debbie millman

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Is something funny?

No, no, no. Nothing, it just so, it is just those belts look exactly the same to me. I am still learning about this stuff, and…

This… stuff. Oh, okay, I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select, I don’t know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you are trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about whatever you put on your back but what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis. It’s actually cerulean. And you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002 Oscar De La Renta did a selection of cerulean gowns and then I think it was Yves St. Laurent, wasn’t it, who showed cerulean military jackets and then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers and then filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs. And it is sort of comical to think that somehow you made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry, when in fact, you are wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room, from a pile of… stuff.

From the film The Devil Wears Prada, where "fashion is not just about utility. An accessory is merely a piece of iconography used to express individual identity."


Blogger terra studio said...

funny, i was just watching that yesterday :)

3/02/2008 08:00:00 AM  

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Location: new york city, United States

Debbie Millman has worked in the design business for over 25 years. She is President of the design division at Sterling Brands. She has been there for nearly 15 years and in that time she has worked on the redesign of global brands for Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, Campbell’s, Colgate, Nestle and Hasbro. Prior to Sterling, she was a Senior Vice President at Interbrand and a Marketing Director at Frankfurt Balkind. Debbie is President of the AIGA, the largest professional association for design. She is a contributing editor at Print Magazine, a design writer at and Brand New and Chair of the Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 2005, she began hosting the first weekly radio talk show about design on the Internet. The show is titled “Design Matters with Debbie Millman” and it is now featured on In addition to “Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design,” (HOW Books, 2009, she is the author of "How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer" (Allworth Press, 2007) and “The Essential Principles of Graphic Design” (Rotovision, 2008).

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