A Matchmaker Between Fashion Designers & Architects

For the past two years, a 30-year-old underemployed architect from Joplin, Mo. named Faris Al-Shathir has carved out a career in New York by facilitating the transformation of odd and abandoned spaces into dazzling retail institutions. He does so by pairing architects and fashion designers through Boffo, the non-profit he founded with Gregory Sparks. The New York Times’s Bee-Shyuan Chang reports that during last fall’s New York Fashion Week, he paired “bad-boy designer” Nicola Formichetti with Gage/Clemenceau, a trendy Lower East Side architectural firm. For his firm’s previous project, he took over an abandoned trailer under the High Line Park and had five teams of fashion designers and architects install a series of temporary stores. “We’re like professional squatters,” Mr. Al-Shathir says. He and Sparks named the firm “Boffo” after thumbing through a dictionary and finding that, during the Depression, the word meant “success.”

Photo via The New York Times

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