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2008 Fashion Symposium Open to all University Students

The School of Fashion will host a panel discussion with fashion designers James Galanos and Ralph Rucci, who will each receive a Doctor of Humane Letters for their contribution to the world of Art and Design from University President Dr. Elisa Stephens at Graduation Fashion Show and Awards Ceremony. The panel will also include Michael Fink, VP Women's Fashion Director at Saks Fifth Avenue, and be moderated by Cameron Silver, owner of boutique Decades.  


James Galanos
Often referred to as America’s greatest designer, Philadelphia native James Galanos worked in both Paris and New York before opening Galanos Originals in Los Angeles in 1951.  Known for exquisite construction and luxurious dresses, his clients included Diana Ross and former First Lady Nancy Reagan.  In 1984, he received the Council of Fashion Designers of America Lifetime Achievement Award and in 1998, officially retired from fashion. Galanos is also a photographer whose work has been shown in numerous museums including the Serge Sorokko Gallery in San Francisco.

Ralph Rucci 
In 1981, Philadelphia native Ralph Rucci launched his namesake line and in 1994, established his ready-to-wear line, Chado Ralph Rucci. ‘Chado’ is the name of an ancient Japanese tea ceremony. In 2002, Rucci was invited to show his haute couture line in Paris by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Parisienne, being the first American to have this honor in more than 50 years ago.  While some Americans work for houses with couture collections, he is the only one to do so under his own name. His paintings have been shown in numerous gallery exhibitions.

Michael Fink
Michael Fink, Saks Fifth Avenue’s Vice President and Women’s Fashion Director, is responsible for forecasting women’s trends as well as analyzing and supporting the Women’s Fashion and Women’s Accessories selection nationwide. Mr. Fink attends international fashion week shows and works closely with the women’s buying offices. He is also responsible for developing product and plays a key role in integrating the seasonal fashion message into his Saks.com series ‘Front Row at the Shows.’ Mr. Fink has over 20 years of specialty retail experience.

Cameron Silver
Named one of Time magazine’s 25 Most Influential Names and Faces in Fashion in 2002, Cameron Silver has dressed celebrities such as Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez and Renee Zellweger, appeared on E! Entertainment, the Style Network and “Fashion File” and contributes to Harper’s Bazaar, C Magazine, and Departures.  Mr. Silver owns vintage couture boutique Decades and co-owns Decades Two, both awarded Retailer of the Year at the 2006 LA Fashion Awards.  He is the Creative Consultant to Azzaro, the Creative Advisor to Untouched World and served as Creative Consultant for global launch of Samsonite’s Fashionaire collection. In May 2007, Cameron received the ‘Fashion for Life’ award benefiting Friendly House.


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