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MFA Graduates Launch Their Professional Runway Collections During New York Olympus Fashion Week

On Saturday, September 9 th at 10:00 am, MFA fashion graduates will showcase their debut collections in the Bryant Park Tents during New York Olympus Fashion Week. Academy of Art University is the first and only educational institution to promote its recent fashion graduates with this extraordinary opportunity.

In addition to womenswear, this season will feature menswear collections from the men’s-specific design program:

Pablo Fernandez, a native of Uruguay, incorporates his fashion and knitwear design focus into an avant-garde collection inspired by the early-80s, vintage cartoons and WWI paraphernalia. Pablo was a 2004 CFDA Scholarship Award recipient. In May 2006, Pablo was awarded an internship at Louis Vuitton in Paris for 2007 after Christophe Girard, Deputy Mayor of Paris Responsible for Culture and Director of Fashion Strategy of the LVMH Fashion Group, met Pablo and viewed his portfolio. Pablo’s collection will be showcased on the runway of the 24 th Annual Macy’s Passport 2006 in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Japanese native and cutting-edge fashion designer Masamichi Matsushita collaborates with textile designer Susan Fort to create futuristic prints using organic wool. The “O-Wool by Jasco” organic wool has been donated by Vermont Organic Fiber Company. Their collection will be showcased on the runway of the 24 th Annual Macy’s Passport 2006 in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Womenswear collections include:

Laurie Brown takes inspiration from the exaggerated proportions of European expressionist painter Egon Schiele and Balenciaga’s design structure and volume of the 60s. Laurie collaborates with textile designer Jun Young Ryu.

India native Avani Pratap Bhansali takes inspiration from the intricacies of Persian art. She incorporates layers of armor and texture of architecture into her designs, which will be shown on the runway of the 24 th Annual Macy’s Passport 2006 in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Shanti Rose Markstrom’s hand-detailed collection takes inspiration from Commedia del’arte and Victorian circus performers as well as French artists Jean-Antoine Watteau and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Japanese fashion designer Mari Matsumoto incorporates her understanding of Japanese clothing and the kabuki way of styling into her collaborative collection with Korean textile designer Kyung Min Kim. Kyung’s textiles follow Mari’s journey from grief to growth following the death of her mother. Mari and Kyung were featured in a two-page spread in the Summer 2006 issue of Art Works Magazine.

Taiwan native Li-Jen “Alan” Lee takes inspiration from expressionist postmodern architect Frank Gehry. Alan’s structured denim collection is sponsored by Cone Mills.

Knitwear designer Quyen Nguyen grew up in Vietnam and Saudi Arabia, and has lived in Rhode Island, Texas and San Francisco. Quyen has taken inspiration from menswear for her collection of sportswear.

Academy of Art University upholds its commitment to educate designers on environmentally sound practices. This sustainable program is put into practice through Masamichi Matsushita’s use of organic wool as well as Christine Welcher’s womenswear collection. Christine collaborates with textile designer Lydia Timken creating prints using organic color-grown cottons.

School of Fashion 2006 Highlights:

  • In April, Honorable Betrand Delanoë, Mayor of Paris toured the School of Fashion and was honored at a luncheon where he announced that the “Academy of Art University is the most prestigious school and the fashion department is the most famous in the United States.”
  • CFDA Scholarship Committee Grand Prize winner nationally.
  • Target / CFDA Design Initiativ Competition Grand Prize winner nationally, receiving a one-year paid internship with Target.
  • Nordstrom Product Group Design Internship Program chose all three of its winners from the School of Fashion from their west coast search.
  • Old Navy Summer Internship Program chose three students from their national search.
  • In October, student collections will be shown in Shanghai.
  • In September, student collections will be shown in Macy’s Passport 24 th Annual Fashion Extravaganza in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

School of Fashion houses five specialized areas:

  1. Fashion Design for Womenswear, Menswear, and Childrenswear
  2. Textile Design
  3. Knitwear Design
  4. Fashion Merchandising and Visual Merchandising
  5. Fashion Communications

BFA degrees offered online in all areas except knitwear and textiles.

MFA graduate students work on industry-sponsored projects with such companies as: Burberry, Cone Mills, Continuum Textiles, Electronic Arts (EA), Environmental Protection Agency, Ford Motor Co., Levis Strauss, Missoni, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Sustainable Cotton Project.

Through the Sister City Scholarship Exchange program, the School of Fashion awards scholarships to study abroad in Paris with Studio Berçot and L’Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, two of the best fashion schools in Paris.

Students carry a professional reputation that gives them an edge in the marketplace. Graduates have gone on to work with companies including Azzedine Alaïa, Banana Republic, Burberry, Oscar de la Renta, Pamela Dennis, GAP, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, KITON, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Martin Margiela, Missoni, Alexander McQueen, Nike, Zandra Rhodes, Jeremy Scott, Martine Sitbon, Carla Sozzani’s 10 Corso Como, Target, Tocca, Williams Sonoma, Viktor & Rolf, Diane Von Fürstenberg, and Louis Vuitton.

Academy of Art University is nationally accredited by WASC, NASAD, Council for Interior Design Accreditation (Formerly FIDER), (BFA-IAD), and NAAB (M-ARCH)


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