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Fashion Students Partner In Support of SF Pride

During summer 2015, Academy of Art University School of Fashion students are partnering with Bay Area activist Juanita MORE! to raise money in support of the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer (LGBTQ) community during San Francisco Pride, June 27–28. Juanita MORE!, a celebrated drag performer, works with a variety of LGBTQ organizations in conjunction with Pride Week, and this year is raising funds for the nonprofit Youth Empowerment Summit (Y.E.S.) for her annual Pride Party.

Eight Fashion students from the Applied Textiles 3 course have hand printed imagery inspired by MORE! and her French Bulldog, Jackson, on 32 organic cotton tote bags made in the U.S. with eco-friendly, water-based inks. MORE! selected her four favorite bags to be produced locally by Morrison Productions and distributed by selected local retailers. The winning totes are currently for sale at a number of Bay Area outlets, including Sui Generis Consignment, Unionmade, ATYS Contemporary Design, s16 Home, Asterisk San Francisco and MAC—Modern Appealing Clothing. The bags are $25, and all proceeds go to Y.E.S.

Participating students:
• Jenny Johansson
• Yi-Hsuen Kuo
• Sho Littlefield
• Payton Rissman
• Yi Chun Shih
• Jiawei Tang
• Yun Ling Tham
• Alverina Eka Weinardy

Commenting on the experience, MORE! says, “I am excited to be collaborating with the textile class at Academy of Art University. I talked to the students at the beginning of the semester about Pride [Week] and Y.E.S. When I returned at the end of the semester, I thought I was only going to view about a dozen totes, and when I saw that there were over 30 on display I was incredibly impressed. I was in disbelief that I was the inspiration behind all of the amazing artwork.

“Picking just one tote to produce was impossible—so I choose four of them! I hope we work together again next year.”

The remaining totes, with designs sure to render an impressive addition to the students’ fashion design portfolio, are being sold as one-of-a-kind items at Academy of Art University’s store, SHOP657, for $15 each, again with all proceeds going to Y.E.S. The store, at 657 Sutter Street, San Francisco, is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 1–6 p.m.

“Academy of Art University was founded in San Francisco and is very rooted in this city’s culture,” says Rhona MacKenzie, assistant director, Textiles, at the School of Fashion. “Our students are always looking for ways to get involved in the community, and to support Y.E.S. during a relevant period of time for the LGBTQ community was a valuable opportunity.”

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