Category Archives: Club Events

Weaving a Career Path with Whitney Crutchfield

The Underfashion Club held a members get-together on Thursday, May 9th at Slattery’s Midtown Pub featuring “Weaving a Career Path,” a presentation by Whitney Crutchfield. She shared the story of her career and journey towards creating her own business, We Gather, an educational textile studio! We Gather “shares the magic of textiles” in three ways: Hands-on workshops (weaving, dying, stitching), DIY kits that bring the textile learning to you, and commission art and public installations.

Whitney’s professional history has connections to the intimates industry. She’s always had a passion for textiles, beginning as a kid sewing quilts and Barbie™ clothes. Her father was a small business owner in golf and her mother was a teacher; both had some influence on her work today. Whitney learned how to weave and dye at the Art University of Michigan as an undergrad, then moved on to get an MFA with a concentration in textile studio art at Colorado State University. Her focus was on screen printing and repeat designs.

After school, Whitney moved to NYC and dabbled in different practices, taking on many jobs that she never imagined herself doing. She worked in designer projects for editorials and books, designed an apron for Stitch Magazine, did needle point projects for a book, interned for the Martha Stewart editorial crafts department, did paper crafting for QBC and HSN, and more. One of her strangest projects (for a photo shoot,) involved stitching a napkin for 14 hours that ended up under a salad.

Whitney spent a year in residence at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn where she continued to focus on designing and screen printing fabrics meant for interiors. She had a studio at the center where she taught workshops in her areas of expertise, getting her first introduction to the professional world. During one of her classes, she met someone who happened to be the head of the print and pattern department at Aerie. They kept in touch and that contact let her know when there was a department opening. It was a fantastic opportunity and she joined their small but mighty team.

At Aerie, Whitney cherished the opportunity to be around like-minded professionals. She learned so much, coming from the arts into fashion and apparel. She worked across many categories and products — anywhere from designing a print repeat in digital format to learning how to create a pattern and knit stitches for socks, scarves, accessories, and more. She also made prints and patterns for cotton undies and designed laces.

The technical knowledge she gained during her three years at Aerie gave her a new approach to integrate into her passion for hand-made works, which she would make into her very own business. Aerie gave her enormous support in this decision, helping her move forward. Through her entire career, Whitney continued to teach workshops and fervently desired to teach more hands-on techniques like weaving and dying.

Whitney wanted to start a business in a compassionate, sustainable way regarding scaling and growth. She started in her apartment as a product-based business, where she dyed yarns and would weave them into pieces that were ready to buy. She made rugs, blankets, pillows, and her own inventions with a goal to make products that lasted. She practiced techniques that have been used for thousands of years, wanting the pieces to be memorable. Soon, the practice moved into studios in Brooklyn as she steadily and sustainably upgraded her workspace. Eventually, she went into craft fairs and other markets to share her work.

Research and dye techniques were important to her as she attempted to scale up from hands-on work responsibly. Weaving and dying has been done for tens of thousands of years, so there’s a plethora of information and alternative techniques to take into consideration. Her practice honors traditions while also making space for new approaches.

One of the main branches of We Gather provides workshops that promote creativity. Being informed through research strengthens her ability to provide expert instruction. Whitney teaches these workshops in studios, even traveling for them. It amazes her what people learn and reveal about themselves while being around others in a creative environment. It’s an enriching experience to get people out of their usual context to do something new.

Flexibility is key to the evolution of products and the way they are presented to customers. We Gather offers mail-in kits with materials and instructions, ready to make anywhere. These flexible approaches helped the business grow and got Whitney some press, which was especially exciting as a one-woman business.

Balance is needed in making good, responsible business decisions. Whitney makes an effort to support social good when choosing where to purchase from. The pros and cons of recycled packaging and natural vs. fiber reactive dyes are considerations she takes into account for what she offers her students and customers.

Whitney also makes commissioned home goods, like baby blankets, woven wall hangings for custom spaces, and public installations. One of We Gather’s public installations features looms and woven textiles hanging on the wall of a 63-foot long hallway. This interactive piece has decals that give instructions on how to weave, which gave people in nearby offices the option to take a break to go observe the art, learn to weave, and add their own bit of artwork to the piece. The public installation loom was brought up to the Bronx and left in an art space where other people could add to it.

We Gather tries to create the least amount of waste in the world as possible. For example, Whitney takes leftover flowers and weaves them into sculptures with yarn, which are both compostable. Her wildflower workshop has been very popular. Recently, she did one with a group of Aerie women, where she felt like her career came full circle. It was a delight to bring her passion back to those supportive people from her professional past.

Community is an essential part of We Gather’s mission. Whitney gives free workshops, never ceasing to be amazed by how demeanor changes when people realize they can make things with their own hands. The group art made in We Gather workshops are auctioned or donated to organizations of mutual choosing. These community events are ongoing! The magic of new learners discovering their creative ability and the stories shared bring the community together and keep We Gather going.

See photos from the event on Facebook!

Roz Harte’s Memorial

Roslyn Harte passed away on Dec. 20 at the age of 94. Her life, passion and tireless dedication to furthering the education of countless students will always be cherished.

Roz joined the Underfashion Club Inc. in 1969 when it was a women’s-only organization with less than 30 members and became the heart and soul of the club throughout the years, receiving a lifetime achievement FEMMY award in 1997.

Thank you to everyone who joined us to celebrate her life and to all those who knew and loved her.

See photos from the wonderful evening here
You can view videos of the event on YouTube:
Memorial Video
Celebration of Life
Movie Slide Show

Underfashion Club Holiday Party 2018

Happy Holidays!

Industry friends and colleagues left a bit of the holiday stress behind for a few hours of fun at the Underfashion Club’s Holiday Party on December 4th at The Harvard Club of New York. The festive venue provided musical entertainment, photo booth fun and 3 hours of open bar and delicious food.

 

It was also an excellent opportunity to give back to those in need. The following charities are receiving donations this year:

  • The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention 
  • Breast Cancer Research Foundation
  • Citymeals on Wheels
  • St. Francis Friends of the Poor
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • WIN – Women In Need

This year again, the UFC chose to support Woman in Need Inc., a New York-based charity focused on supporting the homeless, as the recipient of the toy and gift drive. We received 180 gifts for the children this year!

Each gift given by a generous guest was rewarded with a ticket for fabulous raffle prizes.

Raffle Winners
  • Kathleen Kirkwood
  • Ellen Lewis
  • Camille Block
  • Clelia Parisi
  • Mitch Kauffman
  • Laura Pulgarin
  • Jean Criss
  • Andie Farkas
  • Zhanna Shmukler
  • Jenny Chen
List of Raffle Prizes
  • Gift Card from Commando
  • Gift Card from Wacoal
  • Pajamas Set from Fleur’t
  • Silk Robe from Christine Lingerie
  • Gift Card from Black Barn Restaurant
  • Fleece Robe from Splendid
  • 2 Tickets to the Femmy Gala
  • 1 Signature Cashmere Throw courtesy of Nordstrom
  • 1 Cashmere Robe courtesy of Nordstrom
  • 2 Tickets to Broadway Musical “The Bands Visit” courtesy of Eurovet

Thank you for joining the party and making Holiday dreams come true for the children of NYC!

Wishing Suzanne Beck and Walter Costello all the best!

See more photos from the evening on our Facebook:

Had your photo taken in the photobooth? See them here:

Boutique Innovator Laura Henny and Parsons Intimate Apparel Design Contest

On Thursday, May 17th, The Underfashion Club hosted boutique owner Laura Henny as a speaker during the same evening as a Parson’s School of Fashion Intimate Apparel Design Contest at The Fashion Group International in New York City. During the reception, current and new Club members viewed stunning intimate apparel garments produced by the six exceptionally talented design contest finalists from the Parsons School of Fashion. The members then voted for their favorite design, and the results were announced at the end of the evening. Laura Henny, the event’s featured speaker, shared her personal journey from Amsterdam native to lingerie boutique entrepreneur in Brooklyn. Propelled by her enthusiasm for cute bras in inclusive size ranges and her love of sneakers, Laura opened “The Rack Shack” to serve youthful and diverse customers in a city full of women from all walks of life.

Thanks to Membership Committee members Becky Kneski and Michele Schrak, pictured here with Membership Co-Chair Tristine Berry, for organizing this special event!

Thanks to SAIG Committee members Yaysa Bello and Sonia Vizcaino, pictured here with SAIG Co-Chair Clelia Parisi (center,) for their work with the Parsons design contestants and faculty resulting in another outstanding design contest.

Professors Julia Poteat and Karen Rippy from Parsons proudly stand with the student design contest winners: 1st prize – Anna Colena Yap and 2nd prize – Bhagyashree Ghuwalewala. Congratulations!

See the garments that were created exclusively for the contest, truly unique expressions of the contestants’ talent and creativity!

Anna Colena Yap / 1st prize – $3,500

Bhagyashree Ghuwalewala / 2nd prize – $1,500

Pamela Cooper

Shine He Sang

Minzhi Jiang 

Ming Steven Chung

Thank you all for sharing your beautiful work! With each generation comes more variety in design and a clear progression in abilities. We’re glad to see that the future of the intimate apparel industry has greatness in store!

See more photos from the evening on Facebook.

UFC Holiday Party 2017

Thanks to all who joined us for The Underfashion Club’s 2017 Holiday Party! We thoroughly enjoyed partying with you, taking photobooth pictures together, conversing with industry friends – old and new, and being serenaded with songs of the holiday season. The delicious hors d’oeuvres, and sumptuous dinner and dessert stations were outstanding. Special thanks to all those who spread the holiday cheer by contributing so many beautifully wrapped gifts to our annual gift drive for the children of Women In Need (WIN.) You’ve helped make this holiday season a brighter one for everyone!

Underfashion Club president Victor Vega welcomed the crowd of 100 revelers, and thanked Program Co-chairs Joe Smith and Ellen Lewis, and their hardworking committee members, for organizing the event. Victor also invited everyone to celebrate the Club’s 60th anniversary at the FEMMY Gala on February 6, 2018 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. We hope to see you there!

Program Co-chair Joe Smith took a moment to thank all the attendees for their generosity and recognized the representatives of two of the local charities receiving contributions from the Club this year: Gillian Mendez from Citymeals on Wheels, and Cyndi Snyder and Abigail Stevenson from Women In Need.

We had some great raffle prizes to share this year – An orchid plant donated by Gramercy Park Flower Shop (with the help of Roslyn Harte,) won by Casey Greenberg – His & Hers PJ Set, donated by UGG Australia (with the help of Meghan Murray Cox,) won by Ellen Lewis – A gift certificate donated by Exhale Spa (with the help of Meghan Murray Cox,) and a $100 gift card donated by Black Barn Restaurant (with the help of Kendall Wszolek,) both won by the very lucky Zhanna Shmukler – A $50 gift certificate donated by iPic Movie Theaters (with the help of Jodi Goldin,) won by Victoria Vandagriff – A $100 gift certificate donated by Wacoal-America.com (with the help of Joseph Smith,) won by Andy Blab – 2 Gift Baskets of Kusmi Gourmet Teas, donated by Kusmi (with the help of Rafael Camp,) won by Jamie Gardner and Delrose Taylor, and a luxury silk kimono donated by Christine Lingerie, won by Kaitlin Wilbur. Linda Burhance and Kendall Wszolek each claimed a ticket to the 2018 FEMMY Gala, and Angela Maffia was perhaps the most envied of the winners with her TWO VIP box seat tickets to a future Yankees vs. Red Sox baseball game donated by UBM (with the help of Pierre-Nicolas Hurstel.) Congratulations to everyone!

We ended the night with a dance, a jingle and a mountain of presents for the children. Happy Holidays!

 

See photos from the evening on the Holiday Party 2017 Facebook Album:

Did you use the photobooth? See them on the Photobooth Fun Facebook Album.

Recap of “Success, Tailor Made For You”

On September 26, 2017, Underfashion Club members gathered at the Fashion Group International in New York City  for the presentation of “Success, Tailor Made For You.”
We’d like to extend a warm welcome to the new club members who joined during that evening’s event!

After an hour of cocktails and networking with old friends and new, club members took their seats for the start of the presentation. Underfashion Club president Victor Vega welcomed Hsin-Yi Shieh, Account Executive – East Coast, Triumph International to the podium.

Triumph International was founded in Europe in 1886 and, with over 130 years of innovation and creativity, is recognized as a world-leading maker of lingerie and shapewear. Drawing upon her professional experience, Hsin-Yi shared her personal vision for “success” in today’s Intimate Apparel Industry.

She discussed the customer’s value of beauty and comfort in lingerie, and what makes the Triumph brand in particular so successful. She urged the audience to put themselves in new situations and believe in their abilities to find their own personal path to success. We hope everyone who joined us drew inspiration from Hsin-Yi Shieh’s heartfelt presentation!

View photos from the event on our Facebook Album:

 

Parsons School of Design Intimate Apparel Design Contest – “Mosaic Visions”

This Intimate Apparel Design Contest featured the work of six students from the Parsons School of Design under the theme “Mosaic Visions” and took place on May 17th, 2017 at the Fashion Group International, Inc. in New York City. This was The Underfashion Club’s second annual contest featuring the work of Parsons students. These contests support the future of the intimate apparel industry by identifying and rewarding talented young designers.

The evening’s featured speakers from AERIE were Jennifer Foyle, Global Brand President and Margaret Clougher, VP Production & Technical Design. Jennifer Foyle has been in retail for over 25 years and helped drive the AERIE REAL campaign, which forgoes photoshopping models and promotes body positivity, into the brand’s identity. Margaret Clougher is part of the design team responsible for making sure each size fits and feels great on a variety of bodies. Watch the interview on YouTube here.

The coordinators of the intimate apparel courses in the School of Design at Parson’s are Karen Rippy and Julia PoteatKaren teaches the 15 week lingerie course where the students utilize the mannequins the Underfashion Club, Inc. has provided. Julia worked in the intimate apparel industry for many years and was instrumental in bringing lingerie to the Parson’s School of Design. The course began about four years ago and has grown every semester. Watch the interview on YouTube here.

The six amazing student finalists from our Intimate Apparel Design Contest are Ayano Takami, Riju Ha, Byul “Stella” Han, Pauline Eichler, Yeqi “Alina” Fang, and Molinaa Mehta.

Design #1 – Mosaic Vision, by Ayano Takami
Inspired by mosaic patterns of light and shadow and the process of transforming what is invisible to visibility, Ayano’s intimate set resembles the shape of light. The garments are delicate and consist of a bra, garter panty, and coverup.

Design #2 – Beauty of Mosaic, by Riju Ha
Inspired by roses, Riju’s mosaic design uses carefully selected rose and mosaic patterns to create an intricate harmonic idea. The little pieces come together creating meaning and beauty. The garment is a sexy chemise over a bra and panty.

Design #3 – To Precious Myself by Byul “Stella” Han
Stella was inspired by internalized misogyny. Her collection aims to make women feel precious and happy just as they are. To express the mosaic vision, she created a traditional bojagi pattern over a bra and panty.

Design #4 – Mosaic Vision 2017, by Pauline Eichler
1st Prize Winner
Inspired by a dried rose, Pauline played with abstraction to develop her mosaic.  The bodysuit focuses on a bonded charmeuse mosaic pattern and the silk robe highlights the simple lines of the entire ensemble.

Design #5 – Mosaic Vision by Yeqi “Alina” Fang
2nd Prize Winner
Alina’s piece is very sexy and playful.  Meant to be easily opened,  the bra closure is placed on the side. The set includes a fluffy garter belt and V-shaped panty with laser cut patterns. A mask is included to complete the look.

Design #6 – Snow Queen by Molinaa Mehta
Moninaa was inspired by her obsession with fairy tales. In her piece she combined the shape of snowflakes and the muse of “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen. It is whimsical, feminine, and soft with pastel colors and snowflake details.

Attendees at the event voted for their favorite designs. Congratulations to 1st prize winner, Pauline Eichler who received $3,500, and 2nd prize winner, Yeqi “Alina” Fang who received $1,500.

 

 

See our photos from the reception on Facebook!

Holiday Party 2016 Recap

Photobooth Fun

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the annual Holiday Party of the Underfashion Club on Tuesday, December 6th! It was our first time celebrating the holidays at The Harvard Club in Manhattan and it was great! Club members and friends mingled, drank, dined, and danced to a fantastic mix of popular songs fitting to the season, spun by the talented DJ Tom! The Photo Booth was a festive touch, bringing friends together for silly poses with holiday-themed props. We’re glad you all enjoyed it!

Santa's Helpers

Underfashion Club President Victor Vega extended a special thank you to long-time members, contributors, and Santa’s little helpers, who collected 180 wrapped presents from generous guests for the annual gift drive held for the children of Women In Need, Inc, a New York based charity. Thank you all for helping make Holiday dreams come true for the children!

Ugly Intimates

Out of the four fabulous designs put forth for the Ugly Intimates Contest, only one could win! Roz Harte, board member of the Underfashion Club, pointed out that while none of them were “ugly,” one design was a clear winner because it looked so uncomfortable to wear. Congratulations to Walter Costello and Clelia Parisi for their winning design, “Santa’s Athleisure” (shown on the right)! Their prize was free admission to a Program event of their choice.

Gifts

Lastly, we announced the winners of the annual raffle! For each present brought for the gift drive, the donor received one raffle ticket. The first prize awarded was a bottle of wine, won by Camille Block. Another bottle of wine was awarded to Glen Schneer. Zhanna Shmukler won a ticket to the 2017 FEMMY, and a second ticket to the FEMMY was won by the very lucky Camille Block. Congratulations!

Underfashion Club Holiday Party 2016

This year’s Underfashion Club Holiday Party is only a week away!

Members and non-members are welcome to join us on Tuesday, December 6th from 6pm-9pm at The Harvard Club, 35 W. 44th St. We’re excited to celebrate at this new, spacious location. Look forward to some photobooth fun!

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Feeling creative? We’re holding a holiday-themed contest, titled the Ugly Intimates Competition! Decorate your favorite intimate item. The ugliest design will win a prize!

We will be hosting a gift drive for the children of W.I.N. — WOMEN IN NEED INC. Spread holiday cheer and bring a gift for a child! For each gift you donate, you will receive a ticket to be entered into one of our fabulous raffles. Please wrap and tag gifts with descriptions and recommended age group.

Gifts

This year, we are making donations to Citymeals on Wheels, St. Francis Friends of the Poor, Women In Need, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Register today!
RSVP to – Email: underfashionclub@frontiernet.net, Phone: 845-758-6405
or on the web: www.underfashionclub.org
$50 Prepaid $60 At The Door

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The Underfashion Club’s Ultimate Chocolate Tasting Experience

On October 13th, 2016 The Underfashion Club welcomed its newest members with a trip to Maribelle New York for the Ultimate Chocolate Tasting Experience, where we networked and tasted delicious chocolate samples from around the world!

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We’d like to thank our new members for joining us and some of our longtime friends for keeping the mission alive by inviting new faces to the club. It’s empowering to see your fresh enthusiasm for the future of the intimate apparel industry. With your support, we’ll continue to realize our motto:

“Education today for a better industry tomorrow.”

Thanks to Christine Alles, Tristine Berry, Amy Bittner, Karen Bromley, Gay Danna, R. Scott French, Laurence Jaillet, Linda Kestel, Helene Ly, Emily Park, Laura Pulgarin, Gali Svechinsky, Victoria Vandagriff, Victor Vega, Jackie Wander, Tina Wilson, Kendall Wszolek, and Carole Kamura for inviting our newest members, Nancy Airkka, Jayme Cavazzini, Olivia Choi, Patricia Hernandez, Meredith Janos, Briana Rowser, Heather Stein, and Julie Wald. We’re glad to have you all as a part of The Underfashion Club!

See photos of from the event on our Facebook album:

UFC Chocolate Tasting

Watch the event on our YouTube channel: