2008 Fashion Symposium Open to all University Students
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
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
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
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, 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.
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.