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Woman Power

We should have known, but many of us were awed to learn the full extent of the astonishing careers of three of our members in the fashion industry, (l-r, below) Tova Narrett, Cynthia Corhan-Aitken, and Lauren Zodel. On April 15, in the last program of the year, each told us her story and described her core values, and displayed a floral interpretation of her professional creations. Below are photos of the event and Karen Fricke's introductions (in the order they spoke) to each of these wonderful and powerful women.

Tova Narrett began making and selling her clothing designs when she was 14. She earned a BFA in Fashion from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Tova worked as a fashion designer in Manhattan for 36 years, for many very upscale, contemporary design firms. Her specialty was highly adventurous and unconventional knitwear. Seven years ago, Tova made her very first flower design, for the Garden Club provisional requirement. She was totally amazed ― this was exactly like fashion design! So she just fell in love. 

Lauren Zodel studied Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, specializing in Childrenswear.  During her time at FIT, she interned at Oilily in Amsterdam, a Dutch company founded in 1963, and known for its original use of colors and innovative designs. Her time there greatly influenced her design aesthetic.  After graduation, she worked for DKNY Kids, Baby Gap, Calvin Klein Kids, Eddie and Stine, by Eddie Bauer and Tommy Hilfiger Kids.  She opened her own business, Blueprint Studios, in Maplewood, a creative place for kids and teens focusing on Fashion Design and Photography.  In 2011, she began teaching at FIT, and in 2018 she received full tenure. Lauren joined the garden club in 2021, and this past January she expanded her artistic reach to include creating floral designs for a restaurant in Montclair. 

Cynthia Corhan-Aitken graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She went on to have a successful career in the garment industry, first designing women’s jackets and coats for an outer wear company, and then for a private label collection, before ultimately opening Cynthia C & Company, a Couture Bridal house. In addition to creating custom designs out of her Soho Design Studio, Cynthia also designed and produced two collections a year which were carried in 25 stores across the country and Canada under the label Cynthia C. & Company. After moving to Montclair, she began studying landscape design at the New York Botanical Garden before opening Twig & Vine Design, a residential Garden and Landscape Design firm. She continues to run her business from her home studio, often volunteering her time to create landscape designs for Montclair’s public spaces and non-profit organizations.




And what a great program it was! How do we not admire the amazing talents of these women? We are fortunate that our club has them in our midst to enrich and inspire us.

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Second Barbara; totally amazing and inspiring women! 👏❣️

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