Tag Archives: FIT Professors

THE AMAZING BIL DONOVAN ’78 DRAWS THE AMAZING RALPH RUCCI ’80. UTTER FABULOUSITY ENSUES

There are times in Hue’s life when we are simply overwhelmed by gorgeocity.

This is one of those times.

For Fashion Week, New York magazine asked illustrator Bil Donovan, Fashion Illustration ’78 to sketch some of the shows in traditional pen and ink. They posted the results here.

At the show by Ralph Rucci, Fashion Design ’80, Donovan had his eye on Rucci’s sister, Rosina. Her ecstatic flourish at the end of every Rucci show is designed to inspire the audience. Donovan’s piece captures the siblings at the most dramatic moment:

“Rucci Bow” by Bil Donovan.

Upon seeing the whole collection of drawings, we cried, “Genius!”

Donovan replied: “Don’t know about the genius part but it was so in the moment… And my dread was to have some accident with the ink on my lap, especially at Thom Browne.”

“Thom Browne Hair and Makeup” by Bil Donovan.

See the rest of Donovan’s works for Fashion Week here.

WHAT I DISCOVERED IN COPENHAGEN, BY RENEE COOPER

Renee Cooper, Global Fashion Management ’08, professor of Fashion Merchandising Management, taught at KEA, a school of design and technology in Denmark, this spring on a Fulbright scholarship. Here are a few things she learned. (All photos are by Professor Cooper, except the headshot, by  Nikita Gavrilovs, and the bikers in the snow, photographer unknown.)

Students in Denmark are not required to attend every class. When I walked into my first class, there were only five students. Fortunately, they were all very interested and engaged.

Danish food culture is all about rye bread, and smørrebrød, open-faced sandwiches, are the most popular way to enjoy it. Smørrebrød are made with a slice of rye bread topped with meat, fish or vegetables and different spreads. There are lots of understood rules about what to combine and what not to. As a Dane, you just know.

Copenhagen is truly a biking city. There are more bikes than cars!

There are no plastic bags at the grocery stores. You always have to keep one in your pocket. Otherwise, you have to pay for a bag.

The public transportation is clean, convenient, and easy to navigate. I did not get lost once.

In Denmark you can’t find a Starbucks except at the airport. The students told me Starbucks was banned. Instead they have coffee shops called Barista.

My husband and I went to a museum near our apartment. At the end of our tour, we saw this sculpture made of copper pieces. It was gorgeous. We’re sitting there and my husband says, “That looks really familiar.” It was the statue of liberty in pieces. New York is everywhere!

TV is mostly in English! Amazing!

You often see this type of cart attached to a bike. Parents put their kids inside to nap during a journey; when the parents shop, they leave their kids inside! Needless to say, it’s really safe here.

Read more of Professor Cooper’s thoughts on her blog.

HARLEQUIN EDITOR FINDS HER OWN “HAPPILY EVER AFTER,” 25 YEARS LATER

In 1984, high-school-sophomore Patience Smith, wallflower and devourer of romance novels, gets ditched by her date at a formal dance. Sam Bloom, a popular, handsome, devilish senior she’s crushing on big time, whirls her into a dance. After he graduates that spring, she doesn’t think she’ll ever see him again.

Fast forward to 2009. Patience, now a senior editor at Harlequin, has “dated everyone in Manhattan” and is sick of it. She has passed the age of the standard romantic heroine whom she reads about every day at work. If she still holds out hope for true love, it’s the kind you put in a pretty little box in your attic and try not to think about every day.

From out of the blue, she gets a Facebook message from none other than Sam (a French professor who now teaches at FIT), to the tune of “Weren’t you that redhead I danced with all those years ago?” He produces this photo, taken at that formal, her dropped jaw not yet shut:

This story’s glass slipper: a photo of Patience Smith and Sam Bloom at a high-school dance in 1984.

They discover that their long-ago interest was mutual, and they quickly fall in love. Wedding bells ring in 2011.

She takes his last name, because, duh, “Patience Bloom” is like the most perfect name for this story, so perfect that when it appears in the upcoming memoir (did we mention that her memoir, Romance Is My Day Job, debuts in February from Dutton/Penguin?), readers will probably roll their eyes and decide it’s a pseudonym.

Cue the orangey sunset.

The cover of Hue magazine, Summer 2013.

WHY IS THE NEW AMERICAN AIRLINES LOGO SO ABSTRACT?

In Hue’s summer issue (coming out very soon!), John Malozzi, Advertising Design ’96, explained how he, along with his colleagues at FutureBrand, developed American Airlines’ new logo and brand identity. Hue is excited about the new logo, a beakish abstraction penetrating a diagonal line.

American Airlines’ new logo.

But why is it a good logo? Hue turned to Malozzi’s favorite FIT teacher, Eli Kince, associate professor of Communication Design, to talk about American’s logos over the years. Here’s what he said.

“Fine artists were the original graphic designers. They used to call them commercial artists. When logos first came out, they were literal imagery of products that appeared on buildings and on packaging. American’s first logos were examples of commercial art.

American Airlines’ early, quite literal, logos.

“By 1968, the AA logo had equity. It takes time to build familiarity like this, to convince people to believe in and trust your company. When they get familiar with your logo,  you can make it simpler and more abstract. In Massimo Vignelli’s successful 1968 logo, the ‘AA’ was structurally sound, monolithic, beautiful. The blocky shape of the ‘A’s communicated solidity, dependability, safety, and security. Graphically, we see triangles as dangerous, round shapes as warm and fuzzy, blocks as secure. Of course, people want to fly on a solid airline.

The highly recognizable 1968 American Airlines logo by Massimo Vignelli.

“In the computer age, consumers are ready for even more abstraction in logo design. A modern logo isn’t a combination of colors, it’s a combination of energy. You use color and lines to create vibrations. It’s like a relationship between people: after we get to know each other, the energy of who we are begins to show up. After a while we don’t even see each other, and we know each other by energy or spirit. The abstractness of the eagle form coming out of this vertical line, it says direction, it says this airline is going against the grain.”

 

PLORY DAYS ARE HERE TO STAY

Some people use their January break for a Caribbean cruise. Others catch up on sleep. Not Vincent Quan, associate professor of Fashion Merchandising Management. He researched the malls of Shanghai, surreptitiously photographing storefronts and interrogating sales clerks.

Hue bets he’s lots of fun to travel with.

China sells the same luxury brands as the U.S.—Coach, Louis Vuitton, and gobs of Gucci—but many of the mass-market brands are different. Yet some of the stores he saw look awfully familiar…

These people don’t look Chinese…

The popular brand “E-Land.” Hue wonders what the E stands for… certainly not “End.”

Hue’s favorite is Plory, a horribly misconceived portmanteau. Sounds like a pesky little bird.

Nothing says America like “Plory.”

Quan discovered that many of these stores are Korean brands trying to gain market share by leveraging existing “American” looks. All the major Korean conglomerates—Samsung, LG, and Hyundai, for example—have fashion divisions.

In addition to Uggs, Quan found Iggs, Jumbo-Ugg, and Uggworld. Because there just aren’t enough Ugg-like boots in this world.

“Mom! I’m the only girl at school without a pair of Jumbouggs! Do you WANT me to be unpopular?”

This unabashed celebration of mistranslation reminds Hue of a popular toy made in China.

Benign Girl, the most inoffensive doll of our time.

After all that shopping, Quan went home empty-handed. Because China’s retail model includes a string of taxes and middlemen, one could get PTSD from the sticker shock. A pair of Allen Edmonds shoes cost $800. A Brooks Brothers dress shirt cost almost $300.

“You’d get a much better value in New York City,” he admits.