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Graphic Design USA Magazine

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A few months ago, I was approached by Project Runway to participate in an episode that included the HP and Intel Pattern Challenge. I listened intently as the producers explained the challenge even though I knew exactly what they were going to say since I am a huge fan of the show. At this point in the competition there were only seven fashion designers left. Each remaining designer would be paired with a “Next Generation Achiever” to help inspire a pattern that was then made into a textile and incorporated into their runway look. And they wanted ME to be that inspirational person!!

After I finished doing the happy dance followed by consecutive shrieks of joy I regained consciousness and started to panic. How in the world was I going to be an inspiration?

I started to think about the role of a graphic designer and how powerful design can be when used effectively. As creative director at GDUSA magazine I am fully immersed in the world of design and I continually find that the best designed projects are those that come from a labor of love. For me, this labor of love is Barbalu.

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Each fashion designer had the chance to spend an hour with their innovator to draw inspiration for their pattern. I had the pleasure of meeting Alexandria von Bromssen at the future home of Barbalu. As I explained to Alexandria, Barbalu is a soon-to-open Italian restaurant near the South Street Seaport. In October of 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated my beloved hometown of New York City and the restaurant in which we stood was filled with more than 6 feet of storm water. Everything was gone. But now — nearly a year to date — the brave owners are rebuilding in the same location. The business needed to start from scratch and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to help them redesign their entire identity.

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