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The Jeannene Booher Fashion Lecture Series to host Nov. 8 public lecture with N.Y.C. designers Stan Herman and Michael Harlan

October 16, 2017

The Stephens College School of Design has invited New York designers Stan Herman and Michael Harlan Schwarz to share their experience creating “Designer Uniforms” – think Federal Express and JetBlue Airlines – and how they integrated the concepts of function and form into their own lines of accessories and apparel.

The duo will speak at 7 p.m. on Nov. 8, 2017, at the Kimball Ballroom of Lela Raney Wood Hall, 6 N. College Ave. They will talk about their experience in the fashion industry and where they think the industry is going and what opportunities await new graduates.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Herman and Schwarz’s appearance is sponsored by The Jeannene Booher Fashion Lecture Series, which launched in November 2016 with a $1 million gift from Booher, a 1956 alumna of the Stephens College fashion program.

“The lecture series was created to honor the influential mentoring Ms. Booher received while a fashion design student at Stephens College, “ said Dr. Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Design. “Ms. Booher carved a path through all that is 7th Avenue, to become a well-known dress designer with her own label among others.  One of her dear friends and colleagues is Stan Herman, who is a master of listening to the client and applying their feedback into the products he designs.  

“His interests in making a better life for people extends to his work with Fashion Targets Breast Cancer and designing uniforms that reflect the integrity of the wearer for large corporations,” she said.  

For more than 40 years, Herman has been a leader in uniform designs. He started with brands like Avis, TWA and McDonalds and has most recently, along with Harlan, created signature looks for FedEx and JetBlue. He has used his talent for designing functional wear to become America’s foremost designer of robes and loungewear, which he has been selling on QVC, QVCUK and QVCItaly for 24 years. With a return customer base of more than 300,000 people, Herman has sold more than $100 million worth of robes alone.

He also has designed evening clothes and bridal gowns and presented the first walking shorts to the corporate world as well as the first knitted shirts to meet the quality demands of uniform wearability. Herman Was president of the Council of Fashion Designers of American for 15 years and was instrumental in many of the group’s humanitarian fundraising efforts while also overseeing the first decade of New York Fashion Week in Bryant Park.

“Stan is a mentor at heart,” McMurry said. “He has seen many persons grow in their work and encouraged them to pursue their dreams.  Marc Jacobs and Donna Karen were both noticed by Mr. Herman well before they became household names.

Today, Herman works alongside Schwarz, who is a designer and project manager at Stan Herman Studio.   

Schwarz, who goes by Michael Harlan as a designer, graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in fine art and has been creating apparel and leather goods for men and women since the late 1990s. He began working at Stan Herman Studio in 1998 where designing uniforms influenced his own process for creating and making clothes.

Most recently, Schwarz has launched a signature collection of handcrafted leather accessories and select clothing that are being sold exclusively at Patina, a boutique in Nantucket, a tiny, isolated island off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. So popular are his clothing line, Michael Harlan Studio LLC, that Pantina clients are now requesting his clothing in advance of the upcoming season.  

“From conversations with Stan and Michael, it is evident they each honor one another’s skills and viewpoints and mentor and challenge each other,” McMurry said. “I believe students will feel instantly at home with Stan and Michael as they ask questions about their own futures and dreams for a life in fashion from some of the best mentors the fashion industry has to offer.”  


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