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DeeDee wearing pants by Esther Shim, BFA Fashion Design. Shirt, stylist’s own. Photograph by Jen Miyako McGowan, BFA Photography.

180 ISSUE Nยบ 8

180 Editor in Chief: Simon Ungless Design Director: Kate Nakamura Editor at Large: Stephan Rabimov Fashion Editor: Flore Morton Copy Editor: Jennifer Blot Additional Copy Editing: Ian MacKintosh, Jeanette Peach, Chloe Preussker Contributing Writers: Sasha Leon, Chloe Preussker, Katarzyna Tarabula, Malcolm Thomas, Gladys Perint Palmer, Tess Collins, Angela Han, Jacqueline Wray, Paul Wilner, Sarah Lemp Special Thanks: Michael and Michaelyn Mackintosh at Bird’s Nest Glen, Maud Lescroart at Sophie Hallette, Bruni Nigh, Maria Kotchetkova, Tom Matano, Antonio Borja, Gordon North, Rich Gonzales, Jennifer Cappelletti, Ny Lavaka, Bryn Carlson, Jeanine Hoy, the School of Photography at Academy of Art University, JE Model Management, Look Model Agency, Red Model Management, Scout Model and Talent Agency, Stars Model Management. Cover: Abiah Hostvedt wearing prototype windbreaker by Leslie Dilloway, BFA Menswear Design. Photograph by Nicholas Gutierrez, MFA Photography.

180 Magazine 79 New Montgomery Academy of Art University School of Fashion San Francisco, California 94105


Nate Hill in Hooded Sweatshirt by Gyuwon Jeong, BFA Menswear Design, and Jimin Kim, BFA Textile Design at the 2015 Graduation Fashion Show, San Francisco. Photograph by Anthony Rogers, BFA Photography.



Letter from the President

8 Contributors





Two Alumni: Garments with Stories


Tectonic Change


Retail Intervention


Back to the Future


Antonio Martins: A Designer’s Vision


Lux / Eros


Jacqueline Michie


Fashion Meets Theater


India Ink


Print is the New Black


10 Years of NYFW


Les Vagues


Town & Country


The Club House


The Language of Lace


Rob’s World


Ben Copperwheat.

Logan Link in Coat Dress by Damien Chandra, BFA Fashion Design, at 2015 Graduation Fashion Show, San Francisco. Photograph by Anthony Rogers, BFA Photography.


10 YEARS OF NEW YORK FASHION WEEK top left: Salieu Jalloh wearing Ali Kahn & Sook-Yeong Kwon 2008. top right: Irina Lazareanu wearing Andrea Vence 2007. middle left: Sean O’Pry wearing Young Jun Ryu 2008. middle right: Liu Wen wearing Warot Subsrisunjai & Mike Feeney 2008. bottom left: Rosa Gough wearing Daniel Emir Armosilla 2008. bottom right: Marcel Castenmiller at casting 2008.


A Letter from Our President Time is our most precious commodity, but it’s something we too often lose sight of. In these days of constant 24-7 stimulation and information, there is little time left to reflect on progress and the lessons to be drawn from our daily experience. So it is with special pride that we look back, in this, the eighth issue of 180 Magazine, on the achievements of the past. It has been 10 years since Academy of Art University student collections first hit the runways at New York Fashion Week. It was an unheard of achievement for an educational institution at the time but has now become part of the rhythm of the school year, as student designers proudly show their work to positive reception from the established press, as well as industry executives and designers. In this issue, we catch up with School of Fashion graduates, who reflect on the paths they’ve taken, what the peak moments were in their studies, runway highlights and subsequent careers. Ten years seems like a lifetime ago, particularly here in the turbo-charged, forward-thinking Bay Area, where San Francisco is leading the charge once again for societal changes, from marriage equality to wearable technology. Across the board, the Academy of Art University is breaking down the barriers between work and study to provide a seamless transition for students into a promising professional future, from leather to lace.

This year, students in the Industrial Design Program collaborated with mentors at Chrysler to design imaginative cars of the future, successfully building on the exciting innovations of the past. Fashion design alumni Jirawat Bote Benchakarn and Milen Krastev hail from different parts of the world, but are both making their mark — with a menswear line for Benchakarn in his native Thailand, and the “Mad Tailor Leather” custom house for Bulgarian-born Krastev in Manhattan. And the Academy of Art University continues its respect for the classic traditions of the past through its student collaborations with Sophie Hallette, the world-renowned makers of lace whose work has appeared on the likes of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. The university is leading the way in academic innovations as well. This year, the School of Fashion’s interdisciplinary program in Costume Design was successfully accredited. And Shop657, a new retail space that sells merchandise designed by students and alumni, made its debut in the unassuming quarters of a former delicatessen at 657 Sutter Street near Union Square. The theme of change – smart change that respects the traditions of the past – continues. When Joe Zee, Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo Style and former Creative Director of Elle magazine, received an honorary degree at this year’s commencement, he gave this advice to students: “Be open. Be passionate. Be curious.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.


Dr. Elisa Stephens President Academy of Art University


CONTRIBUTORS JEFFRY RAPOSAS, BFA Photography, spent the first 15 years of his life in a small town in the Philippines. In high school, he discovered the beauty of photography. He shoots commercial, editorial and product photography. Jeffry Raposas currently resides in the East Bay and has been photographing throughout the Bay Area.

ANTHONY ROGERS, BFA Photography, shoots for clients such as 7x7, Benefit Cosmetics, and Bob Cut Mag. “My style is more on the eclectic side and is really inspired by rococo painters. I shoot a wide variety of fashion portraiture, but try to keep my modern flare in this 2015 society!”

NIKKI JOY-ANDERSON, BFA Costume Design, is a San Francisco-based illustrator. Her art communicates the way she sees San Francisco, simple, but complex. She creates composition in black and white using the matter of line to tell a story, leaving it up to the viewer to know what is seen.

SASHA LEON, BA Fashion Journalism, has worked as a buyer for FashionElles, a Marketing Lead for Visualyst, and is currently an editorial assistant at FourTwoNine Magazine. “My style icons are long gone and composed of minimalism, like Jane Birkin and Uschi Obermaier. Minimalism is a big part of my creativity.”

JACQUELINE WRAY, BA Fashion Journalism, was born in Orange County and raised in Danville, CA. She is a fashion and lifestyle journalist with an interest in fashion technology who has interned in the editorial departments of 7x7, and Haute Living Magazine. She is also a contributor to Fashion School Daily.


Ruway at 2015 Graduation Fashion Show in San Francisco. Photography by Pete Hopkins, BFA Photography.



Brooke Moorberg in lineup at 2015 Graduation Fashion Show. Photograph by Anthony Rogers, BFA Photography.

CONTRIBUTORS TESS COLLINS, MFA Fashion Journalism, was a schoolteacher when she decided to attend Academy of Art University. She has written for Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine, SOMA Magazine, and Fashion School Daily. She is currently the Web Content Producer at 10 Missions Media and contributes to the website Resorts and Lodges.

MARIANA PAZOS, BFA Textile Design, was born and raised in Chihuahua, México. “I like to play with loud and bright colors. Most of my inspiration comes from nature and the rich culture of my home country.” As a student, she received an athletic scholarship and played on the Academy of Art University golf team.

ERICA TIMMONS, BFA Fashion Styling, was born in Tokyo, Japan and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has worked for Ogilvy & Mather in Beijing and Azalea Boutique in San Francisco. “My personal style is full of 1970s references and my aesthetic definitely has a rock and roll vibe.”

TRY SUSTRINO, BA Fashion Journalism, grew up in Indonesia and Canada. He developed his keen eye and witty voice from fashion magazines and Japanese manga. Sustrino styles and writes for various publications and hopes “to become a fashion editor or even better, to edit my own fashion magazine one day.”

BRITT MOORE, BFA Fashion Styling, lives in San Francisco and works in Los Angeles, London, Luxembourg, and Paris. Her work has been featured in national and international magazines, online, commercials, and ad campaigns. She is currently represented by Look Artist Agency and is the in-house stylist for VÉRITÉ Published.


two alumni. garments with stories.


words by sasha leon images by jirawat bote benchakarn & milen krastev


this page and facing page: Photography by Jirawat Bote Benchakarn.


For Academy of Art University School of Fashion graduates Jirawat Bote Benchakarn and Milen Krastev, menswear design wasn’t just a degree: It was a calling.

Benchakarn was introduced to the late magazine editor Isabella Blow, who suggested he transition into menswear after eyeing his personal style.

Their lives began in different parts of the world – Benchakarn was born in Thailand, and Krastev, in Bulgaria – but the point of creative departure for each began with the art of tailoring. Early on, they resolved to create garments that would focus on the urban, the modern, and the handcrafted.

“I had always wanted to do menswear, so when she suggested that, it was like a confirmation,” Benchakarn admits. “I didn’t have any proper training in tailoring. Luckily, I like to buy vintage garments, so I ripped apart the clothes to see how they were constructed. I even had to open up the lining and see what kind of interlining they used,” he said.

Though the two designers took distinctively different paths, there was a common thread: Both relied on the traditional skills mastered at the School of Fashion while eschewing the contemporary fast fashion trend. Benchakarn and Krastev respectively set out to design and produce the best quality menswear possible with today’s cutting edge fabrics, technology, and training. “In the long term, people will want to invest in clothes that can last, and not just for a season,” said Benchakarn. “These days, people are looking for garments with stories: how and where their clothes are made, the source of the fabrics. Fast fashion can’t provide that kind of information to their customers.” Krastev added, “Fast fashion feels a bit like cheating … Getting product manufactured and sold at low prices – and low quality – makes it harder for young designers to establish new brands and compete on the market.” Fortunately, for Benchakarn and Krastev, there’s a renewed consumer interest in menswear — whether it be a specific cut, fit, or touch — and one thing is certain: Menswear is on the rise. Last year, menswear sales surpassed those of women’s ready-to-wear, confirming that the once one-dimensional world is slowly transitioning into more than just monotone uniforms of suits and shirts. For Benchakarn and Krastev, their creations are specifically ingrained in modern aesthetics and the innovative manipulation of fabric, as well as an emphasis on the right fit for the male physique. Clean cuts, perfectly-fitted trousers and a quality rivaled only by the top ateliers are the epitome of their menswear design. “With my designs, you can wear a fully-tailored jacket and still get a sense of youth and modernity and a bit of an old man spirit,” said Benchakarn. Ironically, Benchakarn’s menswear story began with that of womenswear. While participating as a womenswear designer in a high-profile competition several years ago,

“I started to understand the proportion of things: the size of a jacket’s lapel, shoulder width, pockets and lengths. I started making clothes in the way that I usually wear them, and there were many trials and errors that I’ve learnt how to deal with along the way,” Benchakarn explained. Today, Benchakarn has successfully launched his own store, BOTE JBB in Bangkok. He originally planned it as a temporary pop-up shop, but the prosperity of his brand called for a permanent location – and a subsequent expansion and renovation. 15

“There wasn’t much you could do with the 11-squaremeter space. At first it was very clean and minimal, almost like a gallery,” he said. “Finally, after my store renovation and expansion, customers will notice a lot of changes in the interior design, which I was involved in every process. I wanted everything to be more refined, more grown-up, a little more sophisticated. I want to make my customers feel like they’re entering a house, with a little courtyard outside and indoor space with rooms divided by the category of my collection.” For Krastev, the passion for menswear began as a teenager. He simply wanted to be well dressed. “I would look at magazines and MTV music videos – that was the thing

Art University. Looking at it now, it was one of my best life choices.” Benchakarn and Krastev didn’t launch their respective lines right after graduation, but continued their creative journeys, absorbing as much as they could about the fashion industry. Benchakarn worked as a buyer for four years, which ultimately gave him insight into all aspects of the menswear world — from business to construction. “When I was a buyer, I saw how the showrooms were set up and how the runway looks translated into commercial pieces,” he recalled. “I also learned how to do merchandising and buying based on the sales report that I had to do regularly. Being involved in marketing and PR helped me visualize and dream about my own brand.” Krastev eventually found his ultimate medium: leather. A genius at manipulating it, he has built a reputation for creating perfectly fitted jackets and custom leather pieces. “Personally, I find working with leather very rewarding,” he admits. “I am a not only a designer, I am a craftsman.” At his New York studio, he focuses on his own creations and also provides design and prototyping services for other companies. In addition, he cherishes opportunities to make one-of-a-kind, custom pieces for his distinguished clients. “I once made these crazy alligator jackets fully lined with detachable sable fur vests. It took two assistants and I over two weeks to fully realize them. They were the most luxurious things I’ve ever created,” Krastev said. “Leather requires specific treatments, equipment and an understanding of construction. It’s like a nice sports car. It only goes fast if you know how to drive it on the corners. Sadly, hand leather crafts are slowly disappearing.”

then – and started experimenting. I would copy jackets and pants and sew them for myself,” he said. “My sister had been living in San Francisco at the time, and just graduated with an MFA in Fashion,” he added. “I thought I was done with school (having a degree from technical university), but somehow my sister convinced me to get a degree in Fashion and I went to Academy of 16

As Benchakarn and Krastev continue to build their businesses and navigate the menswear market, their stories are framed by a shared passion. Both are committed to sustaining the traditional hand-skills our industry so desperately needs. In a world of disposable apparel and mass-production we can count on them to preserve some of fashion’s finer details. `

this page and facing page: Photography by Milen Krastev.


words by Paul Wilner. illustrations by Nikki Anderson-Joy.

What a difference a decade makes. Suddenly, San Francisco is relevant again. The very notion might seem counterintuitive to loyalists of the city, living in a self-congratulatory fog of cable cars, Irish coffee and Victorian “Painted Ladies.’’ Nevertheless, to those not determined to live in the past, San Francisco has oftentimes seemed stodgy and complacent in comparison to hipper American capitals like New York and Los Angeles, let alone London or Paris. But these days, there’s a new energy and a fresh buzz, not just in San Francisco but in the entire region. It’s a tectonic change, akin to the earthquakes for which the area is historically famous. It was just over a decade ago that Facebook, then a mere gleam in the eye of a Harvard undergraduate (make that several undergraduates, if David Fincher’s account in The Social Network is to be believed), first surfaced and changed global communications as we know it. Ironically, much of the current excitement and job growth led by San Francisco have to do with the surge of tech 18

entrepreneurs — the very class disparaged in progressive circles for contributing to gentrification, higher rents, evictions and myriad other sins. In the field of fashion alone, Angela Ahrendts left her top spot at Burberry to rejuvenate Apple’s retail and sales effort and Academy of Art University honorary doctorate recipient, Joe Zee, left his position as creative director at Elle magazine to join the brave new world as editor-inchief and executive creative officer of Yahoo Style. And the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has been dipping into Silicon Valley to spread its international wings. Vanity Fair magazine, which formerly relegated the Bay Area to the provinces, has been revising such admittedly snobbish views by sponsoring a series of New Establishment Summits at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The Vanity Fair get-together put together Facebook wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg with James Murdoch, heir to his father’s 21st Century Fox empire, celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz, Apple design guru Sir Jonathan Ive, music mogul Jimmy Iovine, film executive Brian Grazer and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, among others.


this page and facing page: Illustrations by Nikki Anderson-Joy.




The event also united new media stars with Hollywood executives who previously wouldn’t have been caught dead in town for anything but a fine dining experience or a Napa getaway. Similarly, a Dreamforce gathering held at the Yerba Buena Center this September under the aegis of Salesforce Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff featured luminaries including YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, actresses/activists Goldie Hawn and Jessica Alba, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Larry Brilliant of the Skoll Global Threats Fund — as well as a performance by the Foo Fighters. (The star-studded gathering the previous year included everyone from Hillary Clinton to Neil Young and The event did not fail to draw critics grumbling about the downtown gridlock, with one local columnist noting that the annual Folsom Street Fair, replete with leather regalia, was a much better representation of the true San Francisco spirit. But no one could argue with the good intentions of Dreamforce, which announced after the event that it had achieved its goal of donating over a million books to schools and libraries around the world. Something is happening here, and we probably know what it is, whether or not Mr. or Ms. Jones likes it or approves. It’s ironic that the left political community and the tech invaders are at odds, since they share so many values. Liberal-leaning techies almost certainly value a woman’s right to choose, support gay rights, health care and immigration reform — if only to better recruit top engineers from all over the world — and a strong suspicion of government snooping, even when they have been asked to cooperate in such investigations. The economic consequences of the wealth being so rapidly accumulated has had unintended consequences, including the aforementioned evictions. But there are signs that the tech sector is waking up to its community responsibilities. Google, for example, donated $6.8 million to a two-year pilot program offering free rides on the city’s Muni transit system to low-income students between the ages of five and 17.

percent of its profits, one percent of the company’s equity, and one percent of its employees hours back to the community. It may seem like a drop in the bucket, but if other companies getting rich in the exploding web economy follow suit, badly-strapped cities will get the help they need as they explore new models for delivering services and providing assistance to those who need it most. That’s the kind of progressive model that San Francisco has always been about. It led the way for literary experimentation with the Beats, followed by the inspired psychedelia of the ‘60s and played a pioneering role in championing gay advocacy and people’s rights to love — and marry — whomever they please. And oh, yeah, this whole computer thing came about because a couple of hackers named Steve — Jobs and Wozniak — were fiddling around in a garage in Silicon Valley. In the University’s own neighborhood, a Tenderloin Museum has opened, in a bow to the past that reflects the neighborhood’s colorful history at the same time it looks forward to a progressive, forward-looking future. And Oakland continues to be celebrated as the East Bay equivalent of Brooklyn — an artistic haven for those who want to stay in the vicinity but can’t afford the housing costs. So yes — the Bay Area has changed. But maybe not all that much. The virtuous circles currently being formed recall the days of Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park and choreographer Anna Halprin’s Planetary Dances on Mount Tamalpais. Once again, we are not just living through history, but reinventing it. At a time when so much attention is focused on the woes of the world, that’s encouraging, whether or not you decide to wear flowers in your hair at Coachella, or on the runway. `

And Salesforce, at founder Benioff’s insistence, incorporates philanthropy into its mission, giving one 23

Mute by JL black mesh tunic and white collared shirt by Joanne Lu, MFA Fashion Merchandising.


RETAIL INTERVENTION Sutter Street’s SHOP657 provides a unique window into innovative student work, collaboration and real world experience.

written by Sarah Lemp collages by Kate Nakamura

If you build it, they will come. That has been the working philosophy behind SHOP657, a unique retail experience that has taken shape under the auspices of the School of Fashion’s Merchandising Program. The 1,500 square foot space – previously home to Marty’s Liquor and Gourmet, at 657 Sutter Street in downtown San Francisco – is now Academy of Art University’s first permanent retail location and serves as a demonstration of the University’s continuing commitment to practical, real world experience. How did this unusual project come about? As Keanan Duffty, the School of Fashion’s Senior Director of Merchandising, puts it: “SHOP657 evolved from SHOP the pop-up store that the Merchandising department created for the 2014 Spring Show.” It was an instant hit, one that Academy President Dr. Elisa Stephens called “a highlight of the Spring Show,” Duffty adds. “SHOP657 is an incredible opportunity for merchandising, marketing and product development students to work together,’’ Simon Ungless, Executive Director of the School of Fashion, said. “It is a role model for the innovative programs we undertake in the School of Fashion. Providing real world retail experience is an invaluable

experience for students and faculty to cross-pollinate and collaborate throughout the entire University.” Given the overall positive reaction and the support from President Stephens and Simon Ungless, Keanan Duffty and Graduate Director of Merchandising Sharon Murphy decided to take it to the next level. “We felt SHOP deserved a permanent space and Dr. Stephens allowed us to utilize the 657 Sutter Street retail location,’’ Duffty said. Once the location had been decided, it was a case of building the store from the ground up – literally – with key contributions from former Assistant Visual Merchandising Director Russell Clower, who is now Assistant Director of Merchandising Online, and Martin Zanfardino, a longstanding Visual Merchandising instructor tasked with the actual building process. “The concept was to base the pop-up on a traditional street market, a back-to-basics trend we are seeing at retail all over the world,’’ Clower recalled. While the Academy’s original pop-up shop was very “raw – something that felt like the skeleton of a retail space without walls,’’ the new store needed a different feel.


“The students’ experiences were, without question, the most rewarding aspect of these projects,’’ he said. “The knowledge they gained of real life work situations helped them develop confidence in their skill sets. They also learned to collaborate on projects, exactly as it’s done in the real world.” Once the store was open and ready for business, the added value, of course, was in the brands that they stocked – again providing inestimable experience and training. “In order to be selected for representation in SHOP657, there are three approaches,’’ Duffty explained. “First, Sharon Murphy and myself reached out to a number of alumni whose collections were in production and available [for resale]. Second, the alumni pitched their collections to classes in the Merchandising program, which could be ‘bought’ for the store. Third, [our] Product Development classes create original products during the semester which are then given retail exposure in the store.”

Mute by JL kendogi silk organza gold top by Joanne Lu, MFA Fashion Merchandising.

“The space was in terrible shape, walls had to be patched and painted, a new floor was laid and basic electrical and lighting needed upgrades and updates,” Clower added. “We wanted something that was very crisp and white – it’s a small space, so we needed to open it up.” Clower gives Martin Zanfardino major props for taking on the arduous project. “The time frame from concept to production was very short – less than six weeks,’’ Zanfardino said. “Overcoming the challenges required many hours of work from the students and being inventive with materials on hand.’’ Zanfardino added that the students helped produce props and location set up and also were involved with product placement and styling.


Murphy agreed. “Collaboration is key – they can’t forget the logistics that would be needed to run any actual business. We have a ‘state of the art’ POS [point of sale] system that includes the same software used by many leading brands and retailers. This means our students can learn about all aspects of retailing including management and financial reporting in a ‘Case Study’ setting.” “In the first week that SHOP657 opened in the Spring 2014, six students from a laser cutting class came in to meet with senior merchandising students to find out how to sell their designs.” she added. “They sorted out exactly how [the different] pieces would be part of each collection – from pricing to packaging, visual display, and branding. Students were sharing ideas, using all they had learned in classes. It was exciting to see ‘best practices’ in action. That’s what the goal of having this shop is all about, it’s a showcase, and an incubator.” The brands being offered are an eclectic group, according to Store Manager, Amanda Sanchez. They include: Mute by Joanne Lu, VOIDTHEBRAND, SFC SanFranCycle, Apartment 415, Snaku, Gazel, Diana Garcia, Rinat Brodach, neighborhood.hoo and Dale Beevers Jewelry.

“Apartment 415 is a line of pillows designed by Agustin Sanders, a 2009 Interior Design and Interior Architecture graduate who teaches Commercial and Industrial Design courses [at the Academy],” Sanchez said. “SFC SanFranCycle is designed by Tommy Pham, a men’s knitwear graduate from 2003. The entire line centers on the ‘bicycle culture’ concept,” she said. “The ‘Homies’ design (a crew neck t-shirt in tribute to the “homies of the Mission district) is our best seller by far!” “We get a lot of people coming walking down to work from the Financial District, tons of students and their parents stopping by, as well as people who happen to be in the neighborhood.” SHOP657 has become an in-the-know hot spot for a coveted souvenir! Students and graduates whose work has been on display are glowing about the experience. “I graduated from the Academy in 2013 and my final project, Mute by Joanne Lu, was presented at the University’s Fashion Show,’’ Lu said. “One year later,

I decided to bring it to the real market. Of course the first shop was SHOP657!” Shih Kai Thai, whose innovative sneaker line is featured in the shop, agrees that the SHOP657 can be a big career boost. “Keanan approached me about showing my line there, and also taught me about product line development and how best to market it,’’ he said. “SHOP657 is a great place to help students promote their brand.” For Merchandising major Chau Bui, interning at the shop was invaluable. “I learned more about the retail side of fashion and the real experience of working in-store than I could have in a traditional classroom,” she said. “We had to learn the point of sale [POS] software system that large scale retailors use, giving us experience in buying product, managing inventory, selling product, and financial reporting,” she added. “The experience of working on a team, learning from mistakes and my

Textile design by Narisi, BFA Fashion Design, printed on a University sweatshirt.


Shoes designed by Shih Kai Tai, MFA Fashion Merchandising.


from left to right: Bronze cast pendant by Deanna Wardley, MFA Jewelry and Metal Arts. Laser-cut leather cuff by Ariella Greenfield, BFA Photography. River rock pendant by Deanna Wardley, MFA Jewelry and Metal Arts. Mritika Laser cut pendant by Nandini Misra, MFA Fashion Design. Ceramic dome pendant by Deanna Wardley, MFA Jewelry and Metal Arts.

responsibilities at SHOP657 contributed to my personal growth and will no doubt help me in whatever I choose to do later.” Other Academy department heads are equally enthusiastic about their students’ participation in Shop657 – an important component of President Stephens’ goal in greenlighting the project. Charlene Modena, Director of the School of Jewelry and Metal Arts, said: “The collaboration has presented eyeopening opportunities for our students to learn how to balance the search for and focus on one’s unique creative voice with the design and marketing challenges of fashion and production work.” They can then “learn to apply this philosophy to styling, trends, designs, technical challenges, production, presentation, marketing and the give-and-take of collaboration – and overall to see production work not as a ‘sell-out,’ but a creative challenge.”

Duffty cites other successes. “Nike, Sears and other major corporate brands have visited SHOP657 since its inception and their response has been overwhelmingly positive,’’ he said. “They are excited to see a unique point of view from Visual Merchandising classes, emerging designers from our alumni and current students and those who are gaining truly valuable experience by interning at SHOP657.” Duffty and others involved in this one-of-a-kind project are aware of the changing nature of retail, in the midst of the electronic explosion. “Amazon has superceded Macy’s as the biggest retailer in the United States, so e-commerce has now overtaken physical retail in one respect,’’ he acknowledged. “However, fashion moves in cycles and with the rise of mass production ‘off price’ shopping via the online marketplace comes a counterpoint in niche, boutique retail spaces with curated product that is ‘small batch’ production. SHOP657 speaks to that movement.”

Arts Technology Director, Gordon Silveria, agreed. “Students from the digital design and laser cutting classes developed two projects that turned out to be ideal inventory for SHOP657,” he said. “We set up times for the students to present their work, negotiate retail prices and figure out profit. The students gained invaluable knowledge about how to present their work to a retailer, how to negotiate prices figuring in labor and materials and the experience of seeing their work in a beautiful retail setting.”

“Creativity, collaboration and communication are all key ingredients to the SHOP657 experience,” Duffty said. Customers, suppliers, students, family and members of the Academy family all second that emotion. And they are ready for the next round of technological, economic and creative challenges. Plans for an electronic version of SHOP657, with an e-commerce element, are in the works. The Fashion Journalism department will join in by contributing to the SHOP657’s future blog. But however it evolves, it will be a team effort – and a labor of love. ` 29

written by malcolm thomas photography by jeffry raposas

The year 1955 marked the introduction of an icon, the Chrysler 300. It was an automobile that mixed slick styling with a tough HEMI engine, becoming one of America’s first muscle cars. Its relatives would later go on to include the 300S, 300J and the 300C John Varvatos Luxury Edition collaboration between Chrysler and American fashion designer Varvatos. The manufacturing label “Imported from Detroit” stands for more than a geographic location. It is a source of constant reinvention of the affordable American classic car. So what is a classic? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is defined as “serving as a standard of excellence.” Academy of Art University has been doing exactly that since 1929, so it comes as no surprise that Chrysler selected and collaborated with the University’s School of Industrial Design for its next great American classic concept.


Illustrations by Sunnie Kim, BFA Industrial Design.

Illustrations by Haman Ezzati, BFA Industrial Design.


Chrysler asked a class of students at Academy of Art University’s School of Industrial Design to design the car of the future, specifically focusing on the years 2020-2025. To keep things interesting and challenging, the car giant asked students to keep in mind four key points:

“We were also very fortunate to have had our Adjunct Professor Akino Tsuchiya, a very talented former Chrysler designer, lead the class. Her disciplined approach and keen eye for aesthetics helped the students arrive at their successful outcomes,” he added.

1. 2. 3. 4.

Matano said he was pleased with the outcome of the project and looks forward to more creative challenges for his students.

What designs withstand the test of time? What exists today that is likely to be a classic tomorrow? What technologies might enable future classics? What social forces might define a future classic?

And if the challenge wasn’t complex enough, students were also asked to adhere to very specific criteria and protocol: They had to design with an eye towards beauty, transcend trends by designing with a timeless aesthetic, share a futuristic point of view, and ensure the concept vehicles have a broad appeal while remaining affordable. No flagship project at the Academy’s School of Industrial Design is left untouched by legendary Executive Director Tom Matano, and his trusted colleague, Associate Director Antonio Borja. With their leadership and support, nine industrial design students and three student clay modelers embarked on the project of their ‘academic’ lifetime. “The collaboration with Chrysler has helped students gain real world experience. Working with the talented team of designers from FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) has helped them develop their skill sets as future designers in the industry,” said Borja.

“I would like the Industrial Design Studios [IDS] to be the place where companies will come for new ideas and new talents of the future. We are fortunate to have many companies lined up to collaborate with us for the next few semesters,” he said. To better understand the project’s scope, here are some unique student interpretations of the future classic: In Haman Ezzati’s future: Body panels are as interchangeable as cell phone covers and the drivers behind the wheel have made the transition from “brats to bosses,” he said. It is 2025 and Generation Y dominates the world. They are selfish, single, 25-35, and have an insatiable appetite for fun and adventure. They need a vehicle that can keep up. Ezzati’s Dodge Red Arrow roadster is the answer. Just as luminous is Sunnie Kim’s Dodge Dune. Aimed at Generation D, better known as the digital generation, is Kim’s crossover vehicle. It’s a sporty, clean, everyman

Design by Jack Liu, BFA Industrial Design. Clay modeling by Oscar Soria, BFA Industrial Design and Mathew Nicholson, BFA Industrial Design.

Design by Guangxu “Keen” Jin, BFA Industrial Design. Clay modeling by Oscar Soria, BFA Industrial Design, and Mathew Nicholson, BFA Industrial Design.

kind of ride for those who long to go out and live their memories. Nixing the common misconception that the prominence of social media and the Internet has fructified a species of consumer who lives life behind the alias of the computer screen, Kim built a car for outdoor exploration — as long as you don’t forget to pack your Google Maps app. Setting his time machine to a forthcoming decade as stylized as Disney’s Tron, is Guangxu Jin’s version of 2025. “I tried a new design language for the Dodge brand, different from the others,” said Jin, who goes professionally by the name “Keen.” His version of the Chrysler is built for the Millennial, who, according to Keen, will value his car as much as he does his smartphone. Keen’s model vehicle reminds us of a centaur on wheels: a five-star example of the continuing battle of man versus machine. The front features a porcelain hatch covering the majority of the car’s body, and the back is a futuristic reminder of what once was. Nisarg Patel’s vision of the future American classic is a silver beauty full of the subtlest details — from the polished chrome and acrylic outside door handle and the stardust glitter of the finish to the diamond-shaped active aerodynamic front surface grille. Inspired by the original 1955 Chrysler airflow grille, Patel embarked on bringing this element forward to 2025 with the concept car. “By having an active aero grille flushed with the surface, you can really tell the sculptural quality of a car. Like the gills

on fish, the surface would open to let air in, and when necessary, it would remain closed for a beautiful sculptural look,” said Patel. In contrast to other students, Jack Liu’s 2025 400e Grand Sedan has a focus towards natural lines, integrated functionality and refined necessities. Playing with the idea of natural versus decorated beauty and channeling the very same contrasting fashion styles of Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor, he focuses on luxury and performance without sacrificing affordability. “My main intention for the vehicle was to be something special for its owner — to make them think of the special moments they’ve experienced… and the memories they created with the car. It is these moments that humble a person and enable them to wish they were frozen in time. It is these emotions and feelings that inspired the exterior — similar to a smooth river rock sitting still while water runs over it. In other words, within the realm of time, the Chrysler is standing still as if time does not exist. Thus making it a timeless beauty,” said Liu. At the end of the course, all three clay modelers were hired full time by an automotive company to join their design-forward teams, and two of the automotive designers went on to internships at Ford. These students may be designing for the future, but their present-day is as bright as ever. `


Antonio Martins: A Designer’s Vision written by Sasha Leon interiors photographed by Drew Kelly portrait by Jeffry Raposas



Born in Lisbon and raised in Rio de Janeiro, a distinct set of variables led Antonio Martins to become a modern nomad. He traversed a range of exotic places, including Switzerland, Hong Kong and Italy — but his story began in his native Portugal. The country’s monumental architectural designs spoke to him as a child, shaping his lifelong design perspective. He calls it “smart design,” and it is timeless in its appeal. Establishing his signature style in the corporate world as a manager at Hyatt International for 10 years, relocating to San Francisco to study at Academy of Art University, and later founding his namesake design firm, Martins has always been certain of his vision. He adapts his creativity to each client’s lifestyle, bridging space and function for a cohesive space.

We had the pleasure of interviewing Martins about his unique vision of the world: [SASHA LEON]: Your birth land of Portugal obviously

influences your work. Would you say there are elements/aspects of Portuguese “old world culture” in every space you produce? [ANTONIO MARTINS]: I have influences just

from being Portuguese and living there. I was born in Lisbon. [Portugal] was the most powerful country in the 16th century and the amount of stunning architectural structures and buildings is unbelievable. Statues from the 14th century and beyond are still there, and just going through the north of Portugal you can see beautiful country homes — architecture in the countryside — which has greatly inspired me. SL: What contributed to you switching from mega-

commercial to ultra-private/residential space design? AM: I moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and I always

wanted to be a designer. Then I went into the hotel business in Rio, which I loved. And so I stayed 13 years with the company, until the moment I realized I had the financial stability to do what I wanted. I started doing private spaces. In today’s generations, you see more career shifts, more multi-dimensional careers, where people can adapt their skills to more than one job. In the past, people would stay in the same field. Today, unless you are really specialized or committed, you won’t stay in the same area. Once I was told: “Why does your business card say ‘interior designer’? You can design a hotel, but you can also design a business card, a menu, a place. Don’t limit yourself.” SL: Hotels, restaurants and residences are all very

His first design rule, if any, is to find something that conveys stature and personality. He is acutely aware of the feelings that connect people to their space to establish a comfort zone. Modern design is not something Martins rejects; on the contrary, innovative and timeless design is the key to his success. Combining a background in economics, hands-on learning in the hotel business, and finally interior design, Martins has managed to engulf himself in every facet of his education — academic, corporate and creative — all essential to running a successful firm, as he does today. 36

different from each other. How do you separate different design visions into a cohesive portfolio of work? AM: I think it comes to two things. One is how your

portfolio looks —the format — how you present your portfolio. And the second thing is the content. I can design a Victorian house in San Francisco or a Tuscan-inspired house in Napa Valley, or a shopping mall in Lisbon. If I do a house or a hotel, I don’t think they have to be cohesive with one another in my portfolio as long as I do a good job on each specific assignment. The look of a portfolio has to





be consistent in the way you present the pages, how they face each other, the same colors, smart fonts. And then you show that you are versatile, that you can make anything work. It’s how you present the subject. You can have different content — still consistent — but every page has to be different. I’ve seen magazines with the same house featured three times!

AM: The first one is really about how they live. Sometimes

families are in this precious house and they have kids who want to jump and play all day, so it doesn’t work out. Then I ask what the client likes and dislikes. I go through their inspiration mood board to get a first impression. I ask what colors they like, and what they accept in terms of design — but it’s mainly about their way of life. SL: Do you recall your favorite professor at Academy of Art

I think that as a student, if you love to do Victorians, do it! But also learn about the modern designs. The more styles you can learn just shows how well versed you are.

University? Any advice or lesson that you still believe has relevance a decade later?

SL: How do you balance creativity and function? AM: It’s just the experience. Sometimes the function

is secondary, but then sometimes you’re in trouble when you execute. We’ve done a beautiful design to a restaurant, for example, and then it’s not operative, and the restaurant closes. It’s like designing a dress. You can design a beautiful one, but if it’s stiff and you can hardly walk in it, then what for, right? You have to focus on real life and see if it works functionally. SL: Where do you get your inspiration? AM: Inspiration is everywhere! I believe that it starts, for

me, from going out. Just go out to restaurants, museums, and movies. When you watch movies there’s so much stuff that goes on the set. Also, when you travel, you get so much exposure to different things. It’s everywhere — TV, magazines, traveling, the Internet. It’s more about being curious and always looking around.

AM: Marlene Farrell. She was great. If you look through

interior design projects. How is it working with a group of people? How do you balance your vision with that of others?

the ages, first we were decorators, then designers, then interior designers, and now we want to call ourselves interior architects. Farrell taught me to just enjoy and decorate. Who cares what you are called? Do what you like and just enjoy it!

AM: Ultimately, in every project, we all have to get right

SL: What is your favorite object at home?

SL: You collaborate with painters and artists for your

the initial vision. Sometimes everyone gets stuck and sometimes this vision is lost. So it’s very important that there’s one specific person, a conductor, [who] has the vision. Sometimes it’s the architect, the landscaper, the designer or the client. It’s very important that one person keeps everyone on track, otherwise the idea gets lost and everyone starts adding his or her personal taste and opinion and the concept disappears. SL: What’s the first question for a client?

AM: It’s something that has immense meaning to me. It’s

actually two candlesticks that my mother bought with her first salary as a nurse. I think meaning is most important for any art or object. Some people like glam luxury, but me, if I had to run away with something from my house — just one thing — it would be the candlesticks. They have so much meaning to me. Your living space has to speak to you. That’s my vision. `




Always ingenious and effortlessly cool, LUX / EROS founder and 2001 Academy of Art University design alumna Desanka Fasiska is someone who embodies California cool with a unique aesthetic. Fasiska, who was awarded a scholarship to study at the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris through Academy of Art Univeristy’s sister city scholarship exchange in Paris, has recently made the jump from designing her own line to the creation of two companies: LUX / EROS (, a lifestyle brand and blog journal curated by Fasiska and her friends that encompasses everything from her bespoke products to lifestyle guides and curated lists of recipes, travel locales and products, and Desanka & Co., which offers “creative consulting” for fashion and lifestyle brands. She also made the great leap from San Francisco to the Hollywood Hills, where she has happily acclimated to the Southern California lifestyle. We talked with the energetic, irrepressible Fasiska about how she identifies modern California style and infuses it into LUX / EROS, and how she “aims to bring the warmth and carefree spirit of California living” into the homes of her clients.

well as workshops/events and information on how to visit the Lux Lodge. When we spoke with Fasiska, her enthusiasm, and sense of humor, was contagious. But she is obviously someone who wants to have it all: A true Californian. 180: Tell us a little about yourself. DESANKA FASISKA: I’m 38 and from Los Angeles. I was

born in Pittsburgh, PA, but moved here when I was two. I went to Academy of Art University for fashion design and …well, I still work in fashion. I consult for companies — one is in New York and other smaller ones here in Los Angeles. My main gig these days is an experimental space blog focused on California living and positioning myself around that décor. I have workshops, dinners and community building events here at my house. 180: What classes or instructors were the most influential? DF: Applied Textiles because it was the most creative,

liberating and free – feeling course I took. Simon Ungless and Bridget Kelly were my most supportive and inspiring teachers at the Academy. They pushed me to be my best. 180: What was the best thing you learned at the Academy

Her blog features before and after decorating shots in the LUX / DECOR section, along with other categories, including Do It Lux and Cali/Living. Other categories on the handsome-looking site include Ceramics and LUX / Wear, in which she demonstrates her fashion chops, as

of Art University? DF: They really pushed me to be as creative and

individualistic as possible. It was an incredible time in my life – to be pushed by my teachers and peers. It was an experience that you don’t get to have in the real


world, but I take it with me everywhere. It’s one of the reasons I started LUX / EROS — so that I could recreate the feeling of the creative community that you get when you’re in art school. 180: How did your time in Paris shape you? DF: Paris was the most transformational experience I had

in college. I was really fortunate to be able to go to the Chambre Syndicale de Couture! I was one of the first students to get the exchange scholarship through the Academy (I think I went the year after it started). It was not very organized yet, so I was really on my own out there and it was sink or swim. It was hard at first, but I came away with a completely changed and expanded world view and a totally elevated aesthetic sensibility... and my French was on point! 180: What was it like working in fashion? DF: I enjoyed working in fashion to the extent that I was

good at it. I was good at creating it. I like creating things that are three dimensional. I love texture and I love merchandising and all of that. But the actual job is a desk job at the end of the day and it’s just not suited for my personality. I need to be out in the world experiencing things and going to new places. I couldn’t do the desk job thing anymore…


180: Is that why you got into interior design? DF: The interior design is on the side. I bought this house

and redesigned the house. I’ve been doing ceramics for a while. I always make things for my home, and I make them very DIY, so I realized that it was what I wanted to include into this whole vibe. It ties things together because all these things happen at my home and I also get to showcase it. Because of it, I’ve gotten a few interior design jobs, but it wasn’t my main goal until recently when I realized that I really enjoy doing it. What’s your favorite thing about the work you do? DF: Connecting to other people—having the workshops,

dinners, traveling. Getting people connected in a creative way is a real passion of mine and I found a way to make a job out of it. I basically created the life that I wanted to have. [Workshops have included sold-out sessions on the art of making flower crowns, crafting inventive holiday cocktails, macramé and copper workshops, and an autumnal supper spread at Fasiska’s home, which has been re-christened the Lux/Lodge.] 180: How are working in fashion and interior design similar?

On the creative level, it is similar because you have to think in a three-dimensional way to project what things are going to look like in advance. It’s different than if you

were doing something that’s strictly on canvas. If you’re interior designing, you really have to sometimes take more of a gamble on if things are going to work out the way you envision them.

DF: It [means] light and love in Latin. When I was

180: How did the idea for LUX / EROS come about?

180: So your home is part of your job.

DF: When I was leaving my last main 9-to-5 fashion job,

DF: Yeah, it sort of just happened organically. It’s an

I wanted to experiment with something that was more lifestyle, interiors, and art space. In 2012, I had a friend that had a gallery space who needed someone to take over for four months, so I did my very first incarnation of LUX / EROS. It was a pop-up gallery in Venice, where I had a bunch of different events like art shows, workshops and shopping events, and I curated a bunch of different things.

amazing house — it just needed some love. It’s an A-frame, just gorgeous. I bought it because my father built an A-frame in the ’60s that I used to go to in West Virginia on Cheat Lake. When I saw this house I was like, ‘Oh my god! I have to have it!’ And I did, luckily. My natural aesthetic was infused in the remodel. It’s my favorite project!

moving away from fashion and wanting to start a new endeavor, I knew I wanted it to be something that was full of light and love.

180: What inspired the creative workshops?

I realized I didn’t want to sell art — I really wanted to focus on creative community building events. At that same time, I had bought my house in the summer. So I ended up putting everything on hold because I knew I was going to be re-launching the whole concept in its real, full way. Last year I built up the website, e-commerce, blog, and launched my first four community events as a dry run to see how things would work. This year is basically the real deal. I have a full calendar of editorials and events projected. 180: How did you come up with the name?

DF: I really just wanted to do something with creative

community building. I’m also helping put a focus on local California artisans … I want to put the spotlight on them. It’s terrific for marketing. 180: How do you choose the artists you collaborate with? DF: In whatever project I am working on, whether it’s my

creative events at LUX / LODGE or a pop-up off-site, I choose to work with California-based artisans who create beautiful handcrafted products. Most of my creative events center around California living—whether it’s a weaving


workshop, an intimate dinner hosted by a local chef, or an invitation to emulate the LUX / LODGE experience off-site with a beautiful and activated outdoor lounge. I’m currently working on a pop-up in San Francisco! 180: Which workshop was your favorite? DF: I think my favorite workshop so far has been the

macramé. I actually have always loved macramé—for my senior show at the Academy I did these macramé pieces and dresses.

DF: Doing it on your own. It takes longer when you have

to do things within a tight budget and limited resources. It wasn’t until this year that I started getting some help. I reached out and got an assistant and a business manager. But before that, I was winging it. I had to learn how to use SquareSpace, how to produce an event, how to blog. I had to learn how to do social media … I think at the end of the day I really learned that you can’t do it all on your own. It’s hard for me to delegate. I had to learn how to let go and trust that I can be supported if I ask for it. 180: When you’re brainstorming or shaping a concept,

where do you go for inspiration? DF: I don’t really look for inspiration. Inspiration just kind

of comes to me because I’m very active and I am always doing something new and having new experiences. I think when you make time for that in life, inspiration always comes to you when you’re connecting to other people, when you’re going on a road trip, when you’re taking time to be by yourself and create art. Just from the space of being in the flow, inspiration just comes. I don’t actively seek inspiration. 180: I read in your blog that one of your goals was to surf more. DF: I’ve been trying to make that my goal! By the way, I

haven’t gone surfing once this year! I went to Costa Rica like three or four years ago because I wanted to learn. Every year I try to, but I don’t live by the ocean, I live in Hollywood. Because of work and building this company, I’ve not made that a priority. You know, thank you for reminding me! What I really need to do is manifest a man or boyfriend that I can go with! 180: What is your favorite way to decompress? DF: Do I ever decompress? That is the question. I try and

effortless, and connecting. I think Californians are really open people and we are really collaborative. We love people coming into our homes, we love to host, and we also have amazing resources at our disposal with the oceans and mountains. It’s just a beautiful state.

make time on Fridays—that’s the day I try to set aside and not work. I try not to make appointments that day. I also try to spend every Friday morning in my ceramics studio. Ceramics is something that really relaxes me because I’m able to just let go. It’s meditative. I don’t know if you know this, but there’s a chemical in dirt that when you touch it, it releases endorphins in your brain. That’s why people are so relaxed when they garden or do ceramics. There’s an actual chemical reaction that happens! It’s almost like I get a little high when I do ceramics.

180: As a young artist, what are some challenges in

180: I need to try that!

180: How do you define California living? DF: It’s all about being open to new experiences, being

launching a start-up? DF: Yes! You should try it! ` 46


JACQUELINE MICHIE Walking on sunshine with a budding milliner making her mark, from London to Nevada City

all hats designed by Jacqueline Michie photography: Jeffry Raposas fashion editor: Flore Morton words and interview: Tess Collins



Lots of little girls grow up playing dress up with fancy hats, but not many dream of growing up and earning a living by making them. Jacqueline Michie was no exception, attending three different colleges before following her heart and enrolling in the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University. This talented milliner, who was awarded an internship with famed British hat making legend Philip Treacey in May 2012, struggled with finding her calling early on. But through trial and error, she has found her calling and is conquering the fashion world, one stylish headpiece at a time. We talked with her from her current locale, the seemingly unglamorous but affordable Nevada City, where she is able to concentrate on her hats, and potential clients, in rustic surroundings. Her website, Qua Crowns, offers “handcrafted one-of-a-kind hats for women and men,’’ from streetwear to formal, with “bowlers, boaters, turbans, tams, skimmers, toppers, fedoras and fascinators.’’ TESS COLLINS: How did you choose the path of millinery? JACQUELINE MICHIE: I was going to school for womenswear

design but all of my ideas were a bit too “unwearable.” After I changed my major to Costume Design, it opened up my class schedule to more variety. I have always loved hats and after my first day of millinery class I knew it was the area I wanted to specialize in. TC: How did your instructor, Bruni Nigh, inspire you? JM: I was most inspired by her enthusiasm. I was also

inspired by her years of knowledge. She taught me the fundamental basics and a traditional skill set of hat making. I felt like I could think up the impossible and she would show me how to make it possible. It was a very exciting time for me and I am so grateful for her continued support! TC: What did if feel like when you were selected by Philip

Treacey for the internship? JM: It was surreal. The semester before he and Sarah

Burton came as the guest of honor, I wrote a resume for a Designing Careers class wanting to be the milliner for the house of McQueen. It literally was a dream come true since Philip Treacy is pretty much the main milliner for McQueen. When I was chosen, I was beyond elated. It felt like a movie.. I pulled an Elaine Benis (Seinfeld), when she kind of shoves whoever shocks her, then does that funny dance, and then hugs the person. Then quickly made my way to the 50




administrative offices to hear it from the horse’s mouth. Oh, and then I posted it to Facebook! I felt like I was walking on sunshine.

until this January and it’s the best move I’ve ever done for myself creatively. It keeps me focused and motivated. I’ll spend all day in the studio. Midafternoon I’ll take a walk through town for some fresh air and to grab a tea or coffee.

TC: What did your internship entail? JM: Everything. I worked along side him and his eight

to nine assistants daily. I did a lot of the finishing of his collection pieces. I organized materials. I delivered hats from the workroom to his showroom in London. I did many deliveries; which was fun because I got to carry these beautiful silver hatboxes all over London. I assisted at photo shoots. I helped catalog the archive of hats for an upcoming exhibit on Isabella Blow. Those are some of my favorite memories because I got to see and touch pieces that I had drooled over in magazines. We worked on a collection for Swarovski’s archive based on the runway show he had just completed in tribute to Michael Jackson. For that, I hand applied thousands and thousands of individual crystals. It was amazing getting to experience it at all levels and I loved every second of it.

My studio is downtown, so I get visitors and people coming in for special orders. When I’m feeling blocked or bored of what I’m doing in the moment I’ll take a hike or meditate. I am working on building my business, QUA CROWNS. I am in the process of getting my hats into more stores and used in photo shoots. I’m also focusing on wearable pieces for the everyday. Right now, it is Spanish western felt hats, taking inspiration from my Oklahoma roots, the American Southwest and indigenous world cultures. TC: What was the greatest lesson that you took from your

time at the Academy or with Philip Treacey? JM: Respect and a “yes” attitude. The University is so on

top of their game. I took a real sense of professionalism with me. From the experience of having such accredited and experienced teachers who had worked with everyone from Valentino to Hermes, I felt capable of operating in a high fashion world both with my hands-on skills and my day-to-day attitude. TC: What piece of advice would you give aspiring design

students? JM: Follow what you love. Millinery was an unknown

area for me. It was not a clear and defined path like womenswear was. I say follow your passion…without passion for what you do, life is meaningless. TC: Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years? JM: In five years I will most likely be in Los Angeles, at

TC: What is an average day for you like now? JM: After breakfast, which consists of a smoothie and tea,

I make my way to my studio in downtown Nevada City. It is great because it’s only five minutes from my house. I hadn’t had my own studio space separate from my home 54

least part time. I see myself with a large celebrity clientele and my hats being carried in major stores and fabulous boutiques throughout the world. In the future I’d like to be giving back, maybe teaching inner city youth millinery. It’s hard to see 10 years into the future. I know I will be successful because I have so much passion for what I am doing. In terms of what that success looks like, it’s hard to say. True success is what makes you really joyful and that comes from within. The world may sing our praises but if we are not radiating inner joy, then nothing else matters. A girl who knows what she wants and has the all the talent in the world to make it happen, Jacqueline Michie, we tip our hats to you. `

model: Katie Fitzsimmons at JE Models. assistant photographer: Nick Gutierrez. hair and makeup: Victor Cembellin at Workgroup Ltd.


Tutu by Sophie Sunjung Lee, BFA FAshion Design. Leotard and Pointe Shoes, model’s own. All Stockings and Harness, stylist’s own.


Academy of Art University’s New Interdisciplinary Costume Design Program Teaches Students the Art and Craft of Successful Production written by

Katarzyna Tarabula photography by

Anthony Rogers fashion editor

Flore Morton assistant stylist

Danielle Wallis makeup and hair

Alicia Garcia featuring

Maria Kotchetkova

Principal Ballet Dancer, San Francisco Ballet


For many years, the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University has focused on craft, teaching construction skills, the history of fashion, 3D design, textiles and jewelry making, providing students with all the practical tools essential in a professional career. Now, thanks to a growing interest in costume design combined with the opportunity to collaborate with the School of Motion Pictures & Television and the School of Acting, there are specialized BFA and MFA Costume Design degrees, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The evolution of the Costume Design Program didn’t happen overnight. It began in 2009 when Costume Design Coordinator Maggie Whitaker started teaching elective costume design courses for fashion design students. An increase in demand for these classes over time led to the dynamic, popular program that received accreditation in November 2014 and officially launched Spring 2015.


The 132-unit BFA Costume Design program focuses primarily on theater, giving students the opportunity to design actual theatrical productions and work closely with directors, fellow students and actors. The curriculum combines sewing and design classes with projects that enable students to gain visual and construction skills. On the other hand, the 63-unit MFA program is geared towards film. The MFA thesis pairs costume designers with MFA film directors for unique oneon-one collaborations. Both the undergraduate and graduate degrees focus on providing practical opportunities, including a construction class, jewelry fabrication, and hair and makeup, in order to design a character from head to toe. “We have seen many established fashion designers moving into the world of costume design, such as Christian Lacroix’s ballet costumes for La Source and Jean Paul Gaultier’s costumes for movies such as The Fifth Element and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover,” said Simon Ungless, Executive Director of the School of Fashion. “Our students are following their lead and have shown interest in crossing over from fashion design into costume design. With our close proximity to the film industry in Southern California, along with San Francisco’s rich history in live performance, there are plenty of opportunities for these young designers to succeed in the costume industry.” 59

Tutu by Yi Li, BFA Fashion Design. Leotard and Pointe Shoes, model’s own. All Stockings, stylist’s own.




At the helm of the Costume Design program is Costume Design Coordinator Whitaker, who started her career as an intern at the Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico before moving to California. She worked for American Conservatory Theater (ACT) and Berkeley Repertory Theatre before returning to school, earning an MFA in Theatre at the University of California San Diego. During her time living and working in the Bay Area, she has designed costumes for multiple plays and assisted on critically acclaimed work at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. “The big exciting thing I got out of Berkeley Rep in the 2008-2009 season was working on American Idiot, a Broadway musical by Green Day. I previewed it at Berkeley Rep and then I went with the cast to help dress them for the Grammys. Since then I’ve been designing in the Bay Area, doing five or six shows a year for several years,” Whitaker said. Whitaker coordinates a diverse program that helps students gain not only essential technical skills but also practical experience and, most importantly, jobs. Although Fashion Design and Costume Design courses undoubtedly have a lot in common, there are major differences. Whitaker explains that the program is interdisciplinary: “So much of the philosophy of this program is that my students really understand the body of the actor and the responsibility they have towards the actor. The relationship between designer and actor is really important. I build it into some of the classes − to take that moment behind the camera, see what it’s about and how it affects your understanding of the costumes.” According to Whitaker, the creative process for costume design is similar to fashion design, however, costume designers use fashion as a piece of the larger puzzle of bringing a story to life. “The big difference between fashion design and costume design is that for costumes we always work from a script,” she explained. “Whether it’s for a play or a dance piece, there is always a story. The costumes really exist to help release that story. We work with the director to help flesh out the digital language of the world. We use fashion but we don’t create fashion.” The portfolio class prepares seniors to find jobs and teaches them how to promote and present their work. Costume Design students also have the option to attend conferences and job fairs, such as the Southeastern Theatre Conference, an annual convention with the largest theater job fair in America, as well as the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), a national conference with design competitions, portfolio reviews, and industry specific workshops and talks. For aspiring designers, Whitaker says it’s crucial to take assisting jobs after graduating. “Nobody jumps out of undergrad and goes straight to designing. You assist, you shop, you work at a costume shop. You own your craft, take it further and see how the people on the top of their field do their work and you learn from them. You’re constantly learning,” she said. Facing Page: Tutu by Yi Li, BFA Fashion Design. Leotard and Pointe Shoes, model’s own. All stockings, stylist’s own. This Page: Tutu by Xinya Yang, BFA Fashion Design. Leotard and Pointe Shoes, model’s own. All stockings, stylist’s own.

Aside from design, which is most students’ ultimate goal, there are many other possible career paths. Shopping, working as an on-set dresser, and coordinating rentals are a few of the most popular ways to make a living in film, television or theater. Throughout their coursework, students 63

gain a variety of skills, which can be used in different jobs. Stitching, cutting, draping, crafts and design are all skills taught in the Costume Design program, tailored for getting jobs in the theater or film industry. Although it’s a very specialized program, it’s not, by any means, limiting. The proximity of the film industry makes San Francisco a good place to start. If Hollywood seems too far away, the Bay Area has job opportunities, too. Whitaker also creates opportunities for students by having them assist with her projects: “This Spring I’m working on Home Street Home, which is a musical. I’ve got two alumni who are going to work on that show, so they’re getting a chance to do wardrobe and they’re actually getting paid. It’s a good opportunity for them. I try really hard to find ways to get my students working. It’s one of my big pushes,” she said. According to Whitaker, San Francisco has a receptive and educated theater audience and there’s always a lot going on. Nevertheless, an entrée into the theater or film industry may be challenging. She admits that it might be difficult to make a living in San Francisco, compared to New York or Los Angeles, where film and theater are among the cities’ main industries. However, Whitaker adds that it’s not impossible, and the Bay Area offers opportunities in innovative theater that rival those found elsewhere. The Costume Design degree is an exciting, innovative answer to student demand. Although the program itself is new, the practical classes have been evolving for years and have proven to prepare students for a professional career in design, theater and the film industry. `


Tutu by Yi Li, BFA Fashion Design. Leotard and Pointe Shoes, model’s own. All Stockings, stylist’s own.



i n d ia

INK words







In January 2015, Gladys Perint Palmer, Executive Vice President of Artistic Development, and her husband Simon Palmer, visited the Indian sub-continent — New Delhi, Agra, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pondicherry, Chennai, Bangalore and Kochi — to introduce Academy of Art University to communities involved in art, industry, education; and to meet prospective students. This is not a guidebook nor a diary, but a kaleidoscope of impressions, and a collection of drawings, starting near the end, in Pondicherry, with a small sketch of Ganesha.




Pondicherry, an old French colony by the sea, was hot and muggy last January. The air was still.

Esmath speaks fluent Italian. Her father had been Indian ambassador in Rome.

To while away the hour when only “Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,” I was drawing a small Ganesha from an intricate carving on the hotel veranda.

Nina Dev is a princess, the great grand-daughter of Maharaja Sir Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayana Dev (1892 – 1974).

Ganesha is the god of wisdom who removes obstacles, the child of Shiva and Parvati. “Are you an artist?” asked a young woman, peering over my iPad. “Yes,” I said. She fired a few more questions and was joined by her friend. Within minutes, Esmath, with a short blunt cut (“Don’t let anyone cut your hair in India!”) and Nina, wearing the briefest denim shorts, soon found out everything I was doing, in India and everywhere else. In turn, my new friends provided a glimpse of history and modern behaviour. Begum Esmath Khaleeli Clark (Andrew Clark is her English husband, a sailor) is the great grand-daughter of Sir Mirza Muhammad Ismail, the Diwan (or prime minister) of Mysore, Jaipur and Hyderabad, knighted by the British at the turn of the 20th century for his work as a model statesman. This still allows Esmath to use the title of Begum. “Today, Begum is quite common among Muslims in India,” she explained, “but only those from a certain background use it before their names as opposed to after.”

Driving from Pondicherry to Chennai along an elevated causeway, parallel to the sea, Nina pointed to land her father had bought, on the “wrong” side of the sea. “Everyone acquired waterfront villas with private beaches.”


Then, on December 26, 2004, the Tsunami hit 14 countries around the Indian Ocean – killing more than 225,000 people – wiping out beachfront properties. When we arrived in Chennai, Nina’s dad and mom (Maharajakumar Saheb of Parlakhemundi and Kaurani

Before leaving Pondicherry, Esmath recommended a tailor in Bangalore (our stop after Chennai). At Bassam Osman’s studio we met Grammy nominee Ricky Kej, a New Age composer, ordering a tux with a brocade waistcoat, for Los Angeles. On February 8, he won a Grammy for his album Winds of Samsara. All this, from drawing Ganesha…. And so it went in every city, connections creating more connections, artists, academics, designers, all interested in Academy of Art University and eager to help develop the university’s presence in India going forward. On January 1, Simon Palmer and I landed in New Delhi and hit the ground running. We saw camels, goats, pigs, monkeys (“Don’t open the window!”), cows and bulls (of course merrily garlanded) exotic birds, squirrels; two, three and four legged beasties. India is the world’s biggest democracy and nobody agrees about anything. Mention the Nehru jacket in New Delhi, and you’ll be told, “It is the Modi (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) jacket.” In Bombay — nobody calls it Mumbai — no question, it is the Nehru jacket. NEW DELHI

Saheba Shailaja Kumari Dev) gave us a delicious lunch, proving that Indian food, in a private house, need not be burning hot.

We drove past the vast diplomatic enclave in Chanakyapuri, established in the 1950s, on land given to the diplomatic community, and wondered why some of the smallest countries had the most fancy, most flamboyant missions.



Sightseeing was an afterthought as we searched for an Apple store to buy a connector for my laptop to a projector for the PowerPoint presentation. Once this mission was accomplished, we had to figure out why the PowerPoint colours turned out yellow. Or pink. The answer: When the connector cable is too long, or corrupted, the colours are affected. I learned to stand next to the wall plug when I made a presentation. We encountered dozens of lighting systems, switches, not to mention motion-activated lights (that guided one to the bathroom at night). On the other hand, in our travels, we never found a shower that was simple to operate. In one bathroom, after experimenting, my husband said, “The temperature is just right. Just pull out the handle.” I did. And to prove it, I took it back into the bedroom. AGRA So much has been written about the Taj Mahal, the beauty, the love, the betrayal, the heartbreak, the Black Taj Mahal that was never built, but nothing, nothing, nothing prepares one for the first sight of it, pure, simple, incomparably beautiful, seen framed through an arch.

Yet. Returning to the room one evening, past security guards, lingering in the corridors, I found my bath filled with warm water, bubbles and rose petals. We were invited to the Godrej India Culture Lab where Parmesh Shahani presented a discussion about collective memory. Dr. Indira Chowdhury told a story about Italian prisoners of World War II (from Ethiopia!) who turned into painters and lived free, selling their art. Who could blame them: Why would they have even considered escape? AHMEDABAD We had a surprising encounter with Umang Hutheesing, from a very grand family, who arrived for my presentation an hour late, wearing a polo shirt, corduroy jodhpurs and loafers. “I’m late because I came from the Prime Minister’s dinner.” Then he asked, “Why do you come to India to talk about a school nobody has ever heard of?” Before I had time to explain that I came to India to talk about a school nobody had ever heard of so they can hear about it, he launched into his fashion resumé.

Behind the South Gate lives the Labour Colony, descendants of the first builders of the Taj Mahal (1631 – 1653). These families have been working on repairing and restoring it for almost four centuries. It takes three days to make one carnelian rose – out of 164 tiny pieces of semi-precious stones. And there are thousands of inlaid roses in the Taj Mahal’s white marble. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were also in India in January 2015, but had to miss the Taj Mahal because the King of Saudi Arabia suddenly died. MUMBAI As the Charlie Hebdo massacre was unfolding we were staying in a hotel, overlooking the Gateway of India, where (in 2008) terrorists swam ashore, caused six explosions, and took 200 hostages. Today, security is so tight, one needs a room key for the elevator, and even then it will only stop at the appropriate floor.

“I’m a great friend of Pierre Bergé!” (the late Yves Saint Laurent’s partner.) “Please tell M. Bergé that Gladys sends her best regards,” I said. “I’m a great friend of Didier Grumbach (who had just stepped down from running the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.)




“Please tell M. Grumbach that Gladys sends her best regards.”

character in India: Nine shows, 50 television movies, over 400 episodes, plus licenses, toys and more.

“And I’m a great friend of Hamish Bowles (Vogue).” So I opened my book, Adam & Yves, and showed him a drawing of Hamish and Daphne Guinness. “Hmm,” he muttered, “Yes. That’s Hamish….” HYDERABAD As a delightful contrast, I met an Academy of Art University graduate, Rajiv Chilaka, Founder & CEO of Green Gold Animation, who started the studio in 2000 with four people. Today he has three offices, employing 350 people. His cartoon Chhota Bheem features the number one entertainment 76

Chhota Bheem's Himalayan Adventure (90 minutes) was released in cinemas in summer 2015. In Hyderabad I found pearls and visited the Golconda Fort, built in 1143 A.D., a.k.a. the Clapping Portico. If you stand in one spot near the entrance and clap, the sound can be heard, miles away, at the top of the hill (726 steep steps up). One clap meant security. Two claps, “Be alert.” Three claps, the queen is arriving – in a palanquin carried by two short men in the front and two tall men in the back to keep it horizontal. Golconda Fort has another huge hall where one can stand

in a corner and whisper – to someone listening in the farthest corner of the hall. Hence the saying, “The walls have ears.” BANGALORE Bangalore has the best climate, the most beautiful ‘tulip’ trees, old-fashioned book shops, emporiums filled with embroideries, peacock fans and jeweled elephants. We shopped.

As our final flight left Bangalore at 7 a.m. on January 31, the crimson sun was rising. Two days earlier, in Kochi, we watched a crimson sun set, with a gentle crowd of sun-worshippers, on the beach, as a cool breeze came off the water. Alas, the colour crimson is due to pollution. Leaving India was hard. We shall return. Namaste! `

In the evening we watched the most spectacular Indian wedding, right under our balcony. The hotel staff had been preparing for days, climbing up and down trees to set long strings of fairy lights.


Dress and Shirt by Jaci Hodges, MFA Fashion Design, and Nisha Hanna Btesh, MFA Textile Design. Printed Sweatshirt by Ben Copperwheat. Belt, stylist’s own.


photography by SARAH BRICKEY, BFA Photography photo editing by JEFFRY RAPOSAS, BFA Photography styling by BRITT MOORE, BFA Styling overlay prints by MARIANA PASOS, BFA Textile Design words by the editors


Textile design has often oscillated between art and commerce in search of that perfect medium. Today, the relationship between fashion designer and print designer is the closest it has ever been, thanks to the shared artistic process. In textiles, as in art, it begins with a tabula rasa — or blank slate — and a (re)search for the original. Fashion designers and consumers increasingly lean on textiles to stand out from the crowds. From urban graffiti, an abstract, to nature-inspired themes, textile design has become a “secret weapon” in an increasingly uncopyrighted fashion industry. What is the origin of textile design at Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion? How has the program remained competitive? What are some of the innovative success stories to come out of this track? Assistant Director of Textiles Rhona MacKenzie has watched the program grow and encouraged her students along the way. She arrived at the University in late January 1999, after being recruited by Simon Ungless. Back then, she recalled, “We had one lab with two print tables on the seventh floor of 180 New Montgomery. We didn’t have repeat yardage tables [print tables where you can print yardage of fabric] and within that lab we had some weaving looms, so on Fridays, we had a weaving class on at the same time as a textile class. The washer and dryer was in the same room as the steamer, where we mixed dyes and pigments — it could get messy.’’ By 2007, the program was clearly outgrowing the space. “We had too many classes for one lab, so President Stephens gave us space to build another lab at 60 Federal, behind the loading dock. I walked backwards and forwards to 180, depending on where my class was scheduled,’’ MacKenzie said. Fast forward to 2015. The program is now located on the fourth floor of the School of Fashion headquarters at 625 Polk Street, in a huge space with large windows and natural daylight. “Our students learn color and traditional techniques of drawing and painting with paint brushes, pencils and foam brushes, along with learning how to create different textures and hands-on screen printing techniques,’’ she 80

explained, adding that there are six levels of textile design classes for the BFA and MFA programs. The students’ learning process is a natural progression. “After they get through their Level 3 Midpoint (evaluation), they take two computer design classes, focusing on Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as a textile-specific software called Kaledo,’’ she said. “They have to learn how to design using pen and paintbrushes on paper and mixing color by hand before getting into the computer design classes. It’s important that they can design with, and without, the use of a computer.” Textile students work in a variety of mediums, including water-based screen printing inks and dyes, and are encouraged to experiment with other techniques. Some of the most popular classes, according to MacKenzie, are the Tambour beading class, embroidery class, and a lasercutting class in the School of Jewelry and Metal Arts. Born in Scotland, MacKenzie’s own education included courses in Printed Textile at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design and a stint as the assistant to the Head of Fashion Print at Central Saint Martins. She went on to work as Print Studio Manager at Eley Kishimoto and has been part of the design teams for Jil Sander, Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan, Guy Laroche and Joe Casely-Hayford — all of which add valuable real world experience to the textile classrooms. The textile program is thriving, thanks to MacKenzie. Students have been collaborating and finding work with everyone from Ralph Lauren, Macy’s and Pottery Barn to Abercrombie & Fitch, Anthropologie, American Eagle, Old Navy, Urban Outfitters, Adidas and the Google SelfDriving Car Project. MacKenzie said collaboration has been key to the growth of the program and success of students specializing in textiles. “What usually happens is that Simon will come to me and say, for example, that there are three BFA design students who would be good candidates to work with a textile student,’’ she explained. “I then meet with Simon and Associate Director of Fashion Design, Gary Miller, to see who would be the best fit. We get the design students to explain their inspiration and give copies of their sketchbook ideas to our students, who then work with me to see where it will lead.”

Printed sweatshirt and leggings by Ben Copperwheat. Culottes and shirt by Jaci Hodges, MFA Fashion Design, and Nisha Hanna Btesh, MFA Textile Design. Sneakers and visor by Nike. Bracelets, stylist’s own.



Printed Sweatshirt and Leggings by Ben Copperwheat. Culottes and Shirt by Jaci Hodges, MFA Fashion Design, and Nisha Hanna Btesh, MFA Textile Design. Sneakers and Visor by Nike. Bracelets, stylist’s own.


Coat by Nancy Garcia, MFA Fashion Design. Printed Jeans by Ben Copperwheat.


Leather hand-knit sweater by Jinhyun Kim, MFA Fashion Design. Leggings and sweatshirt tied at the waist by Ben Copperwheat. Sneakers by Nike.


Leather hand-knit sweater by Jinhyun Kim, MFA Fashion Design. Coat by Jaci Hodges, MFA Fashion Design and Nisha Hanna Btesh, MFA Textile Design. Leggings by Ben Copperwheat. Red Lip Clutch by Timmy Woods.


“After a few weeks, there’s a progress meeting with Simon and Gary,” MacKenzie added. “Sometimes there will be a three-way collaboration with a knitwear student. It gets very involved, but that’s a good thing, because that’s the way the industry works. We all have to communicate as we go through the process if it is to be successful.” The students are an eclectic group. Asked where they come from, MacKenzie laughed: “Everywhere! Honduras, China, Norway, New Zealand, Russia … those are just a few of the places.” And the training is paying off. Mariana Pazos’ graduation collection, done in collaboration with BFA Fashion Design and BFA Fine Arts student Karina Garcia, was featured in the 2015 Graduate Fashion Show. She is now working as a print and pattern assistant designer for Old Navy. “What inspires me most about textile design is knowing that I am creating something that will eventually be used by someone, whether it is clothing or homeware,” Pazos explained. Nisha Btesh, who collaborated with Fashion Design student Jaci Hodges for a womenswear collection featured in the 2014 New York Fashion Week show, said she entered the University as a painting major, then switched to fashion design — which ultimately lead her to finding her niche. “As a fashion design major, I was advised to take knitwear and textiles,” she said. “From my very first class I was hooked. I stayed most days after class was over and showed up on weekends to print on my own time — I couldn’t get enough. Finally, I had found a way to express myself with no inhibitions. It was like all the walls just came down. I switched my major for the third and final time to textile design and found my happy place wedged perfectly between painting and fashion.”

“People always say that everyone gets a teacher who leaves such a strong impression on them that their lives are changed forever. For me that person was Rhona,” she said. “Never before had I had a teacher whose main focus was to get me to believe in myself and in my work. There’s no step-by-step guide for textile designers. It’s not paint-by-numbers so having Rhona as a mentor really challenged me to take off the training wheels and to be confident in my vision as an artist.” The program included a tough love component. “I remember after an 8:30 a.m. Textiles 3 class, which I always rolled into late, Rhona pulled me outside and told me she would no longer allow me in her class if I was tardy,” she said. “She told me my talent would be wasted if I did not also develop a stronger work ethic and punctuality. That’s when it clicked for me that this wasn’t just something I liked doing as a hobby anymore.” MacKenzie encourages her textile students to look at the bigger picture and be aware of their environment outside the classroom. As for the overarching subject of “style,” she believes it goes beyond clothing. “When people buy things, color is probably 50 percent of the reason,” she said. “Fashion is everything — from the car you drive to your hairstyle and choice of food — not just clothing.” In the same spirit, she sees Ben Copperwheat’s new class FSH 294 Textile Printing for Product as yet another way to help students step into the future of this fertile field, which combines artistic self-expression and professional opportunities. “I don’t tell students to try to follow trends. I like them to discover that for themselves,” MacKenzie said. “They should be leaders, not followers.” `

Since graduating, she has created Nisha Btesh Living, a housewares brand that serves to “energize your space through textiles influenced by the colors, wild textures and abundant growth found in nature,” she said. Btesh credits strong encouragement from Ungless and Keanan Duffty, Senior Director of Merchandising. And, above all, MacKenzie.


Sweater by Altazarra. Dress and Shirt by Jaci Hodges, MFA Fashion Design, and Nisha Hanna Btesh, MFA Textile Design. Mini Dinosaur Bag by BCBG MaxAzria. Assistant Photographer: Anthony Rogers, BFA Photography. Hair Stying & Make-up: David Tolls at Workgroup Ltd. Stylist’s Assistant: Nicki Ross, BFA Fashion Merchandising. Model: Sabrina at Stars Model Management.


Hoodie and Scarf by Ben Copperwheat. Pants by Jaci Hodges, MFA Fashion Design, and Nisha Hanna Btesh, MFA Textile Design. Sneakers by Asics.


Jacquard Knit Tunic and Skirt by Stephanie Gelot, MFA Knitwear Design, 2011. Assistant Photography: Jeffry Raposas. Stylist: Danielle Wallis. Make-up: Victor Cembellin for MAC Cosmetics at Workgroup. Hair: Merrielle Italia at Workgroup. Models: Sydney Reed at Stars Model Management & Dominique Shaw at Look Model Agency.







With trunks packed full of garments, equipment jammed into boxes and shoes piled into shipping containers, a caravan of bleary-eyed students and faculty barge through the backstage entrance to New York Fashion Week (NYFW) at Bryant Park. The year is 2005 and they have finally arrived; they are ready to join the fashion circus. Looking like a ragtag bunch from the frontier of Northern California, this group of designers would soon become the trailblazers for other aspiring fashion radicals who were once too afraid to demonstrate what young, new talent represented. This was a decade ago, when Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion first became the pioneers of bringing innovative design onto the runway and taking New York Fashion Week by storm. At a time when presenting at Fashion Week was only accessible to fashion royalty and couture design labels, the rebellious faculty and staff of Academy of Art University took a leap of faith and manipulated the academic calendar in order to prove that their students would benefit substantially — and contribute fresh and innovative perspectives — if given an opportunity at NYFW. Not only were they right, but they also paved the way for other design schools to follow. The School of Fashion started a revolution of new age fashion design where clothes aren’t displayed just for monetary gain, but for pure appreciation of the inventive art and its artists. Students’ careers and learning opportunities have grown due to the unparalleled exposure they have received from showing their work at the largest fashion event in the world. As the years progress, each show attracts more media attention and recruiters looking for something new. And those first waves of fashion alumni have gone on to expand their skills in post-graduation careers, becoming leaders in fashion houses, their own labels and other design driven industries. As the School of Fashion reflects on the work it has exhibited in 17 shows within the last 10 years, it’s apparent that the designs produced stand the test of time. Senior BFA and MFA students from majors including Fashion Design, Knitwear Design and Textile Design, have showcased collections reflective of their imaginative spirit — garments that remain effortlessly chic and timeless. Over the years, the School of Fashion’s NYFW shows have spanned different locations, including Bryant Park and Lincoln Center. And its most recent, Spring 2016, ushered in the milestone anniversary at a new venue: The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station. Alumni, faculty and staff — and those fortunate to have been in the audience — will always look back on when it all first started; when the renegades from the west came to the Big Apple and stole the show. Here’s a look back at some of those visionaries from throughout the years.



printed dress by

MARIANA VIDAL ESCABI, MFA FASHION + TEXTILE DESIGN, 2005 Mariana’s collection opened the Academy of Art University’s first NYFW show in 2005. Since then she has worked for well-established designers and brands such as Zero+Maria Cornejo, Diane von Fürstenburg, Banana Republic, Comptoir des Cotonniers and Coach. Mariana lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is focusing on her project, a w i n d o w, a traveling gallery and creative studio, which she founded alongside Diego Cristancho.


2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005

strap pant by

SARA SHEPHERD, BFA FASHION + TEXTILE DESIGN, 2005 Since graduating, Sara has worked for Jeremy Scott, Sandoval, and Worth Global Style Network. In 2007, she opened her namesake collection of tailored women’s ready-to-wear. She has shown her collection with GenArt’s Fresh Faces in Fashion and has been featured in various publications, including Women’s Wear Daily and British Vogue.


2005 raffia trench coat by

JAMIE BANKS, MFA FASHION + KNITWEAR DESIGN, 2005 Jamie was hand-picked by Carla Sozzani to develop private label merchandise for 10 Corso Como in Milan. She moved back to the U.S. in 2006 to work under Gwen Stefani at L.A.M.B. before moving to Kate Spade to be Associate Designer under Deborah Lloyd. She left to join Shoshanna as Design Director but is now happy to be back at Kate Spade as Director of Ready to Wear.



2006 2006 2006 2006 06 printed silk dress by

MARI TIBBETTS, MFA FASHION DESIGN, 2006 After graduation Mari moved into the activewear industry, starting off at The North Face and Gap Inc. in the Bay Area before relocating to Southern California to work at Three Dots, followed by a position as Men’s Active Performance Director at Fabletics, a division of JustFab. Mari is currently Director of Design at ASICS America.


2007 one shoulder knit top by

KATHRYN McCARRON, MFA KNITWEAR DESIGN, 2007 After the 2007 NYFW show, Kathryn stayed in New York and began designing sweaters for companies such as Badgley Mischka and Norma Kamali. After a few years, she moved back to California to open her namesake knitwear company. Her collection currently sells internationally in high-end boutiques and was recently bought by Neiman Marcus.



2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008

coated fur tank by

YOUNG JUN RYU, MFA FASHION + TEXTILE DESIGN, 2008 Young Jun moved away from fashion when hired by General Motors for its Creative Design team. He held a similar position with Gravitas and is currently with Chrysler as a Senior Color and Materials Designer.


jacquard knit sweater coat by

DANIEL EMIR ARMOSILLA, MFA FASHION + KNITWEAR DESIGN, 2008 Currently working as a designer for Men’s Knits and Sweaters at Izod Golf (PVH Corp.), Daniel was previously an assistant designer at Martin + Osa and did freelance work for Marc by Marc Jacobs and Tommy Hilfiger.



eel skin tank and eel skin blazer with wool pant by

SHADY ELIAS, MFA FASHION DESIGN, 2008 Since graduating Shady has worked for Levi’s, Banana Republic, Gymboree, and Calvin Klein Jeans. Shady continues to freelance for fashion companies while designing for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).

2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 100

2008 2008 2008 200

silk and wool dress with separate collar by

KARA LARICKS, MFA FASHION DESIGN, 2008 As the winner of NBC’s Fashion Star in 2012, Kara went on to design capsule collections for H&M, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her designs have been featured on The Today Show and HBO’s Trueblood as well as in Women’s Wear Daily and Kara travels the country speaking to audiences about the power of realizing potential and revealing an authentic self.

8 8 101

2009 2009 2009 2009 09

printed wool coat by

EMILY MELVILLE, MFA FASHION DESIGN, 2009 & IVANKA GEORGIEVA, MFA TEXTILE DESIGN, 2009 Emily’s collaborative collection with textile designer Ivanka Georgieva was chosen by Neiman Marcus to present during Vogue’s first-ever Fashion’s Night Out. Today she works exclusively on her own line of tailored, sculptural womenswear. Ivanka is currently the Senior Textile and Embellishments Designer at St. John Knits. Previously, Ivanka was the lead designer for Diane von Fürstenberg Home collection.



textured knit cardigan and textured knit jacket by

STEPHEN OO, MFA FASHION + KNITWEAR DESIGN, 2010 Upon graduation Steven was hired as a Knitwear Designer at BCBGMAXAZRIA. A year later, he went on to a design position at Anthropologie. Steven has since moved back to Asia to establish a design studio where he creates knitwear under his own name, as well as designing for the brand One Grey Day. His designs have been featured in publications such as Cosmopolitan SA and Vogue India, and the biannual SPINEXPO tradeshow.


2010 2010 2010 2010 2010 2010 2010 2010 2010 2010 2010 2010 2010 2010 2010 2010

tambour beaded romper by

MARIA KOROVILAS, MFA FASHION + TEXTILE DESIGN, 2010 Maria worked at various fashion companies in Los Angeles before opening her namesake collection in 2012. In 2013, GenArt named her one of its “Fresh Faces in Fashion.” Her work has been featured in Refinery29 and Women’s Wear Daily and has been seen on the likes of Blake Lively and Sophia Bush. Her collection is carried by Satine, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom stores.


2010 silk cage dress by

CAMILLA OLSON, MFA FASHION DESIGN, 2010 Creative Director of her own line focusing on comfortable and durable clothing for the 21st century businesswoman, Camilla values “the ability to design with integrity, creating a cohesive collection, and producing a first sample.�


010 2011 20 jersey 3D dress by

CARA CHIAPPETTA, MFA FASHION DESIGN, 2010 After a year of design with Ann Taylor, Cara took a position at Nautica. She was attracted to “the idea of being part of the design process for an iconic American brand.”


011 2011 20 jacquard knit tunic and skirt by

STEPHANIE GELOT, MFA KNITWEAR DESIGN, 2011 With her undergraduate background in graphic design, Stephanie made a successful transition to knitwear. In 2010 she was selected for a scholarship exchange program in New Zealand to learn Shima Seiki industrial knitting technology. Upon graduation Stephanie worked for Club Monaco, Nanette Lepore, and Rebecca Taylor. She is currently Men’s and Women’s Sweater Designer for Ralph Lauren in New York and is a stylist for Brooklyn Tweed, a knitwear company.


11 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 1 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011

double layer bias dress and tailored coat by

MEREDITH ACTON, MFA FASHION DESIGN, 2011 Meredith interned with various companies, including the Boston Ballet, before taking a position at Old Navy in San Francisco, where she was recently promoted to Associate Designer. Meredith enjoys the inclusivity and global reach that working at an American retail powerhouse such as Old Navy affords.



cable knit sweater dress by

HEATHER McDONALD, MFA FASHION + KNITWEAR DESIGN, 2013 Upon graduation Heather was hired as a Design Assistant at Yigal AzrouĂŤl. She recently left the position to focus on her own line as well as become a knit designer for Eugenia Kim.


l e s v a g u e s

photography by

jen miyako mcgowan, bfa photography styling by

try sutrisno, bfa fashion journalism


On Alex: Jacket by Esther Shim, BFA Fashion Design. Pants by Comme des Garçons. Boots by Dr. Martens. On Anders: Wrap Coat by Zonic Kwong, BFA Fashion Design, and José Dojaquez, BFA Knitwear Design. Pants by Ch. Boots by Dr. Martens. On DeeDee: Coat by Topshop Design. Embroidered Shirt by Our Legacy. Pants by Esther Shim, BFA Fashion Design. Boots by Dr. Martens.


this page & facing page: on Alex: Patchwork Sweater by Wen-Lin Tsai, MFA Fashion Design. Pants by Comme des Garรงons. On Anders: Patchwork Swerater by Wen-Lin Tsai, MFA Fashion Design. Pants by CH.



On Anders: Jacket by Esther Shim, BFA Fashion Design. On DeeDee: Sweater, stylist’s own. Pocketed Belt by Esther Shim, BFA Fashion Design.





facing page: On Anders: Wrap Coat by Zonic Kwong, BFA Fashion Design, and José Dojaquez, BFA Knitwear Design. Pants by Ch. Boots by Dr. Martens. On Alex: Jacket by Esther Shim, BFA Fashion Design. Shirt by Scotch & Soda. Pants by Comme des GarÇons. Boots by Dr. Martens.


On Alex: Jacket by Esther Shim, BFA Fashion Design. Shirt by Scotch & Soda. Pants by Comme des GarÇons. Boots by Dr. Martens. Hat by Topman. On DeeDee: Jacket and Hat, stylist’s own. Pleated Pants by COS. Boots by Dr. Martens.



On DeeDee: Shirt, stylist’s own. Pants by Esther Shim, BFA Fashion Design. On Alex: Patchwork Sweater by Wen-Lin Tsai, MFA Fashion Design. Pants by Comme des GarÇons. Boots by Dr. Martens.




Sleeveless T-Shirt by Oak.



On Alex: Jacket by Esther Shim, BFA Fashion Design. Shirt by Scotch & Soda. Pants by Comme des GarÇons. Boots by Dr. Martens. Hat by Topman. On DeeDee: Jacket and Hat, stylist’s own. Pleated Pants by COS. Boots by Dr. Martens.


On DeeDee: Shirt, stylist’s own. Pants by Esther Shim, BFA Fashion Design. On Alex: Shrit by Scotch & Soda. T-Shirt, stylist’s own. On Anders: Shirt, stylist’s own. Pants by Esther Shim, BFA Fashion Design.



models: Deedee, Anders and Alex at Stars Model Management. makeup: Victor Cembellin, at Workgroup Ltd. hair styling: Victoria Boggiano. assistant stylists: Kaitlyn Vitug, BFA Styling, and Amalina Anuar, BFA Fashion Journalism. photography assistant: Sarah Brickey, BFA Photography. The story was developed in course FSH 478 Editorial Styling, taught by Flore Morton.



Hand-knit Sweater by Stephanie Gelot, MFA Knitwear Design. Dress, stylist’s own. Tee, Afterlife Vintage. Belt, 49 Square Miles.



Heading out into the pastoral setting of the abandoned Marin Town and Country Club in Fairfax is like taking a trip to another time zone. Since 1972, the out-of-the-way retreat, once a popular weekend destination, has remained virtually untouched, a Northern California version of Sunset Boulevard, with seven empty swimming pools, a beautifully haunted crumbling Victorian manor and acres of pristine nature. The property’s sprawling estate, Bird’s Nest Glen, is a California registered landmark and the former home of Lord Charles Snowden Fairfax, a California pioneer and politician from Virginia known for hosting one of the Golden State’s last political duels, a stand-off between his friends Charles Piercy and Daniel Showalter (Showalter killed Piercy). Years later, it provides a more peaceful backdrop for works by Academy of Art University Fashion Design alumna Janine Villa, whose coats, made from recycled Shetland blankets, complement the oversized hand-knit sweaters from fellow University MFA Knitwear Design alumnae Stephanie Gelot and Jasmine Gonzalez, as well as the bleached denim collection by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. Developed in course FSH 478 Editorial Styling, taught by Flore Morton, Assistant Director of Fashion Styling, the students’ work styled by Erica Timmons captures the uniquely DIY spirit of Northern California in a mash-up that combines a contemporary mood with classic looks. They bring the town to a respite in the country that makes you want to get away from it all — and still stay cool.


On Sofia: Top by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. Denim Jacket, stylist’s own. On Carly: Scarf by Stephanie Gelot, MFA Knitwear Design. Shirt and Jeans, stylist’s own.





facing page: on Sofia: Jacket and Dress by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. Black Boots, stylist’s own. On Carly: Vest by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. Sweater by Bom Kim, MFA Knitwear Design. Jeans and brown boots, stylist’s own.



On Sofia: Jacket and Dress by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. On Carly: Vest by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. Sweater by Bom Kim, MFA Fashion Design. Jeans, stylist’s own.



facing page: On Sofia: Top by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. Belt, 49 Square Miles. On Carly: Scarf by Stephanie Gelot, MFA Knitwear Design. Shirt, stylist’s own. this page: Jacket by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. Denim Pants, stylist’s own.


On Carly: Jacket by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. On Sofia: Dress by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. Knit Coat by Stephanie Gelot, MFA Knitwear Design.



Dress by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design.




MFA Knitwear facing page: On Sofia: Coat by Janine Villa, MFA Fashion Design. Scarf by Stephanie Gelot, Vintage. Scarf Design. On Carly: Coat by Jeanine Villa, MFA Fashion Design. Rolling Stones Tee, Afterlife Carly: Jacket by by Stephanie Gelot, MFA Knitwear Design. Jeans and belt, stylist’s own. this page: On Liu, MFA Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. Jeans and boots, stylist’s own. On Sofia: Dress by Xiaowei stylist’s own. Fashion Design. Knit Coat by Stephanie Gelot, MFA Knitwear Design. Socks and boots,





On Sofia: Sweater and Scarf by Stephanie Gelot, MFA Knitwear Design. Jeans, stylist’s own. On Carly: Vest, Afterlife Vintage. Jeans, Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design.


On Carly: Jacket by Janine Villa, MFA Fashion Design. Top, French Textile Collection by MFA Fashion Design students. Skirt by Nancy Garcia, MFA Fashion Design. Jeans by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. On Sofia: Sweater by Jasmine Gonzalez, MFA Fashion and Knitwear Design. Silk Scarf and Jeans, stylist’s own.




facing page: Jacket by Nancy Garcia, MFA Fashion Design. Sweater and Scarf by Stephanie Gelot, MFA Knitwear Design. this page: Vest, Afterlife Vintage. Jeans by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design.





Dress by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. models: Carly Rick and Sofia at Stars Model Management. makeup: Jill Mlynczyk at Scout Agency. hair styling: Alicia Ann Garcia. styling assistant: Caitlyn Mahaffey, BFA Fashion Styling.



Club House Photography – Nicolas Gutierriez Fashion Editor – Simon Ungless


Sequin Jacket by Jeremy Vu, BFA Menswear Design. Shirt by Dominic Tan, BFA Menswear Design.


Tailored Jacket sample by Cris Applegate. Shirt by Antonio Lunas, Alumnus 2012 BFA Menswear Design. Sequin Pant by Jeremy Vu, BFA Menswear Design.




Tailored Tailcoat sample by Cris Applegate. Shirt from ACT. Pant by Asiyat Tsalikova, MFA Fashion Design.


Velvet Tank by Cherng-Hanh Lee, BFA Menswear Design. Prototype Vest by James Nguyen, MFA Menswear Design. Pant by Antonio Luna, Alumnus, 2012 BFA Menswear Design.


Tailored Jacket sample by Cris Applegate. Shorts by Livia Bianda, BFA Menswear Design. Shirt from ACT.


this page: Velvet Tank by Cherng-Hanh Lee, BFA Menswear Design. Prototype Vest by James Nguyen, MFA Menswear Design. facing page: Tailored Jacket sample by Cris Applegate. Shirt by Antonio Lunas, Alumnus, 2012 BFA Menswear Design. Sequin Pant by Jeremy Vu, BFA Menswear Design.


Printed Double Sleeve Shirt by Zhi Li, MFA Fashion Design. Canvas Kilt and Pant by Ruone Yan, BFA Menswear Design.



Printed Double Sleeve Shirt by Zhi Li, MFA Fashion Design. Canvas Kilt and Pant by Ruone Yan, BFA Menswear Design.



Tailcoat by James Nguyen, MFA Menswear Design. Shirt by Dominic Tan, BFA Menswear Design. Pants by When Simon Met Ralph.



this page: Prototype Vest by James Nguyen, MFA Menswear Design. Kilt and Pant by Ruone Yan, BFA Menswear Design. Tshirt from ACT. facing page: Tailcoat by James Nguyen, MFA Menswear Design. Shirt from ACT.


Pant by Dominic Tan, BFA Menswear Design. Shirt from ACT.




this page: Prototype Windbreaker by Leslie Dilloway, BFA Menswear Design. Kilt by Ruone Yan, BFA Menswear Design. Pants by Zhi Li, MFA Fashion Design. facing page: Prototype Windbreaker by Leslie Dilloway, BFA Menswear Design.


this page: Tailcoat by James Nguyen, MFA Menswear Design. Shirt by Dominic Tan, BFA Menswear Design. facing page: Sleeveless Jacket by Ruone Yan, BFA Menswear Design. Shirt by Dominic Tan, BFA Menswear Design. Shorts by Kevin C. Smith, MFA Menswear Design, and Andrea Nyberg, MFA Textile Design.


Photography Assistant: Jeffry Raposas, BFA Photography. Model: Abiah Hostvedt at Red Model Management. Make-up: Victor Cembellin for MAC Cosmetics at Workgroup. Hair: Merrielle Italia at Workgroup using Oribe. Styling Assistants: Ruone Yan, BFA Menswear Design & Caitlyn Mahaffey, BFA Fashion Styling.




LACE 186

all clothes designed by arijana kajdić photography by isabella bejarano styling by aubrey kia words by katarzyna tarabula 187

With up to six collections released every year through the world’s top fashion houses, the words of the Greek philosopher Heraclitus could not be more accurate when it comes to legendary French lace manufacturer Sophie Hallette: “Change is the only constant.” Yet, despite the company’s contributions to the constantlyevolving world of fashion, change hardly applies to the production of one precious fabric: lace. Every stage of lace making, from threading to weaving and dyeing, is a timetested technique done by hand at Sophie Hallette, one of the leading lace design and production firms in the world. The company was founded in France in 1887 by Eugene Hallette, a true visionary who instilled the belief that quality always reigns over quantity. The company survived two World Wars, changing fashion trends, and the introduction of the European Union. The fact that the company is a family business helps preserve the rich traditions of lace making as well as the maintenance of the complex machines for new generations.

KATARZYNA TARABULA: What were some of the key lessons

you learned from your collaboration with Sophie Hallette? ARIJANA KAJDIC: The first snip into an already flawless

[Sophie Hallette] lace was thrilling. I had that moment where, when you buy something expensive, cut the tag off and realize: “There is no returning this.” I had to own the laces. And I am lucky to have been given such a gift. Sophie Hallette placed no boundaries: I had freedom to dye, tear, attach as I wished, so the process for me felt organic. My biggest lesson was to quiet the voice that echoes: “Are they going to like this?” because they did their job, and I had to do mine. The lessons are in the process — not the outcome. Some fabrics did not dye as expected, some shrank. Studying the material given to me in order to amplify its beauty was the sweet spot. KT: To succeed in collaborative projects do you have any

advice to share with current and future students? AK: Consider this your first professional endeavor. It seems

For Sophie Hallette, innovation is just as important as passing on traditions. The house produces 40 to 50 new designs every season, including avant-garde laces destined for the runway. Incorporating unusual yarns, such as wool, linen or cords, is one of the many ways the company is responding to new fashion industry trends. Many of the employees are in positions previously held by their parents and grandparents. To become a skilled lace crafter requires hundreds of hours of training, and Sophie Hallette has become a beacon for the preservation of timeless techniques. It is a passing of knowledge held by one generation to another that is the true hallmark of Sophie Hallette’s engagement with fashion institutions around the world, including Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion. Arijana Kajdić, an Academy of Art University MFA Fashion Design alumna, incorporated lace by Sophie Hallette in a Fall 2014 womenswear collection that debuted at the School of Fashion’s runway show at New York Fashion Week — and essentially launched her design career. As Kajdić was given a full control over the lace she was provided by Sophie Hallette, she learned firsthand how to incorporate the precious fabric into her designs. We asked her to share the most valuable lessons and advice from her experience working with the coveted lace: 188

simple, but creative [people] are sensitive and often times, intentions become diluted — discuss which person has ownership over what aspect of the project openly. In the industry, you’ll have to know when to lead and when to follow. Even if you plan to be an independent designer, try to see outside of yourself; having a successful team requires collaboration. KT: You worked as an assistant designer trainee at St. John.

What was your experience there like? AK: It was an eye-opening experience. At first, I felt

isolated because the industry language caught me off guard, but I sought mentorship and truly feel that it made a profound difference in my work ethic as well as my capabilities as a designer. I worked very closely with Danielle-ah Nakashima (Designer) and Ivanka Georgieva (Senior Textile & Embellishment Designer). Danielle-ah instilled professionalism in me, with an emphasis on developing a strong editing eye. She really taught me how to locate and make my own tools, and, most importantly how to listen. Ivanka, on the other hand, nurtured me by showing me how to correct mishaps. Because she oversees every sketch that incorporates her print /development, I was fortunate to have daily critiques on how to strengthen my foundation in aesthetic through color theory, balance and capitalizing on smart design details.





[Note from the author: Both Danielle-ah and Ivanka are also Academy of Art University School of Fashion alumnae] KT: You are at BCBG Runway today: What a journey! What

Fashion design students at the University have the opportunity to emulate Kajdić’s success story, as Sophie Hallette and School of Fashion happily, and productively, remain strong fashion partners.

do you do now? What is your day-to-day like? AK: I have been in the BCBG Cocktail & Evening dress

division for a year now. My job is unique because our team is small. This means I do anything creative from draping on the form, overdyeing fabrics, pitching color ways for dresses on Photoshop, to very technical work like creating line sheets for presentations, creating design cards for every delivery to be sent to production, and working closely with the marker makers to ensure all engineered print and lace placements are placed in a desirable direction. I also take fit notes for my Senior Designer, Rachel Livingston, and BCBG Chief Creative Officer, Lubov Azria, then input them for our pattern makers. I think everyone at BCBG is a hybrid; we are all very tactile and understand how to source and resolve almost any stage of the garments we are responsible for. This is an invaluable lesson, in my opinion. KT: Which lesson from a course and/or professor stuck

with you the most throughout your design career to date? AK: Anything that ever came out of Gonbee Tanaka’s

mouth was dear to me. One time, a checkered pattern on my single welt pocket of a wool coat was off by 1/16 after I had already clipped and finished it, and Gonbee quietly confronted me: “If you are my student, and a self-respecting fashion student, you will take this out and make it right.”

To help us investigate the origins of this collaboration and interpret the intricate language of lace, we asked some pressing questions of Maud Lescroart, marketing director at Sophie Hallette: 180 Magazine: How did the idea of collaborating with

fashion design students emerge at Sophie Hallette? Did fashion schools reach out to you first or was it your initiative? Maud Lescroart: It was our initiative. We thought: Rather

than wait for students to discover the versatility of lace, we would take lace to them. So we started giving students small quantities of our lace to work with and it was gratifying to see their interest awaken and to see how they used it. We were amazed at how creative and inspired the students could be with our lace — it was far beyond all our expectations. This led to our getting more and more involved into the education process, so we started holding conferences and workshops where the students had the opportunity to touch the material and discover its richness and variety, and luckily we have always had a very receptive audience. 180: 128 years after its inception, Sophie Hallette

continues to employ the traditional lacemaking techniques. Can traditions innovate? ML: Absolutely, because we innovate all the time. We

The next day, he brought me a tiny pastry for having the patience to follow through, and correct mistakes, for the sake of my pride. I really loved him for this lesson. Rob Curry. Watch his hands. True grace blended with smart approach. You walk away from Rob feeling inspired, feeling in love with the craft, music, cinema, Sudoku (yes, Sudoku). You become tactile without even realizing [it]. My mentorship with School of Fashion Executive Director Simon Ungless was life-changing because I feel he is the only person that can make me blush with just one look: He sees through me. And still believes in me. He always challenged me; I owe my thick skin and resilience to him. Forever. •

work on Leavers looms, machines that are completely brilliant. They may originate from the 19th century, but give huge opportunities for innovation. We have never stopped exploring their capacities and finding new ways of working with them even if the heart of the Leavers loom will never change. And they are incredibly versatile as we are constantly looking at ways we can innovate the production processes with unusual types of yarns such as wool, linen or cords. We are also very much into innovation on the actual lace and tulle themselves…. so we have been able to develop laces with silicon, or bonded with neoprene for example. It is an ongoing process — seeking and searching new ways to use the looms — and this is what makes our industry so interesting, alive and contemporary. 193

180: Is it difficult to maintain your Leavers looms? How

do you find qualified technicians? Do you anticipate introducing modern technology in the future, e.g. 3D printed lace?

needs of most modern and avant-garde fashion houses. This is a challenge we love! 180: Does Sophie Hallette plan on continuing its tradition

of being a privately held company? If so, why? ML: Yes, Leavers looms are hard to maintain especially

because they are not produced anymore, so there are no manufacturer guarantees or maintenance contracts — so we need to make them last! This means that our maintenance team does every repair, and any alterations in-house. The great secret is that we are a family business (owners and artisans). Most of the people who work at Sophie Hallette have lace running in their blood, plus they are likely to have a cousin, wife, brother, or sister who also works in the company and this helps us to find new recruits to the culture of lace. It also helps that, since 1887, we have been in the same little city in the North of France: Caudry. We are not concerned about the 3D printers, as this is something completely different. The beauty of our lace lies in the imperceptible flaws that lie in its weaving. It is the soul of our lace, only a human hand can produce this emotion. 180: Do you consider fast fashion a potential business

threat to Sophie Hallette?

ML: That is the plan at the moment. We will never

say never, but for the moment we stay a family-owned company because we are still having fun carrying on the work started by Eugene Hallette all those years ago. 180: In 2011, The Duchess of Cambridge was married

in a dress designed by Sarah Burton, which heavily incorporated Sophie Hallette lace. How did this impact the company? ML: It was a complete shock and a joy at the same time.

We work with all the top couturiers and designers so we are used to them buying lengths of our lace all the time and thought nothing of it when the House of McQueen requested that lace. We were delighted, of course, because that particular design is part of our heritage collection and had only recently been re-introduced since being archived in 1977. Like everyone in the world, we were all watching the Royal Wedding and when we recognized the lace pattern, a great cheer went up and everyone, from the lace makers to the packing department, celebrated. It was a wonderful moment and a great pride for everyone in the company.

ML: Fast fashion is another world. We address luxury

for a niche market. The pieces made with our laces are exceptional pieces, the philosophy behind them is totally different, and so is the customer who will buy those pieces. This is the reason why fast fashion is not a real threat to us. 180: How do you remain timeless in your brand’s quality

180: Is there a market (or industry) which you wish to see

Sophie Hallette’s lace entering in the near future? ML: Lace is incredibly versatile — so the world is our

oyster — but I would love to see lace in objects or interior design for instance. We are very open to any experiments and we love innovation.

appeal while at the same time remaining cutting-edge? • ML: Innovation and creativity is a daily concern. It is

one of the most important parts of our strategy, maybe especially because we are a traditional company. Each season we produce about 40 to 50 new designs and we are constantly pushing ourselves to produce avantgarde laces, which we hope will be on the catwalks the year after. I think the whole magic of our industry lies in the contradiction that a 128-year-old company can address the


We couldn’t agree more. Artisans will always be in vogue. `





Model: Achok Majak, Scout Model Management. Makeup artist and hair stylist: Preston Nesbit, Aubri Balk Management.



The School of Fashion’s 3-D Design Associate Director carries a rebellious, but meticulous, spirit into class, clothes and creativity photography – Nicolas Gutierrez fashion editor – Flore Morton written by Jacqueline Wray

all clothes designed and modeled by Rob Curry



From his playful British humor to his quirky, chic pairing of flannel and camo, Rob Curry, Associate Director of 3-D Design at Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion, brings dimension, fittingly, to his role encouraging students to tease fledgling ideas into real world apparel. Curry, whose typical daily uniform includes a tie casually hanging from the front of his shirt with top button undone, views his job as interpreting “the language of fashion.” A favorite of students and fashion world stars alike — from designers Vivienne Westwood to Bruce Oldfield and former model Jerry Hall — the Cheshire, U.K. native began his ascent to fashion virtuoso following his graduation from Leeds College of the Arts in 1994. Prior to Leeds, he took foundation art classes at Manchester Polytechnic — and even then, his instructors seemed to recognize his true calling. “I was taking painting and sculpture courses, which was my interest at the time, but my teachers told me my sensibility was like that of a fashion designer,” Curry recalls. “Since schooldays, I’d always had had a minor crush on 18th century French history, and that was when Vivienne Westwood was very much inspired by that period.” Although his professional affiliation with Westwood wouldn’t come until later, Curry remembers sneaking off at lunch break during a school trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum to World’s End, the shop that Westwood and legendary punk mastermind Malcolm McLaren ran at the time on The Kings Road in London. “I was coming out of my Gothic phase, and knew about punk rock and fashion. World’s End was such a cool little shop, with the famous backwards clock on the facade.” Still, he admits: “I honestly didn’t start anything major in fashion until I was leaving school. At the time, the reigning philosophy was that it’s all about the concept, and you just need to know a little bit about pattern making…” “But I’m a maker,” he emphasizes. “I didn’t like drawing. Everything the instructors wanted me to do, I hated.” Soon, he was closer to doing what he loved, working as a couture apprentice to Bruce 202

Oldfield, famed for designing gowns for Princess Diana and other high-end clients, including San Francisco socialite and philanthropist Ann Getty. “When I graduated from Leeds in 1994 I knew I wanted to be in the studio and developing my skills,” Curry says. “Luckily, I had two friends who knew Oldfield and recommended me to him.” “It was an old-school apprenticeship. I was hand sewing, mounting and setting fabrics and putting linings into garment,” he recalls. “School had all been about concepts and portfolios and inspiration mood boards, which was so not me,” he adds. “I was the only person in my whole class who actually cut my degree collection 100 percent. Back then 3-D was not regarded as real. The idea was, ‘You’re getting a degree in fashion – you don’t have to know the rest, we’ll get a pattern maker’.” Working for Oldfield he earned the grand sum of a hundred pounds a week, the equivalent of about $165. “I received it in a tiny envelope, with notes and coins, back in the day,’’ he laughs. But it was fun to rub shoulders with prominent yet unpretentious clients like Getty. “Oldfield had small store in Knightsbridge, with fittings in the back room and I remember holding the pins for her dress. She walked into the front where there was a bigger mirror, and another lady obviously recognized who she was and started gushing, ‘I really like your handbag.’ Getty said, ‘I picked it up for 20 quid’.”


Curry always knew he wanted to work for his idol, Westwood. “So I called them up and spoke to the head of studio, Avis Charles. She was great, she told me to come in the next week for a trial day,” he says. “Vivienne was there, but we weren’t introduced,’’ he recalls. “I was a little nervous and star struck – the whole thing was surreal – and she was wandering around in house slippers she always wears in the studio. I was at the machine sewing, and she looked at me, and gave me a wry little smile.” And that was it – he was on as a dressmaker for the famed house. And within a year and a half, he would become Westwood’s premier couturier. “It was great, but also backbreaking work. We never worked less than 70 to 75 hours a week. If I did a 10hour day, I was lucky. Twelve and 13-hour days were the norm. Sometimes at show time, I would go in on Tuesday and not go home until Thursday,” he admits. Wanting a diversion from the rigorous schedule and a chance to explore his own design aesthetic, Curry took on part-time teaching at Middlesex College and Central Saint Martin’s and freelanced for Julien MacDonald, who had been named artistic director at Givenchy after the departure of Alexander McQueen. His next big break was being asked by his friend Kimino Homma to design a line called Unbilie for Yacco Maricard, a Tokyo-based company. “They were looking for a new label – they wanted something cool that didn’t necessarily have to be wearable or sell a lot but could be a showpiece,’’ he recalls. “Something that was cooler, more high fashion. What I did for them was very geometrically cut – very much like what I teach in my Fabric and Form classes.” The geometric approach is something that inevitably leads Curry to the subject of one of his fashion idols. “Madame [Madeleine] Vionnet invented the concept of geometric cutting – she is not so much an influence as a goddess to me. She created a new language, a way of perceiving the body in terms of a series of geometric shapes,” he says.




“Most if not all of the great designers of our era bow down to her: John Galliano, Yohji Yamamoto, Azzedine Alaïa, Martin Margiela. She changed the way clothes were cut. She was the antithesis of someone like Chanel, who was all about style and courting celebrity, so it became more about the brand. [Vionnet] shunned celebrity – she said she wasn’t a designer, she was a dressmaker.” Getting back to his Japanese work, Curry says it was rewarding “to have the luxury of doing a collection where the people paying for it literally say it doesn’t have to sell for the first few seasons – that’s unheard of, to have that freedom and none of the worries of a start-up.” It was around that time that, through mutual friends, Simon Ungless of the Academy’s School of Fashion contacted him. Curry booked a flight to San Francisco, yet didn’t anticipate anything more than a week’s vacation. “But Simon and I got on well, and he said, ‘Just come over here and do what you did at Saint Martin’s,” Curry recalls. So he joined the School of Fashion in March 2006 and set about creating a new class on Fabric and Form.

“They had design classes, and pattern making, but instead of having 3-D be all about design and drawing, I thought we should start by working with the fabrics.” “My concept and approach, and what I always tell students, is that it’s all very well to do beautiful pictures. I can do a drawing of a beautiful house, but that doesn’t make me an architect. Everyone’s different, but the drawing never interested me that much. I was more into the architecture of it than these concepts of ‘narrative’ that people talk about…I’m more into the mechanics. Forget fashion, even – design is either well done or badly done, and whether it’s ‘fashionable’ or not is irrelevant. Good fashion will be good, regardless of trends.” Students have responded enthusiastically to this creative approach. Emily Melville, a former student who now teaches 3-D Design to current MFA students, says Curry’s class was a breath of fresh air. “He introduced me to the idea of designing directly on the garment, letting the fabric guide the development of the garment. We would create interesting geometric shapes out of fabric and place them on the form, shaping and molding 207



the fabric and photographing [it] as we went. This was totally new to me and really set me free in the design process without having to struggle with sketching,” she recalls. “All my ideas for my senior thesis collection came during that process working with Rob,” she adds. “He has been the number one influence on my fashion life.” School of Fashion alumna Rinat Brodach, an Israeli-born designer who now shows her own line in New York, echoes Melville’s enthusiasm. “Some of the teachers I’d had before were not ‘getting’ me. They didn’t understand my clothes or presentation… Rob understood me immediately. We had a connection and he helped me refine who I am as a designer.” She said being in Curry’s class was always fun, too. She recalls, “He’d tell these stories of dressing Mick Jagger’s then-wife Jerry Hall or working with Helena Bonham Carter. Back then, he was living in a time when fashion was the real deal. There was no social media. Real people were making fashion, not like it is today, when it’s become so ridiculous.” “He had sayings that will always stay with me: ‘Be Zen with the fabric – just stay with the fabric.’ Even now, when I cut a corner, I remember the way he taught me to do it.” May 2015 BFA Fashion Design graduate, Patricia Wijaya, says her major takeaway from Curry’s classes was draping.

BFA Fashion Design student Linka Rowland, who graduates December 2015, offers this testimonial to Curry’s influence: “One of [his] best analogies that made everything really click for me was that you had to think of the process of turning the drapes into patterns as a puzzle, always being mindful of how things would or would not connect to each other to create the desired outcome.” “Just this week, at my design internship, I was asked to drape and create a pattern based on a sketch. It was easy for me to create what had been asked. As someone who came to the Academy with zero knowledge of patternmaking/sewing, I know I would never have been able to do that without the skills Rob taught me,” she admits. “He has a no-nonsense attitude, which I love. Part of what makes him a great teacher is that he sugarcoats nothing. He gives 100 percent and expects the same in return. But he is also very gentle and has an amazing vision ... His creations are always over the top, limitless in imagination and impeccable perfection down to every detail.” Curry’s elaborate, historically-influenced costumes like the Mae West or Madame Butterfly-inspired looks, English pheasant hunting outfit and others inspired by the Union Jack, serve to illustrate his creative multiplicity. “We all have different facets and strings to our bow,” he says. “I love doing these looks because it’s so rare that I do anything that’s for me… This is a chance for me to get these ideas out of my head and just do it, whether that’s a huge pom-pom or an English country look with a black top hat and gloves.”

“He helped us understand the construction of the garments that we wanted to make and see what can work and not. He taught us how to not get stuck with only one way. He always tells us to see it as a fun puzzle.”

The constant stream of ideas, and risk-taking, are key to Curry’s personal work and his teaching.

She also respects his work ethic.

He admits: “I believe in doing. I tell students, don’t sit scratching your heads and asking, ‘Can we do it like this?’ Just do it.” `

“He almost always comes at 8 a.m., sometimes 7:45 a.m. even. And if we were doing collection, a month before it was due, he would come every single day of the week to help us, even on weekends,” Wijaya says. 209

Assistant photographer: Isabella Bejarano, MFA Photography. Assistant stylist: Caitlyn Mahaffey, BFA Fashion Styling.



ben copperwheat.


Portrait by Brent Lindell.


written by the Editors In the ever-evolving world of fashion one constant remains true: Quality work finds a quality home, regardless of the circus of selfies, corporate conflict and rampant careerism. Just ask acclaimed textile designer Ben Copperwheat, who has been quietly making his way concentrating on the art, not the fame, and trusting that good things will follow. His iconic prints are showcased in “Fashion Underground: The World of Susanne Bartsch,’’ the retrospective honoring longtime nightlife queen Susanne Bartsch, being held at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City through Dec. 5. His clothes, including a hoodie honoring Diana Ross, are currently sold at the Bowery store of Patricia Field, the famed stylist best known for her work outfitting the ladies on Sex and the City, among many other projects for big and small screens. And this Fall, he joined the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University, launching a new online course – FSH 294 Textile Printing for Product – focusing on everything from inspiration to developing ideas into the final printed product, using screen printing, hand painting, drawing, and stencil printing techniques. Copperwheat received a MA in textiles from London’s Royal College of Art in 2001 – setting him on a fast-track to working with celebrities and pop culture icons from Boy George to Liza Minelli, Pat Cleveland, Lily Cole, Bruno Mars, and basketball superstar Russell Westbrook. We spoke with Copperwheat about his career, inspiration, and his educational methods, during a break from his busy schedule in New York.


“Since I graduated from the Royal College, in a way I’m living the life of my dreams,’’ he said. “The first time I did printing was when I was 18, in England, at a diploma course before I went on to a degree program. At that time, what we were doing was more like fine art printing on paper. We had this huge space with only 10 students. “I really got into it,’’ he added. “I loved the process. We were doing repeat patterns, and back then – this was before Photoshop – you had to create them all by hand, draw them with pen and ink and put them on a screen. That could take a week or two, to do one repeat. Now everything is digital and you can do it in an hour, with all kinds of color variations. But even though most of my commercially based work is digitally produced, my love is still for silk screen printing on fabric,’’ he said. “I find it to be incredibly creative and exciting.’’ Copperwheat’s involvement in the Bartsch exhibition was fortuitous. “Even though I’ve been here in New York for 12 years, and I’ve been to many of her parties, we’d never officially met and actually sat down and talked,’’ he laughed. “It’s always been crazy – people are drinking, and it’s loud, and it’s two o’clock in the morning and it’s dark.” But when an intermediary who was working on the exhibition recommended him to Bartsch, he said: “She fell in love with my work, and pulled out a look from a Planet Neon Club punk collection I did about three years ago and said, ‘How come we’ve never met?’ ” Bartsch initially wanted to pull something from Copperwheat’s existing collection, but he had a different idea. “I want to make something special. It’s going to be in



the exhibition for two-and-a-half months and it’s a huge honor!” Copperwheat explains to us the chosen look: “What I came up with was a very personal piece – something I would wear to a club myself. Every piece was either found or reappropriated in some way – the jacket is a Tommy Hilfiger sample I’ve had for three or four years, the T-shirt is from my collection and the kilt is something I purchased and then screen printed on top of.’’ Some of Copperwheat’s designs are featured in this issue of 180 magazine; styled with Textile Design graduate Nisha Hanna Btesh in collaboration with MFA Fashion Design graduate Jaci Hodges and other garments. They feature imaginative pairings in this fast-growing field. Copperwheat explained the different kinds of textile printing techniques as follows: “Screen printing involves working with an aluminum or wooden frame which is stretched with a fine mesh. The mesh is coated with photosensitive ink that is exposed with a black and white image. The screen is then placed directly on the fabric, ink placed at the top end of the screen. Ink is then pulled through the screen with a squeegee onto fabric. It’s great for all printed products. It can be applied to anything that lays flat. Hand painting is similar to fine art painting in that you just need brushes and an ink/paint medium. Paint is applied according to the desired final design outcome. Like screen printing, it can be applied to any product, and is even more versatile, as the product doesn't need to be laid flat for optimum result.

As for his favorite palette, Copperwheat responded: “I truly love all colors, but if I had to pick, [it’s] green I adore, the color of the English landscape. I also love all neon colors. My least favorites are neutrals, and specifically in fashion, black. Too many people wear/rely on black. It’s unadventurous and safe.” Asked how he keeps his creative balance in the rapidly changing fashion world, Copperwheat says he meditates every morning in his live/work space, then gets to work screen printing. “I actually find doing creative work is when I feel closest to God, or to creation,’’ he said. “It’s a gift, you know, to be creative and to try to explore that to its full potential, so I embrace that. I know it’s totally not the right business attitude, but to me, making a new idea and coming up with the next one is what’s most important. I do have a couple of things in the works, including a website with a timeline of my work from 1996 to now, so that even though everybody is now making T-shirts, they can see that I’ve been doing it for a while.” “But that’s the future. The main priority is creative expression. I do it because I love it. Now I’m at a point where I feel like I want to make some money out of it, too.” To take over the world? “In a friendly way.” For more of Ben Copperwheat’s work, visit: `

Stencil printing is working with a cut-out image on paper, which is then placed on a blank silkscreen; ink is then pulled through the screen with a squeegee onto the fabric. Stenciling is great to convey a simple one off and graphic idea on your product.”


Printed Jacket by Eleonore L. Santos, BFA Fashion Design, and Anna Metzel, BFA Textile Design.


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Profile for Academy Of Art University School of Fashion

180 Magazine Issue Eight  

180 Magazine, Issue Eight. By Academy of Art University.

180 Magazine Issue Eight  

180 Magazine, Issue Eight. By Academy of Art University.