Academy of Art Sends Graduates Down the Runway

Graduate students of the Academy of Arts University got to strut their stuff on April 26th for the annual Spring Show and Student Showcase. The Showcase is a n annual events granting design majors the opportunity to demo their various creations in front of fashion professionals. It allows them practical, hands-on experience and gives them a chance to see their creations draw stares. The Showcase provides for some a future, as designers present may hire said students, but no matter what it creates a memorable experience.

The Academy of Art University is for-profit, based in San Fransisco, and owned privately by members of the Stephens familty. It was founded in the olden days of yore, 1929, but was not initially an arts school. In fact, the then Academy of Advertising Arts, as 1929ians called it, was just as the title describes, an advertising school. Richard S. Stephens was the founder, a magazine editor and painter. His son Richard A. Stephens took over in ’51, and eventually the school landed in the hands of his daughter Elisa Stephens. The University has been participating in NY Fashion Week since 2005, attending the event bi-annually. AAU has regional accreditation and offers associates, bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

The diverse population of AAU hails from over 112 countries. The mixture of cultures, backgrounds, and spirit creates a slew of creative ideas. Graduate designers participating in the annual showcase have gone on to do many things. 2016 Alumni Brandon Kee went on to star in the 16th season of Project Runway. Many attributed his success on the show to his prior experience participating in the Student Showcase. Brandon himself weighed in stating in an interview, “It pushes you to figure out who your are quickly.”

The showcase is also a great way for professional designers in the industry to preview upcoming talent. Through the creativity of the next generation such professionals can anticipate oncoming trends, and be inspired themselves for future designs. On the whole the entire event is a crowning point of graduates, an icing on top of the cake. They get to feel what it is actually like.


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