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Age 58, Manhattan, NY - Out Episode 4
QWhen did you realize you had designer potential? A Age 10.
QFirst garment you ever made? A I was 13 and made a poncho.
QWhat's your design training/schooling? A Art school and self-taught on the job.
QHave you won any awards? A No.
QStrengths as a designer? A I don't follow trends.
QWeaknesses as a designer? A I don't follow trends.
QWhat have been your influences? A In the past I approached my work as an artist always pushing to challenge myself to push the edges on what I do. Now I try to do the same, but make it marketable.
QWhat's playing on your iPod while you design? A I enjoy silence.
QFavorite material/fabric to work with? A A good-quality Japanese tropical-weight wool.
QItem you're most proud to have designed? A My hoop collection - it makes people smile.
QFavorite designer(s)? A Margiela, Chalayan, Maurizio Amadeo, Yamamoto, Prada, Wang, Kawakubo.
QSketch or drape? A Both. I sometimes drape paper rather than sketch on it.
QPatterns or solids? A Solids.
QFavorite colors? A Black and white.
QBiggest fear as a designer? A Losing everything again.
QFashion must? A Make whatever one buys "your own."
QFashion faux pas that drives you crazy? A JEANS!
QUgliest item of clothing/accessory you've worn? A I don't have any regrets.
QFavorite style icon? A Katharine Hepburn.
QHow would you dress Michelle Obama? A Something NOT using those awful patterned fabrics. She looks great in black and pink.
QDream celebrity client? What would you make for him/her? A A gown for Bjork or a suit for Tilda Swinton.
QFavorite super model muse? A Not a fan of super models - I prefer super people.
QIf you had to name your label, you'd call it... A A+R=T.
QIf you weren't designing, you'd be... A Making art or teaching.
QAny cultures/places you wish you could design for? A The employees of fast-food restaurants.
QDream place to set up your design business? A Argentina.
QList of websites featuring your work? A akonyc.com
QHow were you described as a kid? A Smart and different.
QHow are you described now? A Always a surprise.
QWhy are you easy or difficult to live with? A I am honest and caring emotionally, and I am high emotional maintenance.
QFavorite hangout? A My bed.
QHobbies? A Tango, running, reading, poetry.
QFavorite films/TV shows? A "The Tango Lesson," "Amelie," "Out of Africa" (for the costumes and the story), and I loved "Treme."
QFavorite books/authors? A John Irving, Alice Munro, bell hooks, Tariq Ali, Anne Lamott, Jonathan Franzen.
QFavorite websites? A Huffington Post, NY Times, yoox, yugop.com
QFavorite tweeters to follow? A Too busy to tweet.
QiPhone, Android, or Blackberry? A iPhone.
QFast food or gourmet? A Vegetarian.
QCooking or takeout? A Both.
QFavorite food(s)? A Anything fresh and as it appears in nature.
QBeer or wine? A Wine.
QGuiltiest pleasure? A I am past guilt and on to Haagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche!
QBiggest pet peeve? A Literally my pets. We have a love-hate relationship: They love me, and I hate them waking me at 5 a.m.
QHow'd you end up auditioning for PR? A My dopey running partner got the idea!
QFavorite PR designer? A I decided not to study any shows or winners and just go into it cold.
QWhat do you look for in a model? A Personality, and if they fit the feel of the collection. If they love wearing my clothes, it shows, as well. I like to use dancers. They are comfortable in their bodies.
QDo you think you can win PR? A Yes and no. Yes, because I feel confident about my ability to design and work under pressure. No, because I work independently of most conventional ideas about designing for a mass market - especially in the current economic atmosphere. But you never know.