Making it work 

SCAD Style brings fashion luminaries to town

Project Runway has got nothing on SCAD Style, a two–week event consisting of seminars, panel discussions, and demonstrations held by leaders in the fashion business.

This year’s SCAD Style event, free and open to the public, runs through May 6 and features numerous speakers who are quite prominent in the field, including Chris Benz, fashion designer; Nick Olsen, interior decorator; Caleb Mulvena, architect; and Faythe Levine, crafts.

Their stories about how they got involved in fashion are interesting in and of themselves.

Chris Benz left high school early to move to New York and attend Parsons School of Design.  While he was attending Parsons he got the opportunity to intern with Marc Jacobs.  After he graduated, he was hired by J. Crew.  After five years, he was ready to start his own collection, The Chris Benz Collection.

“We launched for Fall 2007, which was our first season, in February 2007. We just hit the ground running after that.  It seems like with every season we are busier and busier,” says Benz.

“I’m really excited to come down to Savannah.  We will be doing a panel discussion, like a presentation, where myself, our director of sales, Kelly Stinnitt, and our director of development, Gean Migliaro will be speaking,” he says.

Benz will talk about his history and design, in general.  Stinnitt will speak about retail accounts and relationships with stores, and Migliaro will cover branding and the social aspects of fashion.

Also on the panel will be Eva Amurri, the daughter of actress Susan Sarandon.  She is a “brand ambassador” for The Chris Benz Collection.

Nick Olsen will participate in the interior design portion of the SCAD Style event. Olsen attended Columbia University and graduated with a degree in architecture.  However, he no longer had any desire to be an architect.

“I always knew that I responded to interior design from a style point of view,” says Olsen.

He saw something that Miles Redd designed and was “completely inspired.”  A few years later, Olsen was working as Redd’s assistant.

“I had no decorating background whatsoever, but I worked for him for five years and learned everything there was to learn.  Just recently, in January, I branched out on my own.  I’m doing styling and decorating for projects of any scale,” says Olsen.

SCAD approached Olsen through Miles and he accepted their offer to participate in the SCAD Style event.  He will be speaking on his forte, which is decorating style, but on a budget.

“I do believe that with the development of an eye for style and knowing the market, you can achieve a stylish living without spending a fortune.  That’s been my entire concept from day one,” he adds.

Caleb Mulvena will speak on the nexus of architecture and style. Mulvena graduated from Cornell and got involved in the world of architecture right when things were on the rise out of a recession. He has worked all over the United States with the building green buildings, as well as in Italy and France, where he helped build the Louis Vuitton flagship store in Paris.  His most recent project with Green Depot was also, needless to say, very green.

“With SCAD I am going to be participating in two events, one in Atlanta, and one in Savannah.  I will be apart of a panel discussion that will be focused on sustainability and reuse,” explains Mulvena.

Faythe Levine will be apart of the craft portion of the SCAD Style event.  She is the director of the documentary Handmade Nation, which is about the rise in do–it–yourself craftsmanship.  The documentary will be shown during the SCAD Style event.

Levine was once the owner of a company that sold only handmade goods.  Through that company, she became very involved with the do it yourself craft community.  She participated in many of the craft fairs.  Not only was she a participant, she started her own fair called Art vs. Craft.

She explains why she chose to make her documentary:

“I felt that it was important to acknowledge this resurgence of people going back to doing things by hand and putting a contemporary twist on it.”

SCAD Style Schedule

Wednesday, April 28:

3:30 p.m., SCAD Student Center, 120 Montgomery St., “The Model as Muse” lecture with Bettina

6 p.m., Arnold Hall, 1810 Bull St., “Design with Retail in Mind” panel

Thursday, April 29:

12:30 p.m., Arnold Hall, 1810 Bull St., “To Dwell in Design: DwellStudio’s Christiane Lemieux” lecture with Christiane Lemieux

1:30 p.m., Arnold Hall, 1810 Bull St., “Taking America’s Brand Online” panel

3 p.m., Arnold Hall, 1810 Bull St., “Undercurrents in Design” lecture with Robert Klanten

5 p.m., SCAD Student Center, 120 Montgomery St., “Let’s Take This Outside: Outdoor Living in the 21st Century” lecture with SCAD President Paula Wallace

6 p.m., Paris Market, 36 W. Broughton St., Book signing with SCAD President Paula Wallace

Friday, April 30:

3:30 p.m., SCAD Student Center, 120 Montgomery St., “From Magazine to Monitor: The Rise of the Blog” panel

5 p.m., SCAD’s Gutstein Gallery, 201 East Broughton St., “Art in the Open” lecture with Alexandre Arrechea

Monday, May 3

12:30 p.m.,  SCAD Student Center, 120 Montgomery St., “Fantastical Spaces” lecture with Stephane Dupoux and Chris Jones

3:30 p.m., SCAD Student Center, 120 Montgomery St., “Selling Old in the New: Pioneering Online Retail” lecture with Michael Bruno

6 p.m., SCAD Student Center, 120 Montgomery St., “Fashion in 360 degrees: Building a Fashion Label” panel

Tuesday, May 4

 12:30 p.m., SCAD Student Center, 120 Montgomery St., “Architecture Selling Style” lecture with Nina Kummelstedt

3:30 p.m., SCAD Student Center, 120 Montgomery St., “Dispatches from the Gilded Age: My 20 Years at Vogue” lecture with Julia Reed

6 p.m., SCAD Student Center, 120 Montgomery St., “Behind the Screen: Bringing Fashion Online” panel

Wednesday, May 5

  3:30 p.m., SCAD Student Center, 120 Montgomery St., “Then and Now: Lessons for 1980s New York” panel

5:30 p.m., SCAD Student Center, 120 Montgomery St., “From Brand to Superbrand” lecture with Roland van Kralingen

8 p.m., Pepe Hall, 212 W. Taylor St., Movie Screening: “Handmade Nation”

Thursday, May 6

10 am, SCAD Student Center, 120 Montgomery St., “Fashion’s Secret Weapon: The Role of the Stylist” lecture with Keegan Singh

12:30 p.m., SCAD Student Center, 120 Montgomery St.,“Sustainability: From Idea to Action” panel

2 p.m., SCAD Student Center, 120 Montgomery St., “Why One–of–a–kind Matters” panel

3:30 p.m., SCAD Student Center, 120 Montgomery St., “Write the Look: The Relationship between Design and Critic” panel

6 p.m., SCAD Student Center, 120 Montgomery St., “My World in Vogue – Reporting and Living the Fashionable Life” lecture with Hamish Bowles

For a complete schedule: www.scadstyle.com.



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