SAN FRANCISCO — The fast-growing international scope of fashion education and business were vividly on display here last week when the Academy of Art University presented the annual three-day celebration for its fashion school graduates.
The event, which focuses primarily on presenting and connecting students to potential employers, included portfolio reviews to the trade, a lecture by The International Herald Tribune’s Suzy Menkes, and a fashion show and awards ceremony.
Graduate students presenting their designs for women’s wear, accessories and men’s wear were predominantly from Asia — including China, Japan, South Korea, Taipei, Thailand and Vietnam. A growing number of students at the school are from the Middle East.
The global nature of the fashion world was apparent during a lunch presented by Elisa Stephens, president of the academy, in honor of Max Azria and Lubov Azria of BCBG Max Azria Group. The company founder and chairman and his wife, chief creative officer, were both honored with an honorary doctorate.
“Max is from Tunisia, and I was originally from the Ukraine, so this is beyond a dream to be honored,” said Lubov Azria. “I couldn’t sleep last night, I was so excited.”
Max Azria, whose collections are currently sold in 37 countries, said that he is now targeting Australia and Brazil among an additional 30 new international markets.
“We are in six or seven locations in Russia and we are re-strategizing our presence there for more exposure,” he said. In the U.S., he is looking at new locations for larger stores in New York, Dallas and Chicago.
Others at the lunch included former mayor Willie Brown; Jill D’Alessandro, curator of the textiles department of the de Young Museum; Wilkes Bashford; Princess Reema Bandar Al-Saud, and Adrianna Sullivan.
The student fashion show presented collaborations among students in various B.F.A. programs such as textile arts and jewelry design. Standouts included sportswear by Phoebe Naiqing Wang inspired by uniforms of oil workers, and sculptural jackets and coats by Fay Xinzhou Liu.
Princess Reema unveiled an ongoing relationship with the academy through her Saudi Project. Earlier this year under her sponsorship, seven academy fashion students and two instructors studied traditional Saudi textiles, jewelry and metal arts in Jeddah and Riyadh. Fashion and accessories inspired by the initiative will be shown at Harvey Nichols in Riyadh later this year.
Abercrombie & Fitch and the Council of Fashion Designers of America also presented scholarships, while internships with BCBG Max Azria were revealed. Students had earlier been selected for exchange programs with Studio Bercot in Paris, and with L’Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia