chris.rubino.jpgWho better to answer our seven questions on this, the so-called Biggest Shopping Day of the Year, than Chris Rubino, the New York-based designer behind (among other things) that glorious Banana Republic holiday packaging emblazoned with festive animal illustrations? Just back from lecturing at the VARSKO! Design Conference in Trondheim, Norway (where he was surely one of the only speakers whose name has an “o” without a little slash through it), Rubino took time away from his own holiday shopping to tell us about the virtues of flying KLM, the next book jacket he’d like to design, and a special gift he once received from a certain fuzzy-haired TV painter.

1. What’s the first thing(s) you read in the morning?
Whatever book is next to my bed, the junk flyers at the coffee shop,
nytimes.com then my email.

2. Last movie you saw?
Volver (Pedro Almodovar) on a flight to Norway. KLM? They show Volver! Amazing. I love Europeans.

3. Last book you read?
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. I’ve been waiting for his new book for 10 years. Well worth the wait, incredible book, I think he is one of our best writers today. I’d love to design his next book jacket…in 2017.

4. Best/most memorable design/designer-related encounter?
Bob Ross (happy little accidents Bob Ross) gave me a water color kit when I was a teenager.

5. Proudest design moment?
I think I’m still waiting.

6. This holiday season, I’m giving…
My new dinner plates, they just came out at Urban Outfitters and are special for vegetarians.

7. This holiday season, I’m hoping to get…
A book publisher.