On the Catwalk with the Academy of Art University

Founded by Richard S. Stephens in 1929 to train students in the art of creating advertisements, San Francisco’s Academy of Art University has been a staple of New York Fashion Week since its first showing in 2005. Student designers travel to New York City twice each year to participate in the week-long festival which features fashion designers from across the world. The buzz surrounding the Academy of Art University can be easily attributed to the dedication of current University President, Elisa Stephens. In her time as leader of her Grandfather’s once humble arts academy, President Stephens spearheaded the growth of the school’s fashion department and solidified its presence at New York Fashion Week.

Every year, student and professional designers from around the globe converge on New York City to display their collections. The Academy of Art University has put on an incredible show featuring its most talented student designers for the past 21 New York Fashion Weeks. The Fall 2017 collections graced the runway at the Skylight Clarkson Square. In all, ten MFA and BFA students presented collections which included both Menswear and Womenswear lines.

The Academy of Art University presented a truly original showcase which featured students from throughout the US and the world. The collections were hailed for their originality, as well as a marked sense of craftsmanship and attention to detail. The average runway show lasts just 15 minutes. Years of classes, assignments, setbacks, and successes came together and created a brief moment for these students to express their creative visions to a star-studded crowd of fashion elites. The live audience, which included such notorious fashion personalities as America’s Next Top Model judge, and runway coach, Ms. J Alexander was only part of the total number of spectators. Several of New York Fashion Week’s shows were also broadcast across the world via livestream.


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