1. a light, small, portable tote bag made out of abandon umbrellas found on the streets of Brooklyn.

When the wind and rain start to pick up; those are the days to hunt abandon umbrellas. The umbrella fabric has so much potential for repurposing/upcycling and is eco-friendly. The material is sturdy, waterproof and even fashionable. Umbrella’s come in all sizes from golf to child offering flexibility to the scale and style of bag you can create.

Not only are you repurposing fabric but minimizing your use of plastic bags once your Totella (tote bag out of an umbrella) is complete.

Below please find a few easy steps to create your own, if you’re strapped for time here’s a link to buy them online: Etsy

What you’ll need to begin:
– Abandon umbrella
– Sewing scissors or cutting wheel
– Pins
– Ruler or tape measure
– Cutting mat
– Sewing machine
– Thread
– Iron


Step 1:
Carefully snip the umbrella fabric free from the skeleton of the umbrella. Unscrew the button at the top of the umbrella and wash the fabric.

Step 2:
Turn the umbrella fabric inside out. Fold it in half and pin the two sides together along the edges.

Step 3:
With a yardstick or tape measure, measure out the width you want for your bag plus one inch for the seams. (In the photo below, I measured 17 inches across, so the finished bag is 16 inches wide). Next iron your seams, pin and sew.

Step 4:
To make the handles, cut pieces of the excess umbrella fabric by measuring about 2½ wide and 15 inches long. If you don’t have enough material, make your strip smaller. Fold each piece in half lengthwise and pin (the material should be inside out). Sew a seam on one piece and then turn right side out. Repeat with the second piece.

Step 5:
Determine where you want to attach the handles to the bag. Tuck the edges of the fabric under and pin the ends on the inside of the bag. I like to use the extra fabric to cover the handle seams offering additional support.

Step 6:
Roll it up and now do some shopping!

The Art of Bocce Ball


Bocce Ball isn’t known as a glamorous or fashionable sport. I felt like in order to take my team to the next level – and change the paradigm of the game – we needed to be more official. We needed to start this year stronger then ever. We needed to be branded. Team ‘Ralph Bocchio’ needed a logo and stylish uniform. After five years of being the best team that never wins, we were at least going to look good – unified and put together. We went to town creating the newest trend in Bocce ball, the Team Towel.

We picked up a GOCCO screen-printing kit from an arts and education supply store and went to work in the Duffy & Partners studio. It’s the next best thing to potato printing but much, much more fun. The GOCCO can make 4×6 prints on cloth or paper depending on the ink. Check this machine out. It’s brilliant for those one-off t-shirts, cards and prints.

Bumble and Bumble Design

It’s important to me to stay interest in a wide array of design disciplines. A great stylist, musician and owner of the local salon Mezzanine, Jonny Kelson, invited me to participate in a design discipline much different then print. Hair styling.

Bumble and Bumble a wide spread cosmetic line offers training programs in traveling cities and sure enough they came to Minneapolis inviting Jonny to participate. I of course had to tag along to soak in the experience and get my hair styled.

Howard Mc Laren, Bumble and Bumble’s Vice President Senior Artist Director, lead the workshop focusing around customizing cuts to the clients lifestyle, habits and wants. I was stunned with how similar his concepts of approaching hair styling were to approaching graphic or industrial design.

He talked about getting to know the client and their interests, leading the stylist to understand the likes, dislikes and environments the client is involved in. The demographic information, basically. He explained, in order for a client to walk away happy with their cut, they have to know how to manage the equity they have. Finding the best cut is the one they can maintain, understand and embrace. Howard taught stylists to educate their clients about products or cut styles (razor cutting), so they could be aware of why, when and how they should treat their new look and fashion. In the end giving the client a total experience and makeover.

Within any design discipline, understanding the cultural and economic climate before starting the project will only make the outcome last longer and become more vibrant.

City Pages: Freestyle Fashion

At the 2010 Minneapolis fashion event, Voltage, I was honored to be stopped by the local Freestyle Fashion goddess Hollie Mae. HM has a long history in fashion, dance, modeling and now styling. HM is one of the few stylists to have direct influence on projects from start to finish. She takes direction and inspiration from her Art Director and brings new ideas to the table when needed.

Freestyle Fashion is sponsored by City Pages. The goal is to spot light Minneapolis street-fashion and culture. This is my second time stopped by the street-fashion police but hopefully not the last. STAY TUNED.

Blu Dot Catalog

In 2007, Minneapolis based furniture company Blu Dot was looking to perform a face-lift on their catalog design. The result was a narrative, allowing the viewer to draw his or her own conclusions, relying heavily on photography. They also saw a niche, seldom do you see people interacting with the furniture, making the styling seem unrealistic. Blu Dot’s mantra to the new catalog was: be fun, and slightly irreverent; there needed to be a life to it; it’s supposed to make you smile.

To do so they hired a fashion photographer to shoot furniture, Dan Monick. Dan Monick was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. He graduated from Hampshire College with a BA in photography. For several years thereafter, he toured the country as drummer for various low rent rock bands, a lifestyle that afforded him plenty of opportunity to cultivate his love for something out of nothing philosophy. He now lives in Los Angeles and works as a photographer.

His work has been featured in numerous publications including Paper, Dwell, XXL, Rolling Stone, The Journal, Spin, Arkitip, Fader, and Vice. He also has a line of t-shirts produced by Blood Is The New Black.

Dan Monick truly made the catalog and shoot come to life. I was lucky enough to be a part of the 2007 photo—shoot and also making it to the 2009 catalog. It was an amazing experience to work with Blu Dot staff as well as Dan Monick. Dan would be able to have these amazing stream-of-consciousness, creating narratives for the models in order to extract the expression or mood  he wanted. Which, in turn made the furniture poses Blu Dot’s wanted narrative.

Curster’s Dollmighty Fashion Show






Minneapolis based artist, Erin Currie has been bringing her imagination to life through paintings, prints, plush dolls and fashion since she can remember.

“I want people to see my work and imagine themselves running with Yetis through the forest or floating on clouds of balloons,” explains Erin.

Her explorations in characters are known as “Cursters.” Her plush doll designs are meticulously handcrafted with layering of rich fabrics, hand embroidery, as well as hand embellished faces resulting in one of a kind works of art.

December 12, 2009 at the Soo Visual Art Center, I was lucky enough to be a part of her first fashion show—Curster’s Dollmighty Fashion Show. The impeccable collection included breathtaking dresses, fanciful hats all inspired by military helmets, lacy sweaters, hand crafted tees, as well as hoodies and ornate mukluks. The line was a perfect mixture of style, including coquette, victorian princess and Tank Girl.

It’s every girls dream to dress like a doll for a day. I’m blessed to have had the opportunity. Thank you Erin.

Special thanks to Stephanie Colgan for the beautiful photos.

H1N1 – Halloween Costumes 2009

Michel Jackson Thriller
, Zombies, Max and Carol from Where The Wild Things Are, Flo the Progressive Auto Insurance girl, Bob Ross, and H1N1 virus.
Halloween is one night in which you can turn back the hands of time, disregard all boundaries, and be someone timeless. Halloween has transformed into a night that honors innovators, cultural moments, celebrities, and hauntings from the years past.
I had chosen to be the scariest outbreak from 2009, H1N1 virus disguised as the common cold. The media has exploited health and wellness. The H1N1 virus has spread from Fox News to displays distributing hand sanitizer in public places.
When thinking of how to accurately portray this pandemic I had thought about peoples associations and fears. Asking questions like: how are people exposed to H1N1, what are the most fearful aspects, and what images exaggerate the theory. As a solution I gathered an old hazmat suit, vials, beakers, stickers, and makeup.

4101732374_44e5c86370_bOn the back: I sewed in the symbol of the Red Cross as well as common cold text. This was my disguise, the scariest part of the virus, the wonder or mystery behind most cases of the pandemic. Is this viral or bacterial?


4101732836_53f2f32145_bOn the front: I had sewed a line of vials to display the toxicity of the illness as well as on the under shirt sewn in H1N1 text.

4101731106_c5ec6f768f_bAccessories: I drank out of a beaker to display the scientific nature of the illness. To demonstrate the spread of the illness I printed 300 sticker labeled INFECTED. Throughout the evening I secretly distributed the stickers on partygoers. At the beginning of the evening I told people what the sticker meant (they were infected with the H1N1) so they could answer questions regarding the sticker. After a few hours I secretly infected others to cause curiosity. The result of the evening was exciting others were passing the virus around and so it spread.

Thanks Ben for the photos.

The September Issue

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Vogue launches one of the most anticipated issue in fashion culture; the September Issue. The issue that claims it rule over: fall fashions, stylish steals, and of course beauty secrets. In my own anticipation for this issue I attempted a fall preview.  Giving a personal view to the definition of fashion.

Fashion, clothing and trends, largely depend on one’s personal expression and penchant for style.  So, fashion and style should reflect one’s own persona and worth. Less about the prediction of the current fashion trends and the irrespective of suitability. We should stand out from a crowd with a distinctive style that coins our personal value in aesthetics, functionality, as well as pride.

Please enjoy my SEPTEMBER ISSUE.
Also most of these photos where taken in the early AM. Please excuse some of the facial expressions.


Picture 3

Design comes in many forms. Fashion is one notable expression. Mixing old with new to create unique styles is one of my passions. I’m attracted to the dynamics between the juxtaposition of new old and new in every form of design. When creating my own signature designs I try to feature beautiful detail and unexpected material combination’s.

This picture was shot for the CITY PAGES; StreetStyle Fashion section.