Fashion Weeks

Pictures & Video: The 2014 Academy of Art Graduation Spring Fashion Show

On Thursday, May 8, 2014, 30 student designers’ dreams were realized as they saw their collections walk the runway at the annual Academy of Art University Graduation Fashion Show and Awards Ceremony. In addition to showcasing student work for this year’s Guests of Honor, Rosita Missoni, Angela Missoni, and Margherita Maccapani Missoni, the fashion show introduced 20 collaborative collections of these B.F.A. students who studied Fashion Design, Knitwear Design, Technical Design, Textile Design, and Jewelry and Metal Arts, to some of the most influential members of the fashion world. In attendance were representatives from Abercrombie & Fitch, BCBGMAXAZARIAGROUP, Levi’s, Li & Fung USA, Old Navy, and Pottery Barn. “Part of our commitment to the designers is to help launch their careers and have their collections seen by as many industry professionals as possible,” said Dr. Elisa Stephens, President of Academy of Art University.

On Wednesday, May 7, 2014, a luncheon was held in honor of three generations of Missoni women – Rosita, Angela and Margherita. President Stephens, on behalf of the Mayor’s Office of San Francisco, presented a proclamation to the Missonis declaring May 7, 2014, “Missoni Day in San Francisco.” Also at the luncheon, Gladys Perint Palmer, renowned fashion illustrator and Executive Director of the School of Fashion, gifted Suzy Menkes, International Vogue Editor of Condé Nast, Rosita, Angela and Margherita with illustrations from her archives to mark the occasion. For dessert, a custom made Missoni cake was enjoyed.

During their visit, Rosita, Angela and Margherita spent time visiting classrooms, viewing student work, and took part in a discussion with Suzy Menkes, International Vogue Editor of Condé Nast, and moderated by Gladys Perint Palmer. The conversation touched on the Missoni brand’s success as a family business, the way that the Missoni lifestyle has shaped the company, their fashion inspiration, and even some insights into the family dynamic.


Marcia Amandary, B.F.A. Fashion Design, was born in Jakarta, Indonesia and grew up in Perth, Australia. Her womenswear collection was inspired by tessellation, which is reflected in her collection through the use of geometric seams and angular silhouettes. Her collection consists of felted wool, lightweight wool, wool sweater knits and corduroy.

Kika Knaup, B.F.A. Knitwear Design, grew up in Tegernsee, Bavaria, Germany. Before coming to Academy of Art University, she completed a three-year women’s tailoring apprenticeship in Germany and was awarded the Presidential Scholarship Award at the City College of San Francisco, where she began studying fashion design. Kika’s graduation collection, which consists solely of knitwear, was inspired by a combination of traditional Bavarian clothing as well as the formation of glaciers.

Bowen Quan, B.F.A. Fashion Design, was born and raised in Qingdao, China. The ocean, which in Chinese culture represents women, mothers, and home, is represented in her designs through the use of blue woven suiting and jersey twisted together to look like the movement of water. Bowen collaborated with Yucen Wavy Tang, M.F.A. Jewelry and Metal Arts, who created jewelry pieces to accompany the garments. Originally from Wuijang, China, before attending Academy of Art University Yucen earned a Bachelors Degree in Architecture fromSuchow University of Science and Technology in China. Her work was featured in last the 2013 Academy of Art University Spring Show and was awarded the Director’s Choice Award.


Karen Chuhua Yao, B.F.A. Fashion Design, hails from Honolulu, Hawaii. During her time at the University, Karen has worked as a tailor assistant in Emporio Armani where she spent most of her time fitting and altering clients’ clothing. She also won the CFDA award. Karen’s collection aims to juxtapose a formal attitude with informal construction and forms. Her collection features classic suiting in a range of houndstooth and check patterns, contrasted with playful cobalt blue accents.

Iris Jin, B.F.A. Fashion Design, is from Longjing in Jilin Province, China. Before coming to Academy of Art University, Iris served as a fashion trend website editor for a local Shangai publication, and was a design assistant at Harputs. Iris drew inspiration from seashells, and her designs employ hand draping to evoke the spiral patterns and curved, rounded shapes found in shells.


Zonic Kwong, B.F.A. Menswear Design, was born in Hong Kong and moved to San Francisco at the age of eight. Zonic was inspired by the way nomads and tribal villagers layer their clothing, and her collection captures the unique silhouette and dimension that can be achieved through layering. The menswear collection was made in collaboration with José Dojaquez, B.F.A. Knitwear Design, who blended silhouettes from Tibetan monks with those seen on street basketball players. Originally from Mexicali in Baja California, México, José was recognized as a 2013 Overall School Finalist for CFDA Consideration and was selected as a runner up for the 2014 San Francisco Paris Sister City Scholarship Exchange in Paris, France at L’Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. Karina Denery, B.F.A. Fashion Design, provided accessories for the runway show.
Jordan Rae Epstein, B.F.A. Childrenswear Design, grew up in San Mateo, California. She recently completed a design internship at Abercrombie & Fitch, was the first place winner of the ASSOULINE Publishing “Impossible Collection” Illustration Contest in 2011, and has been selected as a runner up for the 2014 San Francisco Paris Sister City Scholarship Exchange in Paris, France at L’Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. For her unisex childrenswear line, Jordan found inspiration in the work of artists such as Carlos Cruz-Diez, Briget Riley and Stephan Prina. Textiles were created by Sheni Moshabesha, B.F.A. Textile Design, who was born in Maseru, Lesotho, Africa, and grew up in both Montreal, Canada and Nairobi, Kenya. Inspiration for the textiles came from graphic art and optical illusions, in particular Carlos Cruz-Diez and his application of color and line to create movement in his artwork, Henri Matisse’s paper cutouts and Roy Lichtenstein’s playful use of bold colors. Last year, she was named a YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF) award winner.


Leo Lee, B.F.A. Fashion Design, was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. Leo drew inspiration from the metal-patched artwork of Danh Vo, and the use of rivets in a collection otherwise comprised of rounded shapes juxtaposes soft with hard. The collection is comprised of organza, chiffon, cow skin leather and wool.


Annie Abbey, B.F.A. Fashion Design, grew up in Santa Cruz, California. During her time at Academy of Art University, Annie held internships in design, production, and styling at Aeropostale, Indigo Handloom, Nordstrom, and ENK International. For her collection, Annie used only recycled materials, including remnant fabrics courtesy of Indigo Handloom, as well as found garments, curtains and The textiles used in the collection reflected Annie’s original inspiration: nomads and their eclectic lifestyles. Annie has been offered a full time job with Abercrombie & Fitch. Additional knitwear was provided by fashion students Xingyu Hu and Ghazaleh Khalifeh.


Morgan Truong, B.F.A. Fashion Design, born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and has lived in both Singapore and New Zealand. Her talent has been recognized in both Singapore and the U.S.; Morgan won the 2011 Singapore Women’s Haute Couture Week Competition, and she was awarded third place in Inspirare’s 2013 Global Design Competition. For her graduation collection Morgan collaborated with Han Huynh, B.F.A. Industrial Design, who created 3D printed accessories that were inspired by car engines. The collection aimed to transform tradition by modernizing the shapes ofboth the interior and exterior of retro style cars.Materials used in the collection include Nappa metallic leather, wool melton, hand-dyed Hmong cotton, silk, Lycra and wool.

Tony Wloch, B.F.A. Fashion Design, was born in Durham, North Carolina and grew up in San Diego, California. While at Academy of Art University, Tony has worked as a designer for Betabrand, as a design assistant for both Farm Tactics and CC Couture, and has interned as a designer for Band of Outsiders. For his collection, Tony juxtaposed luxury with function—creating chic garments out of blue-collar fabrics. Tony used recycled jeans and shirts to create patchwork accent fabrics, which are used alongside chambray and linen.


Nicole Bell, B.F.A. Fashion Design, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in Houston, Texas. Nicole found inspiration while visiting Yosemite State Park, specifically she was inspired by motorcycle-riding women traveling through Yosemite. She collaborated with Holly Hapka, B.F.A. Textile Design, who was born in Columbus, Indiana. Holly was a 2014 YMA Scholarship Fund recipient, and was awarded second place in the Stylesight International Prints & Graphics Contest. For the textiles used in the collection Holly was motivated by the wallpaper florals of William Morris, Sophie Tottie’s careful line drawings, and the expressive circular brushstrokes of Sonia Delaunay. Designs were printed onto fabrics including organdie, furnishing satin, five different embroidery anglaises, feola cotton, coutil cotton floral optic, coated cotton canvas, gazar and organza.
Esther Shim, B.F.A. Menswear Design, was born and raised in San Jose, California. She was named as a 2013 Ralph Lauren Summer Creative Intern Competition winner and also won the CFDA Clara Hancox Scholarship Award for Menswear Design in 2013. Her collection was created with painted twill and cotton fabrics in various weights, loose weave wool, wool crepe suiting, wool suiting, 2-ply jersey and cotton shirting fabric. She was inspired by the idea that classic vintage pieces stay relevant through time, especially tailored Japanese pieces.


Jaide Lennox Folger, B.F.A. Fashion Design, is from Apple Valley, California. She has worked for AllSaints, Levi Strauss & Co., and Jeremy’s Department Store. Her collection is comprised of Pima, Bosalini, and Heatherwood cottons and inspired by images of mirages in the desert, clothing worn in a post apocalyptic world, and the film “Holy Mountain.” She collaborated with Lisa Voong, B.F.A. Textile Design, who grew up in Oakland, California. Lisa received an Honorable Mention at the Stylesight Competition in 2013. Her textiles were created on black Borsalini cotton and white Devore poly/viscose. Lisa connected the textures and shapes from Holy Mountain with M.C. Escher’s use of negative space and imagery transitions with the detailed work of Jonathan Brechignac’s Blue Carpet. Lastly, Zoe Cope, B.F.A. Jewelry and Metal Arts, contributed unique pieces made of etched copper, laser cut acrylic, spray enamel, and leather straps. Geometry, ethnic armor and modern shapes inspired her pieces. Zoe is from New York, NY and was raised in Santa Monica, California.
Taylor Carr, B.F.A. Fashion Design, grew up in San Mateo, California. Taylor won the Teen Vogue CFDA Award in 2012. His collection was inspired by hypnagogia: a world between reality and dreams, which blends together what is real and what is not. To achieve a collection that looks as though it could be conjured from a dream or premonition, Taylor hand-placed various sized Swarovski crystals onto brocade fabrics; one pair of trousers contains over 5,000 crystals. Other fabrics used in the collection include wool suiting, wool crepe and cotton shirting.


Vivian Mazuki, B.F.A. Fashion Design, was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, and grew up in Singapore. Her collection was inspired by Christopher Payne’s photograph collection “Asylum,” and is constructed from cashmere, wool suiting, pin-stripe wool and silk wool blend fabrics. Vivian collaborated with Dale Beevers, B.F.A. Jewelry and Metal Arts, who hails from Bloomfield, New Mexico. Dale wanted her jewelry to evoke a feeling of restrained madness, balancing the natural chaos and unmodified beauty of the natural materials with the structure of precisely designed forms and highly refined surfaces. She used a variety of materials to create her senior collection including wood, horn, bone, brass, cement, coral and pyrite. During the Portfolio Review before the Fashion Show, Rosita Missoni bought some of Dale’s bracelets.

Aile Hua, B.F.A. Fashion Design, was born in Vietnam and grew up in San Jose, California. She has been selected for the 2014 San Francisco Paris Sister City Scholarship Exchange in Paris, France at L’Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. Her collection evokes her inspiration, space and astrology, through carefully placed pieces of rose quartz, some of which are placed randomly while others are placed according to constellations. Aile has held fashion design internships with Cary Lascala, VPL by Victoria Bartlett, and BCBGMAXAZRIA. She also received an Honorable Mention for the YMA FSF 2013 Geoffrey Beene Design Scholarship Fund.


Yuko Okudaira, B.F.A. Fashion Design, is from Kumamoto City, Japan. Yuko has been awarded an internship with Missoni in Milan, Italy, was offered an internship with BCBGMAXAZRIA, and was selected for the 2014 San Francisco Paris Sister City Scholarship Exchange in Paris for Studio Berçot. While attending Academy of Art University, she has interned at both MansoorScott and Micaela Greg, two collections by School of Fashion alumnae. She used solely white cotton twill, polyester mesh, and lycra knit jersey, which was spray-painted by her collaborator and graffiti artist Liang Huo, B.F.A. Animation and Visual Effects.


Seth C. Olson, B.F.A. Menswear Design, is from Bolder, Colorado. During his time at Academy of Art University, he has interned at Patrik Ervell in New York, and worked as a design and production lead at Aurora by Olson in San Francisco. Seth drew inspiration from Antarctica, specifically the stark contrast between soft, white, powdery snow and hard, sharp cracks in ice. This inspiration is clearly visible in his collection through his unique, hand-made cracked textile fabric. Other innovative materials were used for the collection, including faux fur, vinyl, plain weave cotton, waxed denim, brushed cotton twill, Polartec 300 fleece and cotton flannel. Seth has been offered a full time job with Abercrombie & Fitch.


Jenny Hien Hoang, B.F.A. Fashion Design, was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and grew up in both Vietnam and Oregon. A CFDA award winner, Jenny has spent time as an intern for Josh’s Tailoring and Design. She drew design inspiration from the character named Megatron in the movie “Transformers,” and created her own unique textile by hand-bleaching denim fabric. Jenny has been selected to participate in the Supima Design Competition at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center in New York City in September 2014.

Photocredit: Randy Brooke/Wireimage

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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