Calderin challenges designers to try something new

By Hayley Kaufman
Globe Staff / July 14, 2011

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Jay Calderin is a budding designer’s best friend. An instructor and marketing guru at the School of Fashion Design and executive director of Boston Fashion Week, he has worked with an array of up-and-coming designers and even written a primer for anyone looking to get started in the business.

Now Calderin’s come out with his second book, “Fashion Design Essentials: 100 Principles of Fashion Design,’’ a collection of ideas, advice, directives, and historical tidbits - all of which he hopes will challenge new and established designers out of their . . . rhythms.

“I don’t want to call them ‘ruts,’ ’’ he said diplomatically. “But a lot of designers just want to do what they already know. Basically, this book is about opening people’s minds up to look at things in different ways, what strategies to inspire or catch people off guard.’’

Calderin meditates on fashion trends (one must decide whether to follow, buck, or find subtle ways to employ them), collaboration, wit, and the articulation of style, all with an eye toward shaking things up.

“If the first book was a primer, this is a playbook,’’ says Calderin, who’s celebrating his latest project with a rooftop party tonight at Legal Harborside. “It’s like sports, where you want to surprise the other team.’’

Hayley Kaufman can be reached at