• Integrated Design (BFA)

    Nina Schwarz and Su Bezayit

    On a hot summer day, Nina Schwarz and Su Beyazit, BFA Integrated Design ’10, are sipping ice coffees in the backyard of their Clinton Hill café and design store, Relationships. After one year in business, they take a moment to reflect on how they first met at Parsons and how, 15 years later, their friendship turned into a creative partnership.

    “From the very beginning, we had a unified idea of aesthetic and of what kind of place it would be,” says Schwarz. The space is bright and airy, with a DIY faux-terrazzo bar and offbeat seating in primary colors. Shelves and pedestals display vintage furniture and new home goods by local designers, many of whom are also Parsons alumni.

    After graduation, the pair pursued very different careers: Schwarz went into the art world, working at two galleries, Gavin Brown’s enterprise and Salon 94; Beyazit worked as a stylist before opening a vintage store and salon called Su’juk. Eventually, the two decided to open their own shop — a “multipurpose” store, says Beyazit; “a holistic retail experience,” Schwarz adds.

    This open-ended definition meant finding a way to bring their varied interests and experiences together in a single space. “We had been buying things for four months and storing them in the basement, just hoping they would come together when we staged the space for opening week,” says Beyazit. Luckily, the concept has been working: After a year, both the shop and the friendship are thriving.