Posts tagged: Joshua Williams

Ozwald Boateng’s comeback via Skype

By , January 24, 2013 4:14 pm

Ozwald Boateng is making another comeback. Or at least another attempt to speak to the FIT community. (Mr. Boateng’s earlier scheduled appearance was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy’s unwanted visit.)

This time Boateng’s appearance will be virtual, digitally live from London. A Question and Answer session with Boateng via Skype will follow a screening of “A Man’s Story” — the documentary that details Boateng’s rise to Savile Row, the street renowned for menswear bespoke tailoring, and his post at Givenchy.

Hold the date: Monday February 4, 2013

Ozwald Boateng

The event is part of Prof. Joshua Williams’ “Faces and Places in Fashion” lecture series CL112.  Seating priority will be given to students enrolled in this class.

The event is open to the public. Admittance is based on first-come-first-serve available seating. Doors open 4:00 p.m. Schedule starts promptly at 4:15. Location: Katie Murphy Amphitheater on the first floor of the Pomeranz Center on the corner of 27th Street and 7th Avenue


At the experience makes the magazine

By , November 29, 2011 5:12 pm

Styles may change, but online content is what’s really on the runway at, one of the most visited online versions of a major fashion publication.  “Magazines aren’t what they were 10 years ago–it’s now an experience,” Keith Pollock, Editorial Director of told students of Faces & Places class last week.  It’s virtual engagement that Pollock and his team aim for. The “5 Es” of online publishing that rule he says are “engagement, extraction, entertainment, experience, exclusive.”

“What I’ve learned,” said Pollock is to utilize “instinct over intellect. Don’t over analyze; go with gut reaction. There’s no bad experiences, just learning experiences…Surround yourself with like-minded friends. Set high goals and aim to achieve them.”

Staying ahead of the fashion trends may just be the easiest part of it.

Designing like an “anthropologist”–Frank Zambrelli

By , November 15, 2011 4:49 pm

“Stop taking offense! It’s o.k. not to take things personally and to design for others.  Design can be approached as an art, or a science.  I liken it to an anthropologist. Both are valuable,” FIT grad and shoe designer (Banfi Zambrelli), Frank Zambrelli told students of Faces & Places class yesterday.

Banfi Zambrelli

Not surprisingly, Zambrelli, according to his published bio, planned on a medical career until a trip to the Milan fashion shows put him fashion-bound. After graduating FIT, Zambrelli landed a job at Chanel as a make-up artist, which led to his learning from the great Chanel shoe designer, Massaro.  This led to a design job at Cole Haan and then Coach, where he developed their first shoe line. After a stint at Reebok, Frank joined forces with shoe designer Silvano Banfi to create Banfi Zambrelli, a shoe design studio in New York, based on the European model.  Their eponymous line became an instant success and they continue to do private label for top American designers including Calvin Klein Collection, Derek Lam, Marchesa and Judith Leiber.

photo:  Joshua Williams


Creative directors speak about “voice, vision and narrative”

By , September 27, 2011 5:00 pm

An engaging hour’s talk filled with industry experience and trend observation of who, and what, dictates fashion, was held in Katie Murphy Amphitheater on Thursday.  “What Makes a Good Creative Director?” was moderated by Faces & Places instructor Joshua Williams.

L-R David Wolfe, Emmett Shine, Piera Gelardi

One challenging topic was the response to fashion in the economic downturn. “There was never more luxury than in the 30s,” said David Wolfe of The Doneger Group.  “Will the middle class find a way to be inspirational or feel trapped in the new financial landscape that they’ll go for the generic…Some will have called it correctly and others will be off by a mile.”

Piera Gelardi of Refinery99 noted regional differences in fashion. “Even though fashion is becoming worldwide there’s still a lot that’s local…Cities have their own style.”

“There’s a degree of homogenization…brands have leveled out,” said Wolfe. “I don’t think we have a fashion dictatorship. We don’t have to buy something to be in style.

“Customers are playing a larger role,” in fashion said Emmett Shine of Gin Lane Media.  Yet creative directors he said still need to call the shots when they have a “gut feeling.”

Emmett Shine of Gin Lane speaking

“Staying true to your customers but not staying irrelevant,” is Gelardi’s approach. “People are trying new ways of testing products–to have people vote on products–it’s changing the whole brand system.”

Shine said he liked the “democratization” of social media. “I have my own taste but it’s fine for people to figure it out on their own.”  But you have to know your “voice, vision and narrative” he said.

A diverse panel of creative directors

Social media, the panel agreed, doesn’t replace meeting people and sharing ideas. “People who are at the right place and the right time put themselves at the right place and the right time 10 times,” said Shine.

On that note Piera, was keen to advise students “exceed expectations.”

Students lingered to ask questions. “It’s an awesome for students to be in touch with the brands they admire and the people who make the brands go round,” said FMM student, Claudette McQueen. “It makes it less fantasy and more tangible.”

Photos provided by The Doneger Group


How to become a creative director? Hint: “Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer” says Joe Zee

By , April 8, 2011 5:33 pm

Andrea Linett, Liza Deyrmenjian, Joe Zee & Joshua Williams

On April 5th, three creative directors and proud FIT grads, spoke to a packed  house.  “What Makes a Good Creative Director?” was a School of Art & Design Town Hall Event moderated by Prof. Joshua Williams.

Topics ranged from what to accept (an entry level job) to what not to accept (“No” for an answer!) Issues of technology, editing content, working in teams, and creative expression were also addressed.

Liza Deyrmenjian, Prof. Joshua Williams, Andrea Linett & Joe Zee

Breaking into the magazine field with no prior experience, Joe Zee from El magazine said the “nos” along the way were opportunities to “figure out why” and try again.

The impact of technology has changed the role of the creative director, panelists agreed–but not so fast–good editing is still key.  With technology comes more content. The need for a strong vision and an editing eye are critical.

“There’s so much more information out there that you have to know what meets your vision,” said Prof. Joshua Williams in summarizing panalists’ comments.

Joe Zee with FIT student

Being at FIT said panelists, was a place to try test run ideas.  “Try a photo shoot, work on the school paper, help a student market their line,” were specific suggestions from Prof. Williams.  The more things you try and even fail at, the better. “And good to do it early, than when you have a job in the real world. Take advantage of learning,” said Prof. Williams.

Liza Deyrmenjian with FIT student

“Are magazines going to die?” was an anticipated question by Zee. Online should be different information, and a different interaction or experience, he said. But an online magazine should go hand-in-hand with the hard copy. “One should not be a pdf of the other, but its own entity,” said Zee.

Andrea Linett with FIT students

It’s important for a creative director to know different mediums, said Audrey Linett.  “My job is to tell a story. The more they know the more they can push their vision online.”

photos by:  Smiljana Peros

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