You are invited to our biggest fashion event of the season, the Academy of Art University School of Fashion Graduation Fashion Show. After a grueling eight months of preparation, our top Fashion students send their collections down the runway. If you love fashion, you don’t want to miss this event.
Graduation Fashion Show
Meet the Designers
Read the stories behind these talented student-designers. Select an image to uncover the inspirations behind their collections.
- Rashida Birdlong
Rashida Birdlong / BFA Knitwear Design
Rashida was born and raised in Berkeley, California. Birdlong’s collection is inspired by protest signs and the state of America in 2020, specifically the Black Lives Matter protests over the murders of George Floyd and Breanna Taylor. With bold visuals made with natural yarns like merino wool and cashmere, each look is a statement that echoes the powerful mantras on protest signs.
- Keer (Ivy) Chen
Keer (Ivy) Chen / BFA Fashion Design
Keer grew up in Yunnan, a small city in the Yunnan province of China. For her thesis collection, Chen drew inspiration from her childhood memories of her mother—including her furniture, her closet, her flowers—to start a discussion about “attractive and modern odd women” and new possibilities. In addition to the textile prints she designed herself, Chen collaborated with an artist friend for one of the prints. Through the choice of fabrics, she hopes to pay homage to many of the classic haute couture looks that inspire her. As the recipient of the Academy’s Presidential Scholarship, Chen will be participating in a year-long French exchange program at Studio Berçot in Paris this fall.
- Xiaotian (Travis) Chen
Xiaotian (Travis) Chen / BFA Fashion Design
Xiaotian was born and raised in Ruian, Zhejiang, China. Inspired by the work of artist Peter Campus, Chen’s unisex, wide-shouldered creations utilize different techniques—such as hand sewing, tearing, and even burning fabric—to build intricate details.
- Domingo Cholula
Domingo Cholula / BFA Fashion Design
Domingo is originally from Chicago, Illinois. His work has been seen on Drag Queens such as Utica, Shea Coulee, and Kahmora Hall. For this collection, Cholula looked to Dutch and Flemish paintings for inspiration. His designs force the same rigidity and restriction as the iron maiden, while simultaneously exuding elegance found throughout his silhouettes. Cholula’s collection reveals his passion for craftsmanship, with hand-punched motifs in leather that emulate the intricacy of lacework. As the recipient of the Academy’s Presidential Scholarship, Cholula will be participating in a year-long French Exchange Scholarship program at Studio Berçot in Paris this fall.
- Yiran (Mia) Cong
Yiran (Mia) Cong / BFA Fashion Design
Yiran is originally from Beijing, China, one of the largest apparel markets in the world. Cong uses bold colors and unorthodox shapes and forms within her thesis collection to express the concept of fearlessness, confidence, and individualism. Materials like 3M geometrical patterns, metal silk fabric, Nitrocellulose silk, and warp fiber are designed to boost confidence in females of this generation and to push them to be more innovative. Her looks can also change shape and form in nature, allowing it to become other types of apparel altogether.
- Milijana Delic
Milijana Delic / MFA Fashion
Milijana is originally from Chicago, Illinois. Delic, is a Serbian designer who developed this collection in partnership with her brother, Milos, a student at the Academy’s School of Industrial Design. Tunics with a mix of bright colors, zippers half-opened creating unique silhouettes, and dresses with 3D shapes incorporated into the fabric or used as a fabric, create feelings of sensuality, luxury, and sport. In September 2020, Delic received the CFDA Geoffrey Beene Design Masters Scholar Award for her work on this collection.
- Yu (Kathy) Deng
Yu (Kathy) Deng / BFA Fashion Design
Yu is originally from China. Deng’s thesis collection is inspired by the intensity that comes with living in a fast-paced city, like urban San Francisco. Seeking solace from the pressures of city living, Deng looks toward the eaves of tree houses as an environment for protection and comfort. Deng combines stiff fabrics with organza to emulate the modern city woman, with a hard exterior but still soft and feminine.
- Felicia Shania Dharmawan
Felicia Shania Dharmawan / BFA Fashion Design
Felicia was born and raised in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. She was exposed to Indonesian and Chinese cultures from her family and surroundings, and she often incorporates elements of her cultures into her designs to represent her identity as a designer. The inspiration for this collection comes from the ancient Javanese tradition of wayang, which is the Indonesian medium of shadow puppetry. The unique silhouettes of wayang cut-outs are a key focus, represented in the shapes and textiles of this collection. The shapes are finished with binding in knit fabric to illustrate the sticks that control the puppet. The textiles are printed digitally on organic cotton.
- Rebecca Fabrizio
Rebecca Fabrizio / MFA Fashion
Rebecca is originally from Santa Cruz, California. For her thesis collection, titled Venus Under Fire, Fabrizio found inspiration in spiritual and celestial forces. To turn her concepts into reality, Fabrizio used organic fabrics, hand-dyed with non-toxic ingredients such as avocado pits. The color scheme created from this process reveals planetary attributes: earthy pinks and reds attributed to Mars and Venus, oceanic and sky-like blues and greens for Jupiter and Neptune, and muted blue-grays representing planets Mercury, Pluto, and Saturn. Designed for people “who are interested in the subtle energetic resonances with the planet and the universe,” she hopes to continue creating work that can help others connect with the profound magic of life.
- Patricia Falowo
Patricia Falowo / MFA Fashion
Patricia was born and raised in San Leandro, California. Nigerian-American Falowo describes her thesis collection, Afrofuturism, as "living in a free world without oppression." The sporty, street style collection is almost entirely hand-made, with high necklines, gold accents, and braided rope details.
- Allyn Mae Fox
Allyn Mae Fox / BFA Fashion Design
Allyn Mae Fox grew up in Manila, Philippines. For her thesis collection, Fox found inspiration while observing passengers sitting on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) trains, waiting for their stops. It reminded her of time spent in quarantine, with everyone’s lives put on pause. To develop her looks, Fox used the design software CLO3D to translate her designs from 2D to 3D, allowing her to create her patterns and toiles with less waste.
- Tianyu (Candice) Ji
Tianyu (Candice) Ji / BFA Fashion Design
Tianyu was born in China and grew up in Tokyo, Japan. Titled Jishin which means earthquake in Japanese, Ji’s thesis collection draws inspiration from the history of earthquakes in Japan, and her memories of earthquake preparedness rehearsals in school. Images of the aftermath of different earthquakes—fallen cable poles, damaged houses, cracked streets—were top of mind as she developed her silhouettes. Ji incorporates details of asymmetry, draping, texture, and fringe to reflect these incredible images. Her collection also pushes the limits of what men can wear by asking why men in skirts is an anomaly.
- Yeonsun (Sunny) Ju
Yeonsun (Sunny) Ju / BFA Fashion Design
Yeonsun is originally from Seoul, South Korea. Ju is fascinated by sneakers. Looking at her own sneaker collection, Ju began playing with silhouettes and draping to create unique and interesting shapes that remind her of a comfortable, oversized style that is still feminine. With Converse sneakers in mind, Ju utilized canvas and bull denim, as well as grommets and laces, to create a similar feel to the classic shoes.
- Daniel Kim
Daniel Kim / BFA Fashion Design
Daniel was born in Chicago, Illinois but moved to South Korea when he was five years old. The concept of Kim’s thesis collection is inspired by 1950s Paris. Influenced by designers like Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, Kim reinterprets the minimalism and elegance of Paris in the 1950s. Comprised of a mix of black and various grays, Kim displays his understanding of garment construction within his looks. As the recipient of the Academy’s Presidential Scholarship, Kim will be participating in a year-long Exchange Scholarship program at Kingston University in London this fall.
- Yuli Lee
Yuli Lee / BFA Fashion Design
Yuli is originally from South Korea. Lee’s thesis collection puts the silhouette at the forefront, using unique prints and confident colors to make the silhouette stand out. Lee incorporates various layers of fabric to mimic transitions between colors, playing with the different forms that human shadows can take. Look at the front, sides, and back of her pieces, as each showcase their own unique silhouettes.
- Serafina Levy
Serafina Levy / BFA Fashion Design
Serafina was born and raised in Saint Helena, California, where she gained an appreciation for sail boats. Levy’s thesis collection showcases her love of sailing, with its rugged connotations and high-end silhouettes to create a “shipwreck chic” look. Combining durable materials like denim, rope, and waterproof fabric with dramatic silhouettes create her unique and dramatic runway-ready looks, which she describes as “the little mermaid meets the runway.“
- Cory Lin
Cory Lin / BFA Fashion Design
Cory was born and raised in Taichung City, Taiwan. Lin’s monochromatic menswear collection was inspired by the costumes and mood of the album 24 : How to Find True Love and Happiness, by the Korean band HYUKOH. Lin incorporates oversized silhouettes and utilizes her draping skills to create different shapes in this collection.
- Paloma Mora
Paloma Mora / BFA Fashion Design
Paloma was born and raised in Santa Paula, California. Mora’s collection—titled Sunrise to Sunset—is inspired by the sun. Each of Mora’s designs fit a different size, with the main design focus being to create plus-size clothing that encourages the fashion industry to be more inclusive for every body type. The combination of athletic wear and evening wear makes each piece comfortable enough to wear from day to night.
- Nazanin Ramezani
Nazanin Ramezani / MFA Fashion
Nazanin Ramezani was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. Ramezani’s thesis collection is inspired by the ancient sport of Zoorkhaneh, which is translated as “House of Strength.” Each piece within the collection invokes the idea of self and historical pride, which are visually represented through prints of Zoorkhaneh athletes on the fabric itself.
- Seth Russell
Seth Russell / BFA Fashion Design
Seth was born and raised in the tourist beach town of Largo, Florida, and his designs are a reflection on his time spent at the beach in his home town. For those looking to spend a whole day at the beach, the collection features washed out detailing, constructed using some of his original textile and print creations. The collection is designed to appear as though each look was “thrown together,” using multiple layers that can be removed or put back on for comfort.
- Jaclyn Shahan
Jaclyn Shahan / MFA Fashion
Jaclyn is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah. Shahan’s thesis collection, Forgetting the Unsinkable, tells a fictional story about the Titanic and its dissolution, transformation, and reconstruction. As the remains of the passenger liner rests at the bottom of the Atlantic, trillions of microbes, algae, and barnacles are now cloaked all over the wreckage. Western fashion trends of the 1910s are blended with modern, organic silhouettes and lace. Experimenting with heavy starch allowed Shahan to mold the lace in certain ways, giving the appearance that it is floating in water.
- Sadarryle Stephens
Sadarryle Stephens / MFA Fashion Online
Sadarryle was born and raised in the small town of Orrum, North Carolina. Stephens considers this collection her personal love letter to African American culture, incorporating oversized silhouettes and colorful drapes. With eclectic patterns and geometric angles, each look brings a modern take to African tribal wear while simultaneously embracing the ease and opulence its history holds.
- Margery Wang
Margery Wang / BFA Fashion Design
Margery was born and raised in Taiwan. The basis behind Wang’s senior thesis collection comes from a picture she took of a butterfly caught in a spider’s web, which was both “sad and beautiful.” The materials Wang uses give a delicate and flowy feel to the pieces. Despite it being a spring/summer collection, the looks have a darker mood to them, with gray as the primary color.
- Gabriella Weinkauf
Gabriella Weinkauf / MFA Fashion Online
Gabriella is originally from Detroit, Michigan. Her thesis work is inspired by the altars of Catholic cathedrals, resulting in looks filled with hints of Baroque art and undertones of Catholic culture. Weinkauf’s collection is sponsored by Mimaki for all fabrics and digital printing.
- Yachen Xie & Voonbin (Shine) Leow
Yachen Xie / BFA Fashion Design & Voonbin (Shine) Leow / BFA Textile Design
Yachen grew up in the Anhui province of China. Xie’s thesis collection is inspired by the Art Deco movement, utilizing geometric forms and woven fabrics to create structure and capture the spirit of the 1920s. As the recipient of the Academy’s Presidential Scholarship, Xie will be participating in a year-long Exchange Scholarship program at Kingston University in London this fall.
Xie’s collection is made in collaboration with Voonbin (Shine) Leow, BFA Textile Design, from Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. Leow’s unique screenprint designs are the result of using multiple mediums, including watercolor, ink, and wax pencils.
- Blaici Xiong
Blaici Xiong / BFA Fashion Design
Blaici grew up in Sacramento, California. As a young Hmong-American artist, Xiong is deeply committed to her culture. With deep roots in Hmong culture, Xiong bases her thesis collection around poppies and opium. Denim and faux leather are the primary fabrics throughout the looks, with prints and patterns created using both hand and digital printing techniques.
- Andrea (Aunni) Young
Andrea (Aunni) Young / MFA Fashion
Andrea was born and raised in Washington, D.C. As the founder and designer of Aunni Y Design, she has been a creative for more than 20 years in marketing and fashion. Young’s thesis collection is inspired by beautiful women basking in resort life—blue skies and sunny days, lavishing in adventurous oceanic and nautical lifestyles. The collection captures this aesthetic with Mikado fabric interwoven in complex structures and bright colors that resonate in a hand-developed, luxurious womenswear collection.
- Mingyang Zhang
Mingyang Zhang / BFA Knitwear Design
Mingyang grew up in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China. For his senior thesis collection, Zhang explored the concept of movement. Like a dancer, Zhang picked up steps, pivoted, and alternated directions along the way. In his collection, the concept of movement was addressed using design details such as wide pants with a side slit and skirts with a front panel.
- Wangyujing Zhang
Wangyujing Zhang / BFA Fashion Design
Wangyujing is originally from Beijing, China. Zhang’s collection is the modernized fusion of two different inspirations—traditional Chinese Tang suits and 18th century French Rococo oil paintings. Starting with a silhouette influenced by Tang suits and Mandarin jackets, Zhang adds Rococo’s soft feminine pastel colors with desaturated tones on thin linen, painted patterns, shimmer silk, lightweight chiffon, lace, and organza. Look for a variety of lightweight patterned and transparent fabrics, unique layered textures, ruffles, large silhouettes, and frog buttons in this airy display of East meets West multiculturalism.
90 Years of History
California Hall in San Francisco. It's a fabulous venue with a vibrant local history. U2, Janis Joplin, Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Doors, The Grateful Dead, The Hell’s Angels, Dirty Harry, Romeo Void, Summer of Love, and now Academy of Art University's School of Fashion. Join us for the Graduation Fashion Show at this historic landmark.