With her relaxed attitude and slight build, you might be forgiven if you failed to notice Amy in a crowded room. But with her keen intelligence and attention to detail, rest assured that she would notice you. After so many years navigating the New York fashion world, you might expect her to be something of a player, but, while Amy is articulate and personable, there is not a trace of pretense about her. Rather, she is calm, present, and exudes the unassuming confidence of person who truly knows her strengths.
Originally from Long Island, Amy moved to the city after high school to study art at Cooper Union. While there, she started doing odd jobs for a classmate’s mother, Joan Vass, whose SoHo warehouse line of understated knitwear was beginning to draw attention from the wider New York fashion community. Vass was brilliant and incendiary and, like many brilliant, incendiary people, she had a tendency to burn bridges. Not long after Amy started, Vass’s then-assistant quit over personal differences with her boss. Amy – young, eager, and talented – was more than happy to step in, and proved to have much thicker skin than her predecessor.
Over the next 27 years, Amy assisted Vass and increasingly managed all aspects of her business. She bought the fabric, co-designed and merchandized the clothes, coordinated production, negotiated contracts, kept the books, selected venues for shows, hired the models, filled the seats, and handled Vass’s PR and public appearances. “I did everything and liked it,” Amy says. It was not always easy working for a boss whose idiosyncratic and at times abrasive style was well known in the New York fashion community. As Amy puts it, “Joan thrived on the Sturm und Drang.” But Amy, with her incredible adaptability, competence, and Zen-like attitude, managed to take it all in stride – and helped Vass grow her downtown cottage industry into an internationally distributed, multi-million dollar couture label.
Since moving on from Joan Vass, Inc., Amy has lent her considerable talents to high-end curtain maker Mary Bright, and, most recently, to womenswear designer Brigitte Vosse. From accounting to event planning, Amy’s experience makes her well suited for most common assistant tasks, but her true value lies in giving others the overall support they need to realize their vision.