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IN THIS ISSUE
08 FROM THE EDITOR
Hello to the new year!

THE LIFE
10 Hank & Cupcakes Brooklyn’s buzzworthy drum and bass duo 12 Fashion Photography: Beyond the Gender Gap Why do men continue to dominate? 14 Dark Matters The latest in menswear; photographed by Georgie Wileman 28 Revamping the American Dream Changing the way we perceive corporate America 30 Sock Stories Drifter and the Gypsy blogger Micaela Hoo keeps warm in style 32 The New York Chronicles “You look very ‘New York’”

BUZZWORTHY
33 On The Verge Three models who prove there’s more to the business than looks 44 A League of Her Own An interview with Samantha Stumpo

FASHION FORWARD
48 Eye On You Eyewear to die for; photographed by Lindsay Adler 56 Joel Storella Your new favorite handbag designer 68 Today’s Forecast... The low-down on trend forecasting

69 WHERE TO BUY
Find your favorites featured in this issue!

ON THE COVER
Photographed by LINDSAY ADLER

Hair MASAE SATOUCHI Makeup JULIA DALTON-BRUSH Styling LSC STYLING FOR 4SEASON STYLE MANAGEMENT Model KRISTA GAMBLE (MC2 NEW YORK)
Krista wears J. COTTONGIM bustier, MARC BOUWER bolero, MERCURA sunglasses, JOOMI LIM necklace and BEN-AMUN necklace
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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Hayley Maybury

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Nicole Bechard MARKETING AND TECHNICAL DIRECTOR Jamall Oluokun FASHION EDITOR Nicole Herzog COPY EDITOR Nora E. S. Gilligan GUEST BLOGGER Micaela Hoo CONTRIBUTING WRITERS ArTisTech Nicole Bechard Natalia Borecka Erin Berry Brittnee Cann Hayley Maybury Jamall Oluokun Ariana Shuris CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Lindsay Adler Natalia Borecka Ian Cole Ron Contarsy Dan Doyle Justin Hogan Max Khokhlov Alan Lugo Tim Renzi Kevin Sinclair Joseph Sinclair Beth Studenberg Georgie Wileman

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FROM THE EDITOR
Happy New Year!!!

HELLO 2011! WE CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHERE THE NEW YEAR WILL TAKE US...

Another year has passed, and whether you realize it or not, I’m sure you’ve accomplished much more than just your 2010 resolutions over the last twelve months. At this time last year Papercut was still in its incubation stage—I mean, we didn’t even have a name yet! I’m so energized by how far we’ve come since and I can’t wait to see what this new decade brings, because as great of a year as 2010 was, I am positive that 2011 will trump it. Especially with all the new and exciting ideas we have in the works for you. Have you ever wondered what it would really be like to be one of the models you see showing off your favorite designer? For this issue, we had the chance to speak with some amazing upand-coming models to get the scoop, and let me tell you, the industry is not just about having a pretty face. We’re also thrilled to introduce you to the Brooklyn-based electro duo of Hank & Cupcakes. With this band’s fresh, fun sound and sexy vibe, you won’t be able to keep yourself from dancing for long (I know, I am listening to them now)! Lastly, make sure you check out the extremely talented Lindsay Adler’s “Eye On You” editorial on page 48. If you like what you saw on the cover, then you won’t want to miss this. Until next time, my fabulous Papercutters.

xoxo Hayley

TOP-BOTTOM: Editor-in-Chief Hayley Maybury and Jimmy Guzman, General Manager of the Bulfinch Hotel (not to mention good friend!) at our holiday bash in December; the Papercut ladies (L-R) Copy Editor Nora E. S. Gilligan, Hayley, Creative Director Nicole Bechard and Fashion Editor Nicole Herzog also at our bash; A behind-the-scenes sneak peek at our photoshoot with Cindy and Samantha Stumpo.

P.S. As always, printed copies of Papercut Magazine are available for purchase on MagCloud ( www.magcloud.com )!

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HANK & CUPCAKES
BROOKLYN’S BUZZWORTHY DRUM AND BASS DUO.
Foreword and interview by ARTISTECH If there were one word to describe Hank & Cupcakes, it would be fucking cool. And yes, these are actually two words, but just cool doesn’t do justice to what these two can do, so a little bit of kick is in order. Hank & Cupcakes’ most unique qualities can be found in their presentation, sound and chemistry. In a time of solo acts or four- and five-piece bands, this group is two members strong. I’m not talking Sugarland style, where you have the two main artists backed by a full band. No, think more Rodrigo y Gabriela or the Ting Tings; just two artists, on stage by themselves, with their instruments. Sonically speaking, this is very difficult to do. But Hank & Cupcakes manage to provide a surprisingly full Electro-Pop sound, with not only up-tempo tracks, but with a ballad or two thrown in as well. One will immediately notice that Cupcakes—the lead and only singer—is also the drummer. On its own, this is probably one of the (f-ing!) coolest things ever, but she raises the bar even further by standing. If you haven’t seen this before, trust me, its awesome. Cupcakes is full of energy, her voice is powerful and the drumming is sick. On more than one occasion I could swear she was doing body rolls while drumming, and that was when she wasn’t singing and dancing on top of her kick drum. The other half of Hank & Cupcakes is, of course, Hank. His bass playing provides the foundation for their sound. By combining various effects and loop pedals, melodic bass riffs and various strumming patterns more akin to a guitarist (he plays the bass with a pick as opposed to his fingers), your ears are not left yearning for additional musical instruments or elements. Last, Hank & Cupcakes have been married for five years (and together for eleven). When you watch them play, their union is very apparent; they’re so in sync and you can tell they are having fun. It’s a sight to see and brings credence to the phrase, “those that play together, stay together.” When did you first start playing together? We started playing together when we were about 19—we had a cover band called ‘Night Vision,’ and played Tori Amos, Susanne Vega, Paul Simon and Beatles covers. What made you want to get into the Electro Pop music scene? We are not exactly an Electro Pop act; we try to combine Pop music with a raw, Rock ‘n’ Roll attitude, and are very drawn to the dancey side of Electro Pop. We really love it when people dance and let go as a result of our music. We had a much heavier and more serious project before starting Hank & Cupcakes and felt we needed a change (and a shot of tequila). How did you guys come up with the name Hank & Cupcakes? We’re both big Charles Bukowski fans. Bukowski calls himself ‘Hank’ in his books, and one of his lover’s names was Cupcakes. We got inspired.
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Most bands sells CDs and t-shirts, but you sell lipstick and vinyl art. Where do these ideas come from? We’re always thinking of new ideas to stay creative and be different. Collaborating with different artists (not necessarily musicians) is one of our pleasures. The vinyl idea, for example, came from an artist named Tony Thompson, whom we met at the Utica Music Festival. He was printing on vinyls using silk screens, and Cupcakes ordered a custom made [piece]. After that, we thought why not make some H&C vinyl’s? We’re still working on this idea...

WE HAD A MUCH HEAVIER AND MORE SERIOUS PROJECT BEFORE STARTING HANK & CUPCAKES AND FELT WE NEEDED A CHANGE (AND A SHOT OF TEQUILA).
You both have a very distinct look. Where did this come from? We pay a lot of attention to it [as] we like to reinvent our look all the time. Fans who have been coming to our recent shows have been exposed to a very interesting new angle we’re going for. We’re losing the clothes and painting/sticking things on ourselves—it’s very liberating! What do you think of Brooklyn’s indie music scene? We think it’s amazing, inspiring, beautiful. You guys have a number of music videos, would you say this has been an important part of building your brand? It’s definitely been a good opportunity to reveal our natural selves. We love shooting videos and have been very lucky to work with amazing directors. We feel very much at ease when shooting, so rather than building a brand (which might be the side effect), these videos are very ‘us’; people can get to know us through them. What can we expect from H&C in the future This is going to be a very exciting year for us. We’re releasing our new single “HIT” to College Radio towards the end of January, followed by a new music video. We’re going on tour in February, and are working on our 2011 European tour as well. Things are going to be very hectic—in the best way possible!

FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY: BEYOND THE GENDER GAP
IN A FIELD THAT PRIMARILY CATERS TO WOMEN, WHY DO MEN DOMINATE?
Written by NATALIA BORECKA They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder; what they don’t say is that the beholder is usually a man, at least in the case of fashion photography. Until very recently, a familiar tenor could be heard echoing through every glossy publication the world over. Flipping through the pages of any given fashion magazine, one couldn’t help but ask, where were all the female photographers? British Vogue has published 120 issues since January 2000; in the span of ten years 106 covers were shot by men, and a meager nine by women. Similarly, in the last five years W Magazine has had a total of two covers shot by a female photographer—Inez Van Lamsveerde, who works alongside her male partner Vinoodh Matadin. The numbers are similar when one looks at the ratio of female to male photographers shooting all major fashion campaigns. There’s no denying it—the business of fashion photography is currently dominated by men. In a field that caters primarily to women the fact that the female fashion photographer’s perspective has been largely left out is difficult to understand. In many ways, fashion photography has followed the same male-dominated trajectory outlined by art historians. At first there were no women in the field, and then there were a few unacknowledged players. As time went on, a small group of brilliant trailblazers managed to open the gates for other women who were just itching to pick up a camera. Yet, the similarity between women in photography and women throughout art history falls short in one major respect: there is seemingly nothing standing in the way of the modern woman. In the past, women were simply not given the liberty to produce works of art. Those that did worked anonymously under the shadow of their teacher’s name. Of the women that managed to attain enough notoriety to warrant an actual mention in the archives, many did so through scandal and intrigue relating to the artist as a woman. Her actual artwork was incidental. The female photographer, in contrast, was accepted from the start, if awkwardly at first. In her book Tender Violence, Yale
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Professor Laura Wexler points out that, “Throughout the 1890s, the periodical press carried many articles that praised photography as a vocation for women.” By the late 1890s, photography was recognized as a profession suitable for women, employing thousands in both Europe and North America. Yet, this social acceptance of the female photographer has had seemingly little long-term effect. In 2000, San Diego State University Professor Dr. Martha M. Lauzen conducted a study of behind-the-scenes workers

BRITISH VOGUE HAS PUBLISHED 120 ISSUES SINCE JANUARY 2000; IN THE SPAN OF TEN YEARS 106 COVERS WERE SHOT BY MEN, AND A MEAGER NINE BY WOMEN
on randomly selected episodes of every drama aired since 1999 to determine how many women were represented. Of the 1,718 individuals surveyed, women made up just 23 percent of those working on the programs, and for three seasons in a row none were directors of photography. Historically women were the subjects of great works of art, but rarely their creators. Similarly, women were always more likely to be featured in fashion photographs than they were to take such photographs. The parallel invites an interesting possibility, that even art is gendered. Women may find it difficult to see themselves in the role of a photographer, the same way they may find it difficult to cut their hair short or stop shaving their legs. In her research, Arizona State University Professor Dr. Carol Martin found that—whether consciously or not—parents impose traditional gender roles onto their children and scorn children that don’t quite fit the mold. Such subtle social influences could cause women to identify with the muse instead of the artist, and find standing in front of the camera more desirable than standing behind it. Famed art critic John Berger once wrote, “Men look at women. Women

watch themselves being looked at.” Berger believed that the long tradition of objectifying the female form in art has caused women to identify with this state of being. According to him, women exist with the constant vague awareness of being looked at, and for this reason there is a disparity between being the object of admiration and being the giver of admiration. And so, even the feeling of being observed and marveled at is gendered. If given a choice between modeling and photography for example, modeling may seem a more desirable career option for a woman looking to get into the fashion industry because—without even realizing it—she has been primed to feel that being in the spotlight is better than being behind it. The cause of any wide-reaching trend is never singular, and though art history has a bearing on the statistics, its influence is only a small part of the bigger picture. Every discussion on the subject of male dominance in fashion is similar in two respects: It highlights our tendency to generalize, as well as to oversimplify this phenomenon. It is difficult to know for sure what has caused such a dramatic imbalance in the field of fashion photography, but there is mounting evidence that the field is on its way to being leveled. In recent years there has been an influx of females entering the photography field. Between 1976 and 2005 female enrollment in the Brooks Institute of Photography has multiplied 14-fold, compared to male enrollment, which has not quite doubled in the same amount of time. Enrollment for the Fall 2010 semester into the New England School of Photography has a ratio of 108 female students to 48 male. Younger and more progressive publications find the gender scales shifting in favor of female photographers. So far, of the editorials featured in Papercut Magazine, 78 percent have been shot by women. If this trend continues, in the coming years we may see a more balanced ratio working on the most lucrative and high-profile projects in the industry. Change is a beautiful thing.

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DARK MATTERS
Photographed by GEORGIE WILEMAN Assisted by DAN PATRICK & ROSIE ASHBOURNE Hair MICHIKO YOSHIDA Make-up THERESA DAVIES Styling GHAZAL KARIMAGHAEE Models BRADLEY (OXYGEN), TOM (OXYGEN), FELIX (SELECT), MICHAEL WALSH (NEVS), SEIGFRED (NEVS) Retouching ANA PAULA GRIMALDI

Felix wears shirt by KATIE BARRETT; 15 navy coat by TRINE JENSEN

Tom wears black silk shirt by BAARTMANS AND SIEGEL; customized studded waist coat and hat are stylist’s own

Michael wears white shirt by TRINE JENSEN, grey string jacket and trousers by BAARTMANS AND SIEGEL, belt and boots are stylist own; Felix wears shirt by KATIE BARRETT, navy coat by TRINE JENSEN, velvet trousers by BAARTMAN AND SIEGEL; Tom wears vest top by KATIE BARRETT, pony coat by BAARTMANS AND SIEGEL, trousers by KATIE BARRETT, socks are stylist’s own, shoes are model’s own.

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Seigfred wears brown bird coat by BAARTMANS AND SIEGEL; Bradley wears red vest top by KATIE BARRETT, navy blue blazer by TRINE JENSEN.

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THIS PAGE: Seigfred wears blazer by KATIE BARRETT; Tom wears navy blue jumper with gold details by TRINE JENSEN; customized checked shirt is stylist’s own OPPOSITE: Felix wears shirt by KATIE BARRETT, velvet trousers by BAARTMAN AND SIEGEL

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Tom wears vest top and trousers by KATIE BARRETT, black pony coat by BAARTMANS AND SIEGEL, belt is stylist’s own

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Bradley wears red vest top by KATIE BARRETT, trousers by TRINE JENSEN

Bradley wears shirt by BAARTMANS AND SIEGEL, brown leather jacket by PUDDING&PIE, glasses are stylist’s own; Felix wears white shirt by TRINE JENSEN, blue leather jacket by PUDDING&PIE

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Bradley wears navy blue suit by TRINE JENSEN, boots are stylist‘s own; Seigfred wears brown bird coat and canvas trousers by BAARTMANS AND SIEGEL, boots are stylist’s own.

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REVAMPING THE “AMERICAN DREAM”
CHANGING THE WAY WE PERCEIVE CORPORATE AMERICA.
Written by ERIN BERRY The corporate world has always been portrayed as this unattainable paradise, high atop skyscrapers with sleek modern furniture, luxe metal desk toys and benefit packages that would make fireworks light up in your eyes. However, riding up the elevator that scales the corporate ladder is not as simple as pushing a button. We’ve all seen The Apprentice and know the cut-throat, ruthless environment that entails a little bit of self-promotion, and a lot of kissing-ass, to obtain the ultimate “dream job.” So why are so many people putting all of their time and money into becoming slaves to a prestigious company, when said company sees them as disposable as the coffee filters in the break room? Is this the life that everyone really wants? Of course not. But it is the life that everyone is supposed to want, and the one that we are all trained to work towards. If you ask any honest person what they really want to do for a living, most would say something along the lines of lounging on the beach while drinking tequila and still collecting a paycheck. This fantasy is undeniably unrealistic (except in the life of Snookie—the same girl who wrote “tan” under “ethnicity” in a previous job application), but should a job always be about sacrifice without reward? Is it more important to be an office machine, like gears in a factory, or should our different abilities be valued for their diversity? So many of the things that make humans unique are suppressed in the working world. What it really comes down to is that the system needs to change, not the people trying to conform to it. In the following paragraphs I will explain the importance of “revamping” the American Dream. First, we will step into the corporate world to explore the ways we have all been trained to behave while finding a job and working for others. Then I will present an inno-

PHOTO BY MAX KHOKHLOV

vative way of thinking that emphasizes artistic individuality, and could quite possibly save the current work ethic. Lastly, I will explain how to combine the two “worlds”—corporate and individual— without losing your job or sacrificing your creativity or sanity. Corporatology 101 For occupations that take so much time, work and experience to reach the top, you would think “the top” would be a steady position, immune to the uncertainties of freelance or work outside the private sector. Mass layoffs in large corporations are becoming extremely common, however, and people who used to believe that they were qualified, experienced and safe are now scrambling for any job that will take them. Author/reporter Barbara Ehrenreich wanted to know why it was so difficult for laid-off white-collar employees to reenter the workforce. In her latest book, Bait and Switch, The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream, Ehrenreich entered the corporate world ready for research, armed with all the experience required and a winning resume. What she believed would be a one to two week “experiment” to choose the most attractive,

suitable job offer, turned into six grueling months of expensive (but useless) career coaching, networking events filled with bitter, introverted people and a long journey through want-ads that ended in a few dead-end offers (containing no benefits, or with a salary based solely on commission). Ehrenreich’s unsettling conclusion? Even the most qualified job seekers are encouraged to exaggerate abilities, use ridiculous corporate jargon and be “fake” overall. She even compares job networking to prostitution:
[Networking] feels “fake” because we know it involves the deflection of our natural human sociability to an ulterior end. Normally we meet strangers in the expectation that they may truly be strange, and are drawn to the multilayered mystery that each human presents. But in networking, as in prostitution, there is no time for fascination. The networker is always, so to speak, looking over the shoulder of the person she engages in conversation, toward whatever concrete advantage can be gleaned from the interaction—a tip or precious contact...no matter how crowded the room, the networker prowls alone, scavenging to meet his or her own individual needs (Ehrenreich, 62).

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For anyone who has completed a slew of interviews, only to be tossed back into the cold time and time again, Ehrenreich’s journey may sound very familiar (especially in the current economic situation). The thing people tend to have the hardest time with when finding a job is the phony self-promotion required in resumes and interviews. In all other aspects of social life we are taught to be modest, but in the workforce we are supposed to think of ourselves as the “next best thing since the Snuggie” (sliced bread is an outdated metaphor). Many people freeze up when asked questions like, “Why does this company need you?” or, “What makes you a great candidate?” simply because most people are naturally uncomfortable talking about their strengths. The series of “personality” tests a job candidate must pass for certain jobs also has the feel of silly grade school trickery (e.g. You see Bob take an extra five minutes for lunch to make an important phone call, do you: a) Tell your supervisor immediately; b) Not say anything...). Above all, the way “corporatology” is conducted seems to nudge people in the direction of dishonesty and conformity, rather than embracing human proclivities to be real and unique. The New Way of Thinking The good news for those who want to escape this outdated world of sameness, is that this way of living and working is dying out. With technology advancing rapidly and outsourcing putting many Americans out of jobs, innovative and right-brained thinkers are becoming more valuable to the workplace. In other words, crunching numbers and punching out reports like some machine is no longer necessary; instead inspired minds with ideas that cannot be mimicked are in demand. Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, observes that the shift from cranking out corporate zombies to a new appreciation of individuality is the result of three important A’s: Abundance of products (resulting in a need for good design as well as function), outsourcing to Asia, and Automation of petty industrial-age tasks. Pink believes that our ability to be creative, empathetic and playful is what makes us unique from other species (and each other), and that work environments should embrace these qualities rather than brush them aside as juvenile silliness:
Our cave person ancestors weren’t taking SAT’s or plugging numbers into spreadsheets, But they were telling

stories, demonstrating empathy, and designing innovations. These abilities have always comprised part of what it means to be human (Pink, 67).

The world is rapidly changing, so why are we still emphasizing and learning tasks that will soon be replaced by our computer counterparts? Instead of training people to beef-up their artistic abilities, we have disregarded such skills as “time wasting” and “hobbies.” According to Pink,, this will soon shift. He claims “an MFA is the new MBA” (54), and that people will soon begin to take more creative paths in their lives rather than the “safe” business school route. Escaping the “Hairball” As much as the corporate way of thinking is evolving, outdated habits will linger for a long time. Those that might feel themselves trapped inside the business world cannot be so bold as to just leap from their jobs and start their journey of self-discovery—not in this economy, at least. As the expression goes, a person’s gotta eat. The late Gordon MacKenzie, artist, Hallmark card illustrator and self-proclaimed “fool,” offers many solutions to surviving this bland world in his colorful manifesto, Orbiting the Giant Hairball. MacKenzie understands that although many people do not want to be office drones, they also do not want to be starving on the streets. Security is one of the main reasons that people hold onto uninspiring employment, but there is a way to add some color to what you are already doing for a job, without losing the job itself. MacKenzie calls this technique “orbiting.” “Orbiting” is responsible creativity; vigorously exploring and operating beyond the “Hairball” of the corporate mind set, beyond “accepted models, patterns, or standards”—all the while remaining connected to the spirit of the corporate mission” (33). The Hairball that Mackenzie refers to is the mess of the corporate world that, once you get roped into— even by a single hair—becomes very difficult to escape. His solution is to find a way to circle around this messy glob, and to build up creative intuition for helpful input from the outside. In his first chapter MacKenzie describes an unusual phenomenon that he noticed while visiting schools. When asking the children in a classroom, “Who considers themselves an artist?” almost every kindergartner enthusiastically raised their hands. But, as he moved up the grades, fewer and fewer students

wanted to “admit” that they considered themselves artists. This not only brings back my point about taught modesty, but the fact that we are also trained to believe that art is only for dreamers and kids that don’t take life seriously. MacKenzie includes silly pictures and paintings in his book to emphasize that, although the book is for adults about a serious topic, the images are necessary to show the importance of imagination. After all, imagination is the reason that we have every single man-made object that we use on a daily basis. So, What Do We Do Now? How do we reach a balance between our professional and creative selves? Continue working? Quit our jobs? Go back to school? People can only decide for themselves what is best for them or what they would like to pursue, but the most important thing is to keep your individuality intact—no matter how much your occupation tries to mold you. Everyone is one of a kind, and everyone has something to offer. The only thing we need to change is our group mind set. Children should not be taught to suppress silliness or creativity; on the contrary, these are natural human instincts that need to be tended to, not stomped upon. If you have recently graduated college and you are still searching for the perfect job (or at least one that doesn’t involve “tonight’s specials”), you need to think of how the job can help you, not the other way around. If you are working within the Hairball, find a way to use your incomparable talents and personality traits to your advantage. I can imagine a world where job applications include a section to list your dreams or doodle your thoughts, and interviews that are comprised of fun, off-the-wall questions that make the interviewee feel as if they are talking to friends at a bar, rather than taking the Bar Exam. If we break the standard barriers and let in some air, people will be happier with their jobs, which will ultimately result in greater productivity. And only then can—and will—the true American Dream resurface.

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SOCK STORIES
Posted and photographed by MICAELA HOO This winter I seem to be wearing a lot of socks. Thick socks, knee socks, colorful socks, ankle socks, etc. It’s been exceptionally cold this season, and what better way to keep my feet cozy? I love pairing my socks with tights and boots the most. Here’s how I style them...

DRIFTER AND THE GYPSY BLOGGER MICAELA HOO SHOWS US HOW TO KEEP WARM IN STYLE.

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THE NEW YORK CHRONICLES
“YOU LOOK VERY ‘NEW YORK’”
Written by BRITTNEE CANN

PHOTO BY JUSTIN HOGAN

Before moving to Brooklyn, my shoe collection was comprised entirely of flats (my one pair of wedges hardly counted as heels). True story: the day I moved into my apartment, a long time New Yorker friend of mine stopped by to check on my progress. She was quick to remark on my closet: “Where are all your shoes, girl?!” Lisa, you see, had shelves and shelves of heels in her own closet, all piled high in their boxes or spread out in rows. She couldn’t believe that my wardrobe of shoes was so compact that all pairs were able fit into one of those shoe organizers that hangs on the closet rod. And, though Lisa wasn’t trying to spread fashion wisdom with her remark, she did. It was a moment of sartorial clarity for me. Back home in the town of Milford, Massachusetts, I couldn’t go a single day wearing heels without being asked, “Why are you so dressed up?” But in New York I was free to wear whatever I damn well pleased. Strange-but-true is the idea that geographic location can instigate major change in your personal style. Outside of major cities, having any kind of non-traditional fashion sense makes you the black sheep of the town—“it’s a phase,” or “she’s really weird,” and “WTF is she wearing?” remarks are commonplace. In an über-urban setting, though, risktaking fashions are appreciated and welcomed with open arms. Want to wear leopard leggings, a furry oversized jack32
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et, platform heels and a floppy 70’s style hat? Growing up in Milford, that kind of gear would have made you a total freak, but in New York…no problem. Here, that outfit would certainly warrant some head turns, but only those of the most flattering kind. After only nineteen months of Brooklyn living, I’ve certainly expanded my style horizons. I play with volume, silhouettes, shapes and patterns, and wear heels five out of seven days a week. At this point, my poor collection of flats has been banished into the hallway closet to make room for the storage of more important pairs (sorry, flats). I hardly notice anymore how wack-a-doodle my style can sometimes be, or feel selfconscious about an outfit, until I spend a weekend back in the rural areas of Massachusetts. It’s then that I am reminded just how much people’s perception of fashion changes with physical location, and that I didn’t always dress the way I do now. My friends and family are bound to have something to say, even about a look that I’ve come to think of as normal. My brothers will look at me with furrowed brows, my Dad will ask, “What’s with the shoes?” and even amongst friends I sometimes feel a little out of place. Oftentimes I’ll get the, “You look very New York” comment, but it doesn’t bother me much. Because even if it is meant in the most insulting way, that can be the most validating compliment of all.

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THIS MONTH’S ON THE VERGE FEATURE BRINGS YOU THREE MODELS WHO ARE PROVING THAT THERE’S MORE TO THE BUSINESS THAN LOOKS ALONE.
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ON THE VERGE

PHOTO BY KEVIN SINCLAIR

PHOTO BY KEVIN SINCLAIR

PHOTO BY RON CONTARSY; HAIR/MAKEUP & STYLING BY TYRON MAYES

PHOTO BY RON CONTARSY

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MODEL CITIZEN
Interview by JAMALL OLUOKUN The basics: name, age and where you’re from? Aina Fadina. Age..is a state of mind. I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, however I call NYC/Philadelphia home now. Education credentials? Graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia, with a degree in Public Health. How did you first become interested in modeling? I never actually considered modeling, even though everyone told me I could be [a model]. After graduating from Temple University, I worked for a bio-tech firm. I was at a lounge in Philadelphia, and a designer walked up to me to ask if I could model in his show. I said yes. This [experience] sparked my interest, and I started working with photographers, makeup artists and stylists in the Philadelphia area to develop my book. I went to the Reinhard Agency in Philadelphia, got signed, and the rest is history. What do you feel is the biggest misconception about modeling? That there is only one certain kind of work in the industry (e.g. editorials). I didn’t understand that there were other [types of work and shoots]. Also, I didn’t realize the amount of hard work, discipline and investment one needs to make. It’s not just about being a pretty face, you need to have a “look.” Whatever that means. Also, understanding the difference [between] a “model” and a “working model.” Lastly, is learning not to take things personally, it is really not about you. If you are not booked for a job, it is most likely because of something you can’t change, so you have to learn to deal. What has been your favorite gig so far? All of the bookings I have had have been memorable and great in so many different ways. If I had to choose, however, it would be going to the Bahamas for a fashion show during the Bahamas Film Festival. Going somewhere warm when it is freezing in NYC is awesome. How about your worst? I can’t really say I have had a horrible booking. They all add to the experience of who I am today as a model. One horrible factor I can think of right now is running around to numerous castings in one day during the winter…Man, Oh, Man, it was no joke for a West African! You do a wide range of modeling, including showroom, commercial, runway and fit. What makes you so versatile? I am able to work across different areas of the industry because of my patience, the investment I make in my career and my ability to change my look and attitude based on the need of the client. When I need to wear my huge afro, I do. When I need to have a short mini commercial afro, I do it. When I am aware a client likes straight hair, I do it. You have to have the ability to speak to different audiences. You need

AINA FADINA KNOWS WHAT IT TAKES TO “FIT THE BILL” AND SHE HAS THE GIGS TO PROVE IT.

to know when to turn on and [when to] turn off the switch, but [remain] true to yourself as an individual. Knowing the core of who you are, and understanding your own values, and beliefs. Your attitude and outlook is the key to your success. You have to find your own definition of success, and not let success be defined by others’ standards. Are you involved in other projects outside of modeling? I constantly think about my post-modeling career. During my down time, I volunteer for organizations like Dress for Success,

WHEN I NEED TO HAVE A SHORT, MINI, COMMERCIAL AFRO, I DO IT. WHEN I AM AWARE A CLIENT LIKES STRAIGHT HAIR, I DO IT. YOU HAVE TO THE ABILITY TO SPEAK TO DIFFERENT AUDIENCES. YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN TO TURN ON AND [WHEN TO] TURN OFF THE SWITCH, BUT [REMAIN] TRUE TO YOURSELF AS AN INDIVIDUAL.
and others that are committed to the empowerment of women through education. I also assist friends who are starting their own entrepreneurial ventures within the fashion industry. What can we expect to see from you in the future and/ or where do you see yourself going? I see myself starting up an entrepreneurial business in fashion within the African Continent. I hope to have a base in Nigeria and in NYC as well. The fashion, art and entertainment industry is booming in Africa, and I hope to tap into those areas. Links and other self-promotion? Contact Muse Model Management at (212) 725-9424 for future bookings.

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A COMMERCIAL DANCER AND MODEL, DAVID RATCLIFFE KNOWS THE DEFINITION OF “WORK”.
Interview by NICOLE BECHARD

MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY FACE

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PHOTO BY JOSEPH SINCLAIR

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I HAVE SO MANY GOALS AND ACHIEVEMENTS THAT I WANT TO ACCOMPLISH IN MY CAREER, TO GO ON TOUR DANCING WITH AN ARTIST OR BAND AND SEE MY FACE ON A BILLBOARD CAMPAIGN. I’M A FIRM BELIEVER IN THE SAYING ‘THOUGHTS BECOME THINGS.’

PHOTO BY JOSEPH SINCLAIR

The basics: name, age and where you’re from? David Ratcliffe, 23 years old. Originally from Adlington in Lancashire (UK), currently living in London. Education credentials? Ten GCSE’s, as well as a three-year college diploma in Professional Dance.1 How did you first become interested in modeling? When I was in dance college, we were encouraged to get head shots taken to start sending out to agencies and for work. Also, a friend had been having test shoots outside of college with fashion photographers (building up a portfolio) and I decided I wanted to start doing the same to see where it would lead. What do you feel is the biggest misconception about modeling? Especially being a male model. That it’s “easy.” People don’t realize how hard being a model actually is. They seem to think that male models just stand around and look pretty, which is far from the truth. [Modeling] is a very cut-throat industry with long hours and huge pressure to look unique and constantly produce a good picture. Even walking—people don’t realize that there is a specific art to the way in which a designer wants you to walk down the runway. What has been your favorite gig so far? My best gig so far was probably when I modeled for Selfridges in London for their 100th Birthday, the “Big Yellow Festival.” I worked with a great group of models and we had so much fun wearing all the amazing clothes that the store sells!

How about your worst? I think I can say I’ve been pretty lucky, and haven’t actually had a bad gig since I started modeling. Would you consider modeling more of your hobby or a way of life? I wouldn’t say that modeling was ever a hobby for me; it’s definitely a way of life. I’m a professional commercial dancer, and I feel that dancing and modeling go hand in hand. There are specific aspects of modeling that I incorporate into my dance career, and vice versa. Both professions are about looking great and performing in front of the camera. What else are you involved in outside of modeling? [Outside of] my modeling and dance career, I enjoy doing normal everyday things, like going to the gym, watching live [shows] and hanging out with friends. What can we expect to see from you in the future and/ or where do you see yourself going? I have so many goals and achievements that I want to accomplish in my career: to go on tour dancing with an artist or band, and [to] see my face on a billboard campaign. I’m a firm believer in the saying “thoughts become things.” Links and other self-promotion? www.davidweb.2ya.com (an up-to-date source of everything going on in my career). You can also follow me on Twitter @DavidRatcliffe_.

1. The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academic qualification awarded in a specified subject, generally taken in a number of subjects by students aged 14–16 in secondary education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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PHOTO BY IAN COLE

PHOTO BY JOSEPH SINCLAIR

PHOTO BY IAN COLE

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SARAH MILLER DISHES ON MODEL MISCONCEPTIONS AND EIGHT-HOUR PHOTOSHOOTS.
Interview by HAYLEY MAYBURY

SHE WORKS HARD FOR THE MONEY

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The basics: name, age and where you’re from? My name is Sarah Miller. I’m 19 years old and I’m from Windham, New Hampshire. Education credentials? I went to Salem High School in Salem, New Hampshire. Now I’m studying International Relations at Boston University, with a minor in Journalism. How did you first become interested in modeling? I was fifteen years old when I went to my first open call, which just so happened to be with Dynasty, and I was very happy with them from the start. At that time, I had just stopped dancing ballet. A friend from the studio I danced with, who, at the time, was modeling and acting down in New York, had always encouraged me to start modeling. My mom needed some convincing; she was obviously really worried that all the “modeling rumors,” so to speak, were true. But so far, I’ve been fairly successful with [the industry], and it’s been lucrative—especially now that I’m a poor college student. What do you feel is the biggest misconception about modeling? The cattiness. Models are people too, so if you’re nice to them they’ll be nice back! Everyone that I’ve encountered in the Boston fashion industry has been extremely kind to me. The “dumb model” is [another] huge misconception, especially among Boston models. I’ve met so many [here] who are topnotch Harvard and BU students. What has been your favorite gig so far? Every time I work with Michael De Paulo it’s a blast. He actually booked me for one of my first fashion shows! My mom sat with his aunts and sisters in the audience for [that] first show, and had such a fun time. [Michael’s] such a down to
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earth guy; the sweetest person you’ll ever encounter. Plus, his dresses make anyone feel so beautiful. How about your worst? If I told you that, I’d be breaking the rules [smile]. Would you consider modeling more of your hobby or a way of life? It’s hard for anyone to get to the point where modeling is a way of life. So few people are successful enough to be able sustain themselves and make a profit from modeling. I actually recently read an article that argued that modeling should be in the labor sector of the work force. Now, I’m not arguing that it should be, but it really takes you back to those eight-hour photo shoots, where you’re in heels the entire day. [Modeling] has without a doubt affected my day-to-day life, and even the way I live my life, but it will remain a hobby for now. What else are you involved in outside of modeling? I’m currently interning with the Boston Ballet. I’m working with the Director of Advertising and Marketing, Amy Holland, on the company’s marketing campaign. What can we expect to see from you in the future and/ or where do you see yourself going? Well, with my degree in International Relations I’ll hopefully go on to grad school. But who knows, I might just take a few years off in between to see where modeling takes me. I can’t deny that it would be an incredible experience to model fulltime for a few years, but I also can’t deny that someday I’ll get old and there won’t be a market for me. All the more reason to take the chance [now], right? Links and other self-promotion? www.dynastymodels.com

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Black and white photographs by Beth Studenberg; color photograph by Dan Doyle.

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Samantha wears a layered silk chiffon fitted skirt by LILY & MIGS

IF SAMANTHA STUMPO TAKES OVER HER MOTHER’S BUSINESS, IT WILL BE THE ONLY SECOND-GENERATION FEMALE-OWNED CONTRACTING BUSINESS IN THE WORLD. HOW ABOUT THAT!

A LEAGUE OF HER OWN

Interview by HAYLEY MAYBURY & NICOLE BECHARD Photographed by NATALIA BORECKA Assisted by MEG ELKINTON Hair/Make-up JANEEN JONES Styling TERRY WHEATON A special thanks to LILY & MIGS for wardrobe www.lilyandmigs.com

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SAMANTHA STUMPO’S MOTHER CINDY IS NO ORDINARY MOM.
On top of being a single mother of two, Cindy manages C. Stumpo Development, her multi-million dollar construction and development company, and is the star of the hit HGTV show Tough as Nails. And—if all goes according to plan—Samantha will be taking over her mother’s empire someday. Talk about an amazing (yet overwhelming!) opportunity. We sat down with Sam to get the inside scoop on how she feels about it all, and on what it’s like being “a woman in a man’s world.” Sam, your mom has really worked to make her business a family venture, and ultimately plans on passing it down to you. How do you feel about such an opportunity? I am very excited and up for the challenge of running the business, when it comes my way. I have huge shoes to fill, as my mother is an amazing woman. My dream is to follow in her footsteps and keep this company growing. I think it’s awesome that she is a woman in a man’s world, and I hope to be just as empowering, inspiring and motivating as she is to other women. Was it hard for you to accept this responsibility, or did you always know this would be your vocation? For many years I did not know what I wanted to do with my life. That’s why I went to college, to try and figure out what I wanted to do, and even then I changed my mind several times. After working for my mom part time—and then switching to full time—I saw a complete change in the way her world worked and what she did on the job every day. To see her work with men all day long and see their respect for her work ethic was incredible. It was like watching the conductor of an orchestra, and the crew was its different instruments, all functioning in unison to build amazingly well crafted, high-end homes. About six months into my first year of full-time work, I knew [that this was what I] wanted. I still have a lot of work cut out for me, but I am definitely ready for the challenge. I want everyone to know that just because this is my mother’s company, does not mean I am going to get the business handed to me like it’s a piece of cake. I am going to have to prove myself to her and all of her subcontractors. When the day does come for my mom to hand the company over to me,
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I want her to feel like [her legacy] is in great hands, and [to know] that I will not fail her or any of the future clients of C. Stumpo Development. How does it feel to be a woman in a male-dominated field? Especially a young woman who has grown into the business rather than chose it? I have to say it’s not easy being a woman in this business, especially as young as I am. I have a lot to learn. I have to build relationships with all the guys out there [based on mutual] respect, so that we can trust each other. A lot of the guys have seen me grow from a baby to the young woman I am today; for some of them it’s hard to listen to me because they still look at me as if I’m a little girl. But then there are others that are willing to help and teach me. I take what I can get, and work harder every day with the guys that need to get to know me as an adult, and eventually, I will gain their respect. Specifically speaking, what are some of the stereotypes you have to work against on a daily basis? First of all, being a woman [in construction] is a hard enough stereotype, but then I also get the age factor. I get told I am a baby, and young, and I feel like a lot of the guys think they have to treat me like I’m a fragile little girl. I get comments like, “I’m sure you don’t want to get dirty today.” Just little comments here and there. [But] after hearing the same old [things] I just start to ignore them and move forward. Do you feel that having this show has changed any of these stereotypes about women? I hope that the show [has] changed people’s opinions, or stereotypes, but I do not know for sure. What I do know is that

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we show women all over America that they can do anything a man can do, and that they should not let anyone or anything get in their way. What has been the response from your viewers like? The response from our viewers has been overwhelmingly positive. There are a ton of women (and men!) who have contacted my mother or myself to say how much they are inspired by us and that we make them want to change their life. Some women out there are interested in the [construction and development] industry—our fan base tells us that they know how we feel and that they see that they can succeed through us. That’s why we did the show. Our hope was to show women of all ages they can do anything they want, even [in] a male-dominated [industry]. Men and women should be equal no matter the profession. Despite having to dress very functionally due to the nature of your job, you and your mom both always look fabulous on camera! Do you enjoy dressing up and adding some feminine details day to day, or is your look intended just for the camera? It’s not easy adding feminine attire on a job site, but sometimes you just feel like you have to. Every now and then [my mom and I] do our hair, or put on a little makeup. We wear Uggs or sneakers instead of boots, cute jeans, a stylish scarf, a hat and gloves in the winter…something that changes it up. [Then], there [are] days when we’re filming when I don’t want to wear anything but sweat pants, because of being tired and wanting a break. I think all of us that were part of [the] show can agree on that. Reality television was like having another job—every day we went out to our real job, and also had to perform another job by being filmed. You are fortunate to have such a strong mother figure in your life. What do you feel are the most valuable lessons she has taught you through her work? Growing up with such an amazingly strong mother was the best thing any child could ask for. Since I can remember, my mother has always taught me to voice my opinion and to not hold back on how I feel. To stand up for myself (even though I might not have always done so). Now that I am working with her, I see even a stronger side that I didn’t see growing up. I see how strong-willed her business sense [is]. She is never afraid and she always has her head on her shoulders. She is never at a loss of words. My mother knows her business inside and out. I want to say the biggest thing for me, watching [my mother], is that she is never, ever afraid. She will walk up to anyone and speak her mind. She has taught me that you need to be strong and [can’t] let the guys intimidate you. She says you have to remember that everyone started somewhere. When I look back at my childhood, I [ask] myself, “How was she able to do it all? How was she able to raise a family and go to work every day, and come home to us and help us with our homework, or talk to us and never complain?” [My mom] was just always so happy to see us. She found time for us no matter how busy she was. I hope that when I have a family someday I am able to do the same. I am truly inspired by her in more ways then she will ever know.
For more information on Cindy and Samantha Stumpo, please contact Thomas Fleming at Look Los Angeles (PR Firm) 508.282.9840 or email tom@look-la.com

WHAT I WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW IS THAT, JUST BECAUSE THIS IS MY MOTHER’S COMPANY DOES NOT MEAN I AM GOING TO GET THE BUSINESS JUST HANDED TO ME LIKE IT’S A PIECE OF CAKE. I AM GOING TO HAVE TO PROVE MYSELF TO HER AND ALL OF HER SUBCONTRACTORS THAT I AM GOING TO BE THE NEXT GENERATION OF STUMPO WOMEN TO RUN THIS COMPANY AND THAT I WILL HAVE DESERVED THE RESPECT BY ALL WHEN THE TIME COMES.

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eye on you
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Photography by LINDSAY ADLER www.lindsayadlerphotography.com Hair by MASAE SATOUCHI Make-up by JULIA DALTON-BRUSH Styling by LSC STYLING FOR 4SEASON STYLE MANAGEMENT Model KRISTA GAMBLE (MC2 NEW YORK)

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Dress by VERLAINE; sunglasses by MERCURA; bracelet by VIKTORIA HAYMAN; ring by GORJANA

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THIS PAGE: Dress by MARC BOUWER; sunglasses by MERCURA; necklaces by JOOMI LIM OPPOSITE: Dress by MARC BOUWER; sunglasses by MERCURA; bracelets are stylist’s own

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THIS PAGE: Dress by VERLAINE; eyewear and ring by STEVIE BOI; necklace is stylist’s own OPPOSITE: Top and skirt by MARC BOUWER; necklace by JOOMI LIM; eyewear by STEVIE BOI; earrings by WENDY MINK

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THIS PAGE: Sunglasses by MERCURA; cuff by GORJANA; necklace is stylist’s own OPPOSITE: Sunglasses by UTTAKAOS; cuff by BEN-AMUN

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JOEL STORELLA IS ABOUT TO BE YOUR NEW
FAVORITE HANDBAG DESIGNER. WITH THE COMBINATION OF OLD-WORLD CRAFTSMANSHIP AND STYLE COUPLED WITH NEW WORLD KNOWLEDGE, HIS BAGS PROVIDE CLIENTS WITH THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS.

Interview by NICOLE BECHARD Photographed by TIM RENZI Hair/Make-up & Styling NICOLE HERZOG & NORA E. S. GILLIGAN Model MARIA (MAGGIE INC.)
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Your family has always been “steeped” in fashion; how do you feel that influenced you as a designer? Do you think you would be in the position you are in today if that hadn’t been the case? I took it for granted growing up. Since I can remember, my mother was always sewing. She started the family business in our attic, and as her clothing collections grew, so did the size of the business. My dad was a draftsman by trade, but had worked for his father in his tailor shop on Summer Street in downtown Boston as a kid. My father ended up leaving his job to become a partner and the pattern cutter for the company. Looking back on it now, I always just figured I didn’t have to go out and buy something; it could almost always be made. That spirit was instilled in me at a very young age. One of my earlier memories is [taking] trips to the grocery store with my father. My favorite outfit was my blue PJ’s (that had the sewn-in socks and zipper down the belly), cowboy boots that were three sizes too big, a blanket tied around my neck as a cape and a helmet. I remember seeing everyone looking at me and thinking to myself that I was the coolest. Really, the coolest were my parents for letting me be me. I feel that’s one of the most important aspects of designing and being creative. If you can’t be yourself, then who are you really? So to answer the question, no, I don’t feel that I would be in the same position that I am in today if it wasn’t for my family’s fashion influences. Out of all the different avenues of fashion you could have taken, you chose handbags. Why? I’ve always been into fashion. Growing up in rural northern New Hampshire, I often caught flack from classmates for dressing the way I wanted. I had no problem putting together an outfit that I liked for myself. When I thought about trying to come up with a clothing design for [a man or a woman] though, I drew a blank. I moved to Boston in the early spring of 2002. I was on the subway and I noticed a kid with a messenger bag; for some reason it caught my eye. I kept thinking about how I could improve on it and the idea of using a car seatbelt as a closure popped in[to] my head. I found out quickly that that idea had been done a million times over, so I started sketching different ideas on paper. I also feel that clothing comes and goes. Fashion trends can be “so yesterday” so quickly that you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing [this season’s “hot” item] next year. Don’t get me wrong, there are some pieces a person may have for their adult life, but they are few. Handbags are more constant to me. Especially handcrafted, timeless designs. They have more of a permanent feel that could last a lifetime, plus a daughter’s as well. What do you love most about the leather craft and production process? There’s a certain level of respect and feeling that I get with holding an animal’s hide in pre-production. [This] was a living, breathing thing, and here I am, about to create something that my client will love and cherish for the rest of their lives. I’ve found [that] there is this strange disconnect that most people have with leather products. When we look through a swatch book at small squares of leather in different colors, it doesn’t seem much different than going to look at color books to pick out paint for our new living room. The first time I ordered my first full hide, I was a little startled. When a cow hide comes in, it’s generally around 60 square feet and is in the basic shape of the animal. There is no comparison to ordering a 55-centimeter crocodile skin, though. To see where the legs, neck and tail were, it’s tough not to think that this

isn’t just a swatch or an inanimate object. This was an animal that lived a life. I respect that aspect of production. And to create something I’m so passionate about, that I know will be cherished, makes me feel good about the entire process. You spent a number of years studying under Armenian master handbag maker, Shaunt Sarian. What was that like and how do you feel it influenced your brand development? I’ll tell you a quick story of how I met Shaunt. I knew I wanted to become a handbag designer by the time I was 24. I wasn’t aware of any schools or even teachers that were offering classes on handbag design then. I began studying at the School of Fashion Design on Newbury Street [in Boston]. The meetings were once a week and I went there directly from work. The class was basic pattern making, and Denise Hajjar was the professor. As I became more comfortable with her, I brought in one of my “designs” to show her (I say “designs” because, when I think about it today, it looked more like a Nerf football). [Professor Hajjar] was more than encouraging with her praise and told me that if I was interested in handbag design, I should contact her friend Shaunt Sarian. Well, I did. And after four or five calls, we finally locked down a time I would meet him at his studio. I will never forget that day as long as I live. This tells so much of what kind of a guy Shaunt is…I walked into his studio for the first time with what would be the very beginnings of my “617” bag. I had no training or even idea of how I was going to make it work, but I had in my hands wire coat hangers taped together with brown paper bags to show him what I intended to make. The look on his face was priceless! He said to me, “What do you expect me to do with that??” I said, “I want you to help me make this bag.” He looked at me like I had two heads. “Leather doesn’t move like that,” he replied, “[but] sit down and let’s see what we can come up with.” And so our friendship was born. I’ve known Shaunt for almost seven years now and I can tell you, not only from working with him but also as a friend, he is the kind of guy that will do anything to help someone out. I can say without hesitation that if it [were not] for him believing in me, I wouldn’t be where I am today. What do you feel is the most valuable lesson you learned from Sarian? That’s a funny question because I have two totally different answers. As far as work goes, he taught me how to see things through from start to finish. The value of starting from the beginning and doing the process the right way. He’d tell you that designs aren’t like a computer. You can’t just type in the idea and expect it to pop out a perfect product. It takes time, patience and perseverance. The second answer I have is the lessons he taught me in life. When you are given a gift of knowledge or talent, sometimes we have to pass that gift along. I look back on what a pain in the ass I must have been to [Shaunt], in fact, I know I was a pain in the ass because I’d hear about it at least once a week. But he stuck with me. Shaunt believed in me. We need to pass along our skills to younger generations or the craft will die. In so many ways I feel like the weekly workshops were only partially about work. The rest was about life. What do you feel has been your biggest challenge as a designer? I want to do things differently than anyone else. The struggle is to embrace the things that already exist and incorporate my own spin. How much can a designer innovate? It’s not like
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Armani is going to come out with the three-armed blazer. The difficulty is being current while staying classic and having my own touch on the bags. I think a lot of design is about ego and so much of it is trying to be different. My ego is something that I struggle with daily. I’m always trying to outdo myself, and on one hand I find it to be a constant battle. On the other hand, it’s what keeps me inspired and the desire to create better and better products. My attention to detail is [another] double-edged sword. It’s great for my career in constantly trying to make things better, but it has made my personal life a little more difficult. It’s tough dating someone that is always thinking about work or what [his] next move is going to be. I work on [that] constantly. Trying to live in the moment and just appreciate what I have and be happy for it. I think I’m getting better though…we’ll see. Can you tell us a little about the story behind the bag names? Growing up in New Hampshire I was somewhat isolated. Boston always inspired me, as [did] other cities I had visited. I’m now paying homage to the places that influenced me. I [also] realized that people generally associate with things that are familiar to them. When I create an “Area Code” where a client lives, it narrows their choice, making ordering that design a little easier. If a woman has a home in Boston and she likes the look of the silhouette, the familiarity of a “617” bag might make more sense. Especially when it is going to be a one of a kind that no one else will ever have. I think that one of the most striking features of your bags are the inside lights! What a great concept… how did you come up with the idea for such a feature? I always try to accept feedback from people who are important in my life. After talking with my cousin Michael, an architect, he helped me see my bags as a structure or as an extension of the way women live. He said, “the inside of the bag is dark, so put a light in it.” So, often, the simplest ideas are the best. The majority of my designs are structured, much like a house is. The idea of lights inside handbags isn’t a new one. What I’m doing is different because, like a house, the walls and ceiling don’t move. Once lighting is in place, it’s there for the duration. Because of the rigid designs of my bags, the lights are in the same place all the time. If I were to make a supple bag that moved easily, the lighting concept wouldn’t work as well because the lights wouldn’t be in a set spot. In your opinion, who is the ideal customer for the Joel Storella brand? This is a tough question. Whatever way I respond, I sound like an elitist. I’m not one to say who should or shouldn’t buy my products. But if I had to say who the “ideal” customer would be, I’d say a woman who knows who she is and what she wants. My customer is a woman who can have virtually any bag in the world, but chooses mine because she understands what the company and I are trying to say. She is hip, refined and gets edgy without being obnoxious. Most importantly, she is a leader. She is someone who doesn’t follow the masses, and, although she has multiple bags ranging from $9,800–$40,000, she chooses Joel Storella because she appreciates what has gone into making that bag just for her. There is a sense of individuality in every piece I sell. Although the pricier bags she has are magnificent, any one of her girlfriends may have the exact same color and size. The bag I made for her is hers [alone], and no one in the world will have the same one.
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You base your business on made-to-order methodology. How is that working out for you? I touched on this a little in the previous question. I’ve based my entire business plan on the “made-to-order methodology.” I’m offering to sit with that same client and give her a choice of a number of silhouettes to choose from. During the process she will be able to make modifications to the interior, anything from multiple pockets to even a removable iPad sleeve. She picks the type of skin, color, interior, stitching [and] how about a different color light on the inside? I believe that if someone is willing to put down big money on an investment like this, why not get exactly what you want? It makes sense to me and to the clients I’ve done business with thus far. Would you ultimately like to maintain this business method, or expand your operations into more massproduction? Mass-production to me is like the middle finger. There are so many fantastic companies out there that once offered handcrafted products to small numbers of people in the world. Words like luxury and exclusivity are thrown around so much these days that it almost seems like they’ve lost their meaning. Those words aren’t meant for everyone. I was worried about sounding like an elitist before, [and] I’m sure this will make it easy to seem that way. But, in all honesty, the larger the scale [on which] a product is offered, the less exclusive it becomes. It’s a tough tightrope walk, I understand that. It just seems that greed within successful design houses is what brings down a company. When I say, “brings down a company”, I don’t mean financially. I’m talking about credibility to their consumers. As an example, why doesn’t Ferrari mass produce their cars? Think about what Honda does in annual sales versus Lamborghini. Honda is a giant in comparison, so why doesn’t Lamborghini mass produce? The answer is obvious but one that is so many times overlooked in fashion. What can we expect to see from the Joel Storella brand in the future? I always want to be true to myself and [to] my beliefs. I understand that businesses grow and there will be times I won’t be able to produce all orders that come in. With this in mind, we plan to have a Joel Storella flagship store. This store will allow clients to walk in and purchase hand stitched, handcrafted bags that are already produced by trained craftspeople. Each season there will be a set number of colors and skins that clients can choose from. I will continue to make bespoke custom pieces for clients that want one-of-a-kind products made by me. I think that if I can stick with the initial business plan, I will stay true to my beliefs. Links and other self-promotion? Follow me on Twitter @joelstorella and check out my blog coming soon at http://www.joelstorella.com.

Editorial continues on the following pages 

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I WANT TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY THAN ANYONE ELSE. THE STRUGGLE IS TO EMBRACE THE THINGS THAT ALREADY EXIST AND INCORPORATE MY OWN SPIN. HOW MUCH CAN A DESIGNER INNOVATE? IT’S NOT LIKE ARMANI IS GOING TO COME OUT WITH THE THREE-ARMED BLAZER. THE DIFFICULTY IS BEING CURRENT WHILE STAYING CLASSIC AND HAVING MY OWN TOUCH

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TODAY’S FORECAST...
YELLOW WITH A CHANCE OF POLKA-DOTS.
Written by ARIANA SHURIS Have you ever predicted a fashion trend? You know how it goes—a brilliant new style is born between the walls of your closet and your bedroom mirror, and it’s all yours, until you spot it in the pages of a magazine while waiting in a checkout line. Or you find yourself screaming at the television screen during an episode of Gossip Girls: “Hey! The sequined vintage crop-top! I started that look!” Well, maybe you did. And maybe you can continue to (maybe it can even become your number one priority) as a fashion trend forecaster. Trend forecasters are always on the hunt for new and innovative styles and fresh ideas. Think about what you have hanging in your closet right now; most of those creations are there because of these forecasters, whether you realize it or not. Fashion designers look to them to predict popular trends for next season like small-town residents look to their local weatherman to help them decide which jacket to wear for their morning commute. It’s simple—if we’re being told what is “in,” or what the weather “looks like,” we listen and we do. So, how to translate your uncanny sense of what’s next into one of these coveted forecasting positions? First things first. Research what’s happening now. Take what is currently fresh and decide where that fashion is going. Create new themes, patterns and styles, and then relay your information to a designer who will pay particular attention to your predicted colors, textures and fabrics. Above all, always, always be conscious of the competition that surrounds you in the industry, because fashion never sleeps. And you shouldn’t either if this is where your passion lies. Trends for Spring/Summer 2011 were set a year ago, for example. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Fashiontrendsetter.com lays out all of the hues that will make an appearance in the next year; we can expect those for the coming season to “soften, energize and excite.” While a season’s colors may only vary slightly from year to year, fashion designers will make note of the changes before constructing a new garment. Looking deeper through the site, I even found colors presented for the next Fall/Winter season. Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute and head of the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training, described them as “a mosaic of color and style.” She noted that this arrangement of colors will reflect the state of our economy, and that people have not forgotten where we have been and where we are going, even when it comes to fashion. Much of the time, fashion statements are created accidently—by a city student running late to class, who throws a bright cashmere blanket around her shoulders as she darts across campus. Just as often, though, some serious time, energy, sleep deprivation and money are spent dictating the next big trends. The forecasters behind sites like Trendstop.com pay close attention to trend details, including themes, silhouettes, prints and patterns, by analyzing world fashion, current events and street style. They’re like scientists, mixing the elements perfectly to create the most desired concoction—what we’re all dying to drape over our skin, and what we all wish we had created first. Sound like a dream job? You never know—you just may be the next magical visionary—and you can sit back and relax (yeah right!) while you watch others sparkle in your yearold forecast.

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WHERE TO BUY:
BAARTMANS AND SIEGEL www.baartmansandsiegel.com BEN-AMUN www.ben-amun.com GORJANA www.gorjana.com JOEL STORELLA www.joelstorella.com JOOMI LIM www.joomilim.com KATIE BARRETT www.menswearbykatiebarrett.co.uk LILY & MIGS www.lilyandmigs.com MARC BOUWER www.marcbouwer.com MERCURA SUNGLASSES www.mercuranyc.com STEVIE BOI www.stevieboi.com TRINE JENSEN www.trinelindegaard.com UTTAKAOS www.uttakaos.com VERLAINE www.verlaine.us VIKTORIA HAYMAN www.viktoriahayman.com WENDY MINK www.wendyminkjewelry.com

THIS ISSUE FEATURED TOO MANY GOOD DESIGNERS, BRANDS AND BOUTIQUES; HERE’S WHERE TO FIND YOUR FAVORITES!

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