Author Archives: Nicola Certo

Nicola Certo – weekly report

This week, I continued writing my part of the essay that will help describing the process and steps for our data collection.

I found very interesting the description that Georg Simmel gives about fashion. For him, fashion is explain as the phenomenon in which two different forces collaborates in the same unity. He talks about the demand of conformity of a group, but at the same time Simmel describes how also the desire of individuality is strong in the approach to fashion.

It’s important to clarify the power that fashion has today and why it’s a topic worthy to discuss from a social point of view. 

I’m also looking at tools to show Messy Data in our visualization part. We discussed about Ghepi.


Nicola Certo Personal Report

After our meeting on Thursday with Jennifer Tang, we reconsidered the methodology to use in our project. According to the fact that the information we were looking for and the methodology we used to gather it came out as unsuccessful, we needed to modify the direction of our problem. The lack of information about ethnicity is exactly the proof that the issue we originally decided to analyze is real.

I started writing my part of essay, called Messy – Missing Data, and my attempt is to show the origin of our project and the step we made in the data collection. I’m writing about our attempt to reach our our data with the Fashion Spot, Jezebel and with a direct relation with Casting Directors, and how this ways where unsuccessful and failed because of a not-justified collection of data.

Nicola Certo

SKINDEEP Group Report

The main goal for this week was to complete the data collection. It’s important for us to do that in order to move forward in the creation of the actual graph and website. We are going to meet Tuesday before class with Matt Daniels, creator of Polygraph. He offered to help us in the creation of the graph that will show the diversity we have been studying.

We managed to contact all the modeling agencies we needed and they started responding. It’s going to be a slower process, but some of them as already responded with interest in the project and some informations about the models.

We completed our images database, with the images from the runway shows that will appear moving on the website. We are now designing some possible structures, colors and the logo will be ready soon. As already said the WordPress website is ready and the Twitter account is active.

We are in this moment in which we really have to wait agencies’ responses to complete our data collection.

Nicola Certo

Nicola Certo – personal update

This week, we continued with the data collection, trying to complete our models roster. The goal of course was to begin the question of ethnicity. doesn’t really give this kind of information.
I used Fashion Monitor, a fundamental platform for the fashion business. Since it’s not free you have the access to many fashion contacts that can be useful for out research. Through that I found models agencies contacts that we can use for the ethnicity issue. We started contacting them and we’ll continue during this week.
We decided the name, so we were able to create a Twitter account that will help to promote our project.

This data collection will finish soon, and hopefully I can concentrate better in the aesthetic of the website we are going to create.

Nicola Certo

Weekly report – Nicola Certo

This week started with the WordPress workshop on Tuesday that helped us figure out how to create a simple and clear website to present our project. We are still not sure of what we will do but if the data collection will take too long, we’ll probably use it to simplify our work.

I continued with the model roster. We divided all the models in a spreadsheet, classifying according to name, last name, runway show they walked in and agency. The goal of this week was at least to find out the agencies to contact with the email that Scarlett is preparing. One this step is done, we are starting to collect information about ethnicity.

As designer, our group is pretty fluid, so together we are discussing about ways to present the project. We’ll come up soon with a name, so finally we can create a social media platform to publicize our project.


Charting Fashion Diversity #3

After the suggestion made by our Digital Fellows last week, the group worked on methodology. To continue the project we needed to find 10 designers where clearly we could have analyzed fashion diversity. We started from what we considered relevant in the fashion editorial area, but we understood that the primary source in this choice has to be found and clarified.
We contacted Eugenia Paulicelli, Fashion Studies program’s coordinator, about the sources to ask her clarifications about the topic and about the sources.
The group met with Tessa Maffucci, Fashion Studies’ colleague and creator of last year’s fashion project. We discussed about social media platforms to support our project and to communicate our goals, and about the path they followed in the collection of data and in the visualization process.

We came up with ideas for the website’s layout and solutions for the graph’s production; we are very excited about the choices we made about the design. Sequences of images, for every designer we picked, to give the impression of the runway show.

We also started or manual collection of data, splitting some of the designers in a to-do list on Basecamp, and analyzing the models selection. Grouping them together will allow another step toward the final goal. The group started contacting people who could support the project’s aim, with interviews – Bethann Hardison  for example – images, articles, etc.


Nicola Certo

Nicola Certo, update #2

As we discussed last week, main goal this week was to focus on the collection of data. We work together to be effective, so I started to get in touch with Fashion Spot, to get information about some graphs they were showing, with percentages for fashion diversities during NYFW16.

It’s going to be manual but from what I was able to understand, agencies guarantee the access to their data in some situations, for articles and information online, so we could have the chance to ask to people with already prepared sheets.

I’m trying to design the logo for our website, since the issue we are presenting has the right characteristic to be something very socially interesting. Nothing decided yet because this week, for the data collection, we needed to analyze Editorial and Magazines online to select the 10 designers that will be shown in the project. I worked on T Magazine, V magazine and Vogue.
I’m still following online classes and tutorials for D3.

Apigee – Fashion Studies Dataset project #stansmith

Instagram —> # Stan Smith —> APIGEE to create a collection of data —> pictures and hashtag —> mapping or story-line

Scarlett and I decided to deepen fashion studies through DH tools that we learned during the semester. Since we are studying fashion, we noticed two different aspects that we would like to develop and that both are necessary in our field. The first one is visualization, while the second one is connectivity. For the first, we decided to start from Instagram. Between all social media we have today, Instagram is based on hashtag and images. Fashion is a visual thing, and the absence of pictures wouldn’t allow its growth. The second aspect would be connectivity: through a specific detail, like Stan Smith shoes, we can trace the visual story of fashion, declined in that specific detail. Marketing strategies, level of interests all over the world, connect people with same passions and interests, etc.… It could not be appealing for someone, but we think fashion owns this power of connection. This is what we consider a tool that has the power of social mobility, etc.…

We started with Apigee, the leading provider of API technology and services for enterprises and developers. Hundreds of companies including Walgreens, Bechtel, eBay, Pearson, and Gilt Group as well as tens of thousands of developers use Apigee to simplify the delivery, management and analysis of APIs and apps ( Our classmates in the Fashion Studies Track have suggested this program to us because it would have helped for a good but simple data project; so let’s see how it works.

Basically we wanted to collect images, find tags with StanSmith, locations all over the world, to see what relationship exists between the world and the shoes. I guess this could also be a good project to keep track of marketing movements in the entire fashion world, and with all the items, not only one specific.

We typed in the search bar and in the page that popped out we chose “Instagram” in the column API. The next step is to select OAuth2 under the column “Authentication” because to interact with data through Apigee is necessary to authorize your Instagram account.

At this point you will have three options (Query, Template and Headers). We chose “Template” (for Instagram) and in the “tag name*” slot we typed our tag “stansmith”. Right after this step the authentication is complete, authorizing Apigee to use your social media account.

It’s necessary to select an API method and it’s important to select the second choice under the “Tags” section of the list.

We only had to click on “send” and the response came: Instagram has pagination, so the data we got were divided in pages. Copying the URL in the picture, and pasting it in a new searching bar we obtained a weird data page in order to see the next page.

Our friend told us that the process was almost complete, but the last step was to download “JSONview” (with Safari it doesn’t work, so we used Chrome), to see the data in an organized form. This step is specifically for an easier visualization of images, profile pictures, username, etc.…and we also found the numbers for “created_time”. This part is very important because converting this numbers from Unix epoch time to GMT is necessary for the visualization of images.

With Epoch Converter we were able to convert everything and the result is a list of data, where every “attribution” is a post. We collapsed the posts, having the chance to look at posted pictures in different resolutions!

For the presentation we’ll provide a Power Point with images step by step of the process to reach this data that we will probably use for a mapping or a timeline of the item.


Thanks for your time,


Nico and Scarlett

Unix/Linux Command Reference Workshop

I have been to the wrong work shop on Tuesday, instead of going to Texting Encoding I have been to Unix/Linux Command Reference. Both of them aren’t specifically connected to what I would do as dataset project, but I’ve never been to a workshop before and I’ve found it really interesting.
Basically had this paper in our hands and we started playing with commands able to create, delete and modify files in our own computer. We started opening “Terminal” in the spotlight search bar, and few weird codes appeared on the screen.

I can’t say I understood what I was doing, but the guys were really nice with us – they understood we didn’t know anything about coding and directory – and they taught us few tricks to create directories with letters on the keyboard. For example: “pwd” for printing working directory or “mkdir” to create new folders, etc…

The useful thing I learnt is that with GNU nano to convert files in pdf, write a script, download pictures and convert them from .jpeg to .pdf.

This link will provide a guide for Command Reference


Thank you all,




The Museum of Modern Art

Hi everyone,

Searching around for interesting datasets to play with, trying to understand how DH can help my job, I found this interesting collection on GitHub about the MoMA.
I would be good file to play with for a project.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) acquired its first artworks in 1929, the year it was established. Today, the Museum’s evolving collection contains almost 200,000 works from around the world spanning the last 150 years. The collection includes an ever-expanding range of visual expression, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, photography, architecture, design, film, and media and performance art.

MoMA is committed to helping everyone understand, enjoy, and use our collection. The Museum’s website features almost 60,000 artworks from nearly 10,000 artists. This research dataset contains more than 120,000 records, representing all of the works that have been accessioned into MoMA’s collection and cataloged in our database. It includes basic metadata for each work, including title, artist, date made, medium, dimensions, and date acquired by the Museum. Some of these records have incomplete information and are noted as “not Curator Approved.”

At this time, the data is available in CSV format, encoded in UTF-8. While UTF-8 is the standard for multilingual character encodings, it is not correctly interpreted by Excel on a Mac. Users of Excel on a Mac can convert the UTF-8 to UTF-16 so the file can be imported correctly.

Here is the link of the page to download the Excel format.

I hope this could be useful and interesting to open your horizons