Posts tagged: Sarah Mullins

The Diana Rubio backpack

By , February 28, 2013 6:47 pm

The Diana Rubio Backpack is proof that practicality and style can win the pocketbook wars and a student competition that gets your name all over town. When Ms. Rubio was an FIT student in 2011, she designed the student-friendly bag to be sold at Barnes & Noble. It was to be a short-term run for a back-to-school collection. But it went viral. The original khaki nylon bag, worn as a back-pack style or on the shoulder is now in four colors and plaid. It’s the bag that never quits, nor quits selling.

Diana Rubio

  “I think it is a fantastically designed bag. When I see it on the streets of NY I’m proud of our collaboration with Barnes & Noble. Diana created this bag with the student in mind, which created a best-seller.” – Sarah Mullins, Chair of Accessories Design Department

We met up with Diana to learn more about how her design implementation propelled her bag to the top:

When I design I think what I would want function-wise that’s also stylish. I designed a backpack as opposed to a handbag. I wanted a durable, lightweight material, so my first thought was canvas.  Keeping the New Yorker and commuter in mind, I designed quick side pockets to function as easy access when juggling an on-the-go lifestyle.  When traveling I don’t want to deal with opening pockets, so that’s where drawstrings came in. I also wanted something versatile for both women and men so I made sure to design a neutral bag that anyone can wear.”

Diana Rubio leaving Moda w/ her Diana Rubio Backpack

“I just love it when I see my bag on someone I don’t know!”
- Diana Rubio 

 “I was looking for a bag because I commute…it fits my lunch and my textbooks and folders,”  says advertising & marketing communications student Brooke Micciola, a current intern at GoGorilla Media.  “I’m reading ‘Secrets of the Grave’ – it fits that.  I love the side pockets. I do the crossword puzzle so I put it there,”

I don’t have to go digging. Even inside there’s a zipper one and two smaller ones. After I bought it I was looking at the tag and it said why she designed it. I thought it was so cool.”

Brooke Micciola with her Diana Rubio Backpack

Ms. Rubio said she never thought of competing with other designers. “I believe that skews your natural thinking process. It was a mandatory competition, for fashion and accessory design students with other schools involved.”

“I really like it. It’s rustic and urban. It’s like a rare find. It looks like it’s got some history. It’s something you might find in an antique store.”

- pocketbook maven and textile development & marketing major Ashley Ray

The instructions for the contest were loose. “We weren’t given too many specifics, we just were told to submit three to five different ideas. Barnes & Noble then came to FIT to select final entries and made a second decision for a final winner. We went over our designs as a class during our sketch class and had the opportunity to critique each others work. Professor Vasilios Christofilakos also came in to give further critique. It always helps to have others’ perspective.”

Diana reaching for her yarn. No digging required.

 Diana’s first love is jewelry design. She is at work developing an online website store to feature her jewelry designs. But not to worry, handbags will be there too. “It all comes with time and hard work!” she says.

“I am devoted to my design work. I think when you’re a natural born artist you can never truly stop creating. Creating is in my every day.”

Diana w/ her award-winning bag contemplates returning to FIT for another degree.

The Diana Rubio backpack is proof that an accessory can also be a necessity.

photos: Rachel Ellner

BFA – A Fair to Remember

By , October 5, 2012 4:31 pm

your hosts from the Dean’s Office, Amy, Ashley & Kim

A roomful of expertise — department chairs, professors and student advisers — were on hand at the BFA Fair on October 4th to speak with students interested in art and design BFA majors. “Students often don’t realize the offerings and the vast number of programs available to them,” says Professor Ellen Goldstein from accessories design. “The BFA Fair opens their eyes to a vast number of opportunities.”

Suzanne Anoushian, chair of communication department with prospective BFA student

Professor Anne Kong from visual presentation and exhibition design talking to students

“We talked about everything from job opportunities to majors and ours being more 3-dimensional,” said Professor Anne Kong.

Prof. Birgit Schwarz-Hickey from advertising design talking with students

Fashion design chair, Colette Wong talks to a curious student

“The BFA Fair is a wonderful opportunity for all Art & Design students,” says Colette Wong, chair of fashion design. “It’s informative even for students who know what their major will be. They learn more about the study abroad programs and any lingering questions get answered.”

Prof. Frederun Scholz of graphic design providing guidance

Prof. Sarah Mullins & Vasilios Christoflilakos, chair of accessories design

Prof. Sandra Krasovec advising prospective student of packaging design

“I had a very important conversation with students about what they can do after graduation,” said Jeff Way, assist. chair of fine arts. “We have graduates who come to the classroom to talk about what they are doing.”

Student advisors & textile design BFA majors Gabrielle Marino and Samantha Dines help out behind the swatches

Sara Petitt, chair of textile surface design

Ramon Campos holding an octopus  prototype made by alum Andres Garza

 Ramon Campos, a student adviser, switched to toy design after completing his AAS in illustration. He was on hand to help prospective students navigate the waters.



photos: Rachel Ellner


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