About This Video
FIT Talks: Susan Rietman Interview
Alex Joseph, Managing Editor of FIT's Hue Magazine interviews Susan Rietman, a professor from FIT's Textile Service Design and Fabric Styling program. Susan recalls her childhood and how her life led to fashion, particularly how a serigraphy course led her into the field textiles. She talks about her mother's designer clothing collection that she has kept, and about her move to New York right after college in 1961. Her first job was with Leslie Tillet at "D.D. and Leslie Tillett" where she helped him design bathing suits, and custom fabric, including fabrics for the 1964 American Worlds Fair pavilions. She talks about her freelance work with Jack Lenor Larsen, and the shoe company she worked on with the Tillets called Shoe Fou, which led to her work for Magnin. She then talks about how she began teaching for the Textile Department at FIT in 1966, a year before the union was introduced, what the college looked like, as well as what the students were like at that time (beehive hairdos, patent leather mascara, classroom smoking), and how things have changed. She recounts her time as acting dean, and the transition the textile department made to using digital technology. She discusses her husband's art book store Jaap Rietman, and how she kept the books after the store closed. She finally discusses the first sustainable project conducted in the Textile program called SOS, Save our Surface, and about a book she's writing about a journalist's archive that was donated to her.
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