Footwear and Accessory Design Faculty

Simon Ungless, Executive Director, School of Fashion

Simon Ungless graduated from Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design in 1992 and was awarded the prestigious M.A. Degree in Fashion with Distinction. He collaborated with Alexander McQueen on the first ten collections shown in London and New York, and personally introduced Sarah Burton, Creative Director of Alexander McQueen, to the late designer. In 2002, he became Creative Director of Member Holiday, a Korean-based contemporary brand, launching both men’s and women’s collections with 37 freestanding stores. His work experience covers Fashion Design, Textile Design, Forecasting, Brand Development, and Marketing for such clients as Givenchy, Paul Smith, and Versace.

Damion Le Cappelain, Footwear and Accessory Design Coordinator, School of Fashion

Damion Le Cappelain has 5 years’ experience teaching footwear and accessory design at Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia, before joining the Academy in March 2017. Prior to this he designed men’s footwear for Hudson in London and various freelance and consultation work for companies including 3.1 Phillip Lim, Tom Lipop, T&F Slack and Roots Collective. Damion continues to produce bespoke made to order shoes and bags for his customers and work on his own line. Damion received an MA in Menswear (Footwear) from the Royal College of Art, London. Prior to this he studied footwear design at Cordwainers (London College of Fashion).

Flore Morton

During her 20 years in the fashion industry, Flore Morton has designed for Martin Margiela and Jean Paul Gaultier at Hermès women’s ready-to-wear department in Paris. She has expertise in accessories, tailoring, dressmaking, knitwear, leatherwear, swimwear, and styling. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design from the École Supérieure d’Arts Appliqués Duperré in Paris. Flore joined Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion in 2006, teaching portfolio-level fashion design, fashion styling, and photo shoot production. She also developed for the Academy the only accredited Bachelor of Fine Art degree program in Fashion Styling in the U.S., and is the fashion editor of 180 Magazine. She is fluent in French.

Lina Ahs

Lina Ahs was born in Sweden and has a BFA in Textile Design. She has been teaching Textile Design and Color Concepts at Academy of Art University since 2008. Lina has also worked as a freelance Textile Designer, Illustrator and Art Consultant for a variety of companies in the Bay Area, including Pottery Barn and Old Navy. In her spare time she likes to draw, silkscreen print and sew garments and home products.

Terry (Woody) Anthony

Woody Anthony is a seasoned professional with a BA degree in Fashion Merchandising and an MA degree in Counseling Psychology. He enjoys researching and teaching the psychological components that drive the buying and selling of product and services, and the importance of recognizing how mental processing is involved at all levels of consumerism. In addition to teaching marketing and merchandising courses for Academy of Art University, he splits his residential situation between San Francisco, California and Asheville, NC, where he performs freelance, design-related work. Woody started his marketing career in membership development for the Better World Society, a not-for-profit organization in Washington, DC. He followed this experience at Levi Strauss & Company’s San Francisco headquarters’ in the youth-wear merchandising and product management department. His final, full-time corporate experience occurred in Global Accounts at MCI/Worldcom performing dedicated, post-sales services for Gap, Inc., Bank of America, VISA, Intel, and Hewlett Packard.

Upon finishing his MA in Counseling Psychology, Woody began teaching merchandising, marketing, psychology, and sociology courses for private colleges in the Bay Area. He has directed fashion shows; guided student trips to the trade show, MAGIC, “the world’s largest fashion marketplace”; and taught numerous workshops for summer education events, open houses, and Adobe CS & MS Office knowledge.

Thomas Balaguer

Thomas Balaguer is a creative industrial designer with over seven years of experience. Before earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design at Academy of Art University, he interned at Peter Stathis & Virtual Studio and had already worked on Horizon by Humanscale, a multi-award-winning task lamp. Soon after graduating, he worked at Astro Studios where he worked on a wide variety of products with experts in the field. Since 2010, he worked with brands designing furniture, consumer electronics, lights, and wearable lifestyle products. As a contractor, he has done work for Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, Norwell and Kichler, Kensington, Pablo, Dunlop, and many others. Thomas currently works directly with Academy of Art University students, helping them improve their skill sets and strive in their fields of expertise.

Heather Blaikie

Blaikie has a BS in Industrial Design from Georgia Institute of Technology and is an award-winning industrial design and product development consultant with over 10 years specializing in fashion accessories for major global brands. Her company, Heather Blaikie Design provides comprehensive design and product development consulting services for major brands and startups. She has led teams of designers to develop best-selling product collections that strike the perfect balance between style and function. Blaikie is especially interested in working with sustainable, fair-trade manufacturing and on products that make the world a better place. Blaikie has been a part-time faculty at Academy of Art University since 2013 teaching product design and 3D modeling.

Jeremy Butts

Jeremy Butts has been in fashion since 1999 and in 2008 made the jump to the product development side, beginning with a return to school to obtain a BFA in Fashion Design. Shortly after commencing his program, he began an internship where he worked for a year and a half as a Technical Designer. His eyes were opened to the true calculus of developing a product and getting it to market. While in school he organized and headed the school’s fashion club; participated in two of the Fashion Department’s annual fashion shows and worked as an intern for a Los Angeles-based men’s apparel line.

After graduating with the highest honor from the Art Institute of California-San Diego, he accepted a position as a technical designer for a costume design company, Disguise. Within a few months, he was offered a position as a patternmaker where he remained for a year before making the move to San Francisco. He was offered a position at Pottery Barn Teen as a technical designer in product development for the textiles team, a great fit given his great fascination with textiles and their fabrication. The chaos of the product development world makes him feel right at home so he was able to dig in and do what he loves right from the beginning – specking textile fabrication.

Fang Fang

Fang Fang has experience working as a handbag and small leather goods designer at Phillip Lim in New York and an accessory designer at Fossil, before relocating to the Bay Area and teaching handbag design and construction classes at Academy of Art University. Fang has an MA in Accessory Design from Savannah College of Art & Design and brings a high level of both creativity and technical expertise to the School of Fashion’s footwear and accessory design programs.

Robert Friederich

Robert Friederich has worked in various facets of the fashion world for over 30 years. Graduating from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Retail Marketing, he went the Junior Executive Training Program at Macy’s California, became an Associate Buyer at Saks Fifth Avenue and later was a Men’s and Children’s Fashion Coordinator at Bloomingsdale’s.

Robert returned to school and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Menswear Fashion Design Program with an Associate Science degree in Apparel Design. He then moved to Spain where he designed sportswear for Mango, created his own leather collection, Lamont-Dube, which was sold in some of the finest shops in Europe and then went to work designing the women’s woven, knit circular and leather collections for Armand Basi One. Armand Basi one presented its collections during London Fashion Week and Robert assisted in the preparation and execution of those international fashion shows.

Robert has also worked as a fashion editor, as well as a professor of fashion design, fashion history and art direction. He was the Fashion Coordinator at Woman, one of Spain’s largest magazines, where he directed a team of fashion stylists and editors. Robert also was affiliated with two of Spain’s top design schools, Universidad Ramon Llull and Istituto Europeo Di Design, giving an array of fashion and merchandising courses.

Robert is fluent in both Portuguese and Spanish, having received the highest level of proficiency, C2 for Spanish from the Instituto Cervantes.

Matthew Gerring

Matthew Gerring, full-time Merchandising Faculty at Academy of Art University, joined the School of Fashion teaching part-time in 2007 and became full-time in Spring 2016. He has worked as the Textile Department Head for event design and production company DaVinci Fusion, a Fabrication Artist with Scientific Arts Studio working on exhibits for government and corporate clients, and a Habitat Artist for The National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD. Gerring received a B.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art where he studied painting and fiber art, and received a National Merit Scholarship.

Gerring received a M.F.A. from the California College of the Arts where he studied Textiles, received a National Merit Scholarship, and was the recipient of the prestigious Artist in Residence program at the Headlands Center for the Arts. He also completed the renowned artist residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture where only 65 applicants are accepted each year.

Geetika Gupta

Geetika Gupta is a fashion design entrepreneur and has worked in diverse areas in the fashion industry, including couture, children’s wear and resort wear. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from The Nottingham Trent University, UK and later completed an MBA in Marketing. She has worked in the US and Asia, and brings global knowledge and exposure to her work.

Geetika is a passionate educator, and a life-long learner, with a strong belief in integrating knowledge of the past with new technologies. She is inspired by color and print, and loves to travel in search of art and textiles.

Cassandra Jenkins

Cassie Jenkins is an alumna of Academy of Art University where she received her M.F.A. in Fashion with a concentration in Merchandising. She also holds a B.S. degree in Apparel Design and Textile Science from The University of Texas at Austin. Cassie has a varied retail background ranging from store management, buying, planning, merchandising, product development and ecommerce for companies such as Macy’s, Disney, 7 For All Mankind and Shutterfly.

In 2012, Cassie helped launch’s inaugural apparel and accessories private label collection. Prior to graduate school, Cassie was responsible for the procurement, operations and visual presentation of a family-owned consignment shop. Realizing her fervor for fashion and retail was not enough to sustain this brick and mortar store, she decided to attend Academy of Art University to further her education and learn more about the fundamentals of running a successful business. Cassie looks to inspire and educate students, just as her instructors did for her when she attended the Academy.

Agota M. Jonas

Jonas is an industrial design professional with diverse experience from design consultancy to corporate environment. She has been a collaborative partner within award-winning design teams developing consumer and medical products. Jonas is an instructor and mentor with over 14 years experience in teaching computer drafting, 3D build and the industrial design process. Her specialties include: Research Methods, Research and Development, Design Thinking and Design Strategy, Concept Development, 3D Model Build – Alias, SolidWorks. Jonas graduated from San Jose State University with an MA in Industrial Design. Jonas’ career began as an industrial design intern at Astro Studios in the San Francisco Bay Area. She worked as an Industrial Designer for frog and designaffairs.

Kari Lantin

Kari Lantin is a fashion designer and product developer who has worked on various products throughout her career. She has a strong background in shoes and accessories, and has worked in the industry for over 25 years, designing shoes and apparel for companies such as ESPRIT and Gymboree. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University Chico, and also attended Paris Fashion Institute completing a Fashion design program. She has traveled to both Asia and South America extensively to work on products.
Kari has been an industrial and shoe design instructor at Academy of Art University since 2009. Kari loves to inspire others, and is very passionate about teaching. She is inspired by interior design, and textile prints. She enjoys spending time at museums and traveling.

Dina Meoli

Dina Meoli is a graduate of North Carolina State University College of Textiles in Raleigh, North Carolina with a M.S. degree in Textile and Apparel, Technology, and Management. She also attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Textile Development and Marketing. She has been teaching online courses for the past 12 years within fashion merchandising and marketing. She has a diversified textile and apparel background that includes extensive research into current industry technologies such as Interactive Electronic Textile Product Development, Digital Textile Printing, Mass Customization, and Body Scanning. Most recently, she worked in apparel production in New York City as a textile quality assurance manager for Chico’s apparel lines. She also has ready to wear retail management experience within the areas of merchandising, marketing, and visual.

Hideki Masuda

Hideki Masuda received a Bachelor of Arts degree in fine art from Bard College in Annandale, New York, and a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial design/transportation design from the Art Center College of Design. While he was a student at the Art Center, Mr. Masuda designed, engineered, and built a full-scale running prototype vehicle. In 1998, he joined Academy of Art University as an instructor in the School of Industrial Design. In addition to playing his role as an instructor, Mr. Masuda has contributed to developing the Industrial Design program.

Tanja Milutinovic

Tanja Milutinovic is a textile designer with extensive experience in the fashion industry.
She graduated with an MFA from Academy of Art University in 2012 and since then has been associated with companies such as Rag&Bone, DKNY, Williams Sonoma, Stylesight, and Simple Pair Fashion Design. She worked as part of the design team and has demonstrated success in creating original designs, prints and artwork that strengthen brand recognition and contribute to commercial success for both startups and well-established companies.

Tanja has been selected twice to show the final collection at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week S/S 2013 and S/S 2012 as part of the Italian Trade Commission Collection. She won first place for “Stylesight S/S ’12 Print and Graphic contest” for producing a collection of prints that would be in fashion the following year. Tanja’s portfolio was featured in WGSN 2012 and she also was selected as Winner for evening dress “Discarded to Divine” by St. Vincent de Paul Society. Besides her fashion endeavors, Tanja actively participates in group and solo art exhibitions.

Andrew Phillip Putman

Andrew Putman is a Full-Time Faculty member of the Academy of Art University’s School of Industrial Design and manager of the department’s CNC/ Rapid Prototyping facilities. After receiving his BFA in Industrial Design Andrew spent six years in wayfinding and structural design – finding his way back to the School of Industrial Design to build on and further develop the model making coursework.

Jackson Riker

Jackson Riker is an artist and graphic designer. He has had solo exhibitions, and has been included in group exhibitions in Los Angeles and New York City. His work has been reviewed in the Los Angeles Times and featured on PBS. Jackson worked as an archivist at the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York. He received a Master’s in Studio Arts from California State University, LA and has studied Corporate and Multimedia design at Open Eye Media in NY. Riker has been actively engaged in Creative Arts education, and has taught courses in all aspects of Graphic Design and Foundation skills; from branding and logo design, information design, publication layout design layout to typeface design, calligraphy/expressive typography and Design History. Riker believes in teaching from an organic perspective, allowing a diverse range of student abilities to progress naturally through each student’s own working methods. Open discussion of current societal trends, the interrelationship of the arts and how they affect current design is a constant at the core of all his classes.

Brice Robertson

Brice Robertson has spent the last several years with a laser-sharp focus augmenting human experiences. Prior to developing exoskeletons for SCI and stroke survivors, Brice developed his skillsets with Ossur NA, a medical company specializing in orthotics and advanced prosthetics.

Brice received his bachelor’s degree from Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 2005. Brice is a native of California.

Mark San Buenaventura

Mark San Buenaventura is a Footwear and Industrial Designer with a background in business operations. At The North Face in Alameda, CA, Mark created the company’s top-selling style for summer 2017 that was based on addressing the industry athleisure trend and through brand-right consumer insights (Litewave Flow shoe). He collaborated with professional Ultrarunner Tim Olson, to create the 2018 line’s best all-around trail runner. He revamped the youth line for 2016-2017 to include more technically considered designs and features unique to youth needs. At DZR Shoes in San Francisco, CA, Mark provided creative insight and execution (graphic/product design and marketing materials) and oversaw design interns and customer service operations. Mark has an MFA in Industrial Design and a BA in Business Administration. Mark currently teaches footwear design classes part-time at Academy of Art University.

Andrea Skillings

Skillings has over 15 years’ experience in product development and production in the children’s wear market. Her areas of expertise include merchandising, product development, fabric selection, costing and sourcing. The majority of her experience is with small, family-owned companies which allowed her to broaden her interest to all areas of design, merchandising and production. Prior to joining Academy of Art University, Skillings taught courses to undergraduate students at colleges in New York City. Her teaching philosophy is to encourage students to work from a place of curiosity and engage with awareness as they learn about their major but also about themselves. Skillings enjoys seeing students grow not just in knowledge of course material but also in how they view themselves as aspiring professionals. The students bring their own unique life experiences and abilities to the classroom and Skillings sees her role as affirming those abilities as well as challenging in the growth areas where they can further develop. Skillings earned a Master’s degree in Fashion/Apparel Design and Textiles from New School University and a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising, Textiles and Design from University of Rhode Island.

Chelsea Snyder

Chelsea Rae Snyder was born in New England. During her childhood she was fortunate to be surrounded by creative and resourceful family. Influenced by skills learned from her grandmother helped set her path as a Fashion designer. Her grandmother was a teacher, and taught her how to sew. Her mother was a musician and an artist, and taught her how to draw.

Following high school, Chelsea studied at Indiana University of Pennsylvania for two years, focusing on graphic design and fiber arts, before making a decision to focus on fashion design and continue her studies in San Francisco. Chelsea received Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fashion design from the Academy of Art University, in San Francisco. In addition, she completed three internships: Nice Collective in San Francisco, California; EDUN, New York City, New York; and, Veronique Branquinho in Antwerp, Belgium.

Since completing her degree, Chelsea has worked for Abercrombie and Fitch, Dockers, and Old Navy, Presently her career consists of freelancing for local companies in San Francisco and working with individual clients designing and sewing custom pieces. Chelsea’s career goals consist of developing her own line of clothing as well as continuing to work with individual clients. Her design philosophy is to create pieces with sustainability, versatility, and durability in mind. Examples of her work can be found on her website

Hersha Sue Steinbock

Hersha Steinbock received her BA in English from UC Berkeley and MA in English from Portland State University. She has worked in the fashion industry since 1978 when she worked as a Sportswear Buyer for I. Magnin & Co. After 7 years there, she moved on to become Sales Manager for Spumoni Sportswear, Vice President/ Sales Manager for Byer California. For a few years, she worked as a Store Manager for The Susan Co., a high-end specialty apparel retailer. More recently, she has been a Buyer for Bebe Stores Inc. and Director of Sales & Merchandising for Fiona/ Cou Paris at San Jose’s Santana Row. She now currently serves as a Full-Time faculty for Academy of Art University’s Fashion Merchandising program.

Diego Taccioli

Formally trained in architecture, Diego received Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pennsylvania. Shortly after he began his professional design career at an international architecture firm headquartered in the Bay Area. Building from his extensive background in fabrication, he is constantly experimenting with new ways to synthesize digital modeling processes with physical construction techniques. He is also the founder of Slice Lab, a digital creation lab focusing on 3D-printed design influenced by architecture, fashion, sculpture, and organic forms.

Margot Bozena Urbanowicz

Margot Unbanowicz has a BFA in Fashion Marketing and Management. She has been involved professionally in the entertainment and fashion businesses since 1984. Margot’s responsibilities included arranging, negotiating and promoting conferences, fairs, fashion shows and festivals throughout Europe, USA and Asia. Often, Margot would also take on the role of tour manager for entertainers such as Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, Luciano Pavarotti, and the Gypsy Kings. Margot’s role in marketing, PR, interviews, and press conferences provided her with a direct relationship with the international mass media channels. In 1995, Margot joined Bertelsmann Media BMG Ariola as their marketing and label manager. Margot’s responsibilities were to define marketing solutions to increase brand awareness, sales and to increase an artist’s brand image for BMG. This included complete execution of marketing and promotion strategies. Margot’s many years of international experiences with focus on Entertainment and Fashion industries and extensive international travel have provided a global marketing awareness. Her background allows the creation and development of marketing strategies with a focus on specific solutions based on trends, historical information and global demand. Currently Margot enjoys working as a marketing and brand strategies consultant and as an associate at Pottery Barn Kids.

Chun-Ming Yang

Jim Yang’s work ranges widely through a variety of styles and mediums. Passionate about movement, his art career started after awarded in BC Art Festival for his 3D animation short. Soon after completion of intensive computer graphic trainings, Jim was working as professional animator at Radical Entertainment in Vancouver Canada. He had finished titles including Jackie Chan the Stunt Master, Pure Ride, and Dark Summit for various game consoles. While still working as a 3D animator, Jim’s interests in art shifted towards more traditional means. A few years later, he enrolled full-time at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where he majored in traditional illustration. He drew and painted religiously using both traditional and non-traditional materials during his studies. Jim’s works were selected and published in Aphrodisia, a juried competition, in 2005 and 2006. Jim Yang graduated from Academy of Art University with honors and is currently working as the Fashion Foundation Coordinator on campus in San Francisco, California.

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