“The next picture I send you I’ll be on a camel”
The associate dean (and for five months our interim dean) of the School of Art and Design has left after 17 years at FIT for a warmer… much warmer…clime, in a city with really tall buildings and great high-fashion shopping malls and 24-hour air conditioning…Dubai.
Goodbye words: “No, I didn’t get fired!”
Days between arrival and work: “I fly on (Jan) the 6th, arrive on (Jan) the 7th and start work on (Jan) the 8th.”
New title: Dean, Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation
Most important clothing she’s taking with her: “Something by Donna Karan Urban Zen. Coats will go to the back of the wardrobe.”
Most important books: “‘African Origin of Civilization,’ by Cheikh Anta Diop, and ‘The Artist’s Way,’ by Julia Cameron.”
First experience at FIT: “I was brought in to teach American Couture. I used to laugh that they brought in a European for this.”
Favorite memory at FIT: Georgianna Appignani (director of International Programs) sent me to a conference in Rio on textiles. I’d never had any public speaking experience. It was attended by the president or VP of Brazil. It was another experience of leaping and hoping a net would be there. It opened my eyes to the opportunities in education. I’ve written two books since then, lots of papers and taught workshops and spoken all over the world.
Advice to self in re-locating to a new country: “You have to find the things that bring you joy very quickly. It’s a way of establishing your own supports. Whenever you move, especially where you don’t know anyone, you lose all the familiarities that make life comfortable. You’re going to have many lonely and stressful times.”
First one new thing of joy in Dubai: “A Lebanese restaurant I discovered.”
Other things of comfort: “My broom(stick), my crystals, things that I’ve picked up from places I’ve been, chairs from Ivory Coast, ornaments from Brazil.
Average temperature in Dubai: “It hovers between 80 degrees F and 85 degrees F. ”
“I love the desert” she says.
Sass with her last afternoon tea at FIT
Also check out:
Dean Arbuckle on Simone Cipriani & The Hand of Fashion series
Paul Dillinger of Levi Strauss kicks off Summer Sustainability Institute
Art & Design’s Sass Brown Appointed Acting Assistant Dean
photos: Rachel Ellner
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