Academy Grad Helps People With Disabilities Find Stylish, Accessible Clothing

    Twenty-four years ago, Stephanie Thomas was competing in a beauty pageant when the director of the event asked her a question that changed her life: “Why do you never button your left cuff?” Thomas, who graduated from Academy of Art University with an M.F.A in fashion journalism in 2013, was born without a right thumb and is also missing toes on both of her feet. 

    “I’d never really thought about it before,” said Thomas “But then it dawned on me—‘Duh, I don’t have a right thumb,’ so I never button my left cuff because it takes too long.”

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    Woman Meets Machine

    Academy student’s innovative designs are honored at Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute event


    Designer Alyssa Watson (left) pictured above with award winning MET Gala dress inspired by melting Arctic ice. Modeled by Noémie Medini. Photo by Fujio Emura.

    The Metropolitan Museum’s Manus x Machina – Fashion in an Age of Technology exhibition has been the blockbuster hit of the season. Sponsored by the Met’s Costume Institute, and curated by Andrew Bolton, it has demonstrated the rare ability to unite the two diverse fields of fashion and tech in a way that does justice to both.

    So imagine the surprise of B.F.A. fashion design student Alyssa Watson when she found out that the project she had created had been selected for an exhibition of student work in conjunction with the show.

    “Every semester in design, there’s a final project that’s a face off for a competition,’’ Watson explained.

    “The Met project was on the idea of taking fashion and infusing it with technology. For the last couple of years, I’ve been extremely interested in 3-D printing, and fiber optics, as part of my designs. My project was inspired by the Arctic ice melting, black ice and the shapes created when ice melts.’’

    After going through a laborious submission project, in which her work was evaluated by Simon Ungless, executive director of the School of Fashion and Gary Miller, director of Fashion Design, it was selected to be sent in to the Met student competition.

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    Design in Wonderland


    Models take one final walk down the runway during the finale. Photo by Bob Toy.

    It was 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11. As we arrived backstage at the enormous open warehouse on Jerrold Avenue, we expected to see somewhat of a manic setting as designers were preparing their looks for the first show beginning promptly at 3 p.m. Yet to our surprise, it was relatively relaxed; the atmosphere was quite intense but still very organized. Everyone was prepared, incredibly focused and excited.

    This is the designers’ moment to shine, and it was finally here. As the models were dressed, last minute expertise was given from Simon Ungless, executive director of the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University, and down the rabbit hole we went. The music hit, the florescent lights flicked on and the most anticipated moment had finally begun.

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    Fashion Editors Motivate Students To "Get out There and Do It" at Fashion Media Panel


    (L-R) Executive Director of the School of Fashion Simon Ungless, Visionaire Digital Director Lars Byrresen Petersen, Paper magazine Editorial Director Mickey Boardman and Fashion Journalism and Social Media Center Director Stephan Rabimov. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Reinvention is the name of the game for print magazines vying for attention in the digital age. And if any media outlet knows how to reinvent itself it’s Visionaire—a luxury fashion and art magazine that has experimented with unconventional formats for 25 years, and Paper magazine, whose Editorial Director Mickey Boardman hatched a plan to “break the internet” with a photo of Kim Kardashian in 2014. 

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    Rodarte to Be Honored at 2016 Graduation Fashion Show

    Founders Laura and Kate Mulleavy will join this year’s prestigious event

    Rodarte photo by Autumn de Wilde

    Laura and Kate Mulleavy, founders of Rodarte. Photo by Autumn de Wilde.

    Academy of Art University is proud to announce that Laura and Kate Mulleavy, founders of Rodarte, will join the School of Fashion as honored guests for the 2016 Graduation Fashion Show on Wednesday, May 11. Kate and Laura Mulleavy will each be presented with Honorary Doctorate degrees during the awards ceremony portion of the event.

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    Revenge on His Mind: Kenneth Ning F/W 2016

    One of humanity’s most basic instincts is that of revenge. Stories of retribution are some of the oldest, and also some of the most entertaining, if not inspirational. Characters contemplating vengeance abide by their own fashion codes. There are those seeking understated elegance to avoid drawing unnecessary attention to the act of reprisal. Others can only be satisfied if there is an audience to witness the full life’s dramatic theater. No matter your payback strategy, one particular collection by Academy of Art University graduate and rising designer Kenneth Ning showcased many performance-enhancing choices for the modern avengers during his solo debut at New York Fashion Week: Men’s.

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