SCADworks exclusive: An interview with Fern Mallis


SCAD is honored to have Fern Mallis,  the legendary creator of New York Fashion Week, as the honorary chair for SCADstyle 2016. We asked the fashion industry titan a few questions in anticipation for her appearances this week in Atlanta and Savannah.

SCAD: You’ve been a part of the SCAD scene at least since 2010. What is your impression of SCAD’s evolution over the past few years? Do you see more SCAD graduates in the working world? 

FERN MALLIS: I've been impressed with SCAD since my very first visit. I’ve become much more aware of young designers showing in various regional fashion weeks who are SCAD students and alumni, and in professional competitions like Supima Design Competition. SCAD alumni are definitely becoming a part of the fashion industry.

SCAD: One of SCADstyle’s centerpiece events this year is your conversation with Calvin Klein. What are your earliest memories of him?

MALLIS: I feel like I've always been aware of Calvin Klein. I knew him many years ago on Fire Island. When I was a Fashion Director of Gimbels East in New York City, we carried his collection, and it was the first time I went to his fashion shows, in the late ‘70s. In 1991 when I became the Executive Director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, I got to work with him and admire and respect him even more.

SCAD: What's it like creating New York Fashion Week and then seeing it grow to such an exponential degree? 

MALLIS: It's a humbling feeling in many ways, and it's something I am extremely proud of, as having organized Fashion Week back in 1993. It was clearly a game changer. It has, however, morphed and changed so much that now there really isn't any centralized location, there are several, and there are so many shows on the calendar now that it's impossible to really get your arms around it all and see everything. I'm afraid my Bryant Park experience is a very distant memory for most folks.

SCAD: Rizzoli published your book Fashion Icons With Fern Mallis last year. How did the experience of publishing a book differ from your other media endeavors?

MALLIS: Having a book published is very special and unlike anything I've ever done. There is now a history and a bit of my story in The Library of Congress. I couldn't be more proud of anything I've done. It also represents for me a validation of my "reinvention" after leaving IMG/Fashion Week/CFDA. The book was extremely well received, including the Wall Street Journal naming it one of the four best fashion books of 2015. It's now in second printing, and is also being published in Japan (in Japanese!).

SCAD: What are the key traits for turning a talent into a career?

MALLIS: I always say get a partner, get someone who has your back, and has deep pockets. It's really difficult to do it all by yourself. And my constant career advice is "Be Nice!"

Year in review: 15 magical moments in 2015


Happy new year from SCAD! Our first big 2016 announcement: SCAD FASH will feature Daniel Lismore, "London's most outrageous dresser," in his first U.S. exhibition, entitled "Be Yourself; Everyone else is already taken," on Jan. 22. Just as exciting is Jonathan Becker's fashion photography exhibition "A Fashionable Mind," also opening at SCAD FASH on Jan. 22.

Before we dive into more new year announcements, let’s take a look at what made 2015 monumental. It was a year of firsts, incredible lectures and presentations and prestigious awards.

Here are 15 great SCAD moments from 2015: 

1. The First Hong Kong Fashion Showcase

As the city of Hong Kong quickly becomes one of the world’s fashion capitals, it comes to no surprise that SCAD’s talented fashion students began showcasing their work in Hong Kong during January of 2015. Major brand executives attended the inaugural show: Polo Ralph Lauren, DKNY and Shanghai Tang. 

2. aTVFest

The third year of the festival included many talented faces from fan-favorite TV shows. With workshops and panels, the honorees included Timothy Hutton, Terrence Howard and the entire cast of ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder.”

3. deFINE Art

After 10 years, Chinese artist Xu Bing returned to SCAD as the keynote speaker for this event as his exhibition, “Things Are Not What They First Appear” showcased at SCAD Museum of Art.

4. SCAD Style

Designers and creative influencers came to Savannah, Atlanta and Hong Kong for a weeklong series of panel discussions and workshops. Students had face-to-face time with the likes of Lauren Bush Lauren, Meagan Cignoli, Jennifer Fisher and Alexander Wang. 

5. Equestrian team celebrates triple championship win

SCAD’s continually winning equestrian team made history as the only team to win the following titles in the same year: the American National Riding Commission (ANRC) National Championship, Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Championship and Tournament of Champions (TOC) series. 

6. SCAD Fashion Show

The 2015 André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award went to fashion icon Dame Vivienne Westwood. After receiving the honor, Westwood sat front row during the student showcase to witness the talented designs of our top senior collections.

7. The graduate fashion program ranks No. 1

SCAD came out on top as the No. 1 graduate fashion program in the U.S. according to London-based Business of Fashion. 

8. High employment rate for graduating students

According to a SCAD institutional effectiveness survey of 2014 alumni, 97 percent of graduates were employed, pursuing higher education or both within 10 months of commencement.

9. SCAD ranks high within the universities of Americas and Europe

Red Dot Design named SCAD among the top four universities in the Americas and Europe. Throughout the year, our students also brought home seven Red Dot Awards

10. SCAD FASH a Museum of Fashion and Film

October 2015 brought the historic opening of the first southeastern fashion museum within the U.S. The inaugural exhibition, “Oscar de la Renta,” showcased over 80 garments within the newly up-cycled space and welcomed more than 10,500 visitors during its time.

11. 18th Year of Savannah Film Festival

This year showed the most documentaries throughout the festival’s history, as well as showcasing mostly films with female leads. The honorees included Meg Ryan, Olivia Wilde, Saoirse Ronan and Alfie Allen.

12. DesignIntelligence ranked SCAD’s Interior Design Program No. 1

It’s the fifth consecutive year for SCAD’s undergraduate interior design program to be ranked as No.1 and the third year for SCAD’s graduate interior design program to be ranked No. 1 by DesignIntelligence.

13. SCAD provides a faster track to architecture

Chosen by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), SCAD architecture students can proceed from education to licensure in as few as seven years.

14. Google and SCAD create a new User Experience Design degree

Putting students at the forefront of this emerging discipline, the new degree is the first of its kind in the country. Google will continue to be a valuable resource, holding annual workshops and introducing collaborative projects through SCAD’s Collaborative Learning Center, and instituting a mentorship program for students.

15. Talented SCAD Students and Alumni

The reputation of our students and alumni continued throughout the year of 2015. To name a few: Zach Prengler (B.F.A., film and television) worked as production assistant on the summer blockbuster Jurassic World; Kate McKenna-Schliep (B.F.A., fashion) won the eighth annual Supima Design Competition; Max Bickley (B.F.A., visual effects) served as the Lighting Technical Director for The Good Dinosaur.


Joy from shopSCAD


I delight in giving gifts that are beautiful, thoughtful and useful — three reasons why, year after year, I do most of my holiday shopping at shopSCAD. Our brilliant alumni and professors continue to astonish me with their handcrafted wares and art, pouring their hearts into each work they create for shopSCAD. Here, I share a few of the accoutrements I’ll be giving this season.

  1. This sophisticated take on a classic tote is a fashionably functional gift for your special someone who is always on the go! Leather Bucket Tote in Blush/Ink by Fleabags, by Shira Entis (M.F.A., fashion design, 2005); $195.
  2. Crafted from oil-tanned leather and lined with soft suede, these boxes are perfect for storing small treasures, every day necessities, and that elusive pair of keys. Medium Catch-All, by Elyse Welcher (B.F.A., accessory design, 2010); $56.
  3. Card cases that are handsome, hand-stitched, and handy! Slim Jim by Avund, by Mika Becktor (M.F.A., industrial design, 2012) and Tom Hayes (B.F.A., graphic design, 2011); $79 each. 
  4. These handmade ceramic vases will add an artistic allure to my dining room table on Christmas morning. Bud Vases, by Irene McCollam (B.F.A., photography, 1999); $20 each.
  5. With a wink to yesteryear, these tea towels feature retro designs in a fresh, cheerful color palette. Tea Towels by Belle & Union, by Meg Sutton (B.F.A., graphic design, 2009); $15 each.
  6. I admire how the artist used maple wood as her canvas for this majestic Old Dairy Oak print. Savannah Tree print on maple wood veneer, by Heather Young (B.F.A., illustration, 2003); $80.
  7. One-of-a-kind hair clips are cute as a button and super-sweet stocking stuffers, to boot! Hair Clips, by Michelle Berg Radford (M.F.A., painting, 2008); $14 each.
  8. Just as every tree is unique, so too are these rustic-chic designs — each one hand-carved from indigenous found or recycled wood. Carved Trees, by Martha Enzmann (M.F.A., painting, 1988); $20-$35 each, ranging from 12-26 inches tall.
  9. Books are equally delightful to give and to receive! This monograph celebrates the iconic designer and highlights garments from the eponymous SCAD Museum of Art show, the first exhibition since Oscar’s passing. “Oscar de la Renta: His Legendary World of Style by André Leon Talley, Foreword by Anna Wintour”; $50.
  10. Don’t just think good thoughts — wear them, too! Stamped Posey Cuffs, by Kathryn Riechert (B.F.A., metals and jewelry, 2002); $30 for brass styles, $50 for silver styles.

All works sold at shopSCAD Savannah, shopSCAD Lacoste, shopSCAD on-the-Go, or

BEEgiving to SCAD's artistic community on #GivingTuesday


On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, organizations, schools, companies and families around the world will come together for the same purpose: to celebrate the choice and act of giving. On this #GivingTuesday — and throughout the month of December — look no further than SCAD’s bright family of upcoming artists, filmmakers and designers who are preparing for creative careers. Your participation in the greatest global observance of generosity directly contributes to scholarships at SCAD, and, in turn, impacts the world.

Show love to the creative community by clicking here.

Top 10 holiday gift picks at Shop SCAD


What plans do you have after spending a day with warm company around a table covered in delicious food? Before you say nap, remember what comes after the day of thanks — Black Friday. In the spirit of shopping, we caught up with the Gallery Director of Shop SCAD Victoria Gildersleeve. She shared her top 10 holiday gift picks to find in the store on Black Friday.

  1. Meg Sutton holiday cards

  2. Rugs/Runners/Mats by Domestic Construction

  3. Leather bucket tote

  4. Oscar de la Renta book

  5. Paige Russell scarf

  6. Nicole Edge holiday candle

  7. Mia Hebib gold plated cuffs

  8. Erica Regelin paper wreath

  9. Martha Enzmann trees

  10. Bucky Clarke geometric bud vase

The students of Oscar de la Renta


Legacy can be tangible and intangible. In the case of Oscar de la Renta, it is both, and it is flourishing in a place where young designers begin their careers.

During his 2001 visit to Savannah College of Art and Design’s fashion show to accept the André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award, the designer shared this wisdom for breaking into the industry based on his own start with Cristóbal Balenciaga.

Everyone should seek the opportunity to go somewhere they can work and observe how it happens. - Oscar de la Renta

This is the story of how two industry hopefuls are living that advice and what they learned from hands on experience in Mr. de la Renta’s studio.

A prom dress and a purpose
Nikki Kaia Lee first encountered the tangible aspect of Mr. de la Renta’s legacy as a 14-year-old girl: a beautiful dress the designer chose just for her. This rare gift, which she later wore to prom, was a momento from a special day spent with him in New York. SCAD graduates, whom Nikki met through her mother, a SCAD architecture professor, conspired to bring her to New York as a distraction from cancer treatments. The dream trip grew, and soon insiders like WWD’s Bridget Foley were opening doors to opportunities such as lunch with Mr. de la Renta in his studio. 

I was just this girl from Georgia, but to him it didn’t matter where you come from. He treated everyone with such dignity and respect. - Nikki Kaia Lee

Nikki, now 20 and a junior at SCAD double majoring in fashion design and fibers, learned her first lessons from this dress, fitted for her right there in Mr. de la Renta’s atelier. Its lines, the slight variation in color, the way it made her feel. Her cancer long in remission, Nikki has spent the last four summers as a design intern for Oscar de la Renta in New York. Working in all areas of the studio – including stints with design assistants, in the atelier, and with the embellishment designer – has informed Nikki’s design approach and moved her to pursue a career in textiles. 

What I took from Oscar’s work was how he formed space around the garment. A lot of his garments, especially eveningwear, were like sculptures. -Nikki Kaia Lee

Needless to say, she eagerly awaits the opening of the exhibition, Oscar de la Renta: His Legendary World of Style at SCAD Museum of Art.

I think people have a preconceived notion about fashion. They think it’s frivolous. But I think that when people see his work in person they will truly understand why it can be an art form. - Nikki Kaia Lee

Thanks to the diligence of her fellow fashion student Sloane Mayberry, who is assisting SCAD Trustee André Leon Talley with the exhibition and corresponding catalogue, the public will have this opportunity.

Young hands help surface Oscar de la Renta classics

This summer, Nikki ran into Sloane in the elevators at Oscar de la Renta. Unbeknownst to her, Sloane was a merchandising and buying intern there. Organizing garments, assigning style numbers, and collecting sketches for the ODLR Spring 2015 fashion show put Sloane’s studies in perspective and conditioned her for the rigorous process of bringing the ODLR exhibit to SCAD MOA.

Learning of her internship at the designer's study and with his archive, Mr. Talley tapped Sloane to work on the exhibition. If her long days in New York didn't drive it home, then her apprenticeship on the exhibition did: fashion may be a glamorous, but it is also arduous. As Mr. Talley told her, “Put your gloves on and get to work.” And she did by taking possession of rarely seen couture gowns belonging to Mr. de la Renta’s wife, assisting with the exhibition’s layout and fitting mannequins to Mr. Talley’s specifications.

This project is like a class in itself. I am learning more than I ever thought I possibly could at such a young age, and in such a short amount of time. - Sloane Mayberry

Pouring over lookbooks and canvassing eBay and Google for custom gowns quickly paid off. Sloane’s trained eye prevented a photo of the wrong white jacket, worn by Laura Bush for the 2005 presidential inauguration, from making it into the exhibition. “It’s the pockets,” she observed. They were square.”

Messrs. de la Renta and Talley have taken Sloane a long way away from being that high school student who didn’t know anyone who attended art school. Now her education, reinforced by proximity to fashion legends, has raised her expectations for her career.

I think my exposure to such influential figures in fashion has changed my career path exponentially. This is the best education for what I want to do. - Sloane Mayberry

Along with the exhibition, these students, two paths indelibly changed, would certainly make Mr. de la Renta proud.

Studio Logic: Monica Cook's airy space is a palette for the intricate


Multi-media artist Monica Cook (B.F.A., painting, 2006) is a self-described scavenger. The materials and objects she finds in places both obvious and unthinkable are the basis for her life-size sculptures, which bear the same overt realism as her paintings. She makes these creatures, a blend of human and animal, to be posable so she can bring them to life by shooting them frame by frame for animation. The thrill of the hunt, and her knack for it, helped Monica stumble upon her dream studio in Brooklyn, where she creates pieces that have been acquired by collectors like Louisville’s 21c Museum Hotel, which recently purchased Phosphene.

Monica’s upcoming shows include Beautiful Beast (Jan. 27 - March 8) at the Wilkinson Gallery in New York and Milk Fruit (Feb. 3 – March 19) at the Cress Gallery in Chattanooga. These images by Adam Kuehl (B.F.A., photography, 2005; M.F.A., photography, 2014) take us inside the laboratory that’s home to Monica’s prolific practice.

Thread: What is your ideal work environment. What can’t you work without?

Monica Cook: Natural light and good music.

T: It appears that you prefer a space that’s a clean, blank slate. Is this related to the nature of your work?

MC: I have to be very organized, otherwise I will spend all of my time searching for materials. I also prefer not to have old work around because I feel it holds me back. If my studio is orderly, like a blank slate, my mind feels freer and clear.


T: Has your studio changed as you’ve transitioned to 3D?

MC: Yes, drastically. I've had to collect so many more materials, tools and supplies. Also, I need a big, open space to create large-scale sculptures and animation sets.

T: Where do you get the pieces for your sculptures?

MC: I get the materials for my sculptures at junk stores, flea markets, eBay, or found on the streets and in the garbage. I have shelves of storage bins that are organized by object.

T: How did you find your studio?

MC: My studio is in Bushwick, Brooklyn. About two years ago, I needed to move to a larger space. I literally found my dream studio, but it was way out if my league financially, and I was scared to make such a leap. I called my mom and told her. She asked if other people in the building had such large spaces on their own. I said, "Yes." She said, “Well, what's the problem then? If they can do it, so can you.” So I did, and by the grace of God I have made it work. Having such a large, inspiring space has helped me and my work grow tremendously.

We'd love to be invited into your studio for this series. Please tells us about your workspace in the comments below or share your tips for keeping your studio organized and productive.

Students, SCAD rack up pancontinental recognition


The year is not quite over, but SCAD has already put 2014 to good use. Both the university and its talented students have been the center of several prominent international spotlights. Here’s a roundup of recent recognition:

Two grads snag Will Eisner Comic Industry awards
Andrew Robinson (B.F.A., illustration, 1993) and Sean Murphy (B.F.A., sequential art, 2003) both received Eisner awards — the comic book industry’s Oscars — at the San Diego Comic-Con in July.

Robinson won the Best Reality-Based Work award as the lead artist on “The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story,” a Dark Horse graphic novel that details the life story of Brian Epstein who is credited with discovering the Beatles. The 2013 New York Times bestseller is set to be adapted to film under “Ant-Man” director Peyton Reed.

Murphy earned two awards for his work on “The Wake,” a horror series published through Vertigo, an imprint of DC. Murphy earned the Best Limited Series award and the Best Penciller/Inker award.

Animation grad earns college-level Emmy
Prasad Narse (M.F.A., animation, 2014) won third place in the Emmy College Television Awards competition for his animated film "I M Possible," which was made at SCAD. Prasad has also won acclaim with the Best of Festival award from the Speechless Film Festival and a Star of Festival award from the Grand Film Festival.

Colorful videogame “Prisma” wins big at E3
Nine months of hard work paid off for a SCAD team at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The team — composed of gaming and animation students and graduates — designed “Prisma,” which earned the top prize in the 2014 E3 College Game Competition. This is the second year in a row that SCAD has earned the award.

The winning team included Kyle J. Bolton (B.F.A., interactive design and game development, 2013), Alex Méndez (B.F.A. interactive design and game development), Khoa D. Nguyen (B.F.A., interactive design and game development, 2013), Kevin Ridgway (B.F.A. animation, 2012), Angelica M. Rodriguez-Vazquez (B.F.A., interactive design and game development, 2014) and Hank M. Silman III (B.F.A. interactive design and game development).

Student film becomes fan favorite in Sprite Films contest
Olivia Riley Day (B.F.A., film and television) had her short film “See Your Dreams” recognized by the 2014 Sprite Films student filmmaker competition when it was voted Fan Favorite. Day won a $5,000 donation from Sprite that went into the SCAD film and television department, as well as a trip to the American Film Institute’s AFI FEST 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

SCAD, students renowned with Red Dot awards
SCAD received major recognition after being named a top ten university in the Americas and Europe at the 2014 Red Dot Design Award, given to the university for its innovative design programs.

Additionally, three alumni and four students were recognized at the prestigious Red Dot Awards in Singapore in September.

Red Dot Awards — a coveted prize of approval from Germany-based design authority Design Zentrum — draws more than 11,000 submissions each year from roughly 60 countries across the globe, making it one of the most ambitious worldwide competitions in design.

A jury of international design experts selected astounding work from graduates Yue Jia (M.A., industrial design, 2014) and Sebastian Campos (B.F.A., industrial design, 2012) for Red Dot Awards. Graduate Qing Xu (M.A., industrial design, 2014) and current students Jian Shi (M.F.A., industrial design), Weijing Zhao (M.F.A., industrial design), Yunman Gu (M.F.A., industrial design), and Holly Chisholm (B.F.A., industrial design).

SCAD Museum, Sottile and Drummond get top honors at AIA
In January, the SCAD Museum was recognized with the 2014 American Institute of Architects National Honor Award for Architecture, a key award for newly established buildings given by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) each year. Already a cornerstone on campus, the museum continues to draw international buzz.

AIA later recognized Christian Sottile, dean of the school of building arts, as the recipient of the AIA Young Architects Award, while Adam Drummond (M.Arch) was named one of five recipients of the 2014 AIA Fellowship for Emerging Leaders. The event took place in Chicago in June.

In August, the Georgia chapter of AIA further recognized SCAD’s architectural footprint by recognizing the SCADpad® experiment with the 2014 AIA Georgia Design Award. The unique project, which turned parking spaces into micro-housing in a midtown Atlanta parking deck, was recognized for its sustainability- and community-focused initiative.

SCAD’s global mindedness recognized by Atlanta Business Chronicle
More major acclaim came SCAD’s way early this month when it was recognized as a pancontinental university at the 2014 Atlanta World Showcase and Governor's International Awards.

The event was hosted by the Atlanta Business Chronicle magazine and honored institutions and leaders with ties to Atlanta that represent the very best in international business. SCAD won in the International Education Program category for its diversified presence with locations in Atlanta, Savannah, France and Hong Kong.

Fink’s five musts to finding a good fashion career


There’s good news for fashion students. The fashion industry, like many others sectors, is starting to dust off the recession.

In that time, though, we’ve advanced light years in technology and culture. Yet the fashion industry has been slow to change. That’s important to keep in mind when doing the resume rounds.

As much as you want to be the best fit for your potential employer, make sure the company is a good fit for you, too. If they are maintaining the status quo from 10 years ago, think hard about your place on their team when the offer comes. Business as usual doesn’t cut it anymore.

Here’s five signs to identifying a good fashion company in today’s world:

Their market is more than data.
The downfall of many businesses in today’s world is thinking that everything they read on paper is factual or offers the full picture about their market. Companies can spend hours crunching demographics, reading research articles or spending money hiring someone to make sense of the numbers.

Sometimes the best way to know your market is to get out off the office and go find them. Yes, it takes time, but there’s nothing deadlier to any business than going to a buyer who has no use for your product.

In the information overload age, having a conversation with one customer can often do more for a company’s perspective than sifting through data on a screen. Make sure your potential employer can tell you more about their market than regurgitating demographic info.

2014 SCAD Fashion Show

They think globally, but find a place to land.
Not so long ago it was OK to compete with the store down the block. Now, every customer has a counterpart in Turkey, China and everywhere else in the world. That means companies have the opportunity to make a product achievable in many different cultures.

But sometimes fashion leaders get stuck in the clouds trying to be all things to everyone. Make sure your boss-to-be has a focus. For example, if they are made in America they should be proudly displaying that fact. There is a huge consumer base here at home that checks the tags for exactly that.

Ask them about their future. See if they’re making specific decisions on where to put their time and money. Not everyone associates Savannah, Georgia, with premier fashion, even though it exists here. But the Savannah College of Art and Design knows that you don’t try to be everywhere at once. You go to where your market exists and build from there. Make sure you’re joining a company that has both a grasp on the big picture and their place in it.

They know consumers demand and deserve better practices.
The fashion industry is notorious for bad practices from the past like offshore working conditions and misuse of resources. Consumers demand better. Sustainability isn’t optional anymore.

A good example is fast-fashion store H&M, based out of Sweden, which is very transparent about their manufacturing process with consumers. This is important, especially to younger consumers who care more about how their purchasing power is impacting the world.

By enforcing sustainability practices and being open about manufacturing, H&M creates trust between the buyer and the seller. You cannot undersell trust. Trust creates loyalty, which turns buyers into best type of marketing: advocates.

Widespread acceptance of green practices will likely take time. It’s difficult to overhaul an entire industry overnight. But the person behind the desk asking the questions should be able to give you their take on sustainability. That’s because getting ahead of the green curve could reap big benefits for those willing to take steps towards long-term sustainability.

Fashion Show 2014, garment critique

They know not to spin their social media wheels.
A shameful amount of major companies talk about social media like it’s all the same thing. A good business is more nuanced than that. It’s not enough to post something on Facebook, aiming for 300 or 400 likes. Today’s users are far savvier.

Fashion has been an especially late adopter to social media. Just as the industry begins to fully embrace Facebook, there’s a mass exodus from it. In a Teen Vouge poll, roughly half of teens are now saying life would be better without social media altogether.

There’s probably never going to be a social media blackout because those same users are still on the sites/apps they supposedly hate. But fashion businesses have to be on top of trends as their consumers migrate from platform to platform.

What works, what’s new, what’s fad — it will change in six months. Right now, it’s visually heavy media like Instagram and Pinterest. That could change. Bottom line: a company needs to be adaptable and more nuanced in their usage of each account. Ask how often they review their benchmarks and revamp their social media strategy.

They know a good story is as important as design.
Every business that succeeds has a singular vision by which everything is filtered. And that means having total brand definition. Design is sometimes only as impactful in its reach as the marketing around it.

Good marketing requires honest human emotion that comes through a narrative supported by a product. In a world where people are more conscious about what they consume, that requires storytelling.

Storytelling is one of those vague terms you’re going to hear in marketing seminars one day. It can be confusing and often left undefined. For me, it boils down to creating a dialogue with people, telling them what your product is and why it could be good for them.

If a company does this one thing well, the consumer will start telling the story for them. That’s something you’re going to want when you join a team because passion breeds success.

Michael Fink is dean of the school of fashion at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Thread: your connection to the SCAD community


thread: that which runs through the whole course of something, connecting successive parts.

Thanks to heavy doses of social media and constant connectivity, realities of the digital world in which we live, some say we’re more in touch than ever. But we launched Thread because we felt there was room for more connection, and for a destination that would reflect the dynamism of the Savannah College of Art and Design community and connect our far-flung members through time and space.

As you can see below, 35 years since the university’s founding in 1978 and SCAD alumni are everywhere, living, working and influencing art and design in cities worldwide. In addition to this macro view of where your peers work and reside, we wanted to get specific. So, in celebration of Thread’s launch, over the next few days we’ll kick off a new project: a human almanac of sorts; snapshots of what those 28,000 people who share the SCAD experience are up to and what their time at SCAD meant to them.

We hope this project inspires you to share your story with us so Thread can continue to document your journey and “map” your progress. Send your updates to:

We celebrate what’s to come. Thanks for joining the ride.