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Fashion Student Ghazaleh Khalifeh Featured in Marin Independent Journal

Fashion Student Ghazaleh Khalifeh is receiving accolades and news coverage for her imaginative style and unique creations. Recently highlighted in The Marin Independent Journal, Khalifeh also took home the prestigious $25,000 grand prize Geoffrey Beene Design Scholarship from Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc. (CFDA).

Khalifeh, a BFA Fashion Design in Womenswear student, was one of two Academy students selected to submit a portfolio to the awards panel.  Upon winning the grand prize, the CFDA flew Khalifeh to New York for the CFDA Fashion Awards Gala on June 2nd where she shared the stage with such fashion luminaries as Carolina Herrera, Peter Som and Diane von Furstenberg.

"One of my dreams literally came true. And as a student," Khalifeh told the Marin Independent Journal of her star-studded debut to the fashion world.  "I hope to go back again one day as an established designer. I just have to keep working hard and I'll keep going to parties like that."

Khalifeh comes from a long line of fashion designers – her great-great-grand grandmother and great-grandmother were both couturiers in Iran and her mother owns and operates Mariam's Studio Designs in Mill Valley sewing made-to-order gowns.  Khalifeh adds her own unique twist on her designs, inspired by art, Iranian weaving, library books and nature.  Her submission for the scholarship was a collection inspired by triangles and "Moby Dick."  The Marin Independent Journal quoted her saying, "my work is one of those things that you either love or hate…I like my work, but it's a little offbeat and a little bizarre. It was validating to know that these designers in New York actually accepted it."

The Academy also awarded Khalifeh with the French Exchange Scholarship to attend Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, one of the top fashion schools in Paris.

"It's perfect for her and where her potential could take her," Academy faculty member Sara Kozolwski said, "because she does have sort of a French sensibility about her."

After Khalifeh’s year in Paris she will return to the Academy to complete her final year.   Even her mother is brimming with anticipation at Khalifeh’s opportunities at the Academy and beyond. 

"She's just getting closer and closer to everything she's always wanted to do."


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