School of Fashion

School of Fashion Faculty

Neil Gilks
Executive Director
School of Fashion

For over 25 years, Neil Gilks has committed his career to design and its education.

As a fashion designer, Gilks worked through the ranks to Design Director for brands in London and New York. He thrives on building – whether working on launching new labels or recognizing the needs and areas for evolution in established companies.

Beyond creating menswear and womenswear collections for the global markets, a dedication to fashion design education has allowed Gilks to attain leadership roles with top-tiered fashion design programs globally. As Director of Educational Initiatives with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), Gilks was charged with creating opportunities and mentorship for students and faculty within 21 design institutions domestically.

Gilks cites continuing his own artistic practice as crucial – allowing him to retain a creative outlet while further exploring the space where his art, commerce, and social commentary intersect.

Since his arrival as Executive Director of the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University in the Fall of 2022, Gilks has been learning how his experience and insight can best serve our community. The learning experience is of the utmost importance to Gilks, as he strives towards making it the most robust and successful time for faculty and students alike.


Southwest Art Magazine

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The biggest obstacle I encountered was marketing and promoting my work shortly after graduating from art school.
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