Category Archives: Classes

em(BARK) on a new path…

Meet our Instructor,  Robin Droescher!

Robin Droescher teaches SXF 225: How to Style, Plan and Merchandise a Pet Products Line.

So, tell us a little about yourself…

I worked in the women’s fashion apparel industry for many years in design, product dev. and manufacturing. I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work at Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein and my last position was at Liz Claiborne. Six years ago I combined 2 of my loves – dogs and design. I launched Robin Meyer NYC. We produce a line of clothing and accessories for dogs with a fashion meets function point of view. A portion of my business has evolved into consulting for a couple of other dog manufacturers as well as doing private label for Barneys New York Dog and Orvis.

Bark Place Store

We’ve heard that you’ve emBARKed on a new job path…
I recently opened a retail boutique and grooming salon called Bark Place. I carry my line of products as well as other manufacturers. We have a full product assortment of coats, sweaters, beds, toys and treats. It is a great way to test new products and if they are successful to go into a production run the following season. The grooming business as been doing extremely well from the day we opened. I wanted to create something modern and state of the art – a place where people feel comfortable leaving their 4 legged children and are pleased with how they looked when they are picked up. I believe we have succeeded!

Bark Place store

What is exciting in the pet market right now?
I think one the exciting things in the pet market now is that apparel and accessories for dogs really follows the trends of what is happening in the human apparel market. I am starting to work on Fall 2016. I have spent the past few days shopping stores, looking through fashion magazines and browsing trend services on line. I know what sells in my line but it is a matter of taking the basis of what works and making it look fresh and new for the coming season.

Bark Place store Bark Place store

Can you give us a sneak peek of your class?
I have taught my class several times now. The first class I ask my students what they really would like to learn and take away. Each class I modify slightly to accommodate their requests. We spend time merchandising an assortment so it is focused, cohesive with a clear point of view. I then teach costing exercises using different classifications of product: coats, sweaters etc. We start with the cost of all the raw materials, add labor, shipping charges etc. to come up with a first cost. We then work on the mathematical formulas to bring the 1st cost to wholesale with margin implications and then to the MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price). I also talk a little about how to import from overseas factories.

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us!

Robin Droescher teaches SXF 225: How to Style, Plan and Merchandise a Pet Products Line.

New Instructor for Home Color Workshop

Meet our new Instructor,  Susan Quinn!

She will be teaching SXH 300 Color Workshop for the Home Fashion Market, starting March 18, 2015!

Susan K Quinn

So, tell us a little about yourself…

My background in the home furnishings market started in 1990 when I was hired to launch a home textile/bed linen collection called “Nancy Koltes”. I had been working in fashion for ten years and wanted a change. After a four-five year successful career with Nancy, I moved on to launch an Italian Collection from Milan called “Bellora”. I set up the US showroom, designed a collection for the US market and sold it. We had great success with the collections. In 2000 I started my own company importing bed linens and designing bed linens for US Wholesalers and department stores manufactured in Italy. At the same time I was working for Italian textile mills as an agent to the US market and designing prints and yard dyed fabrics for companies such as Ralph Lauren, Peacock Alley, and others. In 1992 I was asked by a friend to design custom wall covering fabrics for an apartment on Park Avenue. Although I was not an interior designer the client insisted on hiring me as their designer. The job was a success and I learned quite a bit.

Inspired by the work I had done on Park Avenue, I attended evening classes at FIT to study design and learn how to draw plans, create 3-D Renderings and the like. I applied for my General Contracting License and started managing construction as well as designing. I have used the skills to complete 20 plus interior design projects, design and build (draw full plans for) two house one in Fairfield, CT and one currently being built in the Catskills, as well as several construction projects. I have maintained my relations with my Italian vendors and continue to work importing bed linens from Italy.

My focus is high end residential interiors, my web site (under construction-with a loop of photos) features some of my projects and will be updated soon. I have traveled extensively over my career working with Italy, France, China and India. I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge with my new students.

Susan K Quinn

Was there a project or accomplishment that you consider to be significant in your career?

I just finished a huge apartment, gut renovation off of 5th Avenue, 17 Rooms which was a huge challenge, that was completed over the past two years (February of 2013 until February 2015).  I designed the layout, and working with the architect pulled all of the mechanicals and rooms together, I oversaw construction, selected every hinge, doorknob screw, toilet, faucet, wallpaper, fabric paint color, tile, stone, light, bed, curtain rod, floor covering, molding and designed all of the millwork including the kitchen and built in units, dressing rooms, closets in every room. Magnificent broad project with a large budget.

Susan K Quinn

What’s exciting right now in the Home Fashion market?

Right now in home furnishings there are all kinds of different options for finishes. Technological advances in wallpaper finishes, wood flooring options, stone, tile, paint types and finishes. Porcelain tiles that look like wood, wonderful eco-friendly options that are beautiful and affordable. Textiles always excite me but all of the new materials for construction and finishes are fantastic.

Susan K Quinn
Susan K Quinn

What will the students learn from your class?

The most important thing I believe is to have a plan of what is going into a project or how to add to an existing space and be sure to end up with a cohesive look. I will give out a floor plan with furniture drawn into it and work with the students to build schedules for paint colors, textile selections, lighting, floor coverings and stone and tile products that coordinate in color and finish to create a cohesive space.

The students will learn the process of making selections, pairing and keeping track of the selections. I will supply references for them to research on their own and in class to do some small research and then prepare a floor plan with a color coordinated cohesive schedule.

I will give them a short list of sources that I use, the knowledge of pairing products, textures and color so that they walk away with real information about how to get it done.

Thank you and we look forward to your class!
To register for this class, please visit

Illustration Interview

Meet our Instructor,  Joan Chiverton!

Joan Chiverton

So, tell us a little about yourself…

I’ve been an artist and illustrator my whole life. Recently I’ve discovered I really enjoy etching, monoprinting and silkscreen printing. I make it a point to sketch wherever I go. I often bring etching plates to concerts and jazz clubs and work directly on them at those venues.

I’m currently represented by The Old Print Shop, where I’m showing a new series of musician etchings this fall.

I’m on the Board of Directors of the Society of Illustrators. I teach at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Harbor VA Hospital. And I organize a special sketching program at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery. My work has been in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and numerous other publications.

I’ve also worked with numerous ad agencies and corporations as an award-winning art director and designer.

I can’t remember a time I wasn’t painting and drawing. My father, Albert Pels, was a fine artist, my mother, Gertrude Pels was an artist and children’s book writer. I’ve also managed to make time to raise 3 amazing children, Michael, Peter and Julia.

etching of musicians
Etching of musicians

Was there a project or accomplishment that you consider to be significant in your career?

I won Art Director’s Club awards and One Show gold awards as an art director in New York City before becoming creative director at several ad agencies in the Albany, NY region, including owning my own business. During that period, my companies won hundreds of creative awards. I also had a close working relationship with the New York State Children’s Theater in Albany, a pioneering theater group that saw the debut of many important plays and musicals.

Since my return to New York City, I’ve concentrated on illustration, my first love. The city is, and has always been my favorite subject, and I’ve been creating work that captures its people and its music.

concert sketched on location by Joan Chiverton
Concert sketched on location

Tell us about your current/upcoming exhibits…

Recently I’ve had exhibits and been part of shows at the Society of Illustrators, NY Society of Etchers, New Jersey City University and the Mehu Gallery. I am represented by The Old Print Shop on Lexington Ave and 30 Street.

sketch at Bark Dog Walk for Cancer Society
sketch at Bark Dog Walk for Cancer Society

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

When students start to draw they observe their environment and see the world differently. It literally changes their lives. I especially enjoy seeing some of my students progress professionally and gain recognition in the arts. And of course, I love to see students using the talents and skills they’ve learned with me, to enrich their lives and professions, whatever path they choose.

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Joan Chiverton teaches SXD 635 Quick Sketching for the Pet Product Business and SXG 140 Life Drawing Basics for Costume Design.