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VOLUME 44 | ISSUE 6 | MARCH 2012

THE ENTREPRENEURIAL ISSUE ALWAYS SUSTAINABLE / SHAMROCKS! / CRACKING THE CODE / #ARMPARTY


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Taisa Veras @taisaveras Editor-in-Chief Sarah Dill @Sarah_Dill Caroline Nelson @CarolineNel Deputy Editors

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Fernanda DeSouza @Fernpop Executive Editor/Culture Editor Georgi Dwiggins @GeorgiDwiggins Rich Gilmartin @RichG8191 Nicole Tan Venus Wong @fille_fatale Senior Editors Keely-Shea Smith @Keelysheasmith Managing Editor Alyssa Kyle @alyssakyle8 Copy Editor Megan Venere Treasurer W27Newspaper.com Mollie Yarsike @molbol422 Community Manager Advertising Jessica McClintock @Jesssabellaa Advertising Promotions Manager Art Kári Emil Helgason @kariemil Art Director Christina Garcia @Christinaa_G Junior Designer Camilla Mayer @camsterrr Photo Editor Armah Jones Alicia King Photographers Contributors Francesca Beltran Raquel Rose Burger Elizabeth Cross Colleen Dengel Suzanne Dengel Meaghan Heartland Carolina Jimenez Armah Jones Dianna Mazzone Marissa Mule Amira Okelly Terron Richardson Fred Rodriguez Zachary Rosenbaum Hermina Sobhraj Madeline Thompson Alessandra Della Vecchia Desmond Zhengs

After reading AWEARNESS: Inspiring “remixing” the typefaces of the publication. Furthermore, we invited our Stories About How To Make A “Style On 27” photographer, Armah Difference, a book composed of Jones, to photograph our cover 86 essays about inspiring entresubject, Leandra Medine. View this preneurs who helped change the exclusive photo shoot on pp. 16-17. world—edited by Fashion Designer Following this month’s theme, our Kenneth Cole—I was inspired by his staff had the opportunity to meet devotion to promoting social entrepreneurship. Cole describes his hope and interview various entrepreneurs such as: Designer John Giaouris of for change by stating, “…in sharing a handful of these personal journeys, CODE Toronto, founders Amy Jain and Daniella Yacobovsky of the we might help challenge and further jewelry e-commerce site BaubleBar. galvanize the next wave of social com, Jewelry Designer Dara Sanders entrepreneurs.” of Dara Sanders New York, founders When brainstorming for this of Generation Love, Amy Jain and month’s issue, I was inspired by the Daniella Yacobovsky, and an exclufact everything we do should not sive interview with Brooklyn-based only impact our own lives posiband Holy Ghost! tively, but the lives of others as well. In the spirit of entrepreneurship Therefore, when thinking of starting and new beginnings, I leave you with your own business it is important to this statement by Cole, “Life is not keep in mind not only the obvious a dress rehearsal, you can change business strategies, but also what your outfit, you can outfit change, or you can do as an activist. Inspired by emerging sustainable entrepreneurs, both.” Cheers! I decided to create a permanent column titled “Sustainability Corner” (pp. 6–7) in order to stress the importance of incorporating sustainable practices in everyday living. In addition to bringing a new column, our Art Director Kári Emil Helgason has updated the design by

John Simone Editorial Faculty Advisor Albert Romano Advertising Faculty Advisor

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ON THE COVER:

W27 IS PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER. PLEASE RECYCLE YOUR COPY AFTER READING.

On a crisp February morning, the editors Taisa Veras, Sarah Dill, and Caroline Nelson, with art director Kári Helgason and contributing photographer Armah Jones, met up with our cover subject Leandra Medine in the heart of SoHo. The shoot was inspired by W27’s street style section “Style On 27” and has Medine in the middle of the cobblestone street on the intersection of Prince and Greene.

W27


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FIT

TABLE OF CONTENTS On the Block

Thread Account

4 4 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 8 8 9

18 StyleCaster’s State of Style Summit 18 From Rags to E-GoGo 19 Ali Smith: Why you Should Judge a Book by its Cover 20 FIT Student Creates Own Jewelry Own

Welcome to the Boardroom: FITSA Election Season Young Entrepreneurs: Corey Apploff & Elle Berdanier IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA Entrepreneurship: FIT’s New Major Faculty Spotlight: Steven Frumkin What the Health? Eco-Designer Highlight: Stella McCartney Creating Sustainable Futures Panel Packaging Design: Now Even Greener Future Mode: Amanda Kotlarz Ms. FIT Pre-SHow Prep Staff Picks: Shoes

Dear Industry 10 10 11 11

The Most Perfect Tee Beauty Buzz: Backstage Beauty at Chadwick Bell Is “Made in China” Going Out of Style Q&A: Morenatom

Entrepreneurial Feature 12 13 14 16

Baublebar: Bring on the Baubles Freezing Code Fashion Editorial: Wrap My Head Around It Man Repeller: How to Succeed in Fashion Without Really Trying

Haute Culture 20 20 21 21 21 22 22 22 23 23 24 25

Tuning In: Catching up with Holy Ghost! Inspiring Instrumentals: Music to get you Through Film: Project X Book: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic Will Ryman at the Paul Kasmin Gallery The City Skinny: I Love Kickboxing Tech Talk: DIY Touch Screen Gloves A Legal Battle that’s not so Hot Restaurant: The Green Table Art: Drawing the Dream Month in Review Outside Your Borough: Top O’ the Mornin’ to ya!

FIT Speaks

MARCH 2012

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS The paper is terrific—very impressive! —Kate Ferranti, The Cleaver Co., The Green Table

Dear Fernanda DeSouza, I just finished reading your article in the newspaper at FIT. First, I want to congratulate you. You write very well! What a pleasure to read your article! So I guess you have not celebrated the feast of St. Valentine's Day with a boyfriend! But does it really matter? Ithink it's a commercial holiday that brings a lot of money to Hallmark, Victoria’s Secret and all the flower vendors and chocolates! —Madame Nicole Ruimy, French Professor

26 FIT Thrashers 26 Valentine, Schmalentine Dear Taisa, Sarah, Caroline, 27 Style on 27 Thank you so much for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week program—and congratulations! Your articles were excellent: lively, clearly writen and fully professional. I am sure you made a terrific impression on the editors at IMG. It is gratifying to see the skills of FIT student writers showcased in such a high profile publication—and of course, you make me, and the entire college community, very proud. Once again, my congratulations. Sincerely, Dr. Joyce F. Brown, President of FIT

Sarah Dill, Kári Helgason, Leandra Medine, Taisa Veras and Caroline Nelson, shot by Armah Jones.


ON THE BLOCK

W27

FITSA Election Season

IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA

By Dianna Mazzone

By Caroline Nelson

Welcome to the Boardroom:

It has been said that spring is the season of new beginnings, and for members of FITSA’s Executive and Planning Boards, the expression certainly rings true. This month, FITSA will be holding elections for 22 board positions, and according to President Samantha Kloeckener, the candidates this year face some serious competition. “Currently, it is a really interesting time on campus,” she said. “You’ll see a lot of students who maybe haven’t been as involved who have decided to run.” But the challenge, according to Kloeckener, is encouraging students to participate in the electoral process. Of the 10,000 students enrolled at FIT, only around 750

voted in the elections last year. This small fraction of the student population represents less than 15% of our school community. “The presidential election seems to drive the number of votes,” said Kloeckener, which should help boost voter turnout. There are currently three individuals interested in serving as FITSA President for the 2012–2013 academic year, each of whom are highly involved in campus life and they will deliver their speeches in the Cafeteria on March 6th. Though the election process may seem a bit overwhelming, thanks to FITSA and the Collegiate Link community message board, the system for voting is incredibly simple: you can vote anywhere at anytime as long as you have access to a computer. Students will have the opportunity to log in and cast their ballots via MyFIT throughout the entire election week, Monday, March 12th through Monday, March 19th. An email providing step by step instructions for the voting procedure will be sent to the entire student body in early March.

Young Entrepreneurs:

Corey Apploff & Elle Berdanier By Megan Venere Managing a successful business can be a tough endeavor requiring a lot of time and dedication. Corey Apploff and Elle Berdanier, co-managers of the Style Shop here at FIT, tackle this challenge each and every day. Apploff and Berdanier are not new to the Style Shop, they both held manager positions last year as store operations manager and designer buyer. Apploff was also finance assistant manager his freshmen year which gave him the necessary experience for his current position., “Through those experiences alone, and by taking cues from the successes of the co-managers of the past few years, I felt ready and able to bring new ideas to the table for the store’s management”, Apploff stated. They also received some help from last year’s co-managers, Jackie Miranda and Shelby Skinner. “The two of them passed on a great deal of information to us in the form of letters, USB drives, and binders chock full of useful tips and tricks,” he said. To this day Apploff and Berdanier refer to Miranda and Skinner for reference. As with any business, problems and complications arise. “At the

beginning of the Fall 2011 semester, Elle and I were cramped for time to prepare to open the store due to construction in the A-building lobby,” Apploff explained, “While everything ended up turning out fine in the end, it took a great deal of teamwork to complete what normally occurred over the course of an entire summer within the truncated time frame of three weeks”. Overcoming challenges has made Apploff and Berdanier become efficient problem solvers in their new role as co-managers. “I’ve always loved dealing with people and working with others to find solutions to problems,” Apploff said and added, “Retail is an incredibly fast-paced business, and it’s been amazing to be able to race against the clock with my peers to drive results”. Being co-manager of the Style Shop has given Apploff and Berdanier the experience necessary to maintain a successful business strategy. “There’s an incredible team of talented and dedicated people that see that the Style Shop continues to see success week after week. If the people behind a business can embrace challenges as a team, then the business is sure to thrive”.

Imagine wearing a suit made entirely of large grey pheasant feathers, complete with white-feathered wings. It’s an unconventional look, but one that certainly makes a statement. IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA is an exhibit that showcases, not only avant-garde looks like the aforementioned Thom Browne suit, but also a men’s FedEx uniform from 2005 designed by Stan Herman, and many other creations. Members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) chose one of their most meaningful looks to display in the exhibition, while the exhibition’s curators made their own selections

From the show. Courtesy of the Museum at FIT. from The Museum at FIT’s permanent collection. The items and outfits are shown in a straightforward manner—hats, bags, and shoes are displayed in glass cases in the gallery’s vestibule. Inside the gallery, clothing is displayed on simple mannequins along the walls and on platforms at either end of the room. At first glance, it doesn’t seem that these looks have been placed in a particular order. When looked at closely, however, themed groups emerge, showcasing the best in sequined eveningwear, gowns, unique prints, interesting menswear, and other styles. Betsey Johnson’s voluminously short skirted, bold printed Cherry Dress from 1985 is grouped near a 1963 Rudi Gernreich mini red-checkered dress with three-quarter sleeves and a green tie across the bust. Videos recognizing all of the CFDA’s members are projected above the displays at each end of the room. The dim lighting and rumble of the subway trains in the otherwise quiet gallery add to the intensity of the exhibition. Publicist Eleanor Lambert founded the CFDA in 1962. Originally comprised of 20 designers, the Council has grown to include over 400 members who have created and promoted many amazing works from the featured suits to the cherry print dresses, and leather bucket bags. IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA is on view at the Museum at FIT through April 17th.

A dress by Rodarte, 2011. Courtesy of the Museum at FIT.


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FEBRUARY 2012

Entrepreneurship:

Faculty Spotlight:

FIT’s New Major

Steven Frumkin

By Megan Venere Many students come to FIT in pursuit of gaining knowledge to pave their own path in the industry. Whether it be creating their own fashion empire, or one with classmates, the new Entrepreneurship major is all about making those visions a reality. The Entrepreneurship Major is the new major at the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology. The major is only offered in Upper Division. The Entrepreneurship major was created to fill a current demand in the market; young individuals who want to make an impact in the business world. The major teaches students how to manage a business, start their own business, or revitalize an established business. The Bachelor of Science program allows students to take a variety of interesting major courses, such as The Business Plan and Converting Innovation into Value. “The Entrepreneurship major was designed to give students the courage and necessary skills to pursue new opportunities,” says Professor Josh Green. Professor Green is a part-time professor in the Entrepreneurship program. He is also an entrepreneur himself; he is the co-founder and CEO of Panjiva, a company that connects buyers and suppliers across the globe. Professor Green teaches Intro to Entrepreneurship, one of the first classes students take in the program. “This program is perfect for anyone who dreams of bringing real energy to the pursuit of a new idea, either in an existing company or in a new business.” Almost every major at FIT has a club or two dedicated to helping those students further themselves and their careers while still at FIT. The Entrepreneurship major is the same. The Entrepreneurship Club lets students learn about entrepreneurship and how they can become better entrepreneurs. The club also has a blog, “Fashion Your Future” where members of the club can share their ideas and show what inspires them most. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from FIT allows students three distinct career paths, Professor Green explained. The first is the most obvious: creating one’s own business. The second area of the industry where students find themselves after graduation are at new and innovative companies such as Rent the Runway or Gilt Groupe, companies that are really changing the way business is done. The third path is joining an established company and making it adapt to the current business climate. The Entrepreneurship major can be a very rewarding program. “For the course I teach,” Professor Green says, “I want to give students a taste of what being an entrepreneur is about, so they can see if it’s right for them. I try to share my experiences with them and give them a sense of the career pros and cons.” Green is working to help students express themselves and pursue their

By Alyssa Kyle

Josh Green, courtesy of The Fast Company. ideas. “Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone; there are a lots of ups and downs, and it’s a very emotional experience. But having that skill set to pursue new ideas is very rare in the industry, and is desperately needed”. Professor Green also offered some great advice to students interested in becoming entrepreneurs. “The industry is desperate for new energy. It can be a challenge because not many people know what entrepreneurship is, how difficult it can be to express one’s ideas, get the resources, be able to communicate your ideas, and ultimately make your idea into a reality. You need to have the courage to try. Don’t let people hold you back from pursuing your ideas, especially yourself”.

Steven Frumkin has traveled to 25 different countries and although he may not be fluent in any foreign language, he definitely knows how different industries work around the world. From the menswear industry to textile development to international trade and beyond, he has a resume that’s admirable. As the new dean of the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology at FIT, he has a lot of experience to share with students and faculty. He began his career as a textile designer, making $11,500 a year. “I thought I had this wonderful job, it was 1970,” explained Frumkin, “I lived on the Upper East Side in a sixth floor walk up and I paid $34 a month for rent. I thought I was living great.” During his career as a menswear fabric designer, he was invited to a presentation called “The Suit is Dead,” which inspired Frumkin to realize that the double-knit leisure suit was the direction he wanted to pursue and then he decided to take classes at FIT. Following his work as a textile designer came his career in international trade. India, Japan, Turkey, Portugal, Poland, Cuba, Germany, France, and Israel are just a few of

“I LIVED ON THE UPPER EAST SIDE IN A SIXTH FLOOR WALK UP AND I PAID $34 DOLLARS A MONTH RENT. I THOUGHT I WAS LIVING GREAT.” the many countries Frumkin visited over the years. “The most interesting countries I went to in my early years were the former Soviet block countries like Romania and Czechoslovakia,” he said. He traveled to locations such as these to buy inexpensive fabrics. His work in international trade lasted until the late 80s when he decided to work closer to the consumer and became the President and General Manager of E.G. Smith, a popular hosiery company of the time. Furthermore, Frumkin taught at Philadelphia University for 12 years and worked for Carleton Woolen Mills Incorporated as the senior vice president. During his time at Carleton, Frumkin also taught at FIT as an adjunct professor in the

Photos courtesy of Steven Frumkin from his trips to India. Textile Development and Marketing department. Currently, Frumkin now finds himself inspired by his work on the FIT campus. “I love being with students,” he said. Along with many other projects, he is currently working on the start of collaborative courses between majors at FIT. There will be a cross platform course between the design and business schools. The goal is for students from different majors to work together and learn from each other.

The new course, which is expected to begin in the fall of 2013, will use the Siemens Product Lifecycle Management System and live data from the fashion manufacturer, Jones New York. Students from Fashion Merchandising Management, Production Management, and Fashion Design will work collaboratively in this course. Frumkin is a strong supporter of FIT’s recently developed Entrepreneurship department. He is working with the department chairman, Henry Welt, to decide what direction the department will take. “He has a lot of ideas and I am really here to support what he’d like to do,” said Frumkin, “but I think the Entrepreneurship courses and program could be where the intersection of design and business come together.”


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W27

What the Health? Food Financing: Keep your Dough and Eat it Too By Sarah Dill Everyone usually shares the same love of New York, with its beautiful architecture, varied cuisine imaginable, and the fast pace and thriving vibe, but one small factor in the mix is money. Saving money in a concrete playground is a hard task to accomplish, especially with wanting to shop and cook healthy. Whole Foods and other small grocery stores sell fresh produce and organic ingredients, sometimes for more money then it would be to take a train upstate to the farm where it’s grown. Receipts and recalculations in my bank account have caused me to wonder what food is best to invest in with so many brands or temptations sprouting up in the grocery aisle. Paying off student loans, going out on the weekends, and late night trips to Dunkin Donuts can rack up your spending, but with these helpful tips, your finance in food will be back on the frugal track. Keep your dough and eat it too. A Chicken Change: Although I am all for vegetarian diets, a freezer stocked with chicken is a resourceful and non-pricey way to get a protein fix. Frozen chicken cutlets may be five bucks a package, but they are easy to cut up and use in a variety of dishes to eliminate the costs of dining out. A Nut Notations: Almonds and walnuts are the perfect filler for the midday craving, and with

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the 100 calorie packs they’re easy to pack in your bag for on the go crunching, and a great way to invest in a low cost snack. One bad apple: One mushy apple really does spoil the whole bushel. Go for the more expensive produce or stock up on your favorite kind of apple, because you’ll get more of a satisfactory bite for your buck. Carrot Craze: Baby carrots are the perfect balance of crunch and kick to refresh your palate or complete a more balanced packed lunch. Beware: Buy baby carrots in bulk or they may be gone in a quick hop. Bread Baggage: Carbs are often considered bad for a healthy diet, but whole grains are a substantial part of a well-rounded calorie intake. Light bread and whole wheat are a basic to any dinner, lunch, or finish to a brunch, and you can stock up in bulk and freeze to save dough…literally. Cereal Winner: Early morning, at noon, or at night, cereal packs the perfect amount of fiber and quick energy boost in a sweet and tasty crunch. Throw it in yogurt, eat it plain, splash it with milk, or add it on top of fiber pancakes for a perfect breakfast kick. Leaf Life: Containers of lettuce are the best way to save on greens and to eliminate wasting money bag by bag and week by week.

Ditch the bags and opt for the clear containers in order to keep your lettuce and wallet green A Winter Vegetation: Summer may be the season for thriving vegetation, but winter bares the best produce for your fridge and your plate. Squash, potatoes,

Photo courtesy of chocolatecoveredkatie.com. sweet potatoes, and zucchini can be sliced, diced, eaten whole, or shared; anyway you eat it you get more for what you pay.

Dorm Dish Recipe: A refreshing blend of mint and chocolate to power up your Irish breakfast or conclude your corn beef kick. Either in the morning or at night, this creamy milkshake is a pot luck o’ choco-gold for a small lick of the calories.

MINTY KEEN MILKSHAKE 1 frozen large banana (as ripe as possible) Cacao nibs or chocolate chips 2 drops of pure peppermint extract 2/3 cup milk (For an extremely rich,

“ice cream”-like shake, try coconut milk. Also, use more or less, depending on desired thickness.) 1/4 cup frozen spinach (If you can’t get on board with the greens-insmoothies thing, you can opt for green food coloring, or just have a white mint shake.) Cocoa powder optional Blend everything together in your Vita-Mix or blender and enjoy Recipe taken from Chocolate Covered Katie blog: chocolatecoveredkatie.com

THE SUSTAINABILITY CORNER Eco Designer Highlight:

Stella McCartney By Christina Garcia It’s one thing to become successful through connections, it’s another when you’re able to break away from them. Stella McCartney, daughter of Sir Paul McCartney, definitely had a foot in the door when making her name known and emerging in her career. The problem she was faced with, however, was breaking away from the label as Paul McCartney’s daughter and gaining a respected and distinct name in the fashion industry. While McCartney’s impeccable tailoring, excellent taste, and talent are all qualities that easily prove to the world she belongs in the fashion world, her eco-friendly touch is what’s made her stand out. McCartney’s life-long vegetarian lifestyle translated into her career when she became a designer. It was not long until she became recognized as an animal rights activist and

a strong supporter of PETA because of her persistent efforts to utilize sustainable materials. Among other strides she’s taken towards going green and raising awareness for this cause, she excludes leather and fur from her designs, has released multiple eco-friendly collections using only organic fabrics, and low-impact dyes and reuses leftover fabric from past collections before ordering more. Her approach is different, but brave—when organic fabrics run out, she prohibits herself from purchasing anymore for that collection, therefore limiting them only to the original amount of sustainable fabrics allocated to her from the beginning. Most recently, the designer represented PETA in a video about the leather industry. In the video, she states, “As a designer, I like to work with fabrics that don’t bleed; that’s why I avoid all animal skins.” The most notable part of her participation in this campaign was that it was launched right before the commencement of New York Fashion Week in February, and while PETA’s goal was to show it in taxi’s during Fashion Week, it was turned down. Regardless of whether or not

Photo courtesy of Vogue.com. McCartney had an advantage over other aspiring designers due to her status, she has emerged as one of fashion’s most prominent and

admired designers, earned her own name instead of constant associations with her father’s, and developed a brand whose techniques of execution and creation is what makes it unique.


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ITM Hosts Talking Trade Series:

of Women’s World Banking, Craig Leavitt, CEO of Kate Spade New York, Deborah Lloyd, President and Chief Creative Officer of Kate Spade New York and Benjamin Stone, President and CEO of Indego Africa. The main focus of the panel was on the global impact of creating sustainable futures with women in poor economies, and substantially expanding their reach in the entrepreneurial world. Through videos of their work overseas and their growing impact on women across the world, the guest speakers touched on how they invested their time in these entrepreneurial women and the future of this growing, life long mission. The focus on women became a noted topic of conversation, proving that women’s spending habits and entrepreneurial work should be recognized and sold to generate profit. “Women’s finance mirrors their life cycle,” said Iskenderian, “It’s not how fast they grow their business, but it’s more of a measurement of success through their children’s standing.” Agarwal added that women “invest in innovation, experiment and how to make crafting relatable for the modern consumer’s taste.” Not only was the success through the speakers’ companies shown through women’s lives and financial standings, but also through the products they were producing. “We focus on the core business system and direct connection with the artisan and the seller,” said Stone of Indego Africa. “Our mission is to create independent business women and help them interact independently in the global market, which is where we practice extreme transparency in opening our books and showing

Creating Sustainable Futures Panel By Sarah Dill For the Department of International Trade & Marketing’s 16th Anniversary, they teamed up with the Diversity Council and Sustainability Council to host the annual Talking

Trade at FIT Guest Lecture Series, Creating Sustainable Futures: Women’s Empowerment through the International Fashion Industry. On February 23rd from 6:30 to 8pm, the John E. Reeves Great Hall was packed with industry members, graduate students from the New York area, faculty and FIT students, excited to hear about the next big thing in sustainable fashion from

highly noted speakers. Chrissie Lam, Senior Concept Designer for American Eagle Outfitters & Founder of the Supply Change, opened the series as

Craig Leavitt, CEO, and Deborah Lloyd President and Chief Creative Officer Kate Spade New York. Photo by Sarah Dill. moderator, sharing her own projects in the major sustainability movement and introduced guest speakers: Richa Agarwal, Project Leader for BRAC Aarong, Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO

MARCH 2012 what is going on in our company to the consumer,” said Stone. These companies have created products with major designers such as Nicole Miller, DANNIJO, Madewell, J.Crew, and of course Kate Spade New York’s Hand in Hand products, in collaboration with Women International. Lloyd and Leavitt spoke about their travels in Bosnia, Rwanda and Afghanistan, where they could see the production process of their signature Kate Spade products come to life. Lloyd loved taking these trips overseas not only to see the products being made, but also to, “understand how that culture works rather then sitting in an ivory tower in NY.” To create a sustainable future, the Kate Spade New York team found that making the products may be time consuming, but the lasting impact they have on the women is greater than that of any product made in the US. “The story goes on and it’s incredible to see how these women have become amazing entrepreneurs and to see the beautiful ancestry that goes into our products,” said Lloyd. A question and answer portion of the lecture followed, which opened the floor to more questions on where this sustainable movement would go forward in the fashion industry and how students could advance in that field. Leavitt explained,“Sustainable fashion is the marriage of local handicraft with resignation to our consumers.” Leavitt added, “Consumers share in our story to help these women and change the world one woman at a time.” The panel concluded with gratitude and remarks from Professor Christine Pomeranz, International Trade and Marketing Chairperson at FIT.

Packaging Design: Now Even Greener! By Francesca Beltran In a world in ecological crisis, the Fashion Institute of Technology came up with a leading idea that unites two things that go handin-hand: packaging design and sustainability. Packaging Design, the only major of its kind, is a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts program at FIT that is highly regarded and recognized by the industry, particularly because of its focus on providing the world with environmentally conscious professionals. FIT and its faculty members are striving to teach students the importance of sustainability and being “green” in all aspects of their profession. “Packaging design is a complex discipline with the integration of 2D design of brand identities, and communication of product attributes, with the 3D design of the packaging form and materials,” said Sandra Krasovec, Associate Professor and member of the Sustainability Council at FIT. “As alumni, our students make up a large percentage of successful packaging design professionals in the New York metro area and beyond,”she added.

For many years now, the Packaging Design department has been combining sustainability with the design process and adapting itself to ever-changing world demands. The major focuses on how new and emerging technologies and materials affect the way students design packaging for consumer products and what happens to those packages at the ‘end-of-life.’ According to Krasovec, students are taught to balance the level of sustainability with the economic benefit in order to satisfy their client’s needs. Even if nothing is 100% sustainable, it is very important that students understand that everything they produce will have leave an environmental footprint. “I have yet to take the actual Sustainability class that is offered to Packaging students, but my professors address environmental issues all the time, whether it be about what materials we use or if the package has a second life,” said Victoria Reyes, an FIT Packaging Design student, “unfortunately a lot of packaging is harmful to the environment so I think it should be our responsibility

as package designers to design with green in mind.” The Packaging Design department is currently working on a forcredit Sustainable Packaging Design Certificate program that will expand on the sustainable issues and the steps involved in integrating sustainability practices as a core business strategy. The program will include five courses that will be offered over Fall, Winterim and Spring, so it can be completed in one academic year, and both students and professionals are welcome to take it. The launch date has yet to be announced. Not only are FIT faculty members

Illustration by Kári Emil Helgason for W27 Newspaper. striving to create consciousness in young professionals, but also students care for the environment and want to learn the tools they need to do what they love without completely disregarding the planet.


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W27

Future Mode: {Amanda Kotlarz} By Marissa Mule When you think of art what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it composition? Negative space? The way pencil marks float across a blank white page, or the way brush marks look on a brand new canvas? But what happens when you fuse fashion and art together? Fashion, like art, makes a statement. It’s forever evolving, it is timeless, and it creates trends that one can either follow, or not. This month, I decided to change things up a bit by interviewing not only a fellow Fine Arts major, but also one of my best friends— Amanda Kotlarz. She is not only an aspiring artist, but also an inspiration to anyone who looks above and beyond the normal school syllabus. She is a student looking to achieve her goals, and dreams of success. Marissa Mule: Who and what inspires you? Amanda Kotlarz: As far as other artists go, I am most inspired by Kandinsky and Jackson Pollock. I love process painting, and really seeing what paint can do. Personally, when I’m painting, I pull a lot of inspiration from scenery. I also grab inspiration from landscapes and emotion. I’ll usually take long walks and take photographs. Simple things like the color of the sky inspire me, so I can figure out a color palette for my next piece. The rest is all in my hands and how I feel. I put a little of myself into all of my pieces. I never avoid my feelings, because they help me bring out the best in my work. That’s where my best pieces of work come from. If I’m ever feeling

uninspired, I’ll check out a good book or find random conversations that make me feel good. People in general inspire me, and I hope to inspire others as well. MM: What motivates you? AK: I’m motivated by my mother’s support, actually. I hear horrible stories about kids being forced by their parents into professions they aren’t interested in, and I could never imagine that happening to me. I would never be at the point I am as an artist without my mother’s support. She’s my biggest fan. She gave me an entire room in the front of our house for me to paint in. All she ever wants for me is to be happy, and believes in my talent. She believes in me so much as a person, I can’t help but to stay motivated and make her proud. I’m always excited to tell my mom about a new piece I’m working on, she’s genuinely interested. Not only my mother, but my whole family supports me, and I’m so grateful for it. MM: What mediums do you use? AK: I love working with acrylic paint. There’s a certain vibrancy that you can obtain with acWWrylic paint that can’t be compared. Also, with the amount of paint I seem to use, acrylic is a lot cheaper and more affordable then oils. I love how it can be manipulated so easily when you incorporate acrylic gel mediums and even a little water. The possibilities are endless if you don’t restrict yourself, just have fun!

The girls practice their footwork. Photo by Rich Gilmartin.

Ms. FIT Pre-Show Prep By Alyssa Kyle and Rich Gilmartin “Alright girls, let’s get started,” said Lucia Lacaprara, the creative director of the dance team and choreographer of Ms. FIT’s opening act. The boys prepared in their heels and gathered into formation. “Fierce!,” Lucia shouted as the boys practiced their walk onto the stage. This year’s annual Ms. FIT Drag

Show will be on March 10th in the Katie Murphy Amphitheater. It is recommended that attendees arrive at 6:30pm when the doors open and you will be assured a rock star’s view of the red carpet. The show will begin at 7:30pm and has history of selling out quickly. Four contestants who auditioned in November will compete this year:

Artwork by Amanda Kotlarz.

that it adds to the chaos. I have a desk facing a window loaded with drawers full of supplies. I have some paintings hanging up, but the rest are stacked against the walls. I have a bookshelf built into the wall with a bunch of inspirational books and movies. I also have a body form in the corner that holds all of my painting shirts. My aunt actually found the form when she was driving by a house and just picked it up for me. It looks exactly like the mannequins we have at FIT. It’s my own little studio with a fashion flair.

MM: How do you incorporate fashion into your paintings?

MM: Does your own personal style reflect how you paint?

AK: The vibrant clothing colors you see in magazines are very close to acrylic paint colors. I love clothing and how closely fashion and art are related. I can’t say I directly draw from clothes, but being in a fashion school helps me to grab inspiration from just about every thing I look at. Not only is everyone here extremely talented, but they dress beautifully too. Even though I’m not anywhere close to being a fashion major, I can definitely appreciate a beautiful outfit or a fashion editorial just as much as a painting or sculpture. I consider myself an observer. I’m inspired by anything and everything around me.

AK: Not at all! I tend to dress very casually. I’m always on the go and commute about an hour each day. I wear a lot of dark colors, but I’ve noticed that I use a lot of vibrant colors in my paintings. Even when I dress up, I wouldn’t say the two relate. However, some of the textures in my clothing and paintings are similar. My personal style is edgy.

MM: What does your work space look like? AK: My work space is a mess! It’s only organized in my eyes. Right now, I’m actually working on a few things within the space so

Ms. Perry Puchi, Ms. Sasha Blowmay, Ms. Vanessa Latrell, and Ms. Scarlet Envy. For every contestant, there’s an inspiration for participating in the Ms. FIT competition. “What made me participate was dressing up. So having the opportunity to put on a wig and heels…and show the other character that I like to be,” said Jorge Rosario, also known as Ms. Perry Puchi. Rosario is an Accessories Design major. With graduation coming up this May, Ms. Puchi wanted to seize the opportunity to showcase her hidden talent. Ms. Puchi feels her talent is going to leave the competition in the dark. “I’m not gonna say [what it is] now, but it’s my talent show. It’s gonna shade them,”she confidently stated. Ms. Sasha Blowmay was inspired by the confidence she sees in the title of Ms. FIT, “Ms. FIT means someone that is confident in themselves, [someone] that can handle any test that comes their way and has their own confidence to rock anything,” said Ms. Blowmay. Ms. Blowmay is known as Akeem Muhammad in the classroom, and is a Fashion Design major graduating in the fall of 2012. Muhammad believes that his alter ego has the

MM: What is your dream job? AK: I’m still trying to figure out what I really want to do. I want to make sure that whatever direction I take, I’m happy. I’ve thought about teaching art on a college and professional level, because I love being around passionate people and helping others. I suppose only time will tell on what decision I make. I just try and take opportunities as they come to me.

confidence to win the competition. Vanessa Latrell found herself inspired by the spirit at FIT. “To me Ms. FIT is the embodiment of the FIT spirit: Sass, class, edge, and glamour. It would be a great honor for me to win because this is the third time I have tried and I think it will be the last.” Ms. Latrell is also know as Marciano Ramirez, and is currently an Advertising and Marketing Communications Major. Scarlet Envy described the drag queen experience as her “creative outlet.” Ms. Envy, also known as Jacob Grady, is in her fourth semester as a Communication Design Major. “Not many people know that I do this…and I think they’re gonna be completely floored because my drag persona and my actual personality are quite opposites.” Ms. GammaRay is the current Ms. FIT, and will be passing on the crown as well as performing in the opening act. The song “Who Run the World” by Beyoncé will be the anthem of the night as these stars shake their “chicken cutlets,” said Ms. GammaRay. Who will be crowned has yet to be determined, but it can be assured that the final showdown between these four queens will be a sight you won’t want to miss.


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FOR MARCH, CAMILLA MAYER, W27’S PHOTO EDITOR, SELECTED A VARIETY OF SHOES FROM BRANDS KELSEY DAGGER AND POUR LA VICTOIRE AND SHOT THEM IN STYLISH LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT NEW YORK CITY.

Caroline Nelson, Deputy Editor Pour La Victoire’s Divina heel in blue suede is the perfect shoe to take you into spring with its closed toe, sling-back style, and small platform. Plus, this amazing pop of color will take any outfit up a notch.

Fernanda DeSouza, Culture & Executive Editor Leopard print shoes: It’s not always easy pulling off that sexy, risqué look but the Brette shoes by Kelsi Dagger, timeless and reminiscent of the 60s, give off that finishing touch and add that extra kick (or punch) to any outfit!

Camilla Mayer, Photo Editor “These day or night ladylike PLV ruby red pumps are my choice for brunch in West Chelsea.”

Taisa Veras, Editor-in-Chief “According to the New York Times, Tangerine Orange is the color of the season, which is one more reason why I love these bright orange pumps.”

Sarah Dill, Deputy Editor Pour La Victoire’s Titiana “Throw on these open toed heels to a gala event at the Met Museum or for a Sunday brunch with friends near Central park, the pastel pink hue and wooden heel add for a subtle and flirty transition into spring.”


DEAR INDUSTRY

W27

The Most Perfect Tee By Christina Garcia The perfect t-shirt—it seems to be the hardest piece of clothing to find. There are so many factors that contribute to a good quality, well-fitted tee, such as price, material, and texture. Nevertheless, the the perfect t-shirt may have been found when Roni Hirshberg and Audrey BressaValcourt launched their clothing line Generation Love, which consists mostly of t-shirts embodying effortless cool and day-to-night chic style. If that wasn’t enough, all of their products are eco-friendly and made in New York City. Generation Love has now expanded to stores and sites such as Intermix, Saks Fifth Avenue, Shopbop.com and Singer22. com. I met up with Hirschberg to find out a little more on how they became such a successful and admired label. Christina Garcia: Tell me a little about your background. Roni Hirschberg: I am from New York City and Audrey, my partner, is from France. I worked in high-end retail while I was studying since I was 17! My passion and obsession for fashion grew as I was learning the industry. CG: What inspired you to start your label? RH: The inspiration came when I met my best friend and partner, Audrey. We both have very different styles and the combination is pretty cool. So, we started to come up with ideas for a line that would fuse our fashion extremes. CG: Where did the name Generation Love come from? RH: Love is the most important thing in life and should be in every aspect of it. That’s what we want to reflect in the brand. The whole point of creating Generation Love was to do something we loved with people we love to work with. CG: What were the first steps you took towards starting your own business? RH: We didn’t have the luxury of knowing people in the fashion business for a quick in, but, eventually, we started to make strides. We were tenacious and persevering, and we never took “no” for an answer—which just goes to show that, really, anything is possible if you have the passion and drive to see it through. If you believe in yourself, others will, too! There have been a lot of obstacles and times when we have wanted to give up, but we kept a level head and learned how to problem solve. In the end, something or someone always showed us the silver lining.

CG: What’s a typical workday like for you? RH: Anywhere from choosing new fabrics for the upcoming collections or approving lab dips for our current production, there are always one million things to do and not enough hours in the day to accomplish them!

CG: Is there any additional advice you would give to an aspiring business owner or student looking to start their own brand?

Photo courtesy of Roni Hirshberg.

RH: Never give up and don’t take no for an answer. For more about Generation Love visit generationloveclothing.com

BEAUTY BUZZ Mercedes Benz Fashion Week:

Backstage Beauty at Chadwick Bell By Dianna Mazzone Designer Chadwick Bell’s Fall 2012 show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week showcased feminine silhouettes with various luxurious details, from silver fox fur to pompoms, and the designer described his vision for his looks as, “the perfect woman in the most imperfect situation.” This theme translated beautifully to the hair, make-up, and even down to the nails, creating a perfect complement to the collection. Hair guru, Edward Tricomi of Warren-Tricomi Salons, masterfully directed the styling of bouffant bobs reminiscent of the 1960s. This nod to the prim, polished look of days past was accomplished through a series of steps executed by Tricomi and his staff. With an emphasis on teasing and volume, a truly retro look was achieved. Tricomi himself described the look as, “very Betty Ford…but with a twist.” This “twist” became evident just minutes before models were sent down the runway: the once perfect hairdos were made imperfect by carefully pulling

out selected strands “as if she were caught in the wind,” Tricomi explained. Chadwick Bell turned to art: Picasso's ^Boy with Pipe^ and Arlene Gottfried's ^Midnight,^ for design inspiration. He shared these images with make-up experts who examined the color palettes of each piece to create a dewy face punctuated by a rich rosy lip and subdued brown smoky eye. The cheekbones were highly emphasized and provided a sharp contrast to the voluminous hair featured on the runway. The feelings evoked by the artwork were certainly captured through makeup as well. The look embodied

a certain air of mystery, intellect, and intrigue. The Chadwick Bell woman is definitely more than “just a pretty face.” Picasso and Gottfried weren’t the only artists at work. Celebrity manicurist Tracylee Percival’s nail art used a combination of Pure Ice matte topcoat and nail colors in varying degrees of red. Pure Ice’s “All Nighter,” a metallic dark red, and “Scandal,” a nearly black red, were combined to achieve the perfect shade of scarlet sheen. The feminine yet dangerous look was actually intended to evoke the image and tones of dried blood. “I decided last minute to do the tips in a gloss,” said Percival. This made for a striking textural contrast through the matte finish. In a “perfectly imperfect” runway show bursting with contradictions, one fact remains indisputable: Chadwick Bell is certainly on our radar. We can’t wait to see what this up-and-coming designer will show next.


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Is “Made in China” Going Out of Style? By Hermina Sobhraj

Made-in-China-epidemic. In the last three years, USA Beading has let go of almost one third of their employees. When asked how he plans to combat his overseas competitors, Faraj said, “Honestly, it’s going to come down to companies realizing that it’s not worth it [to produce in China].” He goes on to explain that producing garments in the USA not only increases jobs but also allows manufacturers to sell at a premium price and reduce overstocked inventory.

Illustrated by Jieyi Mei for W27 Newspaper.

Much like cattle being branded, the term, “Made in China,” is an infamous phrase printed on thousands of clothing labels found across the United States. However, this trend of offshore production is slowly reversing, and evidence of this can be found in the Fashion Institute of Technology’s own neighborhood: the Garment District. Near the corner of 8th avenue and 28th street lies USA Beading, one of the few remaining Made-in-USA apparel production stores. Zakary Faraj, president and third-generation owner, established the store in the late 1980’s. The company, a division of Faraj Inc., offers a variety of apparel-related services, such as custom t-shirts and garment designing, but they are best known for their innovative and patented embellishment techniques, including laser cutting and caviar beading. These techniques have been used on fabrics distributed by Calvin Klein, BCBG, among various other relevant fashion labels. Their work can also be seen in ^Women’s Wear Daily. Although USA Beading has a large market share, they have not been immune to the

Q&A: Morenatom

FD: Morenatom is a family brand— how do you incorporate the family aspect in running your business?

and various elements that enrich the visual of the collection. I always aim to achieve the handmade look. In my opinion, the shoes have much more value and appeal when they are handmade. Knowing this, I try to use materials that enrich the product and also shows that manual labor. I also pay close attention to the eco-friendly materials, making every effort to work respecting the environment, through partnerships with suppliers who respect nature in their manufacturing process.

By Fernanda DeSouza Fernanda DeSouza: As a Brazilian shoe designer, how do you bring the aesthetics of the Brazilian culture into the European and US markets? Cristina Germann: Brazil is a multiracial country of many colors and lots of creativity. Today we are fully connected to all information and fashion movements around the world and yet we are also trendsetters. Working with fashion in this cultural context is very cool, since the Brazilian woman is known to be a very happy, relaxed and sensual person. The Brazilian women have always been the muse and the inspiration for the development of the Morenatom collections and she takes her fashion to both the U.S. and Europe. In my work as the designer of the brand I use the mixture of colors and materials joined with the knowledge of someone who lives in this inspiring country, which I like a lot. Today, I would not like to be in any other place than Brazil, making fashion to other continents. We have a differential to offer and we know that with the original Brazilian design lies our ability to conquer other continents. FD: We’ve never seen shoes like the ones Morenatom is producing in terms of style. Where do you draw inspiration from?

CG: I always try to be informed about what and how fashion is evolving, but the inspiration and the theme is always an inner journey, a vision into different places, not the usual places that shoe designers look into. My graduation in arts allows me to travel between the technical elements of the shoe and completely free design that attracts a lot the consumers. I play around and freely with the lasts, with the lines of the patterns and materials. I don´t follow exactly the information dictated by the majority. I respect it, but I like to know that we can follow our own path at the level of creation. Besides this, Morenatom tells stories and based on these stories, there are trends, colors, materials, and constructions. The Liz, courtesy of Morenatom.

CG: I think that being a family business is that there is always the latent passion and care at work. We started together and we’re together until now, after 9 years in the market. We have fed and nurtured the brand with family values. It is very special because as I am always moving to be together with my family, it becomes an additional inspiration. The family institution is expressed in our work and our clients enjoy this side of our business. FD: What goes behind your design process such as how you chose to use the materials for the shoes? CG: I like to mix various materials at the same time, sometimes materials that seem unmatchable and that ultimately have a great appeal. I enjoy working with fabrics and reverse side of leathers, embroidery

FD: How would you describe your experience when you showed your collection at the MAGIC/Platform trade show? CG: It is very important to be at Magic/Platform as we are able to meet with the best retailers from the US and around the world as well as showing our products next to wellknown designers. FD: How do you envision your company in 5 years? CG: Conquering more of the market, not only through new retail outlets, but through the trust of our customers in our footwear design process. Morenatom´s products have soul, and our objective is to gain more and more customers that become faithful to our brand. Having customers trust on what the brand will be offering each upcoming season, wait for news with anticipation and joy that will always exist, is a great goal to achieve in terms of success for Morenatom.


ENTREPRENEURIAL FEATURE BRING ON THE BAUBLES By Caroline Nelson IMAGINE THE SHINE AND STATEMENT OF A DKNY ROSE GOLD-CLAD, CHAIN NECKLACE DRIPPING WITH BRIGHT PINK AND RED RESIN POPPIES. NOW IMAGINE HOW MUCH THIS NECKLACE WOULD COST WITH AN OUTRAGEOUS DEPARTMENT STORE MARKUP. IF THIS THOUGHT SCARES YOU, DON’T FEAR. YOU WON’T FIND EXORBITANT PRICES AT BAUBLEBAR.COM, AN ONLINE RETAILER SPECIALIZING IN HIGH QUALITY, LOW COST FASHION JEWELRY, THAT HAS JUST LAUNCHED ITS SECOND FUSION COLLECTION, DKNY+BAUBLEBAR. THOUGH A BIT MORE EXPENSIVE THAN THE MAJORITY OF THE SITE’S ASSORTMENT, THE COLLECTION, PRICED BETWEEN $40 AND $320, IS A PRIME EXAMPLE OF THE QUALITY AND INNOVATION OF THIS YOUNG COMPANY. Launched in January 2011 by Amy Jain and Daniella Yacobovsky, two Harvard Business school graduates and former UBS analysts who yearned for a simple, inexpensive jewelry shopping experience, BaubleBar now boasts about 300,000 monthly visitors and many celebrity clients from Justin Bieber to Zoe Saldana. The secret to this success is the company’s business model, which includes the introduction of new pieces every Monday and Wednesday that are only available for four weeks at a time. BaubleBar’s Fashion Director, Shoshanna Fischhoff, previously the Accessories Market Editor at Women’s Wear Daily, merchandises each month’s assortment around a theme such as this month’s “flora and fauna.” “From a boutique all about colorful blooms, to spectacular pieces with a reptilian influence, these are the pieces we think are must-have at prices that are can-have, which is the cornerstone of what we do,” said Jain and Yacobovsky.

These pieces may be trendy and inexpensive, but don’t expect them to tarnish or fall apart after a few wears. BaubleBar products, while sold as private label, are often sourced from high-end designers whose pieces you might find with a huge mark-up elsewhere. “Most designers are pretty unhappy with the current distribution platform available, and are very excited about working with us!” said the founders, explaining that though they do contact designers whose work they admire, most interested designers now reach out to them. This innovative business model caught the eye of many investors and a number of TV shows and publications from ^The Today Show to international versions of ^Vogue^, but bloggers and social media are main drivers to the site as well. BaubleBar recently created a custom Twitter-Plate necklace for The Man Repeller founder, Leandra Medine, and according to an Independent Fashion Bloggers interview with BaubleBar’s Social Media Manager, Grace Atwood, the company sends a number of bloggers jewelry to style for BaubleBar Blog’s “Inspired Style” posts. Like most business partners, however, the company is very selective when it comes to collaborations. “We only work with bloggers whose voices and aesthetic are in-line with our brand, and with people who are genuine fans of BaubleBar and can speak to their real love of the product,” said Jain and Yacobovsky.

Social media is also a prominent component in BaubleBar’s marketing strategy, so much so that according to a June 2011 FOX Business article, the name BaubleBar was chosen because of its availability across all social media platforms. About a year after the business was launched, the company is has grown its Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr following, and is now active on Pinterest with over 1,100 followers and 34 boards. “We've found that social media only works if it's genuine—we don't actively try to say what we think others want to hear,” the founders said, explaining the importance of social media in generating customer feedback, and building relationships. “We take their [customers’] feedback very seriously and aim to constantly tweak the business based on what our real-life customers are telling us,” they continued.

As an online retailer, BaubleBar continues to evolve. Recently, the site launched BaubleBar Man to offer a selection of cuff-links and according to Jain and Yacobovsky, “The wheels are already turning about how we can expand this into something bigger and better.” They also plan to work with different lifestyle brands for future Fusion Collections. As entrepreneurs who envisioned their company during their time at Harvard Business School, they understand the importance of working with a compatible business partner and offered this advice for any aspiring business owner, “Keep an open mind, test your assumptions, listen to your customer, and change the business model as necessary.” For more about BaubleBar visit BaubleBar.com.

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FREEZING CODE By Taisa Veras, Caroline Nelson and Sarah Dill IN FEBRUARY, CANADIAN LEATHER BRAND CODE TORONTO MADE ITS U.S. DEBUT WITH A PRESENTATION AND POP UP SHOP AT 25 PARK PLACE, NEW YORK CITY. THE NEW BRAND SHOWED A STRONG COLLECTION OF LEATHER JACKETS, SHIRTS, PANTS, AND SELECT ACCESSORIES. W27 NEWSPAPER EDITORS INTERVIEWED CODE’S DESIGNER JOHN GIAOURIS ABOUT HIS BACKGROUND AND DESIGN PROCESS. W27: How old were you when you designed your first jacket and what did it look like? John Giaouris: When I designed my first jacket I was 19 years old. I was attending school in Montreal, Canada and I needed something that would hold up to the deadly cold winters. I do not hold up well to severe ice-cold winds and mountains of snow that Canada so lovingly provides, so I needed a jacket to protect me from all of that. As a solution, I created a hooded leather, down-filled parka, with removable black fox or silver fox fur trim. It had a pull cord waistband and knitted, elasticized cuffs to protect me from the cold updraft and it had fleece lined slash pockets to protect my hands. This jacket is arguably the warmest jacket I have ever seen, touched, or come in contact with. It served me very well that season. No complaints at all for that 2010 Canadian winter. W27: Your family has been in the leather industry for years, did that influence you to start designing leather pieces? JG: My family, being in the leather industry for years, has undoubtedly influenced my decision to design in majority leather. There is no question there. Since my great grandfather, grandfather, father, and some extended family members are still heavy players in the leather industry, I have been granted generations of knowledge passed down to me about the properties of leather, how it works, its limitations, its creation process, its life cycle, its pros and its cons, and the list goes on. All of that information was absorbed at a young age, and in turn it has been applied to each and every individual piece. W27: You’re from Toronto, which has a very cold winter, what’s your favorite style to wear when it’s super cold outside? JG: Being born and raised in Toronto, I have been forced to endure some of this country’s most grueling weather conditions. There really is no it piece that can do the job of keeping you warm without looking like a spaceman, so I’ve found peace in layering. From the waist down, starting with a favorite pair of high

top black leather boots, I‘ll add wool socks, and a great pair of jeans: raw, waxed or distressed denim. For the top, I would wear a classic white T-shirt, with a knitted cotton sweater and this season’s most prized possession: my thick black sheepskin motorcycle jacket, accessorized with a chunky knit toque [a beanie], scarf, and leather biker gloves. If that can’t keep me warm, I don’t know what will. W27: Do you travel to other countries for inspiration for your collections? JG: Inspiration does not come to me from traveling. I have been conditioning myself to gather inspiration from my surroundings, whether it is environmental surroundings, the people around me, or the beat of the music I listen to. All of these things and more contribute to my inspiration. I believe that even the simplest things can inspire a whole collection. I’ve sketched out small collections based on a tiny detail off the sole of a vintage sneaker and I’ve done the same for just a twenty-second sound bite from a song. That’s where I believe real inspiration for myself comes from. It enables me to push my creative threshold and to produce purely based on building and exploring ideas and details beyond what you could have naturally imagined. W27: What did you study in college? JG: I studied Management Information Systems and Marketing at the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University in Montreal. W27: What were some lessons you learned in business school that you applied when starting this company? JG: When I was in business school, I learned how to work within the boundaries and limitations of budgets. I learned how to create a collection given the confines of the project. The beauty of this is that I learned how important it is to be, and stay, small. In being small and close to every aspect of the creation process, I am able to oversee the entire production operation to make sure that things are done correctly and properly to perfection. I learned that there is such a thing as being

too big. The larger you are, the harder it gets to hold onto what true quality represents and authenticity means, because most of the time, cost and corner-cutting is the direct result of expanding. W27: The craftsmanship of your pieces is amazing. From the lining of a jacket, to a sewn in zipper, to a fur collar, you really seem to pay close attention to perfecting the details. How long does it typically take to make a leather jacket from warehouse to a perfectly made sample? JG: The time allotted to each piece I create is roughly thirty days, from concept to creation. Each and every piece, which I call silhouettes, take on a special process to create the sample. First, I assess the purpose of the piece. Is it a statement piece, is it intended to serve as fully utilitarian and practical, or is it just something I would love to see everyone wearing? From there, I will draw up anywhere between five to twenty different ways that to approach and execute the idea. Then I will edit it down to one master silhouette. Then, I select the materials. The challenge here is collecting the elements of the piece that are all equal in weight. Due to the dynamic elements of the piece, we now have to find the perfect combination of selfmaterial, lining, zippers, and finishings that shape the quintessential chemistry when fixed together. From there, a pattern is drafted which takes roughly two days. Then a sample is cut out of the exact materials, using tools passed down by generation. There is rarely a time when the sample is exactly what I am looking for, so then adjustments to the sample are made after a fitting. Then people from our team in our design house conduct a wear test and they provide constructive feedback. From there, the general process is complete, and the cutting begins for full production. W27: You work mainly with cowhide. What are the benefits of using this type of leather over others like lambskin? JG: The reason why this collection of fall and winter pieces is worked with cowhide is because I believe that its properties are more appropriate than

that of lambskin. Lambskin is great, do not get me wrong, but it is a more delicate, fragile, lightweight and breathable leather, more suitable for spring and summer pieces. Cowhide is perfect for winter because it is thicker, warmer, and more durable. If properly treated and conditioned, it can literally outlive you and it can be passed down from generation to generation. It is also less likely to discolor or ‘ball out’ at the joints where there is more movement, and is less prone to snagging and stretching. In addition to all of that, it can also be much more supple, soft, and rich in feel, and form fitting to the body, and that is something that I personally select in the search process. W27: Are there any pieces you are interested in adding to the line in the future such as bags and shoes? JG: In the future, I will be focusing on engineering leather tote bags, duffels and knapsacks. It is difficult to wear leather in times of extreme heat in the spring and summer, so I will mostly be focused on creating more well-crafted and engineered bags than anything. Also, a big dream of mine is to one-day do footwear collaborations with designers from Italy as well as designers from the US. I have big ideas for footwear, but right now, all of my energy is focused on my clothing silhouettes and bags. W27: Where do you hope to see your company in the next 5 years? JG: In the next 5 years I see CODE being a full lifestyle brand geared towards individuals in search of items special for them. My vision is that I can save the world one leather jacket at a time and fight the over consumption and waste that fast fashion creates. My business model is flawed in the sense that one jacket from CODE is so well crafted that it will outlive you and you will never need another jacket again. The idea is that if we all can find that staple piece that fits perfectly within our style DNA, then we will be content with what we have and never need another cheap PVC or polyurethane jacket that falls apart after a few wears. This is how I intend to save the world in five years.


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WRAP MY HEAD AROUND IT Photographer: Alicia King (aliciakingphotography.com) Photo Assistant: Christian Redl Stylist: Natasha Garrett (natashagarrett.com, westerneast.tumblr.com) Hair: Tanya Tomlinson for B Cosmo Inc. Make Up: Jiaying Wang (www.artofsign.blogspot.com ) Models: Lauren Fitzpatrick & Tony Triumph

Lauren wears a vintage Burberry shirt, a turban headband from the Style Shop, leggings from Panjura by Andrea Pitter and shoes by Jeffrey Campbell. The necklace is by Hyangmi Kim, FIT accessory design major. Tony wears an outfit by Sandro Romans, FIT fashion design major.


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ENTREPRENEURIAL FEATURE

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HOW TO SUCCEED IN FASHION WITHOUT REALLY TRYING Intro by Taisa Veras

THE FIRST TIME I SAW LEANDRA MEDINE’S ARM PARTY ON HER INSTAGR.AM LAST SUMMER, I KNEW THAT SHE WAS ON TO SOMETHING BIG. THAT SUMMER, I ATTENTIVELY WATCHED HER GROWTH AND MASS-TAKEOVER OF THE FASHION BLOGOSPHERE WITH HER NEWLY-CREATED, WITTY #ARMPARTY. AS I TOOK THE ROLE OF EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF THIS PUBLICATION IN SEPTEMBER, I IMMEDIATELY THOUGHT TO FEATURE MEDINE ON THE COVER OF ONE OF THE ISSUES. HER CHARISMA, UNEXPECTED LANGUAGE, AND INTERESTING SARTORIAL CHOICES, HAVE CAPTIVATED FASHION INFLUENCERS AROUND THE WORLD. FIT students have been highly drawn to Medine’s voice, of DANNIJO introduced me to a photo shoot as well as an excluattitude, and style, creating a Medine, who captivated me sive interview. Fast-forward to movement of “man repellers” with her presence, and I promptly February, a group of W27 editors, throughout campus. Observing asked her to collaborate with and FIT student and photograthis movement, I decided to W27. pher, Armah Jones, caught attend the launch party for My next encounter with up with Medine in SoHo and shot her collaborative collection Medine was this past January at her in Jones’s signature street with DANNIJO named, “Mr. the DANNIJO sample sale, which style. The sartorial freedom DANNIJO.” At the event, I met she hosted. We spoke again that Medine advocates inspired The Man Repeller herself for about collaborating with W27 and us and we hope it inspires you the first time. Danielle Snyder she enthusiastically agreed to do as well.


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FIT THE MAN REPELLER AS ENTREPRENEUR

the New School for Liberal Arts with a Journalism degree, into a full-time blogger earning advertising revenue and commissions from posts linked to online retailers. The key to success, according to By Caroline Nelson Medine, is brand management. “I think it [The Man Repeller] became “Young entrepreneurs need more a brand about a year ago when I time in the light,” said Leandre started partnering with different Medine, founder of ManRepeller. media companies and vendors, com and winner of MyHabitat’s offering services in different capaciBloglovin’s Blogger of the Year ties based on the client,” she said. Award, in an interview for Guest of a Over the past two years Medine has Guest. hosted a number of events includ“If you're going to market yourself, ing the launch of the Tony Duquette turn yourself into your brand,” said for Coach Jewelry Collection, Medine to W27, “you have to make and worked with stores to style sure you like the proverbial product looks, such as her collaboration you're releasing into the world and you have to do it honestly and mean- with Refinery29 at the renovated Bloomingdales flagship in November ingfully.” Medine launched her own 2011. In addition, she hosts giveblog, now a limited liability comaways that tie fashion and social pany (LLC), on April 25, 2010, titled media together. A recent giveThe Man Repeller. Since its first away posted on her blog required post, The Man Repeller has grown that entrants download and use tremendously with over 30,000 app Pose on their iPhone or smart Facebook likes, and over 62,000 phone, or follow both a brand and Twitter followers, without countthe @ManRepeller handle on Twitter. ing the amount of followers she has These giveaways not only award on Tumblr, Bloglovin, POSE, and one lucky person with a gift but also Instagram. While keeping her topics increase the social media reach of fresh and her voice humorous, she transformed her blog from a witty commentary on street style and unconventional clothing to one offering guidance on how to be stylish no matter what you do or where you are. Tips on how to attract the attention— not of gentlemen suitors—but of street style photographers and how to properly layer clothing can also be found on her blog. This commitment to meaningful communication and self-promotion led to press mentions in many websites and publications, from Mashable, to Lucky magazine, to a #1 ranking in Ad Week’s “Fashion’s Power 25” list in September of 2011. According to an interview with Tom Keene of Bloomberg Television, the popularity of the blog has turned Medine, a graduate of Eugene Lang

MARCH 2012 Opposite: Man Repeller Leandra Medine in a signature pose on the corner of Prince and Greene. All photography on spread by Armah Jones for W27 Newspaper.

both The Man Repeller and the promoted brands. The Man Repeller has created the ubiquitous saying, “arm party,” which she recently trademarked. Since coining the phrase, the hashtag “#armparty” has taken over Twitter, and girls everywhere refuse to leave the house without a stack of bracelets that covers almost half of their arms. “Someone emailed me and asked if they could call their shop ‘arm party’ and it was at that point I think I realized I was sitting on something,” said Medine, explaining what prompted her to trademark the term. As for the future of her brand, Medine plans to bring The Man Repeller from the laptop to the bookshelf or e-reader. She is currently working on a book due for release in April 2013. Medine is a role model to any passionate blogger or aspiring entrepreneur. “My plan of action has always been take each day as it comes. I never did this to have a business, I did it out of passion so I would say just continue doing what you love and the success will inevitably come your way.”

Leandra’s Isabel Marant Willow sneakers. Bottom left: #armparty, feat. Mono & Me adjustable bracelets and multiple watches. Leandra’s fiery red Proenza Schouler leather ps1 bag is wearing her gorgeous Tom Ford sunglasses.

COLLAB-SENSATION By Sarah Dill Leandra Medine has not only established herself as a full-blown blogger and entrepreneur but is also recognized for her notable collaborations with well-known designers in the industry such as DANNIJO and Del Toro shoes. Medine has garnered a large group of followers, all of whom await her next big launch. Since the birth of the The Man Repeller in April 2010, Medine’s name has popped up in the press for her keen eye for street style, combined with her mix of sartorial edge in her blog posts. Collaborative offers have been increasing rapidly and her first major collaboration was with the RACHEL Rachel Roy brand, where the blogger teamed up with the designer to create a web series of videos where she styled girls in true “man repeller” outfits. Her freelance work has been featured in magazines such as Lucky, Women’s Wear Daily and Harper’s Bazaar highlighting her “Can you be in Fashion and Still get a Man?” post. In addition, Medine collaborated with her close friends, well-known sister design duo, Danielle and Jodie Snyder for their jewelry line DANNIJO. The first collaboration, titled MR.DANNIJO, included menswear inspired pieces such as bowties, mustaches, and collars. “Working with Danielle and Jodie has

been a lot of fun, they're close friends and to be able to turn a business relationship into a friendship or vice versa is an interesting experience, just feels perpetually productive,” said Medine. Since the major success of their first collaboration which came out last summer, MR.DANNIJO Part II in the works. “It started as a salute to outerspace,” said Medine about the inspiration behind her second DANNIJO collaboration. “We were going for an intergalactic vibe and one piece included alien eyes on the composition of the necklace. We loved those eyes so much though and noticed how well the kitschy stuff from our last collection did that we turned the entire collection into a vignette of eyes. Not evil eyes, per se, just plain old eyeballs. The collection is called ‘Eyes Spy.’" With so many collaborations under the Man Repeller’s belt including a coat for Gryphon, a blazer for Alex and Eli, two jewelry collections for Mark Henry, shoes for SIX London and a dress for Lineby, most fans are awaiting to see what future collaborations Medine will engage in. “While I have collaborations in smaller capacities with brands like Thakoon and Prabal Gurung, I'd love to work more closely with designers that I've admired, like Derek Lam and Guillame Henry,” said Medine.


THREAD ACCOUNT

W27

StyleCaster’s

State of Style Summit By Fred Rodriguez wouldn’t be able to make her purchase,” Wilson chimed in, explaining the benefits of Facebook and how it allows stores to better understand their consumers.

STATE OF STYLE ADDRESS: VISUAL

The future is now; the ability to purchase a look right off the runway or design your own digital lookbook directly from your phone isn’t a thought anymore—it’s reality. All new technological secrets were unveiled during this year’s inaugural State of Style Summit, which was held on February 7th, at the 92Y in Tribeca. Hosted by StyleCaster Media Group, the sold-out event paraded a lengthy list of speakers which ranged from highly regarded fashion executives, to social media gurus, to PR mavens, and at one point—even a rabbi took the podium! StyleCaster CEO and Co-founder Ari Goldberg, emceed the day-long panel of speakers, and the timing of the event was hardly accidental—it was the kick-off for New York Fashion Week. Goldberg said, “[I] wanted to address the industry questions that really matter today, specifically where new media and style collide.” The CEO set the tone by emphasizing the importance of grasping trends and the latest advancements in fashion marketing. The range of topics discussed included social media and e-commerce

Ari and David Goldberg with Rebecca and Uri Minkoff. Photos on spread by Fred Rodriguez. developments, the evolution of brick-and-mortar retailing (rumors of its death—once again--are greatly exaggerated), the predominance of mobile phone apps for business and consumer, and better understanding today’s consumer wants and needs.

ANATOMY OF FASHION Moderated by Simon Collins, dean of Parsons Fashion School, along with Mazdack Rassi, creative director at MILK Studios, and Tom Florio,

WHERE DOES DIGITAL DRIVE TRAFFIC? That was the lead topic addressed by moderator Lauren Indvik, media and fashion editor at Mashable, along with Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Gilt Groupe, and Catherine Modellering, EVP, Tobe Report of the Doneger Group. According to this trio of experts, the answer to the question is into the stores.“ During prom season a girl will try on an average of 30 dresses before she decides to purchase one,” explains Indvik. “She may be able to narrow down her selection process by searching her favorite stores online, but without actually visiting the store she

From Rags to E-GoGo

Condé Nast Senior Vice President and Publishing Director at ^Vogue. Their discussion focused on how designers are successfully marketing directly to consumers and how fashion isn’t only a business to business conversation anymore. During this discussion, Rassi announced the launch of MILK Made’s New York

The new Rags-aGoGo storefront, courtesy of the company’s blog, ragsagogo.blogspot. com.

By Meaghan Heartland Joshua Suzanne, the founder of Rags-a-GoGo, a small shop on 14th Street that sells vintage clothes, started her career in fashion retail in 1991 at a store called Alice Underground. Little did she know at the time that her stint there would lead her to owning her own store and even launching her own one-ofa-kind shopping experience. After working at Alice Underground for less than a year, Suzanne was able to create her own flea market stall. She named the stall Denim Devine, due to the fact that she sold nothing but denim and cowboy boots. She made $500 on her first day, and believes it to have

According to two experts, Aviad Arviv of Watchitoo (which provided the live stream feed of the event) and Aslaug Magnusdottir, CEO and cofounder of Moda Operandi, YouTube reports up to four billion video views per day. Due to the new trend of live streaming runway shows, style enthusiasts can now purchase looks right off the runway. Moda Operandi, a new e-commerce website, allows consumers to view a fashion show live and make purchases online as the looks go down the runway.

been pure luck, which she defines as, “Labor Under Correct Knowledge.” Suzanne and her then partner kept the stall open for a while longer and then decided to move to Valencia, Spain. Within three days of the move, they had an apartment and a store. In 1995 they decided to move back to New York City and open up their first store, on 7th Street in the

Lower East Side. Suzanne says that people must, “Be aware of change and accept how they fit in with the changes and grow with it.” This is exactly what she is doing with the trend for more electronically based shopping. Responding to the the popularity of e-commerce and now mobile-commerce, she is branching out even further by launching shopping via iPhone’s Facetime feature.

Fashion Week smart phone application that sends exclusive content and information directly to the user’s device, which simplifies the lives of fashion editors, buyers, and consumers. As the show occurrs, editors, buyers, and attendees can take notes, tweet images, and curate customized lookbooks that can be e-mailed in real time. One aspect that concerned Collins, however, was that making the collections so easily available may encourage copying by competitors, something that designers don’t want.

FROM CONCEPT TO COMMERCE Moderators David Goldberg, president and co-founder of StyleCaster, Designer Rebecca Minkoff, and the brand’s CEO Uri Minkoff, emphasized the advantages of putting the designer in direct contact with the customer through social media channels from day one. Minkoff stays in touch with her customers through online chat boards and even replies personally to their emails. She explained that her brand is, “for the people, by the people,” a philosophy she lives by that has expanded her company from one t-shirt design to a full-fledged contemporary sportswear and accessories label. As for the future of StyleCaster, they are beyond humble despite the positive encouragement from the fashion community. They plan to turn the State of Style Summit into a seasonal event. Look out for their extended presence this September, as they plan to bring Style to the People for a multiple day conference with out-of-the-box interactive components!

This new type of shopping experience will allow customers throughout not only New York City, but also the world to shop from the comfort of their own apartments. She states this is the best method, as it allows her to really find out what her customers are looking for and show it to them in real time. Suzanne believes the idea will, “bring personal shopping to a whole new level.” She intends on setting up cameras throughout her entire store so that whoever is Facetiming with her can see whatever she is pulling out for them. She plans to launch this service in mid April. For Suzanne this is just another step in her road to success which, “is what the last 22 years of [her] life has been about.” More information on Rags-A-GoGo can be found at rags-a-gogo.com


19

FIT Ali Smith:

Dara Senders:

Why you Should Judge a Book by its Cover By Colleen Dengel and Suzanne Dengel When you walk in a bookstore, the first thing you notice is what are on the shelves. Some choose their book based on the author, others on the content, but mostly, what catches your attention is the cover of the book. Decidedly, that’s where the decision to pick up a book plays out. What you don’t know is that behind every book sale there is a cover shot, and behind every cover shot there is a talented photographer.

Ali Smith, one of the remarkable photographers whose images appear on hundreds of book covers, some of which were on the ^NYTimes^ bestseller list. She’s the unsung seller of books, even if she doesn’t realize it. You’ve seen many of the covers she’s photographed; from ^Pretty Little Liars^ and ^Gossip Girl^ book covers to ^The Chemical Garden Trilogy^ and several national ad campaigns for major companies such as Rimmel London Makeup, A&E Television, and ^Cosmopolitan Magazine^, Smith is surely a champion in the competitive field of photography. She is a freelance photographer who handles every aspect of her photo shoots, from casting to even most of the post-production work. She’s a woman in charge. Her favorite part about being a photographer, is the photography itself.. She says getting the shot and the creativity and conceptualizing leading up to it, even the prop shopping is enjoyable once the realization of the concept kicks in. However, her least favorite part of being a photographer is the paperwork. Smith is truly an entrepreneur at heart, who likes being her own boss and could not see herself ever going

MARCH 2012

back to working for someone else. “I keep it evolving by always mindfully trying to balance what I do for money with what I do for the love of photography and causes I care about,” she said,“I'm blessed to have a job where those two things can coincide.” Aside from being a photographer, Smith also ventured into new fields of business. Random House released her first book, ^Laws of the Bandit

Photo courtesy of Ali Smith. Queens^, in 2002. In the book, she photographed 35 women she and many others admired, and accompanied the photographs with text she says are “words to live by.” Some of the women photographed include Sandra Bernhard, Maggie Step and Mary Karr. She is also working on a second book to be released in the near future. One of Smith’s favorite moments of being a photographer came when she photographed Janeane Garofalo, an actress, writer, comedian, and political activist for her book ^Laws of the Bandit Queens^. “I thought she was a real pop culture hero; vocal, direct, brash, smart as hell,” said Ali, “The experience of photographing her was really intimate and I liked the connection I could make with someone I admired and who's work I respected.” When it comes to photographers who have inspired her, Smith leans towards Martin Parr for his “humor and vibrancy” while she’s also inspired by Diane Arbus for her “bravery and holding sacred the odd and the awkward before anyone else did.” As for inspiration as a whole, “I

“THE TRUER TO YOURSELF YOU CAN MANAGE TO BE, THE MORE POWER YOU HAVE–AT LEAST YOU HAVE THE SPARK OF AUTHENTICITY.” find influence and inspiration everywhere though,” she said, “there are lots of great images out there. Often they come from someone much less known.” Prior to becoming a photographer, she was a ballet dancer who performed at Lincoln center, an illustrator, and she was also a rock musician who toured the world playing music and released nine albums. She also did a small amount of assisting, but she knew it didn’t suit her. “I'll be honest, I came in contact with a lot of mega male egos when I dipped a toe into the assisting and studio managing worlds and I just couldn't stand it,” she says. She credits her father, who was also a musician who documented his life with his camera, and her mother, who encouraged her to follow any path she desired, with the inspiration to begin photographing her experiences on the road as a touring musician. “I photographed fellow musicians for their album covers and flyers, and my own musical experience, touring and living that life,” she says. Smith says her success in photography is not rooted to a specific person or ideal, but her ability to stay true to herself. “The truer to yourself you can manage to be, the more power you have behind yourself,” she said, “at least you have the spark of authenticity.” As far as her career, Smith defines it as freedom. “I'm not rich, but I have an excellent life full of valuable connections and art and, yes, difficulty and stress sometimes, but I have freedom,” she said, “no one really owns my time. And that is priceless.” Ali has one piece of advice for FIT students pursuing a career in photography. “If you love it, do it.” For more about Ali Smith visit alismith.com/blog/

FIT Student Creates Own Jewelry Job By Mollie Yarsike Beginning in 2006, FIT student Dara Senders began teaching herself how to create a one of a kind wire and fresh water pearl bangle. It was from here she was able to realize her true passion, and decided that she would launch herself as a brand and become a jewelry designer. Though she never took a jewelry class, Senders had always been interested in the arts and always wanted to pursue a career in the fashion industry. She came to FIT planning to eventually go into Fashion Design, but it wasn’t until having to have back surgery in May of 2009, that Senders realized that continuing her education in fashion design might be too physically straining for her. After taking a step back and reviewing her options, she decided that she would go into Fashion Merchandising Management for her Bachelors Degree so that she could further her business knowledge and try to grow her brand and business as a whole. Senders self-titled line, Dara Senders New York, has recently expanded into other accessories

Bracelet with hamsa symbols by Dara Sanders. including headbands and necklaces, but she is still mostly focused on the bangles. The bangles are one of a kind and one can wear them during the day or for a night out, either way they make your outfit pop. In order to create such a versatile item, Senders looks towards 18th Century rococo art and the Parisian lifestyle. She does all of her own social media, but is currently on the hunt for an intern to lead the social media for her company. “Being an FIT student has given me the knowledge to develop Dara Senders New York and will help me grow my business and eventually have a lifestyle brand in the future,” Senders explains. Senders is graduating this May and plans to continue on the design route. Along with her website, she has previously sold her accessories at the FIT Style Shop and at the end of March, be sure to stop by Moda, the café across the street from FIT, which will be featuring Dara Senders New York. wix.com/darasenders/dsny


HAUTE CULTURE

W27

TUNING IN

CATCHING UP WITH HOLY GHOST! Photo courtesy of Factory PR

By Sarah Dill After growing up on the Upper West Side and attending the same elementary school together, Alex Frankel and Nick Millhiser are now known as the electro-pop duo, Holy Ghost! With hip-hop based roots and electronic influences, their first single, “Hold On” was released in 2007, gaining the band recognition worldwide for their unique dance music. Their New York underground hits led to remixes with bands such as Moby, Phoenix, Cut Copy, The Panthers and tours with LCD Soundsystem. Read below for an exclusive interview with Holy Ghost! and get a sense of what’s in store for this ultra cool, and now Brooklyn-based band.

Sarah Dill: How did you come up with the band’s name, Holy Ghost!? Holy Ghost!: It’s from a record that we like by a band, The Bar-Kays; their song is called “Holy Ghost.” SD: What was your first single?

HG!: That’s a hard question: LCD’s “Drunk girls” and “Goblin City” by The Panthers.

Love” by Change, “Ain’t Nobody” by Chaka Khan, “Killing” by the Rapture, and “Pete’s Jazz” by Pete Rock.

SD: What are your top 10 songs you listen to on your iPod?

SD: Do you plan on touring anytime soon?

HG!: I have no music on my iPod; I have Spotify.

HG!: Yeah, we’re leaving tomorrow for Australia and South East Asia.

SD: Do you have any favorite songs right now?

SD: Since you’re both from New York, do you plan to have more events or shows here?

HG!: “Hold On.” SD: From the beginning, did you both always want to pursue a career in music? HG!: Yes, definitely. SD: What has been your favorite song to remix so far?

HG!: I listen to a lot of (David) Bowie. I will tell you in a minute (pulls out his iPhone). Ok, we have “Johnny and Mary” by Robert Palmer, “Gypsy” by Fleetwood Mac, “Will Do” by TV On The Radio, “The Glow of

HG!: Not until our next record, which won’t be out until the fall of next year.

INSPIRING INSTRUMENTALS: MUSIC TO GET YOU THROUGH By Georgi Dwiggins Spring is a time for reflection and new beginnings—an entrepreneurial spirit. The days are getting warmer and the nights longer, making long thoughtful walks and moments of inspiration more attainable than in the drab days of winter. But what to listen to when imagining your next big project or undertaking? Here are some recent favorites that might help spark creativity and a sense of self… These lyrics from “Wintered Debt,” a song from Of Montreal’s newest album ^Paralytic Stalks, capture the spirit of renewal so well, “I need to teach myself to feel again, Somehow I lost the thread of being human.” The mixed up feelings that inhibit productivity are reflected throughout the entire album in the erratic instrumentals of the psychedelic band. This being the eleventh album from the ever-changing group,

Of Montreal is a clear example of how to keep it interesting. ^Paralytic Stalks, like their other albums, features songs that are much longer than the average few minutes and take you through a story, arranged for you to draw your own conclusions. Their music can strike any mood, as frontman Kevin Barnes explores every range of human emotion to equally varied pitches and noises. If you’re feeling a little blue and unproductive, “Comeback Kid,” from Brooklyn noise-pop duo Sleigh Bells may be the cure. With bouncy vocals and grating guitars, the song urges you to push forward, “I know it’s hard, But you’ve gotta deal with it, Why don’t you look around, Show me what you’re made of.” The song is one of the many highlights from the group’s sophomore effort Reign of Terror. The aggressive guitars and

rowdy feel pay homage to the likes of Def Leppard and ZZ Top. The guitar bits were all recorded in a reverberation room, definitely adding to the 80s power ballad feel of the whole album, and that’s exactly how you’ll feel playing it—powerful. A band that continues to reinvent themselves and stay relevant, Radiohead recently debuted two new songs in Miami, the band’s first stop on their 2012 world tour. The songs, “Identikit” and “Cut a Hole,” carry on the new chilly electronica vibe the band embraced in their latest album ^King of Limbs. The hazy rhythms, with long breaks after heavy lyrics, definitely offer means of introspection. The steady electronic beats allow you to just think and as lead singer Thom Yorke

Photo courtesy of Polyvinyl sings on the album, when able to lose ourselves in music, “Slowly we unfurl, As lotus flowers.”


FIT

21

PROJECT X

FUN HOME: A FAMILY TRAGICOMIC

A Film Review by Fernanda DeSouza

A Book Review by Alessandra Della Vecchia

From Producer Todd Phillips, Director of ^The Hangover^, and emerging Director Nima Nourizadeh, comes the story of three high school seniors and their unforgettable chance to make a name for themselves by throwing the most epic party of the year. With his parents out of town for the weekend, Thomas (Thomas Mann) is the typical high school nerd, constantly bullied and neglected by his classmates. Tagging along are his two best friends (Oliver Cooper, Jonathan Daniel Brown) who plan to throw him an epic birthday party. However, things get out of hand—big time. Although the humor was entertaining, the absurdity of the film’s plot stands as is: the excessive exaggeration of a high school house party gone out of control gets old after the first half hour into the film. The “found footage” style used to shoot the movie captures a montage of (supposedly 18 years old) girls who are reminiscent of Playboy House Bunnies, shots of Ecstasy pills found in a stolen garden gnome, and a vandalizing scene that burns down half of the quiet Californian suburban town. Although the film lacks in any outstanding performances, actor Olive Cooper outshines co-star Thomas Mann in keeping the humor fresh

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel is a memoir in the form of a graphic novel that tells the story of a young girl growing up in a small suburban town while dealing with personal struggles, the exploration of her sexuality, the discovery of intimate family secrets and most specifically, the death of her father. For those of you reading this and thinking the plot seems somewhat standard in terms of a “coming of age” story, think again. Never before have I read a novel such as this, let alone a graphic novel. Bechdel’s use of language is astonishing given her limited amount of space and her detailed illustrations speak just as much, if not more, than her actual words. She manages to be witty, somber, candid, and downright brilliant all at the same time. In fact, what I love most about ^Fun Home is that everyone can take a different approach to reading it. This is largely due to the structural nature of a graphic novel (I often had to choose whether to read the words or look at the pictures first). The novel is also, in many ways, left open to interpretation. This is a direct result of Bechdel’s ambiguity about specific occurrences as well as her omission, deliberate or otherwise, of certain facts. This is the perfect book to discuss with friends at your local coffee house.

Photo courtesy of WarnerBros. with his constant banters and reassurances that “tonight’s about the girls we never got a shot at.” Will Ferrell and Zach Galifinakis will soon have to make room for Cooper on their comedic pedestal. ^Project X is teenage version of ^The Hangover that will have parents doubting their future weekend-long vacation plans.

MARCH 2012

Photo Courtesy of Mariner Books Another interesting attribute about Bechdel’s writing was her apparent love of literature. Throughout the book, Bechdel makes a decent amount of literary references and compares classics such as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ^The Great Gatsby and Homer’s ^The Odyssey to her own life, making parallels between the main characters, herself and her father. Named ^TIME magazine’s #1 Book of the Year in 2006, ^Fun Home is an intimate work of art and should be read by anyone interested in becoming fully absorbed in the life of this remarkable author.

WILL RYMAN AT THE PAUL KASMIN GALLERY Photo of installation courtesy of Will Ryman

A Gallery review by Desmond Zhengs After the larger than life installations of The Roses all along Park Avenue last summer, Will Ryman is back again with his oversized fascination. Moving away from the elegant and expansive boulevards, his oversized subjects are now contained in Paul Kasmin’s gallery on 293 Tenth Avenue. Titled Anyone and No One and held in two separate spaces, the scale of his sculpture pieces transforms the galleries into cage-like environments. Literally lining the wall lays a “person” made out of three thousand silver bottle caps.

The 485 shoes that make up his shirt act as a teaser for this talented artist’s ability to wow us with his outsized imagination. The exhibition then segues into a labyrinth of stacked paintbrushes creating incredible dimension and surface texture. The towering fourteen-feet-tall walls of paintbrushes recreating nature’s curves and shapes are hauntingly beautiful, a modern day maze filled with daydreams and imaginations. The second installation, around the corner at 515 W. 27th Street

demands your full attention. Loosely inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven, this humongous 12-foot-high, 16-foot-wide sculpture sits pompously in a breathtaking white space. Fifteen hundred actual and fabricated nails form the feathers and thorns on the metal rose hanging from its beaks, deposing the traditional meaning of nails, which is to build and connect. Ryman’s unconventional usage of ordinary materials, and his altering of scale and space to create dreamlike environments is simply brilliant.

These incongruous pieces of art, visible from the street through a glass garage door, almost emblematic of a New Yorker’s response to the giant elephant in the room, simply cause one to stop in one’s tracks and admire. The Will Ryman exhibition at Paul Kasmin gallery will run through March 24th.


HAUTE CULTURE

22

W27

THE CITY SKINNY

I LOVE KICKBOXING By Keely-Shea Smith At 11 AM on a Saturday morning, I waddled onto the 1 train at the 28th street station, sweaty and hungry, but more energized than ever. Just an hour earlier, I walked into ilovekickboxing’s studio on West 27th Street to take part in my very first kickboxing session in New York City. I have been to ilovekickboxing for two sessions now and love the workout along with the environment. Upon arrival for my initial workout, I was greeted by instructors and asked to fill out some simple paperwork. Once completed, I was escorted to the womens’ locker room downstairs, which was a medium size room of lockers, two sinks, and two showers, which are all very clean and well kept. Fifteen minutes prior to the start of the session, a time warning echoed throughout the gym, which was surprisingly helpful while preparing for the class!

I bounced up the flight of stairs to the main floor and chose my spot at one of the available bags. (Editor’s Note: ilovekickboxing’s staff recommends arriving fifteen minutes prior to the start of class to ensure a spot and allow for enough prep time.) Amanda, one of the class instructors, who by the way has a physique I can only envy, trotted onto the floor and ordered the group to take a jog. Upbeat pop and club tunes burned through the stereo as our instructor loudly praised and encouraged us. We warmed up with a few leg stretches, followed by various types of push ups, sit-ups, and leg exercises. This took about half of the class time and the rest was left for kickboxing. We learned different punches like the jab, cross, and uppercut and incorporated them into sequences with various types of kicks including

Photo courtesy of Keely-Shea Smith

a roundhouse and a heel kick. The instructors walked between each participant, helping them strengthen moves and correct form and technique. The she-veteran attacking the bag next to me was so friendly and helped me through a tough sequence and partner exercise at the end of the session. Her personality was a reflection of the entire atmosphere: inviting, heart pumping, and encouraging. As I peeled off my sweaty gear, I already felt the ache of the workout setting into my muscles. For the next two days, I could barely walk. But the

strength and confidence I felt from just that one session was worth the trip back. Whether you are in shape or have not done a squat in over a year, kickboxing with this team is personal and progressive. My workout at ilovekickboxing has been the best one I’ve had in years. For more information about ilovekickboxingchelseanyc, visit ilovekickboxingchelseanyc.com.

TECH TALK

DIY TOUCH SCREEN GLOVES By Georgi Dwiggins

Handmade touch screen gloves. Photo courtesy of Taisa Veras

With everything your phone does nowadays, it’s important to be able to use it at all times if need be. This includes times in winter (though maybe not this past one) when you are wearing gloves…hence the current craze for touch-screen gloves. Most of the gloves you find at stores go for about $50; for much less money and a little time you can create your own. Thanks to the discovery

of an article from technology and consumer electronics site c|net, each of our editors now has a pair of their own gloves for easy phone use. Here’s how it works: Touchscreen phones use static electricity from our fingertips to do all that they do. By taking a bit of conductive thread (such as silver plated nylon) and adding a few stitches to the fingertips of plain

gloves, the electricity will be able to transfer to your screen. You’ll be able to keep your fingers warm and functional. You can get basic gloves for creating this innovation from American Apparel (store.americanapparel.net/) and Conductive Sewing Thread from Leader Thread Corp., 252 W. 37th Street (3rd Floor) for $9.95 a spool.

A LEGAL BATTLE THAT’S NOT SO HOT By Zachary Rosenbaum “You know how hot Yoga got started? Bikram [Choudhury] was teaching a [yoga] class in Japan, in the winter, and a woman sitting near the window asked if she could bring in a space heater.” This is what Greg Gumucio, renowned yoga instructor and founder of Yoga to the People Studios, told the ^New Yorker in an article published in early February of 2012. It was in regards to the recent lawsuit filed upon his company by Choudhury. Hot Yoga, often referred to as Bikram yoga, is practiced in a room that is heated up to 105 degrees, enabling maximum sweat and a “heated,” muscle-strengthening workout. The practice was originally founded by a man named Bikram Choudhury—whom the ^New Yorker calls “the Dr. Phil of yoga,”— in the early 70’s. Choudhury proceeded to copyright his practice in 2002, claiming that the sequence of poses and the instructor’s dialogue belonged to him only. The question is: can a yoga practice belong to any

particular person? Both Choudhury and Gumucio now face a copyrighting controversy behind a practice that has been around for thousands of years. The well-intentioned, low-cost yoga studio Yoga To the People (YTTP) was founded in 2006, with locations in New York, California, and Seattle. The studios have been extremely beneficial for people who want to practice yoga, but do not have the money to take high-profile, expensive classes, especially students. The YTTP studio’s basic yoga classes are offered in Manhattan’s East Village for free, with a suggested donation. YTTP has two hot yoga studios, located on West 26th and West 27th Streets. Classes cost $8 per session, which is a fraction of the $25–$30 fee that most studios charge. Upon discovering Gumucio’s initiatives, Choudhury filed a lawsuit against YTTP, claiming that they infringed upon his ideas. The irony of this occurrance is that

An early photo of Bikram Choudhury, the Founder of Bikram Yoga. Photo courtesy of Radio Contempo Magazine

Gumucio used to be quite friendly with Choudhury, having been to his student and acquaintance. Currently, Choudhury offers a rigorous, nineweek Bikram Yoga training class, which costs up to $10,000. The controversial aspect of the suit is the dispute over whether or not Gumucio is actually violating a copyright. YTTP does not use Bikram’s name, calling

their classes “Traditional Hot Yoga.” Choudhury, who is active in multiple legal battles in an attempt to protect his practice, says that he sent an investigator to check out the classes, and that the sequence and dialogue are almost identical to his and he is suing YTTP for a million dollars on the claims of regaining monetary damages.


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MARCH 2012

DRAWING THE DREAM

THE GREEN TABLE

Vegetarian chili: makes you wish you weren’t on the meal plan. Photo courtesy of Sarah Dill

A Restaurant Review by Sarah Dill Eating green has never tasted so good. Since its opening in Chelsea Market, The Green Table has gained recognition from fresh foodies for its completely organic, straight from the farm menu. After having the pleasure of speaking with Mary Checker, Founder and Executive Chef of The Green Table, I couldn’t wait to check out the well-renowned organic restaurant. The dimly lit and large communal wooden tables created a farmhouse feel at this relaxing location where visitors unwind from their Chelsea Market wanderings. The menu included starters, entrees, and decadent desserts including organic chicken breast, brussels sprout hash, and house-made ice creams. Prices ranged from $7 for soup or starters to $26 for venison loin. When first sitting down at the long, light oak dining table, samplings of prosciutto, pear and ricotta cheese presented before the main course. After scanning the winter menu and contemplating whether to go for the traditional chicken entrée or go vegan friendly, I opted for the vegetarian chili, which included a variety of beans, local squash, smoked onions and hot bread kitchen chips. The fresh, chunky chili was brought out and perfectly presented with parsley and the crispy chips outlining the edge of the bowl. The exceptional service and

quick receptiveness to any requests at the table, added to an exceptional experience. The dessert menu included warm spiced ginger cakes to blood orange and olive oil cakes and the local apple tart, which made it very hard to choose from the array of sustainable sweets. I ended up choosing the house-made ice creams were the perfect choice to satisfy my sweet tooth. Three little scoops in flavors such as pumpkin seed brittle, espresso-cinnamon, and mint chip were presented in square modern dishes accompanied by a brown butter cookie. The crunchy cookie adorned the middle scoop of the creamy espresso-cinnamon scoop and was enjoyed with a cup of French pressed coffee. For more about The Green Table please visit CleaverCo.com.

Artwork courtesy of Adam Bohemond

By Madeleine Thompson On February 18th, in a group Nine pieces of 3’x3’ canvas boards, showing event at Den Art Gallery, covered in black and white illustraBohemond displayed a five-piece tions, hang on the brick walls at collection that included a CD cover Gallery Bar. Artists and art aficionaand four portraits of famous models. dos pass the displays and analyze “I do a lot of portraits because the details while slowly moving on to I like characterizing people,” said look at the next piece of artwork. Bohemond. He explains that the Adam Bohemond, a sophomore at best location to do portraits is in FIT and the artist of the illustrations public areas, such as Union Square. displayed, listens to the crowd’s “Everyone is constantly moving, it praise and assures himself that the leaves a visual imprint that you are three months of labor for his first left to fill in,” he said. solo show was worth it, after all. Bohemond will display another Bohemond began trading and collection at a one-night group displaying his work in galleries two showing event, “HarvestedFreshART, years ago after answering gallery at Studio 580 on March 13th openings on Craig’s List. “There from 7pm–10pm For more about are a lot of opportunities for artists Bohemond’s art and showings, visit: to share artwork and trade work adambohemond.com. on Craigslist,” Bohemond stated, “Artists trading art is the best way to make friends in the art world. In every illustration displayed, Bohemond includes a self-portrait and symbolically depicts friends in cartoon form. These characters are living in a surreal world with a notion that the world is ending. Bohemond describes the art to be “low brow art,” which is a new contemporary art genre that has a wide range alternative view.


HAUTE CULTURE

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W27

MONTH IN REVIEW By Nicole Tan

RAISING NEW YORK’S MINIMUM WAGE In accordance to this month’s entrepreneurial issue, the current debate to increase New York’s minimum wage might be a positive step towards social improvement. But it can also be detrimental to the many entrepreneurs and its low-income employees who have made their living based on businesses that survive on minimum wage. New York is one of the most expensive cities to live in. Yet, its current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, the Federal’s minimum wage. Currently, nineteen other states have deemed this wage too low for survival and have raised their minimum wage: Massachusetts at $8 an hour,

Connecticut at $8.25 and Washington State at $9.04. The ongoing debate calls for an immediate increase of New York’s minimum wage by 17% to $8.50 an hour, going as far as to adjust the minimum wage according to inflation each year. Both Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg support the increase in minimum wage in this consumerist society, predicting that the discretionary income would increase the circulation of money in the economy, aiding in the growth and recovery of America’s economy. Opposing Mayor Bloomberg and his supporters are Republican State Senator, Dean Skelos and

surprisingly, the low paid employees. Such increase in minimum wage “could be a job killer rather than a job promoter,” said Dean Skelos. Such views are exemplified by Charles Cestaro, owner of a cleaning business for offices and stores, with customers such as Sears. As published in ^The New York Times, Cestaro stated there are still jobs he offers. Cestaro receives about 60 to 75 applications, mostly from Latino immigrants, on a weekly basis demanding minimum wage jobs. “There’s a need to fill positions that don’t require a specific skill,” he said. Although such workers would like a raise in minimum wage, many are

weary that a raise in wages might mean a cut in work hours, resulting in a loss. Jamie Richardson, vice president of White Castle agrees. “Adding costs is a job killer, our customers are real resistant to paying more,” he said. If there were to be a rise in minimum wage, company decision makers will most likely move their businesses to cheaper costing states, or have their own employees do the cleaning themselves. Contracted companies such as Cestaro’s would also suffer a profit loss due to the long-term nature of their contracts established prior to the potential wage raises.

RISE OF A NEW STAR: JEREMY LIN

IRAN: NUCLEAR, OIL AND INCREASING TURMOIL

The National Basketball Association (NBA) season has finally kicked off and given the media a new star to shine its spotlight on. Jeremy Lin, an American professional basketball player for the New York Knicks has taken America, as well as much of Asia, by storm. A Harvard graduate, Lin is one of the few Asian Americans in NBA history and is the first American player in the league to be of Chinese or Taiwanese descent. Lin went through a myriad of

Iran’s nuclear enrichment program has caused alarms to be raised in the Western world. Presently, United Nations nuclear inspectors have made their second trip to Tehran in order to discuss Iran’s nuclear program as well as the “military dimensions” its nuclear plant extends to. Tensions are growing over speculations that Israel might carry out a military strike on Iran. Iran has responded to the European Union’s decision to cut off Iranian oil imports and freeze central bank assets beginning in July by halting all oil exports to Britain and France. The 27 nations in the European Union represent 18% of oil exports for Iran, the remaining exports going to Asia. Oil accounts for 80% of Iran’s exports and supplies more than 50% of the nation’s budget. Yet, the decision to halt oil exports to Britain and France is seen more as a strategic move. Both countries depend very little (1%-3%) on oil imports from Iran, and are also participating nations (together with Germany, the United States, Russia

Photo courtesy of FastCo Design teams—from failing to receive an athletic scholarship to many team waivers—before signing on with the New York Knicks on a reserve position. He is currently a media sensation and has increased the online sales of Knicks merchandise by more than 3000%.

THE TRAGIC DEATH OF ANOTHER: WHITNEY HOUSTON Whitney Houston, singer, model, actress and mother, was pronounced dead on February 11, 2012, at the tender age of 48. She was found dead in a hotel room in Los Angeles where she had gone for Davis’s PreGrammy party. Although unclear, the cause of death points towards an abuse of drugs and alcohol. Whitney Houston had sold more records and received more awards than almost any other female pop star of the 20th century, but had spent much of her last years combating drug addiction. She is also best remembered for her performance at

the Superbowl XXV in 1991, where she sang one of the most celebrated versions of the “Star Spangled Banner.” She was laid to rest in a private burial service in Westfield’s N.J’s Fairview Cemetery, where she was buried next to her father who died in 2003. She is survived by her daughter, mother and two brothers.

Photo courtesy of Not Quite Millionaires, thenqm.com.

and China) in negotiating with Iran on its nuclear program. Other countries, such as Greece, Italy and Spain are more dependent on Iran for fuel and obtain about 13% to a third of their oil from Iran. Such embargoes can translate across the Atlantic Ocean in a rise in gas prices over the summer, as well as future debates between political parties on the push to start drilling oil in North America, rather than relying on international trade for a steady supply of energy, especially at a time where the economy is still at a fragile state.


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FIT

MARCH 2012

OUTSIDE YOUR BOROUGH: TOP O’ THE MORNIN’ TO YA! NEW JERSEY

QUEENS

The Inbetween Café 56 English Plaza Red Bank, NJ 07701 732.741.9684

Sanfords Restaurant 30–13 Broadway Astoria, NY 11106 718.932.9569

BROOKLYN Cousin John’s Cafe and Bakery 70 70th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11217 718.622.7333

MANHATTAN Ditch Plains 29 Bedford Street New York, NY 10014 212.633.0202

By Raquel Rose Burger

By Venus Wong

By Amira Okelly

By Carolina Jimenez

Everyone knows that breakfast food in New Jersey is all the same. Bacon, eggs, cheese, repeat. Stepping into The Inbetween Café will give you something fresh and different to spice up your morning routine. Located in the heart of Redbank, this café offers a comfortable atmosphere and the town is a great area to explore when you are finished with your meal. A customer favorite and exclusive to The Inbetween Café is The Pop of Flavor which is comprised of a fresh baked popover spilt down the middle and stuffed with scrambled eggs, spinach, and goat cheese. Every entrée that is offered gives a unique twist to your normal breakfast routine. So take a break, relax, and enjoy the delicious food The Inbetween Café has to offer.

The popularity of Sanfords is pretty evident, given that it is the only restaurant in Astoria with a massive line waiting to be seated on a late Sunday morning. It has garnered a loyal legion of customers since its opening in 1922, and is renowned for its $14 brunch menu. A must-try is the rich triple-layered pancake coated with delicious peanut butter. The combination with banana slices melting in between makes the dish a match made in heaven. It is well worth the 40-minute wait!

Cousin John’s Cafe and Bakery, located in the heart of the hip, urban area of Park Slope, is bound to make anyone’s day sweet! The breakfast menu features elegant cakes, pastries and freshly baked breads and goods. We all know breakfast is important, but not always the healthiest. However, Cousin John’s Cafe and Bakery’s exceptional quality takes typical pancakes and and transforms the into a healthy meal. The whole wheat pancakes served with fruit and optional whipped cream is decadent. If you’re in the mood for something different, try the Golden Belgian Waffles and Challah French Toast. If your sweet tooth isn’t craving anything, the menu also includes a variety of omeletes. If you are looking for a quiet and comfortable morning with exceptional service, Cousin John’s Cafe and Bakery is the place to be. The family-run bakery staffs employees who make their customers feel like family while providing exceptional food options to make breakfast experience simply satisfying.

Hidden in the West Village and open seven days a week from 11am-2am, Ditch Plains is the place to be if you’re looking for a contemporary spot to eat for breakfast or brunch. From the moment you step into the restaurant, you’ll notice the modern vibe of Ditch Plains with its simple decor. Opened in April 2006, chef and owner Marc Murphy creates a sleek and stylish atmosphere filled with delicious food and exceptional service. Upon opening the menu, you will find an array of authentic, traditional American cuisine from various egg omelet options to breakfast tacos filled with eggs, sausage, cheddar cheese, pickled onions and a hint of salsa. Furthermore, on Saturdays and Sundays, Ditch Plains creates their very own specialty pancakes, such as red velvet pancakes with cream cheese frosting and yogurt pancakes with Doc’s organic maple syrup.

Illustrated by Ruodan Bai for W27 Newspaper.


FIT SPEAKS

W27

FIT Thrashers

Valentine, Schmalentine

By Fernanda DeSouza

By Rich Gilmartin

My first encounter with skateboarding was a cliché. It all began when I got my hands on a copy of ^Lords of Dogtown at the local Blockbuster (remember those?). My 13-year-old self almost immediately began the cycle of obsession with the Z-Boys to California shredding on stranger’s empty pools, and swooning over Jay Adam’s luscious locks. Oh, did I not tell you? I don’t, to this day, know how to skateboard. I was instead a rollerblading fiend, a skill I picked while up growing up in Miami and repeatedly watching ^Brink! on Disney Channel. My dreams of ever experiencing the sensations of skateboarding were shattered due to the fact that I could barely stand on a board and balance. Fast forward to my freshman year at FIT: enter Blaise (remember him from my dating piece in the last issue?) and his gang of skateboarding junkies. My early teen dreams stood in the flesh right before my eyes. Blaise introduced me to the gang and naturally, I thought I fit right in—I had the beanies, I could sing along to their punk songs (not necessarily the rap ones although I am mastering Skee-Lo’s “I Wish”), I could goof around with them without getting offended. Don’t forget, I still can’t even stand on a skateboard at this point. I quickly picked up the stereotypical pattern between

distinguishing the straight boys from the gay guys of the FIT community. Have skateboard? “I’m a straight guy” is written all over their foreheads. You’ve seen them lurking in the nooks and crannies of the FIT buildings or smoking like chimneys in front of Co-Ed Hall. If you haven’t actually seen them, you’ve definitely heard their boards slapping against the pavement all over campus. You may be thinking, “Who are these punks making all this racket?” Well, Avril Lavigne was right all along. There’s more than meets the eyes to the “Sk8er Bois” of FIT. Their sense of humor and mischief may be skyrocketing through the roof but they’re not so bad—they’re talented in their respective majors, work hard, and know how to live freely while enjoying a passionate hobby on the side. Kudos to them for braving the storms that come with the fashion-forward FIT student body. Their Thrasher tees, Dickies pants, and Vans are their identity and their boards are a statement. You’ve got to give it to them for providing entertainment during class breaks with all the tricks they pull in front of the C-Building. Don’t be afraid to approach them girls, they don’t necessarily bite! Just know what an ollie is and you’re in!

If you were to look up the term “Bachelor” on Urban Dictionary, the first definition you would see is, “Someone who understands the TRUE definition of MARRIAGE (Marriage is the #1 cause of divorce).” This, right here, is my love life in a nutshell—until recently that is. I have always been afraid of taking chances when it comes to relationships. We’re young after all, and it most likely won’t work out in the end, so ^what’s the point? It’s a question that’s been haunting me lately, and I’m determined to get to the bottom of it. It all started on the night of the Super-Bowl. There I was, sitting in the corner of my friend’s party at The Manhattan Club in Midtown, trying to drive the surrounding hipsters away. For the most part, it looked like it was turning out to be somewhat of a bad night: I had gotten into a fight with half of the crowd and my team, The Patriots, had lost. As the party was clearing out to celebrate in Times Square, I noticed a cute, yet unfamiliar face looking at me from across the room. We quickly made eye contact, and that’s when I heard, “You have really beautiful eyes.” Who, me? Actually, I knew she was talking to me because I get that compliment often. But that doesn’t phase me anymore: after all, beauty is only

skin deep. We hit it off almost immediately, and after some Internet stalking on my part, we became Facebook friends and slowly got to know each other. After a movie the following weekend, I finally mustered up the courage to ask her out on Valentine’s Day. Now, who can say no to a free dinner on the one day no one wants to feel alone? I went all out and bought flowers in the Flower District, which I happily paraded around the FIT campus purely for attention. I even got reservations at Seven Bar and Grill, and if you know me personally than you know I’m not likely to think ahead. Other than the substantial news coverage on Whitney Houston’s passing looping at the bar, dinner was a success. The conversation flowed naturally and she adored the single pink rose I had picked out for her. The awkward part came when it was time to part ways. I walked her to the bus stop on 34th Street and nervously waited around for about ten minutes before the bus showed up. I wanted to kiss her goodnight, however the atmosphere and the timing just didn’t seem right and I just wasn’t feeling it. I gave her a nervous peck on the cheek and saw her off onto the bus.


STYLE ON 27 Photography by Armah Jones.

FIT MAY BE 85% FEMALE, BUT THE MEN HERE NEVER FAIL TO MAKE A STATEMENT. FROM THE CAFETERIA TO THE CLASSROOM, THESE GUYS DRESS FOR SUCCESS. AS THE WARMTH OF SPRING MAKES ITS WAY TO 27TH STREET, THE BOYS ON CAMPUS LOOSE THEIR HEAVY COATS IN FAVOR OF LIGHT UTILITY JACKETS OR SWEATERS IN STRIPES OR SOLID PATTERNS. PAIRED WITH DARK JEANS AND A PAIR OF BOOTS, THESE PIECES MAKE FOR THE PERFECT COLLEGIATE LOOK. IF THAT’S NOT QUITE YOUR STYLE, YOU CAN NEVER GO WRONG WITH A LEATHER JACKET AND A CLASSIC PAIR OF VANS.

Jack Burns, Fashion Design

John Ersing, AMC

Kelly Gowman, AMC

Jack Gonzalez, AMC

Kári Emil Helgason, Graphic Design

Blaise Bevilacque, AMC

Kevin Buitrago, AMC

Rich Gilmartin, AMC


THE ENTREPRENEURIAL ISSUE

28

W27

SUMMER IS SHORT. SUMMER SESSION IS EVEN SHORTER.

Session 1 begins May 29. Session 2 begins July 3.

SUMMER SESSION

Register now at fitnyc.edu/summer


March 2012: The Entrepreneurial Issue