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People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Wednesday June 19, 2013 01:10PM EDT
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- August 06, 1979
- Vol. 12
- No. 6
Bernard James Flynn, 28, has the answer for disco dancers who want to be Hot Stuff without being 2-Hot. It's the Flynn fan. He buys cheap paper fans from the Orient, handpaints them in bright pastels, sometimes sprinkles them with gold and silver glitter, and then lacquers them several times. Each fan takes two hours to produce and sells for $25. Flynn tends to paint his fans in series—say, Kabuki-style followed by a green phase (eight different shades in one fan). Last year he introduced an 18th-century Venetian note by cutting eyes in the fans to make masks (retail price: $35). Flynn's customers include Cher, Diana Ross, actress Denise Nicholas and ad executive Mary Wells Lawrence—not to mention Rod Stewart. Flynn got hooked on art and design while in high school in Pittsburgh (where his father was an Alcoa executive), went on to get a BFA at Parsons School of Design and graduated into textiles (a floral chiffon pattern won him a Tommy award in 1975). A free-lance job doing sketches for one of Henri Bendel's famed showcase windows in Manhattan led to his first disco fan commission. By now he's sold more than 1,000 of them at one Bendel boutique alone. Flynn is trying to parlay his designs into accessories, fabrics and murals. "I want it all," he says, "and I know I'm capable of it."
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