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san francisco | academy of art university |

December 2015 volume 1 | page 17

Style A coat from J’Amy Tarr’s collection. Courtesy of J’Amy Tarr.


CFDA+ 2015 Design Graduates: The global program selected seven School of Fashion students to demonstrate their unique talents. Page 18.

J’Amy Tarr: The fashion alumna discusses her modern outerwear collection that combines elegance with luxurious fabrics. Page 19.

Bhagvati Khalsa: With a B.F.A. degree in fashion and knitwear, the alumna’s varied cultural upbringing can be seen in her designs. Page 19.

Fashion journalism collaboration: New journalism program sees the School of Fashion partner with Weebly and Flipboard. Page 20.

page 18 | December 2015 volume 1 | academy of art university | san francisco


Seven Academy of Art University designers selected for CFDA+ 2015 Design Graduates program By Isabelle Eder The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has selected 54 designers from 21 different countries for the CFDA+ 2015 Design Graduates program. Announced on Oct. 23, CFDA+ is a global program dedicated to finding the best graduate fashion designers. The selected students demonstrate diverse talent with unique perspectives and creative awareness within womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, accessories, jewelry, textiles and knitwear. The designers are part of a worldwide community with the vision, potential and talent to be amongst the next top fashion designers, influencers and leaders. Seven students from the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University were selected for the CFDA+ 2015 Design Graduates program:

showed a collaborative menswear collection at New York Fashion Week Spring 2015. Wang won the second prize for Bosideng Scholarship, the 3rd Gunze Fashion DesignChina T-shirt Recognition Award and the Triumph Inspiration China National Competition Finalist Award.

collection inspired by football players at both the School of Fashion’s Annual Graduation Fashion Show in May 2015 as well as at New York Fashion Week Spring 2016. She has interned at Alexander Wang for menswear, was chosen for the first round in the Joe’s Blackbook Design Competition and is now interning at Adidas.

JC Munoz’s May 2015 graduation collection. Courtesy of Getty Images.

Photo by Bob Toy.

Photo by Bob Toy.

Max Kuei Feng Lu - Apparel Design

Tam Nguyen - Textile Design

In collaboration with Jingci Wang, Lu, 2015 B.F.A. fashion design, showed a collection at New York Fashion Week Spring 2016 as well as Spring 2015. He has worked as a freelance print pattern designer and fashion stylist assistant, received an award from the Competition of Taiwan Textile Federation and won first prize at Manga Fashion Design Competition.

The 2014 M.F.A. textile design graduate showed a collection at New York Fashion Week Fall 2015 that explored the beauty behind textures of mold and peeling paint. She received the Columbia College Chicago December 2011 Vivian Price Scholarship.

Juan Chen’s submission for Fashionsnoops’ “Print and Pattern” competition. Courtesy of Fashionsnoops.

Hang Tang and Tam Nguyen’s MBFW Fall 2015 collaboration collection. Courtesy of Getty Images.

Photo by Rob Curry.

JC Munoz - Apparel/Textile Design

2015 B.F.A. fashion design graduate JC Munoz showed his aviation-inspired collection at the School of Fashion’s annual Graduation Fashion Show in May of 2015. Munoz’s prints were featured in, and he has assisted for Punky Couture and Abercrombie & Fitch and has received recognition through several awards from the Royal Society of Arts.

Illustrations by Yijia Jiang. Courtesy of Yijia Jiang. Courtesy of Yijia Jiang.

Yijia Jiang - Apparel Design

Courtesy of Juan Chen.

Juan Chen - Textile Design

Chen, a 2015 M.F.A. textile design graduate, won first place in the Fashion Snoops International Print and Pattern Competition in January 2015. She has also interned at Harputs Own and at Fashion Snoops.

Photo by Bob Toy.

Jingci Wang - Apparel Design

The M.F.A. fashion design 2015 graduate showed a metallic, sequined collection in collaboration with Max Kuei Feng Lu at New York Fashion Week Spring 2016. Wang

Photo by Rob Curry.

Livia Bianda Bolung Apparel Design

The B.F.A. fashion design 2015 graduate showed a menswear

Jiang, 2013 B.F.A. fashion design graduate, showed diverse outerwear and activewear pieces. Jiang was chosen as a finalist for the 2014 Joe’s Blackbook Design Competition and received two CFDA Scholarship awards: the $10,000 CFDA Clara Hancox Scholarship Award for Menswear Design and the $5,000 CFDA Excellence in Technical Design scholarship.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc. (CFDA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose members include more than 400 of America’s womenswear, menswear, jewelry and accessory designers. CFDA+ brings the CFDA membership and education communities together to strengthen the transition between education and industry. The CFDA takes into consideration the challenge graduates often have as they try to begin their professional journey into the industry. There is a three-

Max Kuei Feng Lu and Jingci Wang’s NYFW Spring 2016 collaboration collection. Courtesy of Getty Images.

phase selection process to pick the top talents around the world, and more than 500 CFDA members and their brands are invited for the process. The selected students are identified as top worthy designers and are connected to fashion houses. The candidates go through a carefully selected portfolio review and interview process. A jury of CFDA members and leading fashion industry experts makes the final selection of the CFDA+ Design Graduates. Once selected as a finalist, the CFDA

Livia Bianda Bolung’s NYFW Spring 2016 collection. Courtesy of Getty Images.

education and professional development offers mentorship, exposure and resource support to the CFDA+ 2015 Design Graduates. Congratulations to the seven School of Fashion alumni and the 47 other designers who were selected for this wonderful opportunity.

Isabelle Eder is a B.F.A. Fashion Styling student.

san francisco | academy of art university |

December 2015 volume 1 | page 19


J’Amy Tarr takes on outerwear By Ian MacKintosh Q: When did you launch your eponymous collection? A: February 2011 in Seattle, Wash. Q: Tell us about your collection. A: I [designed] a collection of modern minimal outerwear that is designed and manufactured within 50 miles from my Mill Valley Studio. The collection focuses on fit, tailoring and luxurious fabrics that evoke modern elegance and glamour. The collection for Fall/ Winter 2015 combines woodland wildflowers with military precision. A range of forest green to gunmetal grey color a vision of whimsy, structure and texture. The J’Amy Tarr Outerwear collections have been spotlighted in the press including the cover of the San Francisco Chronicle Style section, Racked

SF, New York Post, Refinery29, Southern Living, Marin Magazine, Fashion Times, SF Gate and Rue Magazine. Q: Where do you retail? A: Dress - SF Blanc - SF Two Birds - SF 7 on Locust - Mill Valley Koze - Tiburon Blanc - San Anselmo Haven - Larkspur Manaz - Los Gatos Q: What inspires you? A: When I was young, my grandparents traveled to Japan and were inspired by the peaceful Bonsai gardens of the people they stayed with. Back in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, my grandfather began his own Bonsai garden in their side yard. A green thumb turned a single miniature juniper tree into bonsai landscape and a place of meditation in his urban world. I loved watch-

A funnel-neck jacket from J’Amy Tarr’s collection. Courtesy of J’Amy Tarr.

ing him manicure the trees into their simple yet powerful shapes. These observations as a child have impacted my aesthetic as a designer today. Creating designs that are quiet yet strong, like the bonsai tree, are what I consider beautiful. Q: What is next for you in 2015? A: This fall is super-charged. I will be finishing production, delivering to stores, attending trunk shows at stores, yacht clubs, galleries, charity events and continue to connect with my customer. Q: What’s the funniest thing that’s happened recently in your business? A: I received a package via Fedex recently that was addressed to me, but it should have been shipped to a PR firm in Nashville, Tennessee. I called the national fashion magazine who shipped it to me to ask how they wanted me to reroute it. While speaking with them, I had an opportunity to pitch my outerwear line. Before I knew it, I was put in touch with their fashion editor. By doing a good deed, I was able to show my fall 2015 collection to one of the most sought after magazines in the U.S. Sometimes you connect with people in unusual ways. Q: Any favorite memories from your time at the School of Fashion? A: During my junior year in the School of Fashion, I was chosen to be interviewed by Evening Magazine, a locally produced magazine program on TV. They followed me around for an entire day videotaping me sew, draw, drape while asking me about my experiences and dreams to become a designer. When I saw the segment on TV, it was an incredible feeling. That initial fashion PR experience taught me about speaking on camera about my designs. On a whim, I entered an International Design Competition during my senior year. With the help of technical pattern extraordinaire, Gonbee Tanaka (a former instructor

J’Amy Tarr. Courtesy of J’Amy Tarr. in the School of Fashion), I realized my ambitious design. I ended up becoming a finalist and was flown to Korea for the show. I remember having to present my designs to the panel before the fashion show. It was an exciting experience, especially when I won an award in the finals. Q: And after graduating? A: After earning double M.F.A. degrees with honors, I worked on a dress for Beyoncé that made the cover of InStyle magazine while interning at Michael Kors. Q: What was the hardest fashion lesson you’ve learned? A: Production can be one of the most difficult parts of the business. On the outside, customers have no idea what goes into making garments. Outerwear is extra challenging because there are several components involved when constructing the pieces. I have learned that working with a factory, in person, is worth a thousand words. Meeting with the workers personally saves many hours of miscommunication and challenges. Plus, I enjoying showing them the press the collection receives and thanking them for being a part of it. I couldn’t do it without them!

Q: Any professional tips for fashion students? A: Social media numbers are often totally bogus. Several small businesses buy followers to inflate the appearance of their business. The bulk of my customer isn’t on Instagram, so I am not spending hours on that type of media like many other designers. For me, it is about meeting my customer face-to-face as much as possible. That is what drives real sales and ultimately repeat sales. Don’t forget to connect with your customer in more ways than through your Instagram account! Q: What advice would you give to students? A: There are many paths to success in the fashion industry. What might work for one person may not be right for you. The fashion industry is always looking for new perspectives so stay true to yourself and stay unique. Connect with J’Amy Tarr: jamytarrfashion

Ian MacKintosh is the Director of Public Relations & Special Events for the School of Fashion.


The limitless world of Bhagvati Khalsa By Taufik Marasabessy

Bhagvati Khalsa, who was born in Colorado and grew up in a Sikh boarding school in Northern India, has been exposed to two completely different worlds that made her who she is today. “It is hard to gauge the impact my upbringing has had on my life, but having to

[straddle] dual cultures has given me the ability adapt and improvise easily with the tools and project at hand,” Khalsa told the School of Fashion. The alumna, who graduated from Academy of Art University in 2000 with a B.F.A. in fashion and knitwear design with an emphasis on illustration, has accumulated over a decade of industry ex-

perience ranging from Banana Republic up to Patagonia. Recently, the School of Fashion had the opportunity to interview this nature lover who also loves drawing, ceramics, climbing and surfing. Q: What sparked your interest to study fashion and knitwear design at Academy of Art University?

A: I have loved drawing and making things since I was a kid, but the major turning point that pushed me towards fashion was studying with a master tailor just out of high school. She really instilled in me the love of the process. I had very little knowledge about the fashion industry, but

Khalsa continued on 20

Bhagvati Khalsa. Courtesy of Bhagvati Khalsa.

page 20 | December 2015 volume 1 | academy of art university | san francisco

STYLE BHAGVATI KHALSA Khalsa continued from 19 thought that if I loved to draw and sew it was a natural choice. Q: During your studies at the Academy, you received full scholarship for international exchange and went to study French in Chambre Syndicate De La Couture Parisienne, how did you get the scholarship? Why French? A: I got the scholarship based on my portfolio and jumped at the chance, because who wouldn’t? France was not my first choice but my history and knowledge in tailoring ended up being very beneficial in helping me understand what was going on since my teachers didn’t speak English. I ended up studying French in the evenings and still feel so lucky to have had that opportunity. Q: Any fond memory you still remember from your school days? A: I remember when I learned how to find inspiration and

utilize it; the world opened up and felt limitless. Q: After you graduated, what was the first thing you did afterward? A: I taught visual research, fashion life drawing and senior portfolio at a university in Ohio. Although I was quite young, it felt relevant because the Academy of Art University fashion program gave me a much more European take on design. The students in Ohio had more emphasis on the commercial side of fashion, and I could expose them to another way of seeing it. Q: You have accumulated so many experiences in the fashion industry; what’s your most memorable one? A: To be honest, there is not one that is most memorable. It is much more about process and looking forward to new experiences that align my personal ethos with my work world. Q: You have worked for a

big company like Banana Republic and you have also worked for small companies. What’s the biggest difference you have noticed? And which one do you prefer? A: The bigger companies tend to have more bureaucracy with systems that track quality and consistency, which is great, but also makes for a lot of data entry. The size is usually reflected in the budget so the bigger companies can offer broader access to a variety of opportunities such as travel for research and development (R&D). As for smaller companies, it varies greatly; there are many small companies that exist solely to make private label knock offs, which can be quite depressing, but If that is not their intention, smaller companies are willing to take more stylistic risk. This can be very rewarding, because it can give the person opportunities to wear multiple hats and feel like you are making a bigger contribution to the overall product. I do not have a preference, as I have had good and not so good experiences

with both. In the end, when I feel like I am able to make a good contribution is when I feel the most rewarded. Q: When you were still at the Academy, what was your dream job? And are you still working towards it? A: My dream has never revolved around a job, but around the desire to continue to grow, be creative and make things. So my hope is that it is a lifelong journey and it is never a place that I will reach, but always be working towards. Q: You are currently working for Patagonia, how did it all start? What was the hiring process like? A: I got an interview because I have a friend and Patagonia employee who recommended me for the position. Patagonia is a family-owned company and they like to create a family atmosphere so it is encouraged to bring people in the mix that fit culturally with relevant skill sets. I had multiple interviews and after being hired, I moved very quickly from Colorado to Ventura, California. Q: What’s an average day like for you in Patagonia? A: The great thing about working at Patagonia is there is not really an average day. There are a lot of interpersonal interactions and telephones are rarely used. People work hard and play hard and if the work gets done there usually is not a problem.

“What time is it going to rain?” mural by Bhagvati Khalsa. Courtesy of Bhagvati Khalsa.

Q: Looking at your website, you have an array of beautiful works, which one is your favorite? A: My favorite projects have been some of the bigger scale

projects that I have worked on. I have assisted some large-scale installation artists and built sculptures that people could physically experience, moving through them. One of my favorite personal projects was a mural I made on my house in Brooklyn, New York. called “What time is it going to rain?” It measured 13’x26’ and the scale and having to [interact] with the public made for a very spontaneous and satisfying process. Q: During your study at the Academy, you had an emphasis on illustration. Can you tell me more about your illustration style? A: I did a lot of figure drawing at the Academy of Art University and that has continued to be something I use to evolve my style. I really like to draw with pen, I like that it forces you to look harder before committing your line to the page. Q: What inspires you? A: Nature, people and being alive! Q: What’s next for you? A: Currently I am exploring the world of ceramics and am interested to see where it takes me. Q: We all know the real world is hard and the fashion industry is not an easy industry to work in, what advice can you give to graduating fashion students? A: There is not one path, look for yours and be true to yourself.

Taufik Marasabessy is a fashion merchandising student at Academy of Art University.


Academy of Art University’s fashion journalism program partners with sharing platforms Weebly and Flipboard Courtesy of School of Fashion PR Staff

The School of Fashion at Academy of Art University is pleased to announce a partnership with Weebly and Flipboard, two firms at the center of creativity and technology. Weebly will offer fashion journalism students the opportunity to receive a $10,000 scholarship and Flipboard will be donating several iPads to further students’ journalism studies. “As the only designated and accredited B.A. and M.A. fashion journalism programs in the United States, we are committed to spearheading innovation during one of

the most exciting times of change within the fashion industry,” said Simon Ungless, Executive Director, School of Fashion at Academy of Art University. “Our increasingly image-driven culture points to the need to refresh the fashion journalist’s toolbox with cutting-edge digital and social media skills,” said Stephan Rabimov, director of social media and fashion journalism at Academy of Art University. “We are thrilled that Weebly and Flipboard will directly connect our students with some of the most widely used services and platforms and provide the opportunity for students

to experience innovative technology.” Weebly, a San Franciscobased global platform that allows anyone to easily create a unique website, blog or online store, has founded a $10,000 Weebly Scholarship for Academy of Art University fashion journalism students. The scholarship is open to students who build their own digital magazine on Weebly’s award-winning platform in two specific courses - FSH 488: Magazine Publishing Workshop for undergraduate students and FSH 626 MS: Digital & Print Magazine Publishing for graduate students. The scholarship will be awarded to the student with

the best-designed digital magazine at the annual Academy of Art University Graduation Fashion Show in May 2016. “We’re proud to see the future of fashion journalism and design take off on stunning, customized Weebly sites created by Academy of Art University Fashion Journalism students and alumni like Katarzyna Tarabula, Namrata Loka and Justice McNeil,” said Vitaly Odemchuk, creative director, Weebly. To showcase published stories produced by Academy of Art University fashion journalism students, Flipboard has established a dedicated channel on their

platform on the subject of fashion journalism. The channel acts as a single place to keep up on the topics, news and events that students are covering as part of their undergraduate and graduate studies. At the annual Academy of Art University Graduation Fashion Show in May 2016, The School of Fashion at Academy of Art University will award three fashion journalism students with the most followed and engaged Flipboard magazines with the latest iPads to help the students on their path toward digital journalism education. These awards are made possible through a generous donation by Flipboard.

12 01 2015 AAU Newspaper  

AAU NEWSPAPER December 1, 2015 P18 "Seven Academy of Art University designer selected for CFDA + 2015 Design Graduates proram" P19 "J'Amy Ta...

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