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    Speaking Out Through Fashion

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    (L–R) The Graduation Fashion Show Industry Panel: Sarah Kozlowski Council of Fashion Designers Director of Education and Professional Development), Trino Verkade (CEO of Sarabande, the Lee Alexander McQueen Founder), Andre Walker (New York-based designer), Lutz Huelle (Paris-based designer), Alexander Fury (Chief Fashion Correspondent at T: the New York Times Style magazine) and Simon Ungless (Executive Director of the School of Fashion). Photo by Randy Brooke.

    Before this year’s collections walked the runway, Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion amped up this year’s Graduation Fashion Show with an industry panel featuring their Guests of Honor: New York-based designer Andre Walker, Paris-based designer Lutz Huelle and esteemed fashion journalist Alexander Fury. 

    The Atrium and balcony at 625 Polk were filled before the guests and fellow panelists Trino Verkade (CEO of Sarabande, the Lee Alexander McQueen Founder), Sara Kozlowski (Council of Fashion Designers of America, Director of Education and Professional Development) and moderator Simon Ungless (Executive Director of the School of Fashion) took their places on stage.

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    Getting Technical

    StageMedia founder Jacob Kalousek and music designer Scott Ewalt lift the curtain on the Graduation Fashion Show and reveal what goes into the Academy’s annual runway event

    “A fashion show is undefined. We’re in an era where anything and everything goes.”

    The words of StageMedia founder Jacob Kalousek have perhaps never rang more true than in the age of the modern fashion show, where the performance and spectacle of the show are just as valued as the clothes themselves. And he should know: Kalousek has managed the Academy of Art University Graduation Fashion Shows for the last 20 years. As technical director, he’s one of the people responsible for the spectacle that attracts more than 2,000 people each year. The other is music designer Scott Ewalt, who travels from New York each year to collaborate on the event, which showcases the final work of the Academy’s graduating fashion design students.

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    JEM Alumnae Unveil 'Triptych' Exhibit

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    (L-R) Jieun Oh, Rita Hsing and Xiaoxin Hu at the opening night of their exhibition, Triptych. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Recent Academy of Art University School of Jewelry & Metal Arts (JEM) M.F.A. graduates Li-Yun (Rita) Hsing, Xiaoxin Hu and Jieun (Jeanne) Oh teamed up to showcase their thesis projects at the Academy of Art University Jefferson Street Gallery in a show aptly titled Triptych. This triple threat of jewelers and metal artists built an exhibition of around 30 pieces with both aesthetic appeal and a unique expression of struggles of women in modern society.

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    JEM Grad's Wearable Art Fuses Fantasy and Electronics

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    The Gauntlet, a piece by alumnus Ryan Hsiang, is a forearm-length metal cuff studded with chunky blue and purple crystals made from resin. Photo courtesy of Ryan Hsiang.

    The fantasy worlds and characters depicted in films such as Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings and Batman have captivated Ryan Hsiang since he was a little boy growing up in Shanghai, China. As he got older, he grew more interested in uncovering the deeper meanings of these tales and how they relate to real life. Enrolling in Academy of Art University’s School of Jewelry & Metal Arts (JEM) provided him with the means to create wearable art, sculpture and other pieces that reflect his passion for connecting fantasy and reality.

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    Building a Career at Nordstrom

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    Academy of Art University School of Fashion alumnus and Nordstrom Assistant Styling Sales Manager Eric Miller and Nordstrom Assistant HR Manager Natali Paniagua. Photo by Bob Toy.

    On Tuesday, March 13, Eric Miller, assistant styling sales manager at Nordstrom’s flagship store in downtown San Francisco, was part of the company’s internship presentation at 2300 Stockton, talking to Academy of Art University School of Fashion students. Just one year and a day ago, Miller was sitting in the same room, listening to a similar talk, but as a student. 

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    Shaping Sustainable Futures

    Starting this semester, Academy of Art University is offering a graduate elective course, Sustainability & Society (FSH/GLA 648), to teach students the nuances of sustainability and the impact it carries for their future careers and lifestyles. 

    Open to students from all disciplines, instructor Masha Birger explained that the online course covers all issues surrounding sustainability, from economic to environmental to social. 

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