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VeraCity: the unauthorized story of Vera Scarves as told by a studio insider


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Early Lessons
Vera Studio
MacMurray College

Updated June 04, 2013 | By Bob Fugett

The Art Studio

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The gun and Easter eggs were a universe away as I pulled a studio chair up to the corner of the light table across from one of Vera's top artists.

I asked Shirley if she had a moment and after her nod asked how the work for her showing across the river was coming along.

She immediately raised a knowing eyebrow, "Oh goody, one of your interviews."

The room around us was full of occupied light tables, each with a highly skilled artist pursuing the impatient necessities of this top studio feeding the heart of the New York City fashion industry.

It was the main creative hub for Scarves and Blouses by Vera Neumann, or simply Vera Scarves—the first ever signature clothing line.

The studio was an international workplace for twenty-five of the world's most incredible artists, not to mention home court for Vera Neumann herself.

Of course, scarves barely covers the story, because also there were blouses, dresses, bed linens, and tableware, with work being done for Burlington, Mikasa, and others.

If there was a fashionable product that could use a great design, this was a place that could do it.

Two shoulder height room dividers split the large bright room into thirds, but otherwise it was totally open to allow the full ceiling of daylight fluorescents to freely add to light coming in from an entire wall of windows overlooking the Hudson River far below.

The windowed wall showcased a broad expanse of plant and tree covered ancient volcanic palisades horizoned above the opposite river bank nearly three miles away.

When Shirley made polite reference to my standard every-spare-second pastime, it was the first moment I was aware my conversations of opportunity (stolen whenever possible) might be considered interviews.

However, since I had learned very early in life to be a good listener and careful observer, it only seemed natural, so the idea of an interview rang true enough for me to only answer, "Yes, if it's ok."

On my arrival at the Vera Industries art studio in my new position as Assistant to the Art Studio Coordinator, I was handed what I considered to be the keys to the kingdom, that is: access to two dozen of the best qualified, most brilliantly articulate, severely creative, and horribly frustrated artists on the planet.

I was sure that in their heads would be found the essence of everything I had ever wondered about art, or dreamed to achieve in life, or hoped to accomplish on any given day.

More or less, I was correct.





Copyright © 2010 Bob Fugett, all rights reserved, hands off
this page created: 08/21/2010
last updated:
06/04/2013 02:02:24 PM



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