Van DiBernardo is a designer. Born in North Tonawanda, he studied art and design at Buffalo State College before receiving a degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. He began his career working at Unisa Shoes in New York and Miami, and was then invited to join the design team at the Donna Karan Company/DKNY. In the late 1990s he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. As his symptoms grew worse, he returned to Buffalo in the year 2000, where his parents tended to his medical and other needs until he was able to live on his own again. He then devoted much of his time to helping newly diagnosed MS patients and others living with chronic conditions. Aware from first-hand experience that such individuals are often prone to overheating, he began designing vests and other apparel intended to cool the body more effectively than existing medical and industrial options. Joined by his sister Luanne DiBernardo and later by Dr. Thomas P. Stewart, he launched the company Coolture. For more information on DiBernardo, visit coolture.net or burchfieldpenney.org.
Artists Seen: Photographs of Artists in the 21st Century is an ongoing project by photographer David Moog in partnership with the Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State. Moog has set out to make portraits of every self-identified working artist and arts professional in Western New York. To be included in the project, call David Moog directly at 716-472-6721 or contact the center at 716-878-4131. Artists working in all media are welcome; visit burchfieldpenney.org for more information.