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The Coolture Story

The Coolture Story

The Face Behind the Brand

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Van was sketching fashion designs at a very early age. It was no surprise when he was accepted to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York. Nor was it surprising when he was later hired to design shoes for Donna Karan’s DKNY label. What was surprising was Van’s diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis several years into his career.

Gone were his work trips to Brazil, Florence, and Paris when the side effects of MS made travelling impossible. Soonafter, it became impossible for Van to traverse the short journey into DKNY headquarters. He worked from his home office with an illustrator who was hired to interpret Van’s ideas and trends into pictures. After several month-long stays in Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, Van’s mother boarded a train from Buffalo to New York to bring her son home. Van believed he was returning home to die.

My name is Luanne DiBernardo -- Van’s sister. My family and I became frustrated when Van’s side effects became debilitating any time he became overheated. Summers were spent indoors, and the thermostat was kept cooler than usual even during Buffalo’s winter months. I sourced an industrial cooling vest, which helped considerably. It was unattractive, heavy, cheaply constructed, and made his clothes wet, and after two summers it fell apart. I put Van to the test: design something better!

The first time Van wore his new, custom cooling vest, he didn’t seem as pleased as I anticipated.  When I asked about his odd response, he said, “Why should I be the only one to have something better?”

And so the first lifestyle cooling vest was born. Today we have a catalog of superior cooling solutions, with four new products in development.

Welcome to our world. Welcome to Coolture -- where every customer is a story that matters.

 

 

 

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