Today in New York: Deborah Romano

17 marzo 2010

Do you remember those American movies from the 50s (and those Tom & Jerry cartoons) in where a milkman would come to the suburban house in the early morning carrying glass bottles of white fresh milk?

Well, even if those days are gone, you can still feel their vibe and mood thanks to some very special items a Brooklyn lady named Deborah Romano has created.

Deb -imagine that!- has started collecting  milk caps in flea markets all around the US and has turned them into very fashionable ready-to-wear jewels.

::Why and when did you start MilkMade? I started  MilkMade a few years ago.  My grandfather, who was in advertising, began collecting milk caps in the 50s when these cardboard lids were replaced with a different kind of closure. (Milk used to come in bottles!)  Most of them are from the 30s,40s and 50s.   I love the graphics, their humor and history. I thought, These are too wonderful to keep in a shoebox.   So I started wearing them.

:: Who is your ideal buyer? Not sure exactly who my buyers are.  That is the big question.  I’d say almost anyone:  Farmer, gardener, caterer, cook/ Graphics lover with a retro look/ Lover of chocolate, cheese, raw milk and cream/ Retro, recycled, organic and green. Even the lactose intolerant! (and tourists looking for a little bit of real Americana.)

:: Brooklyn or Manhattan? I have lived in Brooklyn over 30 years and I’m a true believer.  So this is where I shop and hang out.  Going into Manhattan (often called ‘The City’ by Brooklynites) is a chore:  too crowded, too busy, too uniform. (unless you’re going to the theater.)

:: What is your favorite NYC place? My favorite place is the Red Hook waterfront.  It’s an old industrial neighborhood on NY Harbor.  I work as a gardener at a public garden that runs along the shoreline directly across from the Statue of Liberty.  Big sky, beautiful brick warehouses from the 19th century, shipping, sea life and lots of characters.

:: Do you think New York can still be considered the place-to-be for young creatives? Don’t know if NY is the place to be for young creatives as it is rather expensive.  But it’s also true that I can’t really can’t imagine living anywhere else -maybe Italy, perhaps!  The best part of NY is all the different kinds of people who live here. As they say “if that is your cup of tea, that is where to be”.

::Where do you shop in NYC? I’m not a big shopper.  But I do love a good flea market (The Brooklyn Flea) and a good food market (Fairway in Red Hook) and local craft fairs where I am able to sell my MilkMade creations too.

:: If I say Italy, you say…? If you say Italy, I can’t help it: I say food.  It’s where I learned to eat and cook.

Francesca Masoero

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