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).
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