New York City

OpenCalais Metadata: Latitude: 
40.7142
OpenCalais Metadata: Longitude: 
-74.0064

Meghan McGowan and Kelsey Barajas chat with visiting professor Iris Apfel. 

Photo Credit: Kelsey Barajas | Daily Texan Staff

Iris Apfel, the 93-year-old “Rare Bird of Fashion,” has held many honors to this day: an exhibit dedicated to her style at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, her own line of clothes on the Home Shopping Network, a fashion spread for Italian Vogue and advertising campaigns for Coach and Kate Spade. She has been the face of MAC Cosmetics and is the subject of an Albert Maysles documentary. Apfel is also a visiting professor at UT, a title she holds dear. 

Each year, 15 students dedicated to the fashion industry are chosen for the School of Human Ecology’s UT in NYC course that takes place every May. 

Under the direction of Nancy Prideaux, the program coordinator and a senior lecturer in the Textiles and Apparel Department, selected students thoroughly research industry leaders and events. Then they meet with Apfel in New York City for a number of company visits. This unique opportunity allows students to take their classroom to the heart of the fashion industry and learn from firsthand experience.

The UT in NYC program is unparalleled. While many universities with fashion-related programs take trips to New York City to explore the industry, none are led by an industry icon as notable as Apfel. Apfel opens doors to the likes of J. Crew, Bergdorf Goodman, Kate Spade and Alexis Bittar — retailers, designers, public relations firms and more with a lot of prestige in the industry. 

Students are selected for the program through a competitive application, which includes an interview and faculty recommendations. The program itself seeks to incorporate students from varied backgrounds and experiences to participate in a robust exchange of ideas with each other and industry members.

When Sue Meller, BA ’75 and member of the school advisory council, visited the Met-debuted “Rare Bird of Fashion” exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Boston, she was unaware of the series of events that would unfold. 

During her visit, she commented to a docent that the exhibit would be a wonderful experience for UT students. To her surprise, she received a call from Apfel herself soon after, curious about our school. Apfel felt a true connection to UT, commenting that other schools didn’t seem to be as interested in their students. Notable faculty, including former College of Natural Sciences Dean Mary Ann Rankin and others from the School of Human Ecology, met with Apfel in New York City over dinner in December 2010. Then, with the oversight of Prideaux, the course was born, and the first UT in NYC course occurred five months later.

The trip to New York City is a treasured networking experience for the students, who connect with industry professionals and all textiles-apparel grads in the city at an alumni event at the trip’s culmination. 

Supply chain management senior Meghan McGowan attests to how the trip shaped her career: “It’s invaluable to hear from leading professional influences — hearing their stories and the different experiences they have in their toolbox that got them to where they are today.” 

Apfel’s star power certainly isn’t lost on her students or Prideaux. Merchandising senior Kelsey Cowan Barajas believes visiting professor Apfel has had a huge impact on industry executives because she is “not afraid to be uncompromisingly herself or speak her mind.” 

As the faculty member who has worked with her to develop this program, Prideaux describes it as “‘truly a once in a lifetime experience to be in the presence of a creative genius and most astute businesswoman.’” 

Apfel began her career at Women’s Wear Daily and founded Old World Weavers, a textile mill, with her husband Carl Apfel. The textile mill produces replicas of historical textiles, many of which have been enlisted for the White House.

The UT in NYC course has truly influenced the Textiles-Apparel Program and elevated it to compete with other programs nationally. The University’s experience with Apfel allowed it to become a member of the YMA Fashion Scholarships Fund organization. The camera crew for Albert Maysles’ documentary “Iris” — set to be released April 29 — filmed portions of the first UT in NYC course during the students’ time with Apfel in New York City. 

Apfel will be in Dallas for the launch of her documentary at the USA Film Festival later this month. The documentary has received critically acclaimed reviews and is set for private viewings in New York and other venues. We are fortunate to have the support of a fashion icon with so much wisdom, clout and exuberance under her belt. The guidance of visiting professor Apfel provides students the encouragement and enthusiasm to follow her lead in this competitive industry.

Patel is a business honors, finance and textiles and apparel junior from Sugar Land. 

J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler and visiting professor Iris Apfel pose with students participating in the School of Human Ecology's UT in NYC program. 

Photo Credit: Kelsey Barajas | Daily Texan Staff

The summer after my freshman year, I had the opportunity to take an internship position in Fendi North America’s flagship office in New York City, right above their 5th Avenue retail store. 

When I first interviewed and toured the office, I had a magical feeling. Pictures of illustrious models were draped around the office. The furniture was chic and pristine. The office employees seemed bursting with happiness in every department as I toured and interviewed there. I happily accepted the offer to work there — even though it was unpaid — as I thought I would be able to see what made Fendi such a luxurious and highly regarded brand.

Though my time as an accounting intern at Fendi was interesting and enlightening, the biggest feeling I had working there was discovery. My experience working on the corporate accounting side was filled with interdepartmental projects and investigations into fashion industry-related issues that I didn’t even know existed. It was a huge learning opportunity and also an important realization of some of the truths and myths of working in the fashion industry. 

When I started, I thought everyone would have to dress in couture because it’s a fashion company. 

My first day in New York City, the day before I started work, I spent the whole day obsessing over my outfit. I am not someone who dresses with the style of a true fashionista — in other words, on most days you can find me in jean shorts and T-shirts, without makeup and with my hair in a messy bun. But I shopped for a cute outfit, bought new makeup and debated over which handbag to bring to impress my sure-to-be fashion-minded co-workers. 

When I stepped into the office, though, I quickly realized that the cute outfits I saw on recruiting day weren’t the norm. 

While some people were definitely stylish, the common attire of the office seemed to be capri gaucho pants, quirky T-shirts and other eccentric fashion statements. 

After spending a few weeks in the office, I realized that the majority of my coworkers were not at Fendi because they themselves were fashionistas. Like me, they were there because they liked working for a big brand, and also because they didn’t want to leave New York City for familial reasons. 

Once I discovered this similarity — that we all weren’t fashion-inclined by our nature — I gained more confidence proposing ideas and presenting work.

In my first few days, I also realized that departments with more artistic qualities took priority over the more quantitative business units, which surprised me. 

The finance and accounting side of Fendi (located basement floor with no view of the city) was literally and figuratively below the advertising side (top floor, windows and decorations). Every project I worked on in accounting seemed to be a directive from advertising rather than finance. 

For instance, one of my projects was to analyze advertising budgets required by Fendi’s leasing contracts. When I presented my findings to my boss, which advocated for a substantial cut to the budget, she thanked me for doing a good job on it but then hinted that advertising would not make the cuts. 

The sentiment was if advertising felt like they needed the advertising, they would spend the money on it, regardless of financial justification. This is because the advertising department held more power and clout in the business than finance or supply chain. I learned that if I were to return to the fashion world, I would like to be in an area like advertising so that I could make significant impacts on the business.

While I never had to do things like get coffee for people, I was tasked with rectifying Fendi’s fraudulent credit card claims, which was a job involving emailing and calling credit card companies to get them to refund Fendi for certain return claims. 

Even though this task was not glamorous, I actually didn’t mind it too much, as I learned about true business operations that made Fendi function at the lowest level. But in the grand scheme of things, it was not an important job, which taught me that as a fashion intern, I’d most likely be doing menial tasks. 

At Fendi, like at any business, not all work is glamorous. For me, learning this lesson early on in my career has been instrumental. It gave me motivation to try harder when I returned to UT my sophomore year so I could ultimately be placed in a role that was a level higher than basic corporate functioning tasks. My Fendi internship humbled me, for which I am grateful. No work is “beneath me,” and this has given me a better attitude moving forward for other jobs. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work at the firm.

Morisette is a business honors and marketing senior from Houston. 

Creative writing professor Elizabeth McCracken received the $20,000 Story Prize for her short story collection, “Thunderstruck and Other Stories,” in New York City on Wednesday. 

The Story Prize is an annual award presented to an author for “an outstanding collection of short fiction.” The Story Prize director, an advisory board member and three independent judges select the winners. McCracken’s book, “Thunderstruck,” was selected from among 129 other short story collection entries. 

McCracken, who has authored one memoir and two collections of short stories, said she believes writing short stories like “Thunderstruck” is much different than authoring novels. 

“I can never decide whether I find short stories harder than novels or the other way around,” McCracken said. “Novels are more forgiving. You can digress and go on; short stories need to be more focused. But they’re definitely sprints and not marathons.”

McCracken said she eliminated external distractions to focus on writing “Thunderstruck.”  

“I shut myself in my office in [Calhoun Hall], and I turned off my Internet,” McCracken said. “I changed my EID password so I couldn’t check my e-mail on campus even if I wanted to, and then I just wrote for hours at a time. I hunkered down. It’s the only way I know how to do it.”

English associate professor Coleman Hutchison said McCracken’s use of metaphors in her stories resonates with readers.

“She does things with language, especially figurative language, that are arresting and unusual and things that will stick with a reader — not just beyond the page, but sometimes for the rest of their lives,” Hutchison said.

Vincent Scarpa, master of fine arts candidate at the Michener Center for Writers and one of McCracken’s former writing workshop students, said McCracken’s insight into the human condition set her apart from her peers during the Story Prize selection process.  

“There were no shortage of wonderful story collections that came out last year, but none as smart and as impressive as ‘Thunderstruck,’” Scarpa said. “No one is better at coaxing out of the familiar something new that surprises, disturbs, delights and haunts — sometimes all at once. Her magnifying glass on the human condition is a remarkable thing.”

Photo Credit: Courtesy of UT Austin

Darren Walker, UT alumnus and president of the Ford Foundation, will deliver the keynote address at the spring commencement ceremony on May 23, University administrators announced Friday.

Walker began his work in philanthropy at the Rockefeller Foundation. Before that, he spent time as a corporate and international finance lawyer and as chief operating officer of the Abyssinian Development Corporation in New York City. He started his work at the Ford Foundation, the second largest charitable organization in the U.S., as vice president in 2010. He became its president three years later.

Walker said he never set out to end up working in philanthropy.

“I was working in Harlem at the Abyssinian Development Corporation, and one day my phone rang,” Walker said. “Someone I knew at a foundation said she’d given my name to the president of the Rockefeller Foundation, and that’s how I got into philanthropy. It was a total happenstance.”

Walker, who lives in New York City, said he’ll always consider himself a Texan at heart. 

“I think I would say that I have always had a connection to Texas and to Austin and the University,” Walker said. “The University was so seminal in my own personal development. I feel such a personal connection to the Institution and to so many people who are still on campus. My UT networks still today are a foundation for me.”

Walker received a bachelor of arts in government, a bachelor of science in speech communication, and a law degree from UT.

President William Powers Jr. said in a press release Friday that Walker was an ideal choice for the keynote speaker.

“Darren is an inspirational alumnus whose life embodies the ideals we as a university strive to teach,” Powers said. “I’m delighted that our graduates will be getting the benefit of his deep wisdom.”

UT spokesperson Gary Susswein said Walker was an easy choice for the members of the speaker selection committee.

“He has got a phenomenal story to tell,” Susswein said. “If you look at his background, the adversity he overcame, everything he achieved at UT and the fact that he uses that UT education to help the world in so many ways, it’s just a great choice.”

Susswein said the University generally selects speakers who are UT alumni or have deep connections to the University.

“It’s something we look for,” Susswein said. “If [our students] see other people who are UT students [and] have gone on to change the world, it’s a powerful message to our graduates.”

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

The moment you step inside Madison Square Garden for the first time, you get it.

Nestled in the heart of New York City, the place is unlike any other. There’s an undeniable buzz that engulfs the arena regardless of who is playing between its walls.

From Michael Jordan to Wayne Gretzky, Muhammad Ali to George Harrison, the greatest performers always seemed to save their best acts for the Garden. There’s a reason they call it “The World’s Most Famous Arena.”

And on Thursday and Friday nights, under the brightest lights in America’s most iconic city, the Longhorns made themselves right at home and proved they deserve their preseason billing as one of the nation’s top teams.

After a shaky opening in the first game, No. 10 Texas dominated for three halves to clinch the 2K Classic championship — its first November neutral-site tournament title since 2009.

Aside from their early issues Thursday, the Longhorns thrashed Iowa and California. It wasn’t exactly the “Murderers’ Row” of opponents, but each is a quality,
power-conference team nonetheless. Iowa is projected to be one of the better teams in the Big Ten, and California easily brushed No. 23 Syracuse aside Thursday night.

All offseason, Texas fans heard how good the Longhorns would be this year, and now there is tangible evidence. Texas’ two blowout wins in Austin against North Dakota State and Alcorn State to open the season showed little. But in their trip to New York, the Longhorns passed their first major test of the season and proved they’re a step above three of college basketball’s better teams.

Syracuse played in what were essentially two home games in front of the New York City crowd. Iowa, too, had a significant fan base in the stands for each of its games.

But in the arena in which the great Billy Joel continues to hold concerts each month, it was the Longhorns that had a “New York State of Mind,” leaving teams buzzing about Texas’ size and depth.

“I don’t know if there is any other front line in college that can match that,” California senior forward David Kravish said of the Texas big men.

Perhaps most significant was that Texas managed to win the tournament even without its best player, sophomore point guard Isaiah Taylor, on the court for the title game. Taylor went down with a wrist injury Thursday, but junior guard Javan Felix filled in admirably with 9 points and four assists in 35 minutes to keep the offense rolling.

This is the Longhorns’ first season start with four consecutive victories of more than 10 points since the 2009-10 season. That season, Texas began the year 17-0 before slumping to a final record of 24-10 and losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament. But the Longhorns have far higher aspirations this year.

The legendary Frank Sinatra summed up New York best with his lyric, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.”

The Longhorns made it there. Now, it’s time to see whether Sinatra was right about everywhere else.

NFL Draft to move from New York to Chicago in 2015

Every year, NFL fans from all over the country travel to watch the NFL Draft in hopes of their team selecting the next NFL star. But, next year, instead of booking a flight to New York, NFL fans will be rerouting their travel plans.

According to multiple reports, the 2015 NFL Draft will be held in Chicago rather than New York City. The NFL Draft has been held in New York since 1965, including at Radio City Music Hall for the past nine years.

Once the NFL learned Radio City Music Hall could not be reserved for the 2015 NFL Draft, 12 cities showed interest in hosting the Draft.  The list was then narrowed to Los Angeles and Chicago before NFL officials decided the Draft will move to the Windy City.

The Chicago Bear’s twitter page posted that the Draft will be held at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, which is located on Chicago’s busiest and most popular street, Michigan Avenue. The Draft will take place on April 30-May 2.

The NFL Draft has always been popular to football fans and the three day event in 2014 was viewed by 45.7 million people surpassing the record of 45.4 million in 2010. Popularity increased last year, in part, over speculation of which team would take Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Curiosity over Manziel increased dramatically on draft day when he slipped all the way to No. 22 of the first round when he was finally selected by the Cleveland Browns.

Every year one major goal of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is to further increase fan interest in the NFL’s already incredibly popular offseason. This year Goodell believes the change in scenery might help. He is specifically hoping to strengthen interest in the rounds of the draft and keep the Draft’s TV ratings up.

"We're talking about different concepts, primarily how to strengthen the last day and whether we should maybe push that back to the clubs a little bit more and allow the clubs to have a little bit more freedom as more of a club day," Goodell said.

The last NFL Draft not to be held in New York City was coincidentally held in Chicago at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel from 1961-63.  We will find out in April if the move to Chicago is another score for the NFL.

NFL Draft to move from New York to Chicago in 2015

Every year, NFL fans from all over the country travel to watch the NFL Draft in hopes of their team selecting the next NFL star. But, next year, instead of booking a flight to New York, NFL fans will be rerouting their travel plans.

According to multiple reports, the 2015 NFL Draft will be held in Chicago rather than New York City. The NFL Draft has been held in New York since 1965, including at Radio City Music Hall for the past nine years.

Once the NFL learned Radio City Music Hall could not be reserved for the 2015 NFL Draft, 12 cities showed interest in hosting the Draft.  The list was then narrowed to Los Angeles and Chicago before NFL officials decided the Draft will move to the Windy City.

The Chicago Bear’s twitter page posted that the Draft will be held at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, which is located on Chicago’s busiest and most popular street, Michigan Avenue. The Draft will take place on April 30-May 2.

The NFL Draft has always been popular to football fans and the three day event in 2014 was viewed by 45.7 million people surpassing the record of 45.4 million in 2010. Popularity increased last year, in part, over speculation of which team would take Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Curiosity over Manziel increased dramatically on draft day when he slipped all the way to No. 22 of the first round when he was finally selected by the Cleveland Browns.

Every year one major goal of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is to further increase fan interest in the NFL’s already incredibly popular offseason. This year Goodell believes the change in scenery might help. He is specifically hoping to strengthen interest in the rounds of the draft and keep the Draft’s TV ratings up.

"We're talking about different concepts, primarily how to strengthen the last day and whether we should maybe push that back to the clubs a little bit more and allow the clubs to have a little bit more freedom as more of a club day," Goodell said.

The last NFL Draft not to be held in New York City was coincidentally held in Chicago at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel from 1961-63.  We will find out in April if the move to Chicago is another score for the NFL.

During ACL, Austin resident Jack Armstrong converts his backyard into parking spaces for paying patrons. Armstong can fit about 12 cars in his yard and offers one-day spaces as well as full-weekend spots.

Photo Credit: Rachel Zein | Daily Texan Staff

Just as New York City residents know to leave their homes by New Year’s Eve to avoid the hectic holiday, Austin residents know that driving or parking anywhere in the city during the Austin City Limits Music Festival is nearly impossible — especially around Zilker Park. 

Local businesses and surrounding residents, however, are finding innovative ways to accommodate the crowds and, along the way, pocket some extra cash.

One example is local food trailer park, The Picnic. During ACL The Picnic will not just cater to hungry mouths, as its Barton Springs Road parking lot will be open to people looking for a place to leave their cars.

“We have a managing company that handles the collection of money, but the parking lot is built,” said Alastair Jenkin, co-owner of The Picnic. “It’s just going to operate like a normal, paid parking lot — you just pay the guy.”

Drivers will be able to get one of The Picnic’s 80 parking spots on a first-come-first-serve basis, with each spot costing $30.

“The demand for parking has always been high for ACL,” Jenkin said. “There are just not many places to park.”

UT alumnus Jack Armstrong is a real estate broker who has lived in Austin for over 20 years. When ACL started, he saw the demand for parking spaces. Since then, he has been renting out his backyard and driveway for people to park in.

“I’m usually filled, but I probably won’t try to max it out this year,” Armstrong said. “I get people from years past that find me, and they come back. [They] always email me like a week or two before.”

Armstrong said about 12 cars can fit in his backyard and driveway, and he gives everyone a reserved spot.

“I print the people’s names, and they have their own spots,” Armstrong said. “They can come and go, and their spot will be there the next day.”

As far as pricing goes, Armstrong will charge $40 or $45 per day if a person decides to rent a spot for two or more days.

“It is hard for people to get access to my house because roads are shut down, so that’s always the hard part,” Armstrong said.

For Austin resident Sabrina Sklar, ACL became a chance to make money by renting out her condominium parking space.

“I saw a friend posting on Facebook, so I just said, ‘Eh, I’ll post [an advertisement] on Craigslist,’” Sklar said. “There are thousands of people that walk into the city with limited parking, and I figured I’d make some money.”

At a National Book Critics Circle ceremony in New York City last Thursday, a UT professor was awarded a lifetime achievement award for his 42 years of writing and publishing.

English professor Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, whose writings mostly deal with stories of the Rio Grande Valley, was the recipient of the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime
Achievement Award. Hinojosa-Smith was awarded by the group alongside six other writers and poets from around the country.

In his acceptance speech, Hinojosa-Smith said he appreciated the recognition from esteemed professionals in his field.

“What you’re looking at here is a very lucky man,” Hinojosa-Smith said. “To receive this award means a culmination of one’s life work, recognized by men and women who know what they’re doing about their job.”

The National Book Critics Circle is comprised of nearly 600 critics and editors from literary newspapers and magazines. The association, founded in 1974, recognizes achievements in poetry, criticism, biography, autobiography, fiction and nonfiction.

Dagoberto Gilb, writer-in-residence at the University of Houston–Victoria and the author who gave the award to Hinojosa-Smith at the ceremony, said he respected the faithfulness of Hinojosa-Smith’s writing to the Chicano culture.

“[Hinojosa-Smith] tells the common stories of us, not the predictable cliches and stereotypes,” Gilb said. “He does it in a language that is ours. He tells stories not just about where we once came from, but where we have been and still are.”

English professor emeritus William Scheick said Hinojosa-Smith’s novels contain a substantial amount of material that might not be obvious at first glance.  

“[Hinojosa-Smith’s] writings present a collage of multiple narrative viewpoints, different cultural identities, various generational time periods and miscellaneous anecdotal stories — both comic and serious,” Scheick said. “The ideal reader of his work will dig for treasure buried beneath the welter of the small talk and everyday episodes constituting the author’s narrative surface.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree from UT in 1953 and beginning teaching at the University in 1981, Hinojosa-Smith said he and his family feel a strong connection to the 40 Acres.

“It was always my desire to return to my alma mater as a professor,” Hinojosa-Smith said. “We’re a UT family: my two daughters, my brother and I, our two brothers-in-law, two nephews, a grandnephew and his sister. With that background, who couldn’t be happier to be here?”

UT students Jessie Neuendorff and Michael George will participate in the 23rd annual Austin Marathon on Sunday. George will be running the full marathon and this will be Neuendorff's first marathon. 

Photo Credit: Jonathan Garza | Daily Texan Staff

For many of the runners participating in the 23rd annual Austin Marathon, the race serves as a qualifier for entering prestigious marathons like the races in Boston and New York City. But for UT students Michael George and Jessie Neuendorff, competing means accomplishing goals. 

Traditionally, training for a marathon is a rigorous process that can begin as much as a year in advance. But George, a biomedical engineering freshman, began training only two months prior to the big race. 

Following a specific schedule, George runs 4 to 5 miles every day, and 13 miles on the weekend. He adds 3 miles to his routine each weekend to increasingly build endurance. 

George said he has to mentally prepare himself for the long runs. Instead of thinking of the miles, he envisions running laps. Since 3 miles is the equivalent of one lap, running nine laps sounds a lot more manageable than 26.2 miles.

George said running is his way of unwinding and letting go of stress. 

“As a college student, I have so many things to deal with, such as church, family, friends, tests, quizzes, homework, IM sports and clubs,” George said. “Running is my escape from all of this. When I run, it’s just me and my thoughts, and I really enjoy that time to myself.” 

Like George, Neuendorff sees running as the perfect stress reliever. Unlike George, she did not grow up enjoying the sport of running. After playing volleyball throughout high school, she began running in college as a way to relax. 

Neuendorff and her friends decided to run the half marathon together and began training in October. 

“It’s more mental than I thought it is,” Neuendorff said. “Even when you’re really tired, and you know you have to go run 11 miles, you prepare yourself mentally at the beginning of the day.” 

Neuendorff said the hardest part of the training process has been finding the time every day and staying committed even through exhaustion and sickness. Neuendorff said her sister, who is a freshman at UT, kept her motivated throughout the process and challenged her to keep going.   

Training and running such long distances have required commitment and motivation from both George and Neuendorff. 

Neuendorff runs with her roommate so they can push each other to keep going. Signing up early and knowing she’d paid for it also helped her to stay committed.

George said hydration and stretching have been key to his running journey. He said maintaining his health has been a priority throughout the process.  

“Running a marathon has always been a lifelong goal of mine,” George said. “I want to accomplish it sooner rather than later.”