Posts Tagged: FIT

Nov 10

Alive and Well in the Garment Center, a mini-tour: Part II: R & C Apparel


Read about Part I of our mini tour – Design Trust for Public Space: HERE


The second stop on our tour of the Garment Center was R & C Apparel.  Ramdat Harihar, President and CEO, was kind enough to show us around his factory.

Image from Huffington Post March, 2010 Article (Link in Post)


On the 8th floor of 340 W 39th Street, Ramdat and his team of 20 full-time employees (some of whom he has worked with for over 20 years!) are quietly creating beautiful designs for major TV network fashion shows, big-name designers, local companies, and young Parsons and FIT students.  As a strong supporter of Made in Midtown (just look at his website – here – or watch the video below) Mr. Harihar believes that being local and in close proximity to the designers and product development teams is essential to his company’s success now and in the future.  It’s certainly beneficial that he has a background as an electrical engineer that allows him to re-design sewing machines that are 40-90 years old in to machines that produce new stitches or designs that no one has ever seen before.  And the fact that designers can walk from their studios or classrooms to visit him and have samples made right before their eyes is an unfathomable luxury.  How’s that for Made in Midtown?  Ahora mismo.  RIght now, right now in real time.  Tweet that!


This video from the Design Trust for Public Space tells a bit more about Mr. Harihar’s history and the amazing work his team is producing:

If the video does not show in your browser, please click here: Made in Midtown: Ramdat Harihar from Design Trust for Public Space on Vimeo.


And an article from the Huffington Post supporting Made in Midtown is here.


Lastly, Mr. Harihar’s website: R & C Apparel, is truly worth a visit if just to see the beautiful imagery and videos as his designs come to life.


PLEASE “like” R & C Apparel on Facebook and join them on Twitter!


Posts on both Samantha Cortes from Fashion Design Concepts and the amazing and unparalleled Yeohlee Teng are coming soon!


PS: Keep your eyes pealed for garmAnto! And Happy Thanksgiving!


Look Great.  Feel Great.  Do Great.


Oct 10

Afingo Sustainability Panel at FIT

Simon Collins, Dean of Fashion Design at Parsons The New School for Design moderated a sustainability panel at Afingo‘s”Behind the Seams” Event this afternoon at FIT that included (from left):

- Simon Collins, Dean of Fashion Design, Parsons The New School for Design
- Paul Raybin, Chief Sustainability Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, Colorep, representing AirDye
- John Patrick, Designer, Organic by John Patrick
- Caroline Priebe, Product Development Manager, Rogan/Loomstate
- Natalia Allen, Creative Director, Design Futurist
- Anthony Lilore, Designer, RESTOREClothing


The common threads in the panel were transparency, local sourcing, and the sustainability community.  Having both creatives and those that are business-minded speaking today was extremely valuable to the conversation and will only aid in the spread of sustainable design information.  Here’s a tidbit:


Anthony Lilore said that sustainable designers are transparent because they don’t expect someone to outright copy their designs, but hope they will use the resources for their own great designs.  There needs to be a “fundamental shift…if I told you all to draw an elephant, they would all look different.”  When he was at Parsons he said it (the fashion world) was all a “secretive veil,” but that sustainable design can’t be that way if we want to see a change.  Anthony also feels very strongly about trying to source all materials and jobs within the Garment Center in NYC and is hoping that by doing so we can help Save the Garment Center.


“John Patrick added “we need open source, more dialogue – we’re all in this together – nothing is proprietary, what you do with [the information] is proprietary.”  The panel also thought this was part of the problem.  John said “the consumer is confused.”  But wondered what is “standardization” here?  Paul Raybin agreed that there is a “problem at the consumer level” and said that there was new information that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may be revising the green guides (read more here) which may help with the standardization in sustainable design.


It’s exactly this sharing of information that is creating a strong community in both sustainable design and NYC.  Caroline Priebe told the crowd that NYC sustainable designers make up “an actual community…it’s a lot easier to be innovative, it ‘s a lot more fun.”  Anthony also feels very strongly about trying to source all materials and jobs within the Garment Center in NYC and is hoping that by doing so we can help Save the Garment Center.


A few things the panelists mentioned for you to look at and ponder:

- – Slow Fashion? The Tom Ford SS 2011 - Read here and decide for yourself.

- – Sustainable sourcing: Source 4 StyleOrganic Exchange

- – Information & Education: – Their motto?  ”We believe that people have the right to know where things come from and what they are made of.” And Earth Pledge – “partners with businesses, communities and government to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices.”

- – And of course, Afingo – “an online community of designers, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers connecting and interacting in real-time.”  Thank you for “Behind the Seams” and for putting the information out there with such a strong panel of informed, eco-evolutionaries.  We were honored to be involved.


Natalia Allen was both an energetic and eloquent panelist and I specifically enjoyed this quote on the business of fashion: “there will be a lot of failures before we have success…we are trying to solve something.  The moral imperative usually wins, but it takes time.”

Jan 10

Lifelong Learning

Our favorite part of our work at RESTORE™CLOTHING is the extent of what we are learning and the connection to our community.  Thank you you Jillian Blume and the New York Observer for highlighting Lifelong Learning and for shining the light on us and the Sustainable Designer Entrepreneur Certificate Program at FIT coming in March 2010!


Céleste and Anthony Lilore

Over the summer, Anthony and Céleste Lilore attended a series of classes on Sustainability in order to stay current for their brand of eco-friendly apparel, RESTORE™CLOTHING. The “Tools of the Trade-Go Green” series was held at The Fashion Institute of Technology.

We took the classes to make sure we’re in compliance with what’s happening from a labor standpoint and from materials,” says Céleste. “But in addition to the educational benefits, we also made wonderful connections that have evolved into both personal and business connections with like-minded individuals.”

When they decided to launch RESTORE™CLOTHIN, they were already living a green lifestyle. They had a company that makes uniforms for luxury cosmetic and fragrance companies, and when sourcing textiles for these private label clients, they kept stumbling on eco-friendly fabrics, but they couldn’t sell them. “Five years ago, I don’t think people were as aware as they are today.”

So we had this vision, Céleste says. “We wanted to take what we know how to do professionally and marry it to our driving interests, which are wellness and the environment. We did a boatload of research on the internet, but we couldn’t find any sustainability courses that were offered locally and were economical until the series at F.I.T. came up.”

Céleste describes the classes as very open, with fruitful exchanges between the people who led the classes ad the people who were attending. The majority of people that attended the class were either starting green businesses or already had them, and they were looking for some kind of support network. There were students in the classes that I already knew, and we connected even more with the community.”

It helped the couple gain a greater understanding of sustainability across a multitude of disciplines. “It also taught us about fair trade practices and what can actually happen in communities offshore. One of the seminar leaders owns a handbag company, and he employs women in three Mexican villages. He is the largest employer of people in those villages. It was very inspirational.”

They are now excited to learn that F.I.T. is launching a new Sustainable Design Entrepreneurs Certificate program this March. “It should be of great value to many entrepreneurs trying to learn how to go green or to help their clients go green.”