forum: How and Where to Sell Runway to Win: Exclusive Designer Items Support Obama Reelection Interview with Runway to Win Designer Rachel Roy


15 15 15 16 16 16 17 17 18 19

Tuning In: Bamboosk8—Sustainable Music Theater Review: Anything Goes Concert Review: Patti Smith: New Years Eve Book Review: Brian Christian’s The Most Human Human Film Review: Perfect Sense Gallery Review: Nature Art Gallery Philanthropy: 2011 Water Ball The City Skinny: Biking in Central Park Month In Review Outside Your Borough: Vegan Food

  20 20 21 22 22


FIT  SPEAKS Hugh Hefner & Steve Jobs: Two Different Men, Two Influential Visions Speed Dating at FIT Moop & Mary How to Get a Guy in 10 Days: An FIT Girl’s Search for Love Homebound Again: What to do with the ‘Rents?

Style on 27



On the Block Welcome to the Boardroom By Dianna Mazzone Perhaps you took a bit of a rest over the winter break, but FITSA and its dedicated President Samantha Kloeckener certainly didn’t! The beginning of a new semester is stressful for most FIT students, but FITSA is working to make it a bit more bearable and fun through campus events and activities planned for the spring semester ahead.

in the cafeteria in early March. The election itself will be held later that month involving students to cast their votes online.

But behind every fun activity comes responsibility. FITSA is working hard to tackle the real issues presented by the FIT community. The organization works as a liaison between students and administrators. If you feel your FIT experience could be improved in any way, voicing your opinion to a FITSA member is a proven route to effective solutions.

Meanwhile, your sitting FITSA members are gearing up for SUNY Palooza, an all day event held in Albany, NY in which each of the state’s 64 SUNY (State University of New York) campuses is represented. Each SUNY school will send roughly five to ten delegates to serve as advocates for their respective institution. Key topics will be discussed among participants in this “SUNY network,” largely focusing on funding and budget issues. If you’re interested in serving as a delegate this March, please contact Kloeckener at Student Life.

If you feel especially passionate about effecting change within the college, perhaps you’d like to consider running for one of the many positions available on FITSA’s Executive or Programming Boards. “Candidacy Packets” with detailed information regarding eligibility and requirements are available on the seventh floor in the Student Life office. Candidate speeches are set to take place

As this issue’s theme is “Sustainability,” Kloeckener mentioned a few steps that FITSA is taking regarding going green. For instance, Collegiate Link, an electronic information system, was implemented with FITSA’s support. This completely web based platform acts as a message board for students to display virtual posters advertising the latest in campus news, events, and extracurricular

Samantha Kloeckener, President of FITSA, photographed by Armah Jones for W27 Newspaper.

opportunities. Though FIT is still in the early stages of completely adopting this innovative and sustainable network, this service is a significant step toward the eventual goal of a “paperless” university.

environmentally friendly measures throughout FIT. To learn more about FITSA, follow @fitsa or stop by the Student Life office in room A713.

FITSA members are also very involved with the “Sustainability Committee” at FIT. The board has both administrators and students as members, and is on a constant mission to implement

Tapping Into Sustainable Water

Just BookScan It!

By Rich Gilmartin

By Mollie Yarsike

In May of 2011, The Sustainability Council at the Fashion Institute of Technology announced that Professor Michael Cokkinos would be the recipient of the Sustainability Grant for his “Ban the Bottle and Take Back the Tap” campaign. The campaign, which received $5,000 to put it into action, included the installation and maintenance of several EZH2O water bottle refilling stations. The ultimate goal for the refilling stations is to reduce waste from plastic waterbottles and to enable students to drink filtered water at a low cost.

around, there are many perils to both it and bottled water. Many old buildings here in New York have pipes that are made out of lead, which can seep into tap water, as well as chlorine. Plastic bottles can also affect the taste of the water. “Really clean water has no taste…the taste [of the filtered water] is very minimal,” said Cokkinos, who has a culinary background and often uses water as a key ingredient in his cooking. The EZH2O filters out all chlorine and lead, as well as all odor and tastes to provide clean, crisp water.

Since receiving the Sustainability Grant for the bottle refilling stations, Cokkinos has gone on to become a member of the Sustainability Council. The school has also recently noted in the January/ February Residential Life Newsletter that a fifth EZH2O Watter Bottle Refilling Station for Kaufman Hall is currently in the works.

HO It has been exactly 4 months since the EZH2O bottle watter refilling stations have been placed here on the FIT campus, but they have already refilled the equivalent of 40,000 plastic bottles in filtered water. These stations also help to reduce greenhouse gasses expended during the transport and refrigeration of bottled water, help to preserve the environment, and help students to save money that would normally be spent on bottled water, while enabling everyone to drink healthy, filtered water.

While the tap water here in New York City may be rated some of the best tap water

The EZH2O water bottle refilling stations are located in four areas of campus, including Alumni Hall, the cafeteria, and in B and D buildings. The stations are equipped with tickers that indicate every 16 ounces water refilled in order to keep track of how many plastic water bottles have been saved. Students are also encouraged to use metal bottles in hopes of reducing plastic. The refilling stations have been efficiently used by students who collectively are saving 2,000% of what they would be spending on bottled water.

In May of 2011, the Sustainability Council received a grant of $15,000 from President Brown to advance FIT’s sustainable initiative of “FIT Goes Green: Infusing Sustainability into our Culture,” that included a few projects to help FIT’s students and faculty go green. One of the projects in particular, the iVina BookScan stations, were installed to lower the ecological and economical footprint of our library. These stations allow students to scan materials and then download them to their flash drives, which saves money that would otherwise be spent on ink cartridges and paper. Ross Richardson, a Computer Animation major, said, “I absolutely love BookScan. I no longer have to buy some of my books for classes. I can get them at the library and then put them onto my USB for free.” Though it is time consuming to scan every single page, saving $50 or $80 on a textbook is definitely worth breaking the bank in book stores. Students like Richardson are not only saving money, but are also reducing their ecological footprint. As FIT continues its mission of infusing sustainability into our culture, one will be able to help promote sustainability by reducing, reusing, and recycling.



What the Health?


“Organicize” your Meal Plan: Food Tips around Campus

By Sarah Dill

Back at FIT, back in the city, and back to reality. For many, winter break was a time for lounging on the couch, catching up with high school friends, enjoying home-cooked meals and relaxing away from the hustle and bustle of New York. 2012 marks a new year and a chance for a brand new you, with of course a brand new diet plan. New Year resolutions of losing weight have begun to circulate more and more as dieting books hit the shelves. Although I do still want to stay on my health track and lose the last 10 pounds to achieve my goal weight, I have set a different resolution to make more home cooked meals and cut out more processed frozen meals and unhealthy packaged goods. From a student’s standpoint, popping in a frozen Lean Cuisine or snacking on a bag of kettle chips is the easiest way to dine and quickly go back to design, but with high levels of sodium and unwanted processed flavors, those choices will leave you unsatisfied and craving more. I was a victim of what I call the “processed dinner disease.” After a long day of school, work, or interning I would grab my low-cal

frozen meal, stick it in the microwave for 5 minutes and then enjoy it, only to grab something else to fill me up an hour later, which lead to late night snacking. Now that I have examined labels, read up on the latest food blogs and become more gung-ho about my workout regimen, cutting out these processed foods would be the last challenge for me to overcome. Making home cooked meals is an easier way to track what you eat, a quicker route to weight loss, and ultimately a healthier immune system without the processed garbage. Drop that extra package of artificial sweetener, lose the packaged meal and follow these sustainable and easy tips the next time you plan on dining around campus. A Farmers’ Market Fling: Produce can be hard to bargain for around the campus at small delis or expensive grocery stores but with farmers’ markets making a come back from the winter months, produce is cheap, healthy, and yours to choose from. My favorite has to be the Union Square

Farmers’ Market where I pick up all blends of vegetables, apples, and of course freshly made apple cider. Bring a cart and be prepped to bring back a basket full of healthy snacks on a dime. A Packaged Problems: Processed foods and packaged snacks should be left at the grocery store with their high amounts of additives and low amounts of nutrients. Most processed foods contain artificial flavors, sweeteners, chemicals and harmful preservatives rather than the fiber and antioxidants in natural foods. A Label Lingo: If you’re pressed for time during common hours and are looking for a go to snack in the cafeteria, look for words on labels such as “natural,” “whole wheat,” “soy,” and of course the main component in the snack. If you are scrolling through the label and don’t see any familiar words or have to pull out a magnifying glass to read it, drop it and move on. Look for handy snacks such as almonds, fruits, pretzels, and

baked chips, which will leave you feeling sufficiently satisfied. A Ease into Sustainability: Instead of bringing your packaged meals to a complete stop, incorporate snacks, and small ingredients to naturally ease your way into a sustainable diet. Swap out frozen dinners for freshly baked chicken or incorporate more salads at lunch rather then a bulky sandwich. With these small changes, you will be on your way to a healthier palate in no time. A Naturally Sweet: Sugar and artificial sweeteners can both be harmful in your diet but too much of either will result in extra bloating and fatigue. When sweetening desserts, coffee, or other bland meals opt for Stevia Extract In The Raw, rather then sugar or artificial sweeteners containing aspartame. Stevia Extract In The Raw is gluten free, kosher, ideal for a diabetes diet, and zero calories, making for the perfect natural sweetener.

Q&A: Sustainable Chef MARY CLEAVER, OWNER AND FOUNDER OF CLEAVER CO. & THE GREEN TABLE RESTAURANT IN CHELSEA MARKET Sarah Dill: What goes into making a sustainable restaurant?

Dorm Dish Recipe:

Can you believe this is actually healthy? Photo courtesy of

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE PANCAKES Whether for you and your sweetheart, or a V-Day brunch with friends, this strawberry shortcake pancake recipe will start your day in a sweet and healthy way.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, then add wet.

1 cup chopped strawberries 2/3 cup flour (WW pastry, white, spelt, Bob’s gluten-free etc.) 4 T rolled oats 1 1/3 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 2 T sugar or 1 packet nunaturals Stevia 2/3 cup nondairy milk 2 T unrefined coconut oil (You can omit, if you like the taste of fat-free pancakes)

Cook on an oiled (or sprayed) pan, on lowmedium, flipping each pancake once.

Mix, but don’t over mix.

Top with Soyatoo or powdered sugar Boil some more strawberries (with a bit of sugar, if you wish), and smash them, to make a compote. (Serves two) Recipe taken from Chocolatecoveredkatie. com blog.

Mary Cleaver: “Sustainable” and “green” have become buzzwords lately, but these things are more much important than a fashionable trend. Lots of work goes into making a restaurant sustainable— from sourcing food from regional farms where you know the growing practices, to composting waste, recycling grease, making sure faucets and lights are efficient, avoiding food waste as much as possible and paying workers a living wage. To name just a few! SD: When did you start cooking sustainable foods and why did you want to continue cooking them? MC: I was raised eating local, seasonal food—it was the norm for me growing up—and I always wanted to be a farmer. After college, I ended up moving to NYC and while trying my hand in the art world, I started working as a dishwasher for a fancy foods shop. I eventually started cooking and catering and I didn’t understand why we couldn’t get local tomatoes in New York City in August, but we could find imported raspberries in the middle of winter for $7 per pint. The whole system didn’t make any sense, and so I started doing more research and learning about our food system, all while staying committed to sourcing local, fresh food. It’s the only way I’ve ever worked. SD: When did you start the Cleaver Co. catering company? MC: The Cleaver Co. was my first

business—I started it in Tribeca in 1981. We moved into the Chelsea Market in 1997, and The Green Table restaurant opened in 2003. SD: Does eating sustainable foods also help with your health as well? MC: Eating fresh, unprocessed food from local sources is good for your health as well as good for our planet. Much of the food in our current food system is basically poison. We’re starting to see the impact of decades of an unhealthy food system in the skyrocketing rates of obesity, diabetes and other health problems, as well as adverse effects on our natural resources—depleted topsoil, polluted water and other ecological problems. SD: What do you love most about having a restaurant in Chelsea Market? MC: We love that The Green Table is in the middle of Chelsea Market, which has become the heart of the area. It’s been incredible to be part of the revival of the neighborhood and it’s satisfying to serve such diverse customers, from international tourists to locals from around the corner! SD: For students in dorms, what would be your advice to maintain a sustainable diet? MC: Shop at the farmers’ market. Avoid processed food. Cook meals and gather with your friends around the table! Food should be celebrated.




FUTURE MODE {ALICIA BENEDETTO} By Marissa Mule Coco Chanel once said “success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” As the spring semester begins, both the search for internships and the post graduation job hunts start. This spring is about being bold not only in style, but in success. This month, I had the opportunity to interview not only one of my best friends, but one of the most stylish people I know. Alicia Benedetto is a Fashion Merchandising Management major at FIT, and is dedicated to not only her school work, but also to her new internship. She is definitely a role model and inspiration to all those seeking a prestigious internship and a jump start to their career. Marissa Mule: Who or what is your inspiration? Alicia Benedetto: I’m really into Bohemian culture and vintage styles. MM: What is your dream job?

MM: Where do you intern? AB: I intern at Lily Kate Showroom. I sit in on design and merchandising meetings for the clothing brand Parker. I participate in all showroom appointments and trade shows. I also shadow a Sales Executive in the showroom. MM: How did you find out about this internship? AB: Through the Career Center at FIT. They had wonderful choices and great internships available with amazing connections.


FIT at Night & SVCS Hosted First Gingerbread House Event before the Holidays By Sarah Dill

MM:Does your style reflect your aesthetic? AB: I believe the way you dress expresses your personality. It’s a source of freedom. MM: What are your strengths and weaknesses?

The holiday season may be done and packed away for next winter, but Student Volunteer Community Service (SVCS), hosted their first Gingerbread House Making Event, which spread holiday cheer to the FIT community.

MM: What is your favorite aspect about FIT?

On Tuesday December 6th, 311 students attended the first, and now annual, Gingerbread Making Event in the cafeteria from 7:30pm until 10:30pm. Attendees were treated to hot chocolate topped with whipped cream, classic holiday movies on the projector, a complete gingerbread house making kit, and entered in a chance to win a $30 gift card to Starbucks for the winning house. The event created a winter escape from classes for students to unwind and let their creativity run wild with frosting.

AB: FIT provides students with great internships, and the professors are full of knowledge.

With houses ranging from villas to fullfledged ginger-mansions, there were 3 winning teams that tied for first place for

AB: I’d like to pursue a career in selling or buying.

AB: One of my strengths is that I am extremely organized. However, my main weakness is that I hate getting up early.

MM: Who is your style icon? MM: What motivates you? AB: Mary-Kate and Ashley are definitely my style icons. They have minds of their own when it comes to style, and are major influences in the fashion world.

AB: My goals for the future motivate me. I hope to become successful one day.

Faculty Spotlight: Sandra Krasovec Did you know the roof of the Shirley Goodman Resource Center is green? The various plants there not only replace carbon dioxide with fresh oxygen, but the plants also insulate the building. There are various sustainable initiatives that are taking place all around FIT’s campus both in and out of the classroom. Sandra Krasovec is an Associate Professor in the Packaging Design Department at FIT. As a member of FIT’s Sustainability Council, she works to promote sustainable actions at FIT. Alyssa Kyle: What is your proudest accomplishment? What are your future goals? Sandra Krasovec: I have a few accomplishments that have made a difference in my life. The first was to open an office up in New York City for Kornick Lindsay (KL), the Chicago-based design firm I worked for. I moved out here to NYC on my own and single-handedly started the east coast arm of KL. I had the opportunity to manage packaging design projects for iconic brands like Coca-Cola, Mars M&M candies, Frito-Lay Doritos snacks, and Gillette shaving gel.

My second accomplishment was to start my own design firm after leaving KL in 1995. I had enough client relationships and industry connections that I took the plunge. Which leads to the third accomplishment of being involved with and helping to shape the Packaging Design Department at FIT [into] what it is today. Highly regarded and recognized by the industry, our BFA program is the only one of its kind in the country.

Since the event drew such a great crowd, SVCS and Payton-Jones plan to make it a recurring holiday staple for FIT students. “This event will be even bigger and better next year,” said Payton-Jones. “I have given much thought to it and will have several of the houses built by our students donated to deserving organizations, both on and off campus.”

By Alyssa Kyle

community. The President established an annual fund of $15,000 to support sustainability programs. AK: You incorporate sustainability in your classes. What has influenced you to steer your classes in this direction? Has your career path played any role?

AK: Where do you see sustainability in FIT’s future?

SK: I do incorporate sustainability into my courses—I think students need to consider how they design, and then the impact of what they design regarding the three “P’s:” people, planet, and profit. The key is understanding that nothing is 100% sustainable, as everything we produce has an environmental footprint. What students need to understand as design professionals is what is important to their client—what level of sustainability will make sense and at what economic benefit it is to them.

SK: Sustainability has taken hold at FIT, brought about by a core group of faculty, with the help of motivated students, who wanted change on campus. President Joyce Brown formed the FIT Sustainability Council of which I’m proud to be a member. The Council’s mission is to develop and foster sustainability initiatives throughout the FIT

Sustainability has been an interest of mine for many years and I was happy to find a group of faculty that were like-minded and anxious to make a difference at FIT. As a packaging designer who ultimately creates things that get discarded, I began to get involved in the sustainable movement and have been immersed ever since.

Future goals at FIT are to launch the Sustainable Packaging Design Certificate Program that I have developed and to continue to focus on sustainable initiatives at FIT. And of course to keep evolving our BFA program so it continues to be a program of excellence.

the gift card awards. Deborah PaytonJones, SVCS Volunteer Coordinator, was very happy with the turnout for the event and amazed at how many students loved making gingerbread houses. “Students commented that they had never built a gingerbread house before and were excited about doing a task they had dreamed of for the holidays,” said PaytonJones.

There are many faculty members who have incorporated sustainability into their curriculum and have projects based on sustainable practices. Every year there are several faculty who exhibit their students’ work at FIT’s Annual Sustainable Business and Design Conference held in the spring. The 6th annual conference will be held on Tuesday, March 27th. AK: What is your advice to someone in Packaging Design? What have you done that has helped you excel in your career? SK: To students in Packaging Design I would say work hard, do your best and love what you do. Be passionate. If you do, it comes through your positive energy! Be good listeners first and ask questions second. Be proactive and offer your professors and your future clients innovative possibilities. Go beyond your design comfort zone. Be respectful and thoughtfully apply constructive criticism. What have I done to be successful? I have practiced what I preach!


Dear Industry

Q&A: Nghi Nguyen of NN BY NGHI Fashion Institute of Technology alum, Nghi Nguyen, recently started his own jewelry line, NN BY NGHI. The designer not only has strong points of view regarding the beauty in imperfections, but is passionate about wildlife conservation. Raquel Rose Burger: Why did you decide to donate a percentage of profits from NN BY NGHI sales to support organizations such as Tiger Watch and Dastkar? Nghi Nguyen: As a designer I create, and with every creation there is some form of destruction. It is my responsibility to be aware and keep balance to this process. Right now my focus is on wildlife conservation as it is very neglected, and it is highly important as I am very much inspired by wildlife and nature. RRB: You follow the motto “beauty in imperfection.” Why do you feel that it is important that your customers embrace this motto as well? NN: Sometimes the quest for perfection can be too destructive and produce too much unnecessary waste. In this century, a form of mechanical beauty can be found in most mass-produced products. Imperfection is a form of individuality. Whether it may be a scratch or scar, dirty white color or spilt coffee, rust or

By Raquel Rose Burger

freckles on tanned has character and unique beauty that occur through a process of natural selection. RRB: What did you learn during your time at FIT that has helped you launch your own jewelry line? NN: Bench skills and CAD technology. I also learned a lot through many great colleagues I met during my time there. RRB: How would you describe your creations and why did you decide to create a unisex line? NN: Urban armors for visionary warriors. I can’t dictate what each sex should wear; we are both feminine and masculine in each of us. I also enjoy the idea of the jewelry being worn and shared by both sexes in its lifetime. RRB: Your jewelry is made of bronze and natural stones. What inspired you to work mainly with these materials? NN: Bronze fascinates me through the different ages and cultures in museums, and I chose natural stones for its natural imperfect quality which is very difficult to replicate.

NN: To make people happy and unite them around common causes.

Lace Temple Ring; Photo courtesy of NN BY NGHI

For more about NN visit: NNbyNghi.

RRB: What do you hope to accomplish in the future?

W27 Editors Contribute to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week By Alyssa Kyle New York Fashion Week is the one time of the year that FIT students will attempt to skip class to try to get into a fashion show or spend hours volunteering at Lincoln Center in order to be a part of the action. However, three very fortunate FIT students from W27 Newspaper were given the opportunity to collaborate and write for the Official Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Program booklet that’s printed for thousands to see. Editor-inChief Taisa Veras, and Deputy Editors Caroline Nelson and Sarah Dill were not only honored to be guest writers for the program, but they also learned a lot from the experience. 1. How did you get the opportunity to write for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week? Sarah Dill: IMG Fashion contacted our

Editor-in-Chief, Taisa Veras, regarding an opportunity to write for the official Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Program. The contact at IMG asked for three potential writers to submit clips for review and then they would decide who would write for the program. They were only going to pick one writer but after reading all of our writing samples they decided to have all three of us contribute. 2. Were you invited to attend any of MBFW’s shows to see your work displayed? Taisa Veras: Yes, we were invited by IMG to attend the Monique Lhullier show on February 11th. We really felt part of the whole experience and seeing our work printed on thousands of booklets for the entire fashion industry to see made

us feel proud of our work. It was a very rewarding experience. 3. If you had the chance to write for the event again next year, would you? If anything, what would you change about the experience? Caroline Nelson: Yes, I would. It was a great experience that taught me a great deal about how the program is put together and helped strengthen my writing skills. If I could do it again I would love to be able to meet with my fellow writers in person more often to discuss the writing. Aside from that, it was an amazing experience that I will always be grateful for. Sarah Dill: Absolutely! Not only was it such an amazing opportunity for

student writers to write for the official programs, but it also gave us a realistic view on deadlines, responsibilities, and strengthening our writing in the industry. I wouldn’t change my MBFW experience for anything. It truly is something I will cherish and highlight on my resume. Taisa Veras: Without a doubt, it was such an amazing experience. I improved my writing skills and learned about designers and industry insiders that I was not familiar with prior to this opportunity. Talents such as Alex Prager, Photographer, and Jenny Packham, Fashion Designer, have become people whose work I admire.




Keystone XL Pipeline: The Good and the Bad By Georgi Dwiggins The Keystone XL Pipeline. What exactly is this project and focus of recent scrutiny? This pipeline extension, first proposed in 2008, would distribute oil from Canada’s tar sands to the United States, a theoretical “quick fix” to our nation’s dependency on Middle Eastern oil. The application for the undertaking was filed by TransCanada, a Canadian energy company which would distribute this resource to the United States.

and National Petroleum Reserve. With addition of the pipeline and off-shore drilling, there would potentially be a glimmer of competing with the amount of foreign oil America currently relies upon.

Opinion has been divided on the issue from the start. Many are in favor of the pipeline and the subsequent jobs it would create. At the beginning of the proposal, TransCanada gave figures of around 20,000 jobs being created. They also said there would be “118,000 spin-off jobs,” and up to 553,000 jobs “stemming from a permanent increase in stable oil supplies.” Promotions have even cited the project as not even an issue of oil or jobs, but the hope that America will become a leader in energy production.

There has been a strong voice from the public, especially the environmental community, against the construction of the pipeline as well. Videos created for YouTube and other platforms by concerned citizens claim the process of drilling for tar sands “destroys swatches of pristine forests” and “creates lakes of toxic wastes.” They aren’t too far off though. Poisonous elements such as arsenic, mercury, and lead have been found in these “lakes,” which are large enough to see from space.

Important to realize though is that this includes Canada and Mexico, not just the United States. Our neighbors to the north and south have an abundance of oil waiting to be tapped, including a recently discovered field in the Gulf of Mexico with hundreds of millions barrels’ worth. Alaska alone, another hot-button in regards to oil, is sitting on billions of barrels’ worth under Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Reserves fields

People who live downstream from the watersheds these gallons of toxic waste pollute have recently been showing symptoms of rare cancers. Tar sands have become the fastest growing source of pollution in Canada. Is this what we want our main source of fuel to be? The claims of the jobs that would stem from this pipeline’s construction have been vastly inflated. The numbers that were projected by independent firms regarding

Photo from rally courtesy of

There is no denying that the resource is there and that jobs would be created by following through with the Keystone XL Pipeline, but is this really the best resource and are the projections accurate?

new jobs were greatly under what the report by TransCanada estimated, predicting only 500–1,000 temporary construction positions. The numbers given by the energy company weren’t actually employment positions, but rather “person-years of employment”, leading to a gross over claim. Independent analysts and firms have even gone as far as to call TransCanada’s estimates of employment “meaningless” and “dead wrong.” They were thought to be a way of misleading investments and favor for the extension of the pipeline.

situation that would have been created by the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline wouldn’t necessarily have been the friendliest environmentally or the economic miracle it has been presented as. For now, as of January 18th, the construction has been put on hold by President Obama. The years leading up to this decision seemed promising for the Keystone XL Pipeline, but time will tell if the issue will be reopened after this year’s election.

Though pipelines have been known to be one of the most cost efficient and safest means of transporting oil, the

Policy Brief: Brazil By Thomas Noble

As the largest country in terms of landmass, population and economy in all of South America, Brazil has a global responsibility to help lead the world towards a brighter future in which sustainable energy is a staple and a requirement. Brazil is in a unique historical position to accomplish this, since Brazil occupies a unique geopolitical position. As one of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China), and subsequently as an emerging power, Brazil became just as much if not more, globally influential and prosperous than current leading powers like the United States, should the right decisions be made. The creation of a successful low carbon economy is central to that realization. Brazil currently relies on hydro electric power for roughly eighty percent of its electricity, a dangerous situation that puts the country at the mercy of potential droughts during the dry season. This dependence creates an excellent opportunity to introduce and

promote the wind power industry. This would be beneficial because Brazil’s greatest potential for wind harvesting is during the dryer season, which is also the time during which the potential for droughts and low rainfall is the highest. The creation of wind farms along the traditionally windy coastline, of which it has over 4,339 miles has the potential to produce tens of thousands of megawatts of electricity. The creation of these farms would mean a large new low carbon element of the economy, which would be an excellent countermeasure to the current popularity of the countries’ oil industry, which is on an upswing following the discovery of the massive Tupi oil fields. Finding an alternative to dependence on fossil fuel is essential and the existence of the Tupi fields have already begun to make that difficult, due to a perceived lack of need for alternative energy, since Brazil is now a lead exporter of crude oil. Government subsidies for the production

of bio fuels, which Brazil is in a unique position to produce due to the existence of large sugar cane farms, would go a long way towards creating an attractive and affordable alternative to oil. Brazil already has a comparatively high number of ethanol fueled cars, which should make the encouragement of bio fuel production versus oil relatively easy. This could be complemented by taxes on oil exports, which would add to the incentives for people to focus on bio fuels at the expense of oil. Biomass subsidies are also an excellent way to encourage the creation of a low carbon economy, since it is an efficient way to offset emissions and environmental pollution by converting waste into energy. The growth of the biomass industry would an excellent complement to the existing bio fuel elements of the economy and the emerging wind industry. If these steps are followed, Brazil will have more than done its share for the global shift towards renewable energy, and will have also

paved the way not only for the rest of South America, but for the rest of the world. Brazil’s economy will benefit, the global environment will be better off and the Durban conference will end on a long awaited and hopeful note.

Editor’s Note: This piece was submitted by Thomas Noble, a student from American University. He is an International Relations major and a German Language minor student in his junior year. The assignment for his Global Environmental Politics class was to write a policy brief as if the student was an advisor to the Head of State of a country of their choice addressing on environmental issues that the country faces and give advice on how to proceed.





The “sustainable” and “eco-friendly” trends continue to impact the beauty industry with an increasing number of skincare, and cosmetic companies activating organic, and ethical beauty product development. Previously, natural products were scarce and catered only to a niche market, but now average consumers can stop by their local Sephora to source all-natural products that are driven by both environmental and health concerns.

Major drugstore brands have sought out the sustainable movement towards “green” and “organic” products, resulting in a surge in research and development in the sector. The result is an ever-widening array of products that are not only sustainable, but also perform comparably to their chemical based, traditional competitors. So, with so many products now on the market, these brands listed reign sustainably supreme.

Korres: Originally based in Athens, Greece, Korres offers a full line of skincare and cosmetics that aims to be as environmentally friendly as possible, while still remaining on-trend and fashion-forward. Focusing on skin health, their products generally avoid synthetic compounds such as silicones and mineral oil, replacing them with natural ingredients such as yogurt, sugar and cinnamon. Standout products include their lip butters in flavors such as Pomegranate and Wild Rose. Dr. Hauschka: Established in 1967 by Chemist Dr. Rudolf Hauschka, The Dr. Hauschka line is one of the oldest and most established “green” cosmetic brands on the market today. Specializing in all-natural skincare, the brand operates under the philosophy that beauty comes from healthy skin, which is best achieved by the use of the best and most natural ingredients. The company is also well known for their ethically driven corporate charter and places a huge emphasis on giving back to the community. Standout products include their Radiant You Skincare Set which serves as an introduction to the Dr. Hauschka signature cleansing method. Lush: Perhaps one of the most commercially successful ethical brands on the market, Lush, which originated in the United Kingdom, has a booming global business. With a focus on skincare and body products, the brand has managed to take natural, handmade, environmentally friendly products that are not tested on animals and make them fun and appealing to the price conscious consumer. Standout products include their Valentine’s Day bath bomb appropriately called “The Ex-Factor.” Butter LONDON: This United Kingdombased company was the first to retail non-toxic nail polishes in the United States. Offering an array of extremely fashionforward colors in sleek packaging, the brand eschews harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde and parabens. Standout products include the Kate Middleton-inspired polish called “No More Waity, Katie”. Lavera: The German brand Lavera produces an impressive range of natural and organic cosmetics, which includes over 100 entirely vegan products. The brand is committed to producing textures and colors that compete with mainstream formulas in order to ensure that the eco-driven customer does not have to compromise on functionality or fashion. Standout products include their vegan foundations and concealers.

BEAUTY RUNS SKIN DEEP...LITERALLY By Dianna Mazzone We’ve all taken biology class and know that the skin is not only our largest organ, but also serves as the physical layer between our bodies and the outside world. Knowing this, we would never expose ourselves to chemicals or toxins to our skin, yet according to Danielle Messina, when we apply make-up and other cosmetics, we are doing just that. Messina certainly has more than enough experience to back up her claims. A professional figure skater and coach, she was “exposed to [the] glitz and glamour from a young age” and always enjoyed the beauty rituals involved with her sport. “I always said if I wasn’t a figure skater, I wanted to work for MAC someday,” said Messina. But these days, that dream has taken a slightly different turn. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 at the age of 31 but she had no genetic predisposition to the disease. “It had to be my lifestyle,” she concluded. Thus began Messina’s journey to “purify” her life. She became extremely aware of what exactly she was allowing to enter her body, the regime not limited to food. Messina realized that beauty products are largely unregulated in the United States, and was taken aback. Skin absorbs make-up and other cosmetics on an all too regular basis. In turn, the harmful chemicals and toxins that often comprise these products are able to enter the bloodstream. Science is on her side: In 2007, the UK Telegraph reported that women who apply make-up on a daily basis absorb roughly 5lbs of chemicals a year into their bodies. Studies have linked toxins in make-up to ailments from skin irritation to cancer. In addition, the article warned against the use of “expired” or out of date beauty products, as they are believed to play host to increased levels of bacteria. So what may be done to combat these shocking assaults? Blogging about her experience at

Photography by Gianna Rovelli, see p. 12 for full credits., Messina has chosen to use only natural, chemical-free cosmetics. Her advice to those who aspire to “make the switch”? Don’t go cold turkey. “At first, I just threw everything in the garbage,”she said, “and in the beginning, I really thought [the natural products] weren’t working. I was breaking out. Like everyone else, I’m used to instant gratification.” In reality, Danielle’s body was simply going through a detoxification process. To avoid this sort of drastic reaction, Messina suggests switching one product at a time. For example, if you run out of your regular brand of face wash, use it as an opportunity to try an organic option. Or, slowly cut down on your usage and work to incorporate natural products over time.

“Women who apply make-up on a daily basis absorb roughly 5 lbs of chemicals a year.” In terms of choosing the products, Messina is cautious of “green washing”— marketing that promotes a cosmetic as natural and organic when in truth, certain chemicals and toxins remain. The label is the best and often only way to truly be sure of what your skin is absorbing. “The truth is in the ingredients,” she stated. It is important to mention, however, that as compared to years ago, genuine organic and natural products are available more widely than ever. Messina envisions a day when “you can walk into a grocery store and grab [organic products] from a shelf.” But her hopes for the future certainly don’t end there. Today, a cancer-free Messina has ambitions ranging from writing a book detailing her experience to creating her own line of products, complete with the visually appealing packaging that many organic cosmetics sometimes lack. “I never saw my life moving in this direction,” she said. We can’t think of a more healthy, positive path to follow!




The Warby Parker Company was initiated by a group of four close college friends to create a unique, low-priced eye wear brand for those with a fashionable vision. Founded in 2010 and formed in between classes at the Wharton School in Philadelphia, Neil Blumenthal, Andrew Hunt, Jeffrey Raider and David Galboa were bounded together by their passion for creating affordable, but wellmade glasses. The Warby Parker name was taken from pop culture icon Jack Kerouac’s two early characters, Zagg Parker and Warby Pepper, which were characters that inspired them.

Warby Parker has been revolutionizing the eye wear business with their innovative marketing strategies which has helped the company’s expansion from four employees to over 55 in two short years. Claiming popularity through its sustainable frames and low price point of under $100, the prescription eye wear brand has been establishing a name for itself and a global impact with its “buy a pair, give a pair” initiative. With each $95 purchase on the Warby Parker website, a pair is provided to someone in need through a non-profit partner such as VisionSpring. Over their


two year global movement, the Warby Parker brand has distributed over 85,000 pairs which has helped numerous people in third world countries. The first collection was crafted in a limited run of 27 styles using the finest materials, acetates and fashion forward custom fit lenses. The brand has now expanded, offering vintage-inspired frames to men and women with over 45 styles in optical and sunglasses. They have showrooms based in New York, California, Texas Pennsylvania,

What does sustainability mean to you? “The way that we define it is the ability to help others endure and coexist. For us that includes humanity, the environment and really helping multiple species and ecosystems to thrive,” explained Neil Blumenthal, Co-founder of Warby Parker. One could sense the enthusiasm in his voice when he spoke about sustainable practices and his work with nonprofits such as VisionSpring, which allows people in third world communities to have access to prescription glasses. “We’re one of the only carbon neutral eye wear brands in the world,” said Blumenthal, who then elaborated on the one for one campaign that’s the backbone of his company. “For every pair of glasses we sell, we distribute one to someone in need and how we do that is in a sustainable way, so it’s not about distributing a bunch of free glasses and just dumping them in a rural village,” he said. Blumenthal’s previous position as Director of VisionSpring for five years had an influence on his choice to collaborate with them in order to support disadvantaged people, “what they do is train low income women to start their own business selling glasses to people in their community,” explained Blumenthal. The way they implement their sustainable practices is what differentiates Warby Parker from other companies. They don’t want to be viewed as simply a brand that donates proceeds to low income communities or engages in sustainable practices from a superficial perspective— they want to be involved. Therefore, they partner with non profits that are directly involved in making a difference. “VisionSpring has on the ground experts they hire that identify low income but high potential individuals to train to start their own businesses selling glasses in their communities. Those people are permanently in those communities serving those individuals providing glasses when people’s prescriptions

Massachusetts and Oklahoma for consumers to try on the glasses and find their perfect fit. In addition, they offer a virtual try-on, five day home try-on, and of course, a guaranteed 30-day return or exchange policy. Not only do consumers have the ability to get perfectly fitting frames through the site’s extensive sizing and detail descriptions, but they can also receive assistance and information through Warby Parker’s email, blog, and phone service.

change after they lose or break their glasses, so that’s sustainable. Dropping stuff in is not sustainable.” They also work with other nonprofits such as Community Enterprise Solutions which works with countries such as Guatemala, Ecuador, and Mexico. According to Blumenthal, they would like to expand by collaborating with other organizations that work in other countries but they go through a rigorous process for selecting which organizations they partner with. “I spent 5 years working in International Development and for every program that I saw that actually did good work, that did sustainable work there were probably like two organizations had either no impact or had a negative impact. Sometimes good intentions have unintended negative consequences,” said Blumenthal. Looking at other companies that also engage in sustainable efforts is always a good idea. Blumenthal pointed out the work of brands such as Patagonia, especially their recent Holiday campaign that had the slogan “Don’t Buy This Jacket.” What they’re doing is promoting sustainability through clever marketing which catches the attention of the public and reminds people that materialism is a plague. “What they were saying is that a lot of materials and a lot of energy went into creating these jackets and sweaters and they are one of the most environmentally conscious brands in the world. So it’s sort of combating that consumerism because at the end of the day we consume so much that’s unsustainable,” stated Blumenthal. However, Warby Parker’s sustainable practices don’t stop there, the company gives every employee a mug when they start working there to remind people that “one thing that we throw out the most, that created the most trash, were cups.”


FIT FROM VINTAGE  TO     PRINTED  SHADES By Caroline Nelson Neil Blumenthal doesn’t want to punch himself in the face. “Our point of view is classic American Heritage but one of our design philosophies is to not create anything that we would punch ourselves in the face for wearing in 20 years,” said Blumenthal, one of the founders of Warby Parker, explaining the philosophy behind the eyewear brand’s designs. According to Blumenthal, if a memory of you in your old glasses inspires self injury, the design of the frames was flawed. The Americana-inspired frames, available on the company’s web site, are classic with

a quirky twist, reminiscent of popular 1940s and 50s styles. Blumenthal and his team draw a great deal of inspiration from their old family photos and the style of their grandparents, resulting in a number of classic frames for both optical glasses and sunglasses. Though these frames give a nod to decades past, Warby Parker keeps them current with updated colors, variations of tortoise and stripes such as cedar, sandalwood, and green and yellow gimlet. In addition to these fun frames, the brand took its style one step further with a collaboration with SUNO, a New York based label founded by Max Osterweis with Designer Erin Beatty. SUNO’s mission mirrors Warby Parker’s in its collections produced in Kenya, India, Peru, and New York, promoting local craftsmanship. The collaboration was a

FEBRUARY 2012 natural fit. “We just love that we could expand our creativity by partnering with them and utilizing their prints outside of our typical aesthetic, so it was a lot of fun for us,” said Blumenthal. The three limited edition frames come in three colorful statement prints. Though these glasses are priced at $175, a higher price than that of the traditional Warby Parker frames, the quality is worth the price. “We got to work with this new technology that incorporated their prints into acetate, so our frames are made from cellulous acetate; they’re not made from plastic,” said Blumenthal.

Parker glasses, but also high quality craft tutorials and products by axe manufacturer Best Made Company, and Yestadt Millinery, among others. The event emphasized the true spirit of the Holidays and of the creative SoHo area. “We thought that we could create this really cool space, one that celebrated SoHo’s history, but also celebrated the Holidays,” stated Blumenthal. After the success with Holiday Spectacle Bazaar, they will also be hosting an event at SXSW, a yearly film, music, and interactive conference held in Texas, in March.

This commitment to working with the highest quality products carries through all of Warby Parker’s projects. In December the brand launched its Holiday Spectacle Bazaar, an multiple day event that featured, not only Warby


WARBY PARKER  GLASSES Left: Camilla Mayer, Photo Editor, wears the Begley “Warby Parker definitely does not let you down when it comes to eye choices. Even thought the Roosevelt are such an eye catching blue, I opted for the Begley due to its trendy circular silhouette.”

Far right: Taisa Veras, Editor-in-Chief, wears the Winston “When I first saw this pair at the Warby Parker Holiday Bazaar I knew that I had to have them. The square shaped frames are the perfect geek-meets-chic accessory.”

Fernanda DeSouza, Executive & Culture Editor, wears the Roosevelt Sarah Dill, Deputy Editor, wears the Tenley “The Roosevelt and Tenley completes our pixie-cut-gamine-look with a dash of instant intellectualism. It stands out and defines our faces with a 1950s inspired shape. We can’t help but flaunt twinsiness.”

Caroline Nelson, Deputy Editor, wears the Crosby “Though it’s difficult to choose just one favorite style of Warby Parker glasses, I couldn’t resist the Crosby. This pair’s large black frames fit perfectly on my oval-shaped face and are classic but fun.”



WILL YOU  BE  MY  VALENTINE? Chelsea Rizzo, Stylist Gianna Rovelli, Photographer Jessica Bucco, Assistant Stylist Karina Antigua, Assistant Photographer Laura Vignola, Hair Stylist Alex Fairfull, Makeup Artist Dana, Model Sharlet Grier Model Development Special Thanks: Gina Piesco, 25L Household

Above: Bra as well as thepanties with garter by Krystal Marie, shoes by Jimmy Choo, tights by Falke Right: Lingerie by Trashy Lingerie Facing Page: Vintage cone bra, stylist’s own panties, cardigan by Tocca






Thread Account The Afingo Fashion Forum:

How and Where to Sell

RUNWAY TO WIN: EXCLUSIVE DESIGNER ITEMS SUPPORT OBAMA REELECTION By Zach Rosenbaum The fashion industry is clearly pushing for the reelection of Barack Obama. Runway to Win, a campaign created in favor of the Obama administration, was established in an attempt to raise support for his reelection. Noted designers including Rachel Roy, Jason Wu, Narciso Rodriguez, and Marc Jacobs, have been chosen to design unique, low-cost pieces inspired by President Obama. Merchandise is priced from $30–$100, and among the assortment are sweatshirts, scarves, coin purses, t-shirts and tote bags. Profits from the sale of these items help fund the Obama 2012 Reelection Campaign, and were made available for purchase online on February 7th. This collaborative effort speaks volumes about what the fashion industry has to say about Obama.

For a limited time, products by the most affluent fashion designers will be available for affordable prices—where else can someone find a Altuzarra shirt for $45? If these prices are still a stretch, other merchandise is available for purchase on Obama’s website including an assortment of apparel, accessories, bumper stickers, and even a knitted dog sweater.

INTERVIEW WITH RUNWAY TO WIN DESIGNER RACHEL ROY By Taisa Veras By Caroline Nelson At the final installment of Afingo’s Fashion Forum Soho House series on January 10th, fashion insiders gathered in the cozy Soho House Library to listen to industry players discuss “How and Where to Sell.” The panel was moderated by Elizabeth Grinspan, the New York Editor of The panelists’ insightful conversation focused not only on the basics of selling a line, but also on the importance of sustainability and social marketing in today’s changing media landscape. Neil Blumenthal, co-founder of eyewear line Warby Parker, spoke about the importance of a unique selling point in garnering press for new brands. “First and foremost it’s a fashion brand,”said Blumenthal. He then pointed out that Warby Parker’s business model of selling well-made glasses for $95 and donating a pair every time a pair is sold, has captured the attention of editors and well-known personalities such as blogger Leandra Medine. “I think now it’s probably not good enough to just design really beautiful accessories, there needs to be a little more purpose around it,” he explained. Grinspan agreed, and cited how the simple concept of creating a line that sells well designed, affordable glasses has attracted a cult of fans. Recently, an increasing number of fashion brands have been incorporating sustainability within their brands. The

other panelists present at the forum included Carl Cunow, Founder of men’s swimwear line Onia, Designer Gemma Kahng, Jennifer Mankins of Bird, and PR expert Denise Williamson. They each spoke about their experiences in working with eco-friendly products, collaborating with non-profits, and incorporating sustainability within their companies. However, a successful sustainable business has many factors that help it thrive; for instance, quality. “A lot of people expected me to only carry things that were produced locally out of organic materials that were, you know, hand sewn in Greenpoint,” said Mankins, owner of boutique Bird, who built a LEED certified store in New York City. She mentioned that she would rather carry a sustainable or locally sourced product in her store over one that wasn’t. Sustainability was an ongoing topic throughout the one-hour panel, giving the audience lots to think about. Blumenthal closed the panel on an inspiring note by saying, “Don’t start a business unless you can’t sleep because you’re thinking about it too much.”

Instragram by Warby Parker from the Forum, @warbyparker.

Taisa Veras: How did the Runway to Win project emerge? Rachel Roy: Vogue rallied the fashion community to be apart of the Runway to Change project in 2008. I was so honored to be a part of that initiative that I of course said yes to Runway to Win. TV: What was your inspiration for your design? RR: People who believe that change is possible are the ones who make it happen. TV: What message are you hoping to express through your design? RR: The flag is one of my favorite images to design with because of everything that it stands for, everything that it represents, and everything that it reminds you to believe and dream in. If you don’t dream, and if you don’t have the freedom of speech to express those dreams, then what are you here for? TV: Do you believe that through design one can help change the world? RR: I believe you design

the life you wish to lead and that you want to have…. And hopefully for each individual, it means living a life full of quality. I’ve always believed fashion is an amazing platform for giving back. My team and I fell in love with this phrase by Amelia E. Barr, “Kindness is Always Fashionable,” and I think it truly embodies what we are trying to do. For more about Runway to Win visit


Haute Culture TUNING IN:


By Georgi Dwiggins

Rebelution, Pepper, and Slightly Stoopid.

Sustainability, in some ways, has always been a part of music. From artists recycling one another’s music in the recent Dubstep craze, to legends like Bono promoting sustainable causes with charities like ONE, each has been able to influence the other. In a recent collaboration, another player has been added to music and sustainability— extreme sports.

BambooSK8 partners with music management entertainment company, Out of Step Entertainment, also headed by Koboldt. The company, based in LA, is dedicated to donating at least 10% of profits to environmental causes. They have partnered with organizations like Heal the Bay, Actions Sports Environmental Coalition, and the National Wildlife Fund. The company’s website has a tagline that illustrates their core, “Music. Action .Sports. Unity.”

The Greenwashed Ritual is something that brings together the music community and extreme sports to fight for and bring awareness to sustainability. The idea is the brainchild of Geoff Koboldt, president of BambooSK8, the “leading eco-friendly skateboard company.”

To tie all of these things together toward the goal of sustainability, a compilation album is created and promoted through BambooSK8. Artists featured on the albums cover a range of genres: rock, indie, reggae, even metal. Some artists who have been included on recent compilations include reggae groups

The third compilation album by The Greenwashed Ritual is currently in the works and will soon further promote the idea of sustainability.


In line with the sustainable idea, the album is only available digitally. Once an individual purchases a bamboo deck for a board from BambooSK8, they receive a password sent to their email account which enables them to download the music. Download cards are also available at such events as Vans Warped Tour and the X Games, furthering the connection of sports, music, and a greener world.

For more about BambooSK8 visit




By Megan Venere

By Francesca Beltran

Every year a piece of theater history returns to the Great White Way to remind us what makes Broadway so special. For the past year, that piece of theater history has been the revival of the classic musical Anything Goes, starring Tony Award winner Sutton Foster and Academy Award winner Joel Grey. Set during the 1930’s, Wall Street Broker Billy Crocker (Colin Donnell) is a stowaway on the SS American ocean liner heading to England in order to win the heart of his true love, debutante Hope Harcourt (Erin Mackey), who is about to wed Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Adam Godley). Night-club singer Reno Sweeney (Foster), Crocker’s friend, is also on board as the ship’s entertainment and celebrity. With the help of Sweeney and her pal Public Enemy #13 Moonface Martin (Grey), the trio schemes and plots (including some very outrageous disguises and hoaxes) to help Crocker win Harcourt’s affections. Along for the ride is Martin’s partner in crime Erma (Jessica Stone), Harcourt’s widowed mother Evangeline Harcourt (Kelly Bishop), Crocker’s boss Elisha Whitney (John McMartin), and the crew and passengers

who are witnesses to the unfolding game. Anything Goes is in two simple words, pure fun. This musical is escapist entertainment that lets one forget what assignment is due tomorrow, what deadlines you have to meet, and allows us to have a good ol’ time on Broadway. This does not mean that any of the performances are mediocre. Sutton Foster’s performance as Reno is astounding and keeps up perfectly with seasoned Broadway pro Grey, who delights the audience as the quirky criminal. Donnell and Mackey deliver as the star-crossed lovers, torn between what is expected of them and what their hearts are telling them. The show is filled with great songs and dance numbers, featuring many of Cole Porter classics such as “I Get a Kick Out of You” and “De-Lovely”. Anything Goes is currently playing at the Stephen Sondheim Theater until September 2012. ƆƆƆƆƆ

Epic is the only word to describe what watching Patti Smith live is like. Starting the New Year in her company and with her blessing was simply extraordinary. The added fact that this was the last time that she played her three-day stint at the Bowery Ballroom made the night particularly special for all of us who got to see the final show. To be quite honest, it was not at all the night I had expected. When I hear Patti Smith I immediately think, “punk-rock goddess equals punk-rock cute, sexy guys.” Well, it was more about the punk rock sexy guys’ moms and dads (without the punk-rock outfits). White hair and glasses surrounded my friend and me, with not one single young, cute guy in sight. Disappointed? Yeah, a little bit, but the feeling soon vanished after my longloved hero took the stage and the energy at the venue began to vibrate. Just watching her standing there in front of me, playing that incredible music would’ve been enough; the impeccable set list and her connection to the audience through poetry, jokes and anecdotes was an unexpected plus. My favorite

moments were when she forgot the lyrics to “Drifter’s Escape”, blaming it on a memory that involved Bob Dylan and Robert Mapplethorpe, and the reading of Allen Ginsberg’s “Footnote to Howl.” Spontaneity was present throughout the concert, from her conversations with the audience, to some set list changes like the inclusion of “Redondo Beach.” She had said earlier that the song was not going to be played that night, but obliged when a fan begged for it…adorable. “Pissing in a River”, dedicated to the late Amy Winehouse, was very much applauded. At midnight, and to my complete surprise, REM’s Michael Stipe joined Patti on stage for an emotional midnight toast and came back out for the encore to sing “Wichita Lineman.” The concert lasted a little more than two and a half hours (a decade for concerts nowadays), but it might as well have lasted a second… one can simply never get enough of Patti Smith’s presence, music, and company. She IS epic. ƆƆƆƆƆ







By Alessandra Della Vecchia In 1950, Alan Turing, often known as the father of computer science, predicted that computers would eventually possess the ability to think and converse like humans. In his ground-breaking paper, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence,” Turing attempted to answer the then, radical question: Can computers think? He did so by conducting an experiment known as “the imitation game,” during which an “interrogator” questions two “players” and based on the answers given by each, must determine which of the players is human and which is a computer. Turing theorized that by the year 2000, “it will be possible to program computers… to make them play the ‘imitation game so’ well that an average interrogator will not have more than a 70 percent chance of making the right identification after five minutes of questioning.”

Computer—for the winning computer program and The Most Human Human— for the winning human.

This hypothesis is, essentially, what Brian Christian goes on to elucidate in his most recent book, The Most Human Human. The book is a true to life narrative of the author’s decision to participate as a “confederate” in the annual Loebner Prize, an event held each year by the Artificial Intelligence community. During said event, the Turing Test is administered and the most advanced computer programs compete to fool a panel of judges into mistaking them for actual people. But there is a twist to this competition. At the end, there are two awards given out: The Most Human

The Most Human Human is an insightful, thought provoking book that forces us to reevaluate the way we interact with those around us.

In his book, Christian discusses how the line between humans and computers is continuously blurred from day to day. He analyzes several aspects of the human thought process and examines the intricacies of love, language and the way we communicate as a whole. He also sheds some interesting light on what it really means to be “alive”: “It’s interesting that the human ability to be self-aware, self-conscious, to think about one’s own actions, and indeed about one’s own thoughts, seems to be a part of our own sense of unique “intelligence”, yet so many of life’s most productive, fun, engaging, competent moments come from when we abandon such hall-ofmirrors frivolities and just, à la Nike, do things. I am thinking here of sex, of athletics, of the performing arts, of what we call the “zone”—the state of complete immersion in an activity. When we are acting, you might very well say, “like an animal”—or even “like a machine.”


Ewan McGregor and Eva Green star in director David MacKenzie’s Sundance Festival hit, Perfect Sense. The romantic sci-fi follows the paths that cross between Susan (Green), an epidemiologist, and Michael (McGregor), a chef, in modern day Glasgow during an epidemic that causes the world’s population to lose its sensory perceptions. Susan, dealing with a recent breakup, is called to consult a mysterious medical case concerning a truck driver who has lost his sense of smell. As the disease rapidly spreads across the globe, Susan, in the midst of rushing to find a cure, meets a charismatic Michael. They enter a passionate affair as the world adjusts to an environment without senses. Beyond the poetic prose by an unseen narrator, the film is solid in terms of content. MacKenzie over-utilizes this narrator as a technique to get the message across that love is the most important thing in life. The love story serves as an allegory while we watch in horror as society collapses into an apocalyptic state of chaos. Bleak in texture, the film is beautifully constructed with vignettes and photograph stills depicting every day

living (busy city streets, food, dancing, lovers) that only reinforces the small things in life that we take for granted. MacKenzie segments poignant sections with each sensory loss. Intriguingly realistic, characters plunge into a trancelike state prior to loosing a sense, with a focus of manic outbursts. Although a creative approach to deprive the characters of their senses to test their love for one another, witnessing grotesque scenes of McGregor and Green binge eating anything in sight (think lipstick, flowers, vegetable oil, and raw meat carcasses) was an eye opener. But, disquieting scenes such as these weaves the backbone behind the story: a world paralyzed with terror while challenging the love that flourishes between human beings at times of panic. Melancholic at times and helplessly romantic at others, Perfect Sense, is a film that explores Susan and Michael’s love at a time when love is the only thing keeping the seams of humanity from ripping apart. ƆƆƆ


NATURE ART GALLERY By Hermina Sobhraj Not too far from FIT’s campus lies an art gallery-infused neighborhood of 10th Avenue and 25th Street. Among this collection of art galleries is a reserved, quaint building of six floors. On the second floor lies Agora Gallery. For 27 years, Agora Gallery has promoted national and international artists since its establishment in 1984. The gallery has featured collections by Mauricio Cadavid, Roula Chreim, and a handful of other contemporary artists. Artist Kiko Sobrino’s collection, Portal to Enigma, pushes the boundaries of contemporary abstract painting by using multiple techniques to inspire the

imagination of his audience to think beyond his or her capacity. His work focuses mainly on environmental issues of the world. Sobrino’s utilization of more than one artistic technique causes the viewer’s imagination to run wild, which will hopefully, as Sobrino puts it, “help people in the way they see the world... and how they see themselves.” In The Greener Box, his use of unconventional lighting and a rather vague interpretation of what seems to be the Earth, causes each viewer to think something a little different than the next. The Greener Box forces us to not only see four individual parts of a painting

forming a box with the words “cuidado” and “fragile” wrapped around it, but also a larger, more impressionable meaning. The meaning is, as Sobrino stresses throughout this entire collection, saving the planet.

Artwork by Kiko Sobrino. (Above) Making Clouds and (below) The Box. Courtesy of the gallery.








By Keely-Shea Smith With a new semester comes a new fervor for an emboldened workout routine. Instead of jogging through Battery Park yet again, I began to peruse Groupon. I decided to purchase a Groupon voucher for biking in Central Park with fellow W27 staffer, Nicole Tan. For those of you who are not familiar, Groupon offers “Now Deals,” vouchers that must be used within the same day of purchase. Biking in Central Park is often one of these “Now Deals.” However, even if this deal is not featured on the site, Central Park Sightseeing’s Groupon vouchers usually offer the same deal as their going rates. (A helpful side note: the company has temporarily moved to 55 West 55th Street, which is conveniently close to the park's main entrance on 59th street.) The upside: the rental process was quite simple—provide a Groupon voucher (or purchase a bike rental at the shop) and go. The downside: the shop owners were not very informative. For those who are nonnatives, there are numerous biking laws in the city, a small fact that would have greatly aided our trip. Instead, Nicole and I proceeded to bike to Central Park on the sidewalks for fear of death-by-traffic.

Courtesy photo. By Camilla Mayer When thinking about the 69th Regiment Armory on Park Avenue, one might think of the epic Victoria Secret fashion shows or possibly a Marc Jacobs show, but not of clean water. On the 2nd of December, 2011, 200 guests poured into the transformed 38,000 square feet of Armory space for that exact thought—the idea that clean water changes everything. Founder of charity: water, Scott Harrison, has dedicated his life to building wells and raising awareness for the billions of people living around the world drinking unsanitary water. What began as a break from New York’s nightlife as a nightclub promoter catapulted into a life-changing trip to West Africa where Harrison witnessed first hand the horrendous

effects of unclean drinking water. Weighed by this reality, his mission was to not only fix the global water issue but to additionally create a new kind of charity. charity: water is a non-profit organization, so all public donations raised go directly to building wells. Funding for operations is raised separately. Thanks to technology, every well built is also accessible for view by GPS. This year, the annual ball was no easy task due to the sheer size and space of the Regiment Armory. “It was definitely exciting and challenging to put an event on at the Armory. We had a relatively small budget, and the Armory in many ways was the most perfect location, as well as the worst. It was perfect because it’s insanely cheap to rent it for the night, but you also have to start from scratch and bring everything in yourself, even the electricity,” said Viktoria Harrison, the Creative Director of charity: water. Thanks to the hard working charity: water team, the hundreds of volunteers and attendees that included the likes of Jessica Biel, Tyler Perry, Andrew Bevan of Teen Vogue, Editor-in-Chief Idil Tibanca of BULLETT, and Leandra Medine of the Man Repeller, the organization was able to raise $2.7 million dollars for clean water. For more about charity: water visit Scott Harrison, founder. Courtesy photo.

After weaving our way through a bevy of tourists and city-goers alike, we finally made it to the bike path in the park. For $10, our Groupon voucher offered two hours of biking, which was plenty of time

to circle the entire park. Around 70th and 110th streets were massive hills I never knew existed in Manhattan: bikers, prepare yourselves. After an hour and a half, our aching muscles sent us to (illegally) brave the sidewalks yet again. Despite the unexpected hills and unbeknownst laws, the experience was very relaxing and even a bit of an escape from city life. ƆƆƆƆ For more information visit:





SOPA/PIPA/ACTA – WHAT’S THE DEAL? SOPA = Stop Online Piracy Act PIPA = Protect Intellectual Property Act ACTA = Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement SOPA/PIPA and were established through lobbying arms of studios and labels, the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) and RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). ACTA was came about as a multilateral agreement to establish international standards for intellectual property rights enforcement in the form of an international legal framework targeting counterfeit goods, generic medicines and copyright infringement on the Internet. The agreement was signed on October 1st, 2011 by Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States. The European Union and 22 of its member states had signed in January 2012. Due to its secrecy in negotiations, ACTA has been viewed as an example of policy laundering. Effect if Passed SOPA/PIPA: Today, studios and labels rely on the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) to take down content where within a specific period of time, the host of the content would not receive a penalty. However, the DMCA is unable to shut down what are called “rogue” websites, such as, which does not host infringing content but contains links to bring the user to them. Hence, if passed, SOPA/PIPA would be able to shut down sites such as Google and YouTube. ACTA: Already passed, it is said that ACTA, if ratified, violates the freedom of expression and communication privacy through the use of imprisonment and monetary fines to abolish copyright or related rights piracy on a commercial scale. This, in terms of digital intellectual property, the term 'commercial scale' has called for greater clarification. Due to the secrecy of the negotiations of ACTA, much is still unclear about the accuracy in interpretation by the media of the agreement’s clauses.

HUMAN LIVES AS AN RON JOHNSON AND EXTERNAL COST IN J.C PENNEY’S NEW $800 GLOBAL MANUFACTURING MILLION VISION Earlier this month, Apple made the front pages of the New York Times not for an innovative product launch, but for an exposure piece on its poor and almost inhumane working conditions in its manufacturing plants. The era of expecting constant technology updates which we live in today, calls for such short manufacturing time periods to meet customer demands that come with huge costs. Chengdu, in southwest China, is where most of these demands are met in exchange for excessive overtime work that is detrimental to the worker’s health both physically and mentally. Some of the issues include: improper disposal of hazardous waste, a lack of proper ventilation thus creating an occupational hazard due to amounts of aluminium dust collected, physical pains such as swelling of legs from standing too long and mental stress that has led to 18 suspected suicides. One such occurrence took place at Foxconn, one of Apple’s manufacturing supplier’s company. It is a vicious cycle in global manufacturing due to market monopolies. Foxconn, the plant where the explosion occurred, is one of Apple’s largest suppliers. They are also one of the few factories that can meet its volume needs. Therefore, policies and social compliance are sacrificed in order to deliver products onto the selling floor in time. As quoted by an Apple executive in the New York Times, “You can either manufacture in comfortable, workerfriendly factories, or you can reinvent the product every year, and make it better and faster and cheaper, which requires factories that seem harsh by American standards. And right now, customers care more about a new iPhone than working conditions in China.”

J.C. Penney has a new leader with a new vision, one that holds an $800 million price tag attached to the name of Ron Johnson, the man who oversaw Apple’s retail strategy, according to WWD. In four years, Johnson intends to have their 1,100 stores revamped. So far, changes that have been implemented include a new designer partnership with Nanette Lepore, Ellen DeGeneres as their new spokeswoman and a collaboration with Martha Stewart. A new logo was also introduced, along with an advertising campaign that no longer features heavy marked-down sales promotion prices. Future changes include converting the selling floor to 100 individual shop boutiques for private and national brands, and getting rid of many of its private labels. A budget of $800 million from its previous $1 billion has also been established for its marketing and promotional purposes. Instead of fliers, emails and other forms of ignored clutter information, a 96 p. catalog will be sent to shoppers. Sales have also been reduced to three kinds of prices: everyday, monthly specials, and clearance.








‘sNice 45 8th Avenue New York, NY 212.645.0310

Foodswings 95 Grand Street Brooklyn, NY 718.388.1919

Bareburger 33–21 31st Ave Astoria, Queens, NY 11103 718.777.7011

Veggie Heaven 631 Valley Road Montclair, NJ 07043-1403 973. 783.1088

By Madeline Thompson

By Megan Bates

By Venus Wong

By Raquel Rose Burger

“Looks like you are on a chocolate mission,” the barista at ‘sNice restaurant said to me with a laugh while looking at the vegan chocolate brownie ($3.00) and a large cup of soy hot chocolate ($3.50). A chocolate mission it was.

When one is looking for something different from conventionally healthy vegan food, FoodSwings might be the perfect place to try. Right off the M train, FoodSwings is a unique yet quaint vegan fast food restaurant in the heart of Williamsburg. They are best known for their version of a drumstick, which takes an ironic twist in that the “bone” is actually a stick. FoodSwings offers any fast food selection one can ever imagine but just vegan. Although the idea of soy based foods may be intimidating to some, Foodswings has an array of dairy free milkshakes that actually taste exactly like the real thing; at only four dollars, what do you have to lose?

Bareburger is one of those few burger joints that continuously put out delicious burgers while keeping the integrity of the ingredients in check. All the meats used were free range and grass-fed, and cheeses are organic and all-natural. There isn’t a shortage in vegan choices either: the veggie burger is an excellent alternative to real beef in terms of the taste. The outdoor seating and impeccable service made it one of the must-go restaurants in Astoria.

Veggie Heaven stands out from the typical vegan restaurant. Having a complete Asian Vegan Cuisine menu featuring all your favorite dishes and spices, the restaurant does not seat many but makes for a home-cooked meal atmosphere. Categories on the menu range from hot and sour soup to pan fried veggie dumplings, offering anything you normally find in any Chinese restaurant. A customer favorite is Tofu Ice Cream made with vanilla almond bark, wild berry, chocolate, and butter pecan. This combination of ingredients create such a unique flavor burst that you can’t find anywhere else. Veggie Heaven is unlike any other vegan restaurant so be sure to experience it’s magic.

‘sNice, located at 45 Eighth Avenue (15 blocks down 8th Avenue from FIT), is a restaurant where vegans and nonvegans can peacefully share a meal together. Offering an extensive list of vegan options, but known for its array of sandwiches (all $8.75) topped off with vegan “meat,” such as tempeh, seitan, tofu and textured vegetable protein. Side items include cauliflower garden pasta and fresh roasted vegetable quinoa. If that does not have your mouth watering, the desserts, which are made on premise, only get better. The vegan chocolate brownie slowly melts in your mouth; it has your taste buds saying “OMG” after the first bite. The gooey, fluffy, extra chocolate brownies are so delicious, some would ask why one would ever make a non-vegan one. The soy hot chocolate has just enough sweetness that compliments the chocolate brownie. Past the ordering counter, there is a spacious dining area that offers welcoming wooden tables and chairs for groups, dates, and students. Hollowed in the brick wall is a bookcase shelved with complimentary novels for your dining enjoyment. ‘sNice is the perfect restaurant for any occasion, even one on a budget. Begin your chocolate mission.

Illustrated by Ruodan Bai for W27 Newspaper.


FIT Speaks Hugh Hefner & Steve Jobs:

TWO DIFFERENT MEN, TWO INFLUENTIAL VISIONS By Colleen and Suzanne Dengel Changes in society happen because of people who are not afraid to break barriers. These brave souls undoubtedly including Steve Jobs and Hugh Hefner: Both innovators of their generations, they have no fear in taking risks, asking questions and radically changing the way people think. In fact, Hefner and Jobs share more similarities than one would imagine. In a recently released documentary titled Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel, Hefner, and those closed to him were interviewed. This CEO and founder of everything Playboy did a lot more than just being in charge: Not only was he the single most creative source for his magazine where he “worked on every page,” he also contributed to the enactment of many controversial laws during his lifetime. “He opened up creativity internationally. He made the world say ‘why not,’” said singer Tony Bennett. Hefner was actively involved in the legislation of laws he felt needed to be passed: He was an integral part in legalizing birth control and abortion. It’s the mind-boggling truth: The founder of one of the most, if not the most, provocative magazines of the last century played an active role in laws that exist in today’s society.

Hefner was also colorblind during a time when racism was rampant: He gave African American artists like Dizzy Gillespie, Josh White, and Sammy Davis Jr. venues to show their immense talent when no one else would open their doors to them due to racism. A passionate civil rights advocate, Hefner supported the views of Martin Luther King, Jr. After King’s assassination, Playboy published his very last article. When Hefner found out black people were being turned away at franchises of Playboy Clubs in Miami and New Orleans, he bought back the licenses and his playboy staff ran the clubs despite the significant loss in revenue for his organization. As Hefner said after making this decision, “Playboy doesn’t have a color line.” Hefner was also a supporter for gay rights. Playboy shocked the world when Charles Beaumont wrote "The Crooked Man," a fictional story that focused on a homosexual society where heterosexuality was the perversion. Hefner published the story because he believed that it is equally unjust to persecute a homosexual in society if it is unjust to persecute a heterosexual in a homosexual society. His forward thinking has made him many enemies, but made him more friends in the long run.

Similarly, but with a completely different approach, Jobs has affected our world as much as Hefner. A true visionary, Jobs revolutionized the way man interacts with computers, cell phones, and the Internet.

equal to Jobs influence on our world today. Hefner opened the door for things like discussions about sex and the way we view women and Jobs opened the door to new technology and worldwide business.

Jobs was passionate about the work he did. He didn’t focus on or care about the money even though he became one of the richest men in the world. “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful…that’s what matters to me,” he told the Wall Street Journal in 1993.

The main differences between them reflect on their abilities to maintain relationships. Hefner’s friend list is long, while Jobs’ friend list was relatively selective. Hefner made friends in his business, and while he had his moments of being difficult, he developed personal relationships with his employees. Jobs made enemies, had a tough exterior, and pushed his employees, because he believed that it was important that they be pushed to their creative limits.

Apple was his main priority, and everything else was put on the back burner. When hiring new employees, Job’s main concern was “Are they going to fall in love with Apple?” If they do, everything else would happen organically. One of his most inspirational and talked about speeches came in 2005, during Stanford University’s Commencement where he told the students graduating to “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” His charisma and talk about life, death, and following your dreams made waves around the world and inspired thousands.

Ironically, Playboy interviewed Jobs in 1985, a couple of months before he turned thirty. “There's an old Hindu saying that comes into my mind occasionally: ‘For the first 30 years of your life, you make your habits. For the last 30 years of your life, your habits make you,’” he told the magazine. Unfortunately Jobs never will see the last of his quote come to fruition, but the octogenarian Hefner has.

Both Hefner and Jobs proved to be innovators in their generations. Hefner’s influence on the world is undoubtedly

SPEED DATING AT FIT By Madeline Thompson “Switch,” exclaims the PRSSA student club member as fifty ladies pick up their coats and purses and move to the next chair. In front of each FIT girl, a gentleman waits for her to sit and get situated before warmly extending a hand for an introduction. After about the eighteenth gentleman I introduced myself too, you would think the men would be relaxed enough that their hands would not be as sweaty. The speed-dating event, sponsored by the FIT PRSSA club and the college dating organization, Date My School, attracted about ninety men and women from colleges such as NYU, School of Visual Arts, and John Jay College. As a “speed-dating virgin” I did not know how the event was suppose to flow, but, easily enough, the introduction process became repetitive. After about the tenth

“date,” the questions were practically in the order of: name, school, major, and hometown. It almost felt like I was being interrogated or I was doing the interrogation. Honestly, it had to be that way because I only had seventy seconds before I had to switch to the next “date,” (how does one find their “Romeo” in seventy seconds?), and the introduction process took about twenty seconds each. After about the twentieth man I met, I decided to change up the introduction process, which was a shock to man number twenty-one. “Hello, my name is Madeline,” I said as we firmly shook hands. “Tell me about yourself, what do you like to do?” His expression on his face quickly changed from somewhat nervous, to completely apprehensive. Yes, I had changed the order of the introduction process.

“Uhhh, well I like to play video games and party,” he said as if there was a right answer to my question. “Do you like to do anything else,” I questioned. Staring at me like a deer in headlights, he resorted back to the introduction process. If the “date” had gone well, and if the man was bold enough, he would ask for your number. At the end of a few dates I was hopeful that I made a good first impression and the guy would ask for my number, but when he did not, that is the time that I should have been bold enough to ask for his. When will be the next time I will meet a single, straight, man on FIT campus? Lesson learned, during speed dating the girl can wear the pants and ask for the guy’s number. “The night was a big success, and it showed when people wanted to stay and mingle afterward.” said PRSSA member

Monica Shelley, “People seemed to really enjoy themselves. PRSSA will most definitely have the speed-dating event again.” After meeting thirty-nine gentlemen over the course of three hours, number forty was still energetic and excited to meet me. However, most of the guys wanted a food and water break after the first hour of “dating.” Before I gave him my name (he did not give me his) we had each other laughing. Although, he did not ask for my number, I gave him mine—I wore the pants during the last “date.” Hopefully, the red plaid shirt Romeo will give me a call.


Live and Learn on Campus

It’s not too early to think about fall housing. • You can apply no matter where you live • Residents of New York City are eligible • Open to all degree and non-degree students with 12 or more credit hours

Applications available March 1. For details and application:




How To Get a Guy in 10 Days:

Homebound Again:



By Fernanda DeSouza

By Rich Gilmartin

I sold my soul to the name of Valentine’s Day the minute my hand shot up in the air. I had volunteered to write a Valentine’s Day piece for W27 for two reasons: one, inexplicably, I adore the holiday (I’m a romantic at heart and can’t help but read all the cards in the stationery section of Target) and two, it was about time I went on a decent date. I knew what I was getting myself into. I couldn’t help but further feed into my excessive, flirtatious qualities that I gained from books and movies alike. (Yeah, I like The Notebook, who doesn’t?) Three weeks prior to that newspaper meeting, I ran into my first shot of love on the train home from the Harvard vs. Yale football game. This handsome fellow plopped down across from me and almost immediately fell asleep. With 20 minutes of the ride left, the guy woke up as a young Brooklyn couple sat next to us and offered him and me some champagne. Now, our mothers always advised, “Never take candy from a stranger,” but this was alcohol and Mother failed to mention anything about that. “We are celebrating life and love,” said the couple sitting near us. As if we could say no to that! Many champagne glasses later, the four of us got to talking and I found who I thought was Prince William’s long lost cousin. The sleepy fellow turned out to be Duncan, a 25-year-old, British, rugby-playing lad with a degree from St. Andrew’s University (Prince William’s alma mater), currently working with a big bank on Wall Street. Duncan walked me home from Grand Central Station that evening, but I insisted he take my number to meet some time so I could show him around New York. He did end up texting, and naturally I couldn’t help but get excited. A date? I hadn’t had one of those in five years! I was terribly out of practice but I remained positive albeit with a bout of butterflies that lasted through the entire day. What to wear? What to say? All the typical girl nonsense runs through your head, much like a Hollywood romance film. I was Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink. I was about to go out with the most popular, preppy boy in school (Blane) and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Sweating bullets, cursing the weather (it was pouring rain), and trying hard not

to have a heart attack, I set out to meet Duncan at Tea Spot on MacDougal that night for some tea (bringing him back to the roots of his motherland) and to chat. And chat we did—for three hours! He had such a fascinating life for someone so young but the more we spoke, the bigger the age gap grew. He was a party boy who loved to have a good time, and had traveled so much of the world, and done so many things that I couldn’t relate to him.We shared very few similarities except for perhaps mooching off our Ivy League friends for some quality football. The verdict: it was an empty date. We talked and talked but there was no flirting, no spark, just two humans with a lot to say and bladders large enough to drink numerous amounts of tea. Needless to say, although I couldn’t get over him being British and a great conversationalist, I knew deep down it would be the last time I’d see him when we hugged goodbye under the leaden skies pouring rain. No kiss. I wasn’t necessarily upset, rather, I wanted to pat myself on the back for scoring a Brit like him! Not bad, babe. The second date, and probably the funniest, was with FIT’s very own Blaise Bevilacque. Blaise dropped into my life one Friday afternoon in the first week of freshman year. A straight guy sporting a Slayer t-shirt and sitting behind me in an Intro to Fashion History class? How he ended up there, I do not know. Most of the ladies of FIT have had the pleasure of interacting with the specimen that is Blaise and I don’t blame them; he’s nice, goofy, and nothing short of wild. I never thought that the day would come when we would go on a date. If you knew me, you’d know that Blaise and I travel in the same pack. It felt like a 1970s prom night (think Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides). Blaise’s entourage—the skater population of FIT—brought him to my room to pick me up and kidding, asked to be home no later than midnight. I spent longer than I needed to get ready and Blaise? Same Slayer t-shirt, leather jacket, and beat up Dickie’s—what was to be expected. The date was to take place in Chinatown’s very own Vanessa’s Dumpling. I showed some team spirit since he would be taking me on my first dumplings outing, but questions lingered in the back of my mind. How to confront Blaise about “us”? We had gone through a lot as friends in such a short period of time. From studying and cooking to shopping and even taking trips to the hospital when he injured himself from skateboarding. I’ve felt married to Blaise since meeting him. For personal reasons I have heavily edited this, but who am I kidding? There was a time early last year I had feelings for the metalhead, skateboarding fiend. Blaise is a good guy, one of the closest guy friends I’ve had in my short years of life, but are we ever meant to be anything more?

In the words of Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dog, we are “young, wild and free.” That is until we go back to live with our parents for winter break. Let’s face it, as much as we would like to think that we are independent, at the end of the day it is our parents that are still tucking us into bed and helping us out. Problems arise when our newfound freedom meets our parent’s bedtime or “house rules.” Trust me, I’ve been there and it wasn’t pretty. When you first arrive home, you may think that all boundaries with your parents have been broken and you are now free to do whatever you want. While your parents may put up with this naive thought for a while, six weeks is a relatively long time and they get tired of it quickly. Whatever you do, do not mistake your parent’s leniency for weakness: They will not let you walk all over them just because you barely see them anymore! The best way to deal with living with your parents again is to have as

Coyly, he smiled and laughed but avoided confronting me. That’s Blaise and I let it go, even though I badgered him about speeding up the maturing process and not letting “getting girls” be his main focus. Blaise is genuine and definitely deserves someone because he would do anything for that girl. But for that one night, it was nice that I was at least grabbing dinner with a close friend. I picked up my third and final victim on my way home from the New York Public Library one night after pouring hours over French textbooks and worksheets. The scene: Dunkin’ Donuts. Hungry Girl hears Cute Boy speaking in broken Portuguese to another man. I quickly turned around to confront him and in Portuguese I asked “Are you Brazilian?” and he replied, “No, I just hired this teacher from Craigslist to teach me Portuguese.” Turns out Cute Boy was a 24-year old Cornell graduate currently working for Goldman Sachs. How I seem to luck out and get the frat bros that work on Wall Street and hire people off of sketchy websites, I don’t know. But he took a keen interest in the fact that I was Brazilian and could prove valuable in reinforcing his learning the language. We exchanged numbers and grabbed food at Cloud 9 Diner around the corner from Kaufman one evening. It didn’t take long for him to drop the bomb when he asked: “So… do FIT girls like to party a lot?” His true image flashed before my eyes: an Ivy League frat bro, abuser of the clubbing scene, who still drank beer from funnels and who couldn’t seem to remember what he did at the rave the night prior to our date. This man was the quintessential

much communication on both ends as possible. To that, they might just respond “Tough luck!” but it feels good to get it off of your chest. While you’re not going to always get what you want from your parents, give them the respect they deserve and let them know where you’ll be when leaving the house. Most parents would want to be kept posted, and some might even pick you up if you’re incapable of driving home. Try to get out of the house as much as possible. Try to find a job over break as this will keep you from lashing your boredom out on your parents and also give you cash in the pocket. The six weeks before Spring Semester can be brutal or they can be highly enjoyable. It’s really up to you how you choose to act. As long as you are ready to communicate frequently with your parents, you’ll be fine. Next time, remember: it’s only six weeks and you’ll be back in the city before you know it.

aspect of the male species I so abhorred. That’s exactly what he was. And to make things worse, Cute Boy literally lives in the apartments above Cloud 9. In the back of my mind, I fear bumping into him on my way to campus every morning. But to say the least, he was kind and his Portuguese was better than mine (his texts were 100% grammatically correct). He did ask me to reach him in the near future. I haven’t but who knows when I’ll need to brush up on my Portuguese. Besides, we are neighbors, right? To conclude this sad and sappy account on my quest for love in a city of millions, I’ve come to understand that anywhere, anytime you may run into someone who could either a) be a total jerk or b) be someone who you’ll spend the rest of your life with. For starters, at least you get a free meal out of it!


STYLE ON 27 Samantha Kloeckener FITSA Position: President

Michelle Van-Ess FITSA Position: Student Life Director

Photography by Armah Jones.

Marc George FITSA Position: VP of Development

Shanda Richardson FITSA Position: Student Affairs Secretary

Colin Smith FITSA Position: Treasurer

Brian Moore FITSA Position: Treasurer

Unique style isn’t too hard to find while roaming around the FIT campus, but look no further then the Student Life office where FITSA members have put their best fashion forward. From dealing with budgets to hosting FIT events, FITSA’s staff are making a statement not only in the boardroom but on 27th Street.

Michelle Van-Ess FITSA Position: Student Life Director

February 2012: The Sustainability Issue  

Fashion Institute of Technology's Official Newspaper

February 2012: The Sustainability Issue  

Fashion Institute of Technology's Official Newspaper