The Academy of Art University is a college in San Francisco built by artists that is devoted to educating and blossoming the next generation of young budding artists. A painter and magazine editor, Richard Stephens, originally created the for-profit art school to advertise art. The school was passed down to Richard’s daughter, Elisa Stephens, who increased enrollment and expanded the curriculum into fashion, interior architecture, communication and design. It is now the largest accredited private art and design university in the nation offering associates degrees, bachelor degrees and master degrees in twenty-five different subjects on campus and online. The school is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
The Academy of Art University School of Fashion students have blossomed into successful designers, showcasing their clothing creations on the catwalk of New York fashion week since 2005. This year, five womenswear and two menswear collections were presented. The Asian artists used vinyl, PVC and homemade fabrics to craft pieces in deep blue, silver and ghost white. The American artists used layered fabrics of varying thickness with contrasting lines, such as an extra-long button up white shirtdress underlying an off-white quilted burka. The outfits conveyed a feeling of transition, using soft, thick materials that evoked warmth and comfort. Each design left much to the imagination, as every inch of skin was covered with suiting fabric with contemporary, layered additions. Many styles had hand-knit embroidery, extra-thick cashmere knits and floor-length flowing silks. Some artists covered the models legs in white PVC leggings with matching plain Birkenstocks. Other shoes showcased were simple platform black wedges for women and black boots for men.
Multiple Academy of Art students were selected for the Fashion Future Graduate Showcase, which helps support talented designers as they transition from education to career development as well as connects them with professional opportunities.