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Academy of Art University School of Fashion Announces 2008 Honorary Doctorate Recipients

The School of Fashion at Academy of Art University in San Francisco will honor fashion designers James Galanos and Ralph Rucci at the Graduation Fashion Show and Awards Ceremony on Friday, April 25, 2008. The guests of honor will each receive a Doctor of Humane Letters for their contribution to the world of Art and Design from University President Dr. Elisa Stephens.

"Both James Galanos and Ralph Rucci are known for their luxurious taste and impeccable technique," said Stephens.  "The students are thrilled to meet and show their work to two of America's greatest fashion designers.  We are truly honored to have them as guests."

Guests have the chance to interact with students during a Q&A panel discussion as well as a static exhibition where graduates display work and show their portfolios. Traditionally, guests of honor select an intern. On occasion, they chose more than one: Oscar de la Renta, Rose Marie Bravo and Alexander McQueen each chose three.  The intern Zac Posen selected last year has now been hired to work fulltime.

Past Guests of Honor have included: Rosita and Tai Missoni (1999), Oscar de la Renta (2000), Rose Marie Bravo (2001), Zandra Rhodes CBE and Koos van den Akker (2002), Josie Natori and Fern Mallis (2003), Joan Kaner and Jeremy Scott (2004), Azzedine Alaia and Carla Sozzani (2005), Alexander McQueen, Christophe Girard, Robert Mettler, Wilkes Bashford, and The Honorable Bertrand Delanoe, Mayor of Paris (2006), Dame Vivienne Westwood DBE, Loulou de la Falaise, Robin Givhan and Zac Posen (2007).

Ralph Rucci
In 1982, Philadelphia native Ralph Rucci launched his namesake line and in 1994, established his ready-to-wear line, Chado Ralph Rucci. In 2001, Rucci was invited to show his haute couture line in Paris by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Parisienne, being the first American to have this honor since Mainbocher more than 50 years ago. While some Americans work for houses with couture collections, he is the only one to do so under his own name. Rucci is also a painter whose work has been shown in numerous museums across the country.

James 'Jimmy' Galanos
Often referred to as “America’s greatest designer,” Philadelphia native James Galanos worked in both Paris and New York with such design luminaries as Hattie Carnegie and Jean Louis before opening Galanos Originals in Los Angeles in 1951.  Known for exquisite construction and luxurious dresses, his clients included Diana Ross, Rosalind Russell, former First Lady Nancy Reagan and San Francisco socialite Denise Hale.  In 1984, he received the Council of Fashion Designers of America Lifetime Achievement Award and in 1998, officially retired from fashion.  Galanos is also a photographer whose work has been shown in numerous museums across the country.

The Academy is also hosting an open house and fashion show that is open to the public on Saturday, April 26.  Click here to RSVP for the event that is open to the public.

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