Fashion Weeks

Academy of Art University Presents Spring 2017 Collections During 20th Showing at New York Fashion Week

The School of Fashion at Academy of Art University selected thirteen 13 students to debut their Spring 2017 collections at the University’s 20th New York Fashion Week show on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 8:00 PM in The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station in New York City.

“Since our first runway presentation at New York Fashion Week in September 2005, the show has grown in size and in the caliber of those in attendance such as retail executives, designers, recruiters, as well as the national and international media,” said Dr. Elisa Stephens, President of Academy of Art University. “We have always been committed to help launch the careers of our students, and are honored to have a platform of this magnitude to present their work.”

“This season each of designers holds a unique and thoughtful vision,” said Simon Ungless, Executive Director of the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University. “Their collections honor the essence of our industry and carry a conscientious connection to textile design, three-dimensional design, tailoring and construction techniques, they honor the essence of our industry. It has been a pleasure for all of us in the School of Fashion to guide them while preserving their individuality and integrity.”

nina-nguyen-hui-academy-of-artNina Nguyen Hui, MFA Fashion Design, was born and raised in Da Nang, Vietnam. While studying at Academy of Art University, she interned atwon a competition to intern in BCBG Max Azria where she created samples using macrame and other craft techniques. Her looks were featured in the “Celebrating 30 Years of Hervé Léger” Collection at the 2015 Graduation Fashion Show. Her thesis collection is inspired by sea corals and the organic nature of their patterns. Sea coral can be fierce and unforgiving but also exhibit a soft beauty that is both powerful and fragile. Her interest in learning various techniques shows throughout her designs that feature elaborate tambour beading, embroidery, and laser cutting.

Credit: Yolanda Chiu, MFA Jewelry and Metal Art, created the acrylic eyewear

1. Embroidered grey blue dress
2. Pink and grey embroidered dress and cropped jacket
3. Navy blue embroidered dress
4. Coral pink and grey embroidered dress
5. Grey blue dress with embroidered top


Melissa Kheng, MFA Fashion Design, was born and raised in Singapore. Her thesis menswear collection is inspired by the unabashed masculinity of the Japanese subculture Bosozoku, and utilitarian elements of traditional fishermen. Both concepts are similar in being part of a group that gave life meaning and solidarity with others. Waxed cotton coats and jackets, oversized pocket pants, layered panels, and laser cut graphic pieces are combined with classic street wear shapes.

6. Laser cut vest with white pants
7. Contrast trimmed coat with cotton pants
8. Contrast trimmed jacket, top and white cotton pants
9. White jersey tee with contrast laser cut details white pants
10. Contrast jacket with oversized pockets and cotton pants
11. Contrast jacket with laser cut sleeves, cotton pants and top


Natalya Sheveleva Robinson, BFA Knitwear Design, was born in Izhevsk, Russia. Her inspiration for her thesis collection evolved from Arnold Schoenberg’s musical theory “Emancipation of Dissonance” as well as Art Deco architecture. She challenged herself to express synergy of the opposites such as warm and cold colors, and strong geometric lines with fluid drapes. As a knitwear designer, she manipulated every stitch to show this graphic composition incorporating the idea of a textile print into knitwear.

12. Brown and teal contrast knitted wool and silk top over knitted silk dress
13. Contrast knit teal and brown layered silk and wool dress
14. Sleeveless turquoise knitted silk blend dress
15. Brown and teal long sleeved layered silk and wool dress
16. Long sleeved teal silk blend dress with cropped mohair blend coat


Yi Ru Chen, MFA Fashion Design, was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. After completing her BFA in Visual and Media Art, she worked at Bun-Hung jewelry company as a studio assistant, creating jewelry designs and merchandising the showroom. Chen’s collection, in collaboration with Jing Qian, MFA Textile Design, aims to express the changeable and soft feeling of water such as melting forms and streams. Her fluid silhouettes combine 1920s shapes with minimalist drapes creating relaxed and comfortable garments.

Jing Qian, MFA Textile Design, was born in Suzhou, China, and grew up in Nara, Japan. While studying for her BFA in Illustration, Qian interned at Alexander McQueen. In China, she worked as freelance graphic designer for Bailin Commercial Consulting. For this collaborative collection with Yi Ru Chen, MFA Fashion Design, Qian designed abstract prints on organic cotton and jersey. Large brush strokes and hand painted giant flowers patterns are printed using eco-friendly pigments.

Credit: Yolanda Chiu, MFA Jewelry and Metal Art, created the acrylic eyewear

17. Olive and off-white abstract print top and pants
18. Abstract color print bomber jacket with tiered skirt
19. Abstract print drop shoulder top with pants
20. Asymmetric neck abstract print blouse with split skirt
21. Drop shoulder abstract print dress
22. Drop shoulder abstract print top and skirt


Lindsey Trueman, MFA Fashion Design, was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Her thesis collection is inspired by her family heritage, uniting her great-great grandmother story and Native American roots. Tailored silhouettes are created using repurposed grain sacks bearing original embroidered initials and burn-out brocade. Garments appear to have already had their own life and story. By giving them new life, Lindsey longs for honoring her own heritage, drawing strength from that and building a legacy for the future.

Credit:  Melody Hesaraky, MFA Textile Design, created one of the prints

23. Graphic print grain sack long split coat with shirt and pants
24. Grain sack long jacket with shirt and pants
25. Long shirt dress with vintage embroidery and pants
26. Grain sack jacket, shirt and pants
27. Burn out brocade jacket and shirt dress
28. Grain sack coat and shirt dress


Ben Ellis, BFA Menswear Design, was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. Having seen first hand the dramatic deterioration of the native Alaskan habitat, Ellis upholds ethical and sustainable practices in his own design work. His collection is inspired by the Fauvism oeuvre of French artist Andre Derain. Ellis used repurposed denim and jersey for the majority of his designs. During his last semester at Academy of Art University, Ellis was awarded the 2016 California Fashion Foundation Scholarship Award.

29. Short-sleeved wolf denim vest with treated denim pants
30. Alligator denim appliqué tunic with pants
31. Eagle printed and appliqué denim top over applique shorts
32. Leopard print denim tunic with pants
33. Sleeveless serpent lined denim top with jersey dungarees
34. Print denim draped coat over denim vest and drawstring jersey pants
35. Bear printed applique tunic over pants
36. Printed denim jacket over denim vest and pants


Anita Szu-Yi Chen, MFA Knitwear Design, was born and raised in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Chen’s thesis collection explores the dichotomy of appearance and expectations in the construction of clothing. She manipulates her knitwear designs into angular shapes with structured folds, and designed her fabric to be reversible with varying patterns on both sides.

37. Layered contrast merino knitted vest over dress
38. Contrast merino top with kid mohair side drape over black knitted skirt
39. Short sleeved merino jacket over black and lilac contrast merino dress
40. Black and red long sleeved merino top over black and red pleated merino skirt
41. Draped black merino dress with white contrast details


Dora Li, MFA Fashion Design, was born and raised in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China. Li completed her BFA in Fashion Design in China and worked as assistant designer at Ningbo Peace Bird Group, where she did collection development research and was responsible for styling seasonal look books. Her thesis collection was inspired by photographs of child workers from the 1930s who wore adult clothes. Their awkward yet touching proportions are referenced in the high waist, pleats, and oversized silhouettes constructed from burn out fabrics created in collaboration with Carly Dean, MFA Textile Design.

Carly Dean, MFA Textile Design, was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. While a student at Academy of Art University, she interned at Abercrombie and Fitch where she assisted in developing and designing prints for seasonal concepts. Collaborating with Dora Li, M.F.A. Fashion Design, Dean created multi-layered fabrics treated in a burnout technique. She was inspired by unexpected textures found throughout the city.

42. Beige sleeveless pleated dress with burn out fabric detail
43. Lilac burn out fabric pleated jacket with oversized pants
44. Blue cut out shoulder detail top with pleats and burn out fabric, oversized pants
45. Ombré burn out navy blue pant suit
46. Pale blue cut out shoulder detail jumpsuit in burn out fabric
47. Beige cut out shoulder detail dress in burn out fabric


GeuMi Lee, MFA Fashion Design, was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. GeuMi has interned at Diane von Furstenberg, Vera Wang and Wes Gordon. Her thesis collection is based on the ideas of athleticism and orientalism, combining active sportswear with the traditional Asian garments.  Football jackets, boxing shorts, and martial arts skirts are made of technical fabrics, such as polyethylene and polypropolene, creating sophisticated sculptural forms.

48. White funnel neck top with padded short
49. White asymmetric jacket with white padded pants
50. Zipped white jacket with double layered pants and top
51. White top with white pleated skirt
52. White zipped double layered coat over shorts
53. White padded shoulder top over white shorts

brandon-kee-academy-of-artBrandon Kee, BFA Menswear Design, grew up in Murray, Utah. Kee’s collection is a combination of oversized baggy cuts mixed with aviation inspired details that pay homage to 90s hip hop and Chinese anti-gravity pilot suits of the 1970s. He applied rust die techniques to transform the conventional materials and reversed the jacquard fabric using the ‘wrong’ side.  While studying at Academy of Art University, Kee was awarded a Teen Vogue Scholarship.

54. Pale pink coat with lace-tied sleeves over rust treated top, shirt and pants
55. Pale pink rust treated jersey top and shirt with multi-treated pants
56. Multi-treated shirt with short pants
57. Rust treated jumpsuit with lace-tied sleeves over jersey rust treated top
58. Multi-treated long tunic with lace-tied sleeves and long pants
59. Pale pink multi-treated bomber jacket with lace-tied shoulders, rust treated jersey top and short pants
60. Short multi-treated jumpsuit
61. Rust treated long shirt with lace-tied sleeves and long pants


eyewear-credit-1Yolanda Chiu, MFA Jewelry and Metal Art, was born and grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. Before studying at in the Academy of Art University, she worked as jeweler and graphic designer in Taiwan and founded her private label Yolanda C Studio. Her collection of acrylic glasses feature western decorative patterns, and baroque laser cut forms in flashy pop-art colors bring playful accents to two of the designers’ collections in the show..

Executive Producer – Simon Ungless, Executive Director of the School of Fashion

Casting – Zan Ludlum Casting /

Stylist – Marcell Rocha for Workgroup /

Production – LDJ Productions /

Front-of-House Production – ProjectG Productions

Show Press – Jono Waks /




Music – Scott Ewalt

Production Assistant – Arlene Zacarias

Dressers – Audrey Smaltz Inc. The Ground Crew

Hair by Jon Reyman for Aveda

Ladybrille Magazine

Founded in 2007, Ladybrille® Magazine is a California based pioneer digital publication demystifying the image of Africans in the west through contemporary African fashion and celebrating the brilliant woman in business and leadership, with an emphasis on the African woman in the diaspora. Our coverage includes stories on capital, access to markets, expertise, hiring and retention, sales, marketing, and promotions.

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