Entrance to F.I.T, NYC. Going up to the Board room to judge the best talents in Design schools around the Nation.
I have met Joe Medved a while ago. A nice and much approachable man who had founded Joe’s Blackbook, a fine recruitment and consulting firm in the creative, retail, luxury goods as well as fragrance and beauty industry. I always felt a bit different quality in Joe from any other headhunters in other recruitment companies. Definitely hip, more human and genuine yet also much much professional.
And I got a nice email from him not long ago inviting me to be the one of judges to vote the best talent in the US’ top design schools in Women’s and Men’s wear design to win the very first Joe’s Blackbook Scholoship, an impressive amount of $10,000 for each winner and two winners will be collaborating a line of product with NYC based Men’s wear designer, UNIS to be sold at hip and much happening ACE Hotel exclusively. The participating schools are as follow: FIT, Parsons, Academy of Art, Otis, California College of the Arts, RISD, Philadelphia University, University of Cincinnati, Kent State University, SCAD and CCAD.
It has been so many years that I have come to visit my own school, FIT. The buildings are the same as since I had graduated back in 1997! The dorm building are the same and the same trees… I guess the only change will be the new talents and new restless blood dreaming for the next best in Art and Design! Ahhh, It’s an exiting and beautiful thing to throw yourself at what you do and what you love with your talent that God gave you. Especially during the school years. Somehow it’s more pure and fearless. You may lack a bit of fine tuning but you are all the way out there not thinking of any commercialism which is the biggest and hardest wall you will hit when you step into the real battles after the school! Anyway, walking in to the C building lobby of FIT, so many flash backs are going through my mind and bit excite about over 120 portfolio submissions that I will look through!
Faculty Board room at FIT. Judges are flowing in. All the professional designers to Fashion forecasters of prominent US brands such as Gap (myself), TSE, Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren, DVF, J.Crew, Donna Karen and many more. I believe there are about 15-20 judges in and out of this voting process. It took me about 3 1/2 hours to go through all the work to score, comment and also to rank the top 7 young student designers out of over 100.
Kids are just fine. Kids are superb. Kids are great! Kids blew my mind in some cases. Certain schools definitely stood out. They are even quite professional in terms of presentation and even down to the building a mini collection. Strong separates and new shapes. Colors and all. I saw a new generation and new voices in couture’s world as well. Each project follows certain format in their own creative way. A typed up muse and concept. A mood board/ page to go with. Inspiration pics, fabric or whatever that is. The illustration of collection, Flats, Color stories, even a working sketchbook: by the way my favorite part of all! These kids were already selected by each school before they made to this point. So this compettion is actually really big if you think about.
There will be couple more rounds of judging by different professionals. So what I did was the first round with other designers. I believe most of them are at Director levels. Then second round with Recruiters of the employers and Joe was planning to present the work by the school level, which I thought was brilliant! Then there will be 6 finals to be boiled down to the 2 winners! The reception will happen at Ace hotel in March I believe and I will be surely there to celebrate and embrace the top 2 talents of this young generation!
Me and Joe!
Joe, I like to say how wonderful event you had put together. You are not competing at this point. You are leading the entire recruiting industry by doing this meaningful Scholarship project. You connected all the schools and had them got into a healthy competition and You had connected professionals in the industry. You are developing and finding the newest talents and supporting them. You went out on to the most right people and the right place to do this wonderful project. Thank you so much for the great opportunity for me to give back and a Huge Congratulation to your Very first Scholarship Program event!
Joe, You are Rocking the Fashion Industry! Cheers!