101 Things I Learned in Fashion School

101 Things I Learned in Fashion School

by Alfredo Cabrera with Matthew Frederick

“In my years of teaching, I have found that the greater obstacle… is not the acquiring of technical proficiency… but in accepting the need to design for real people… It took me years as a working designer to realize the importance of identifying a real living customer and recognizing what he or she will and won’t wear. Far from being anti-creative, it was for me the beginning of true creativity. For what is creativity if it isn’t to take something existing in one’s head and give it relevance in the real world?”

Alfredo Cabrera has taught and critiqued at Parsons The New School for Design, Fashion Institute of Technology, and Pratt Institute. Here’s a sampling of the insights he shares in the book.

“Simple clothes aren’t simple to design. When superfluous design elements are eliminated from a garment, more subtle considerations—proportion, line, fit—are magnified. This calls for a refined understanding of anatomy (e.g. how the neckline sits in relation to the clavicle), geometry, balance, positive and negative space, and the harmony of parts to whole.”

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You’re Not That Great

You’re Not That Great

by Daniel Crosby

Psychologist Daniel Crosby tells it like it is in this book about the numerous ways human nature can work against us, not the least of which is egoistic self-absorption (solipsism).

“The biggest finding to emerge from the self-esteem movement was that praise did not predict self-esteem, accomplishment did… Many of the theories about self-esteem that had impacted policy were simply junk science.” Continue reading

Intellectual Property Law

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Intellectual Property Law: Legal Aspects of Innovation and Competition

by Kurt M. Saunders, J.D., LL.M.

Intellectual Property Law covers trade secrets, patents, copyrights, trademarks, the right of publicity, protecting intellectual property internationally, and best practices for the handling of unsolicited ideas. Selected cases illustrate the legal theory with real-world conflicts, and explain the legal precedents established by the courts.

Although written as a business-school textbook, this book would also be a pertinent reference for professionals in a range of industries in the knowledge economy. Awareness of the law can help executives protect their rights and stay out of trouble.

In a global economy, how do you fight counterfeit products? What can you do about gray market sales? The chapter on international aspects explains the relevant treaties, notably the TRIPS Agreement, as well as the role of the WTO and the ITC.

What happens when a small business, which has been using a common law trademark for 50 years, is sued for infringement by a newer company which has registered the trademark with the USPTO? The answer is that concurrent use is allowed until the federal trademark owner competes directly. One of the purposes of trademark law is to prevent confusion in the mind of the consumer as to the origin of the product. Continue reading

One Little Spark

one-little-spark

One Little Spark! Mickey’s Ten Commandments and The Road to Imagineering

by Marty Sklar with introductions by Richard M. Sherman and Glen Keane

Marty Sklar was hired by Walt Disney in 1955, prior to the opening of Disneyland. He rose through the ranks to president of Imagineering, the group responsible for Disney’s theme parks worldwide. He retired in 2009 after a 54-year career with the company.

The first part of the book explains Mickey’s Ten Commandments, guiding principles developed by Sklar in 1983. The second half of the book consists of career advice from 75 Imagineers. The most prominent recurring theme in this book is storytelling. Continue reading

Think Out of the Box

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Think Out of the Box

by Mike Vance and Diane Deacon

People use the term “think out of the box” in reference to creativity, innovation, or unconventional approaches to solving a problem. I suspect many people who use this cliché have no idea where it came from.

The term was popularized in 1995 by the book Think Out of the Box. The box is a puzzle.

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A Technique for Producing Ideas

a-technique-for-producing-ideas

A Technique for Producing Ideas

by James Webb Young

This concise booklet was first published in the 1940s by James Webb Young, who became vice president of the advertising firm J. Walter Thompson and the first chairman of The Advertising Council. He wrote it in response to the question, “How do you get ideas?”

Before explaining the process, Young presents two principles. Continue reading

Steal Like an Artist

steal-like-an-artist

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

by Austin Kleon

Austin Kleon writes, “All advice in autobiographical… This book is me talking to a previous version of myself… These ideas apply to anyone who’s trying to inject some creativity into their life and their work. (That should describe all of us.)” The book is thoughtfully written and designed in a creative six-inch by six-inch format.

The idea behind stealing like an artist is that “nothing is completely original… All creative work builds on what came before… If we’re free from the burden of trying to be completely original, we can stop trying to make something out of nothing, and we can embrace influence instead of running away from it.” Continue reading