San Francisco, CA, November 24, 2014 — Academy of Art University has received accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) for MFA and BFA Costume Design degrees.
The Costume Design program will be housed in the School of Fashion and led by Costume Design Program Coordinator Margaret Whitaker. School of Fashion Executive Director Simon Ungless will oversee the program. Students in the Costume Design program will benefit not only from the rigorous garment construction techniques taught in the School of Fashion, but also from practical experience gained through collaboration with both the School of Motion Pictures & Television and the School of Acting.
“In recent years we have seen many established fashion designers moving into the world of costume design, such as Christian Lacroix’s ballet costumes for La Source and Jean Paul Gaultier’s costumes for movies such as The Fifth Element and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover,” said Ungless. “Our students are following their lead and have shown interest in crossing over from fashion design into costume design. With our close proximity to the film industry in Southern California along with San Francisco’s rich history in live performance, there are plenty of opportunities for these young designers to succeed in the costume industry.”
The curriculum at the School of Fashion is taught by working artists and designers, which gives students unique access to individuals with exceptional skills and professional contacts. San Francisco’s thriving theater community will enable motivated students to begin assisting local designers and working professionally while pursuing their undergraduate or graduate degrees.
MFA Costume Design
The 63-unit MFA Costume Design degree will provide students with advanced study in costume design and garment construction tailored specifically for film. Through research, design and practical construction technique courses, MFA candidates will master skills in classical theatrical performance types prior to focusing their study on design for film.
Students in the MFA Costume Design program will collaborate frequently with instructors and students in both the School of Motion Pictures & Television and the School of Acting, and Costume Design majors will have multiple opportunities to design for short films by MFA directing students as well for as faculty-produced short films and features.
During the course of the program, MFA candidates will complete a final thesis project and compile both a professional portfolio as well as reel footage of their film costume work.
BFA Costume Design
The 132-unit BFA Costume Design program provides students with basic skills in visual arts, key technical skills and opportunities to practice their craft in active production environments. By combining a rigorous sewing program with industry-specific design courses, students will be prepared to work in theater and film.
With high-level sewing and design classes available, undergraduate students will build composition and technical skills through learning to construct corsets and tutus and will have access to millinery, textile, tambour beading and jewelry-making classes. Introductory studio courses provide students with basic skills in visual arts, including knowledge of drawing and modeling and the study of structure, form, balance, movement and grace. Students will be taught to incorporate color theory, the effects of light, graphic and two-dimensional design, craftsmanship and presentation into their design work.
BFA candidates will have the opportunity to design theatrical productions, collaborating with directors, fellow designers and actors to create costumes that support the needs of a play. Additionally, students will have access to School of Motion Pictures & Television directing students and can add film costume design projects to their portfolios.
National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), founded in 1944, is an association of approximately 323 schools of art and design, primarily at the collegiate level, but also including postsecondary non-degree-granting schools for the visual arts disciplines. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials. Institutional membership is gained only through the peer review process of accreditation and individual membership is available by application. The Association produces statistical research, provides professional development for leaders of art and design schools, and engages in policy analysis. NASAD is the only accrediting agency covering the entire field of art and design recognized by the United States Department of Education. For more information visit http://nasad.arts-accredit.org.
About Academy of Art University
Academy of Art University, the largest private university of art and design in the United States, is educating students for the art and design jobs of the 21st century. Established in 1929, the Academy is an output-based higher education model that provides an inclusive admissions policy to all students, but imposes a rigorous curriculum that requires the students to produce a portfolio of work that demonstrates a mastery of their field in order to graduate. Students are taught by a faculty of professionals from the existing marketplace, both online and on campus in San Francisco, who provide them with an understanding of what it takes to succeed in today’s business environment. The Academy’s hands-on curriculum produces graduates who possess outstanding artistic and design skills—and equally as important, the ability to put those talents to work immediately after graduation. As a result, Academy graduates are ready to compete for and win the jobs of the 21st century in the fields of Acting, Advertising, Animation & Visual Effects, Architecture, Art Education, Art History, Costume Design, Fashion, Fashion Journalism, Fashion Styling, Fine Art, Game Design, Game Programming, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture & Design, Jewelry & Metal Arts, Landscape Architecture, Motion Pictures & Television, Multimedia Communications, Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media, Photography, Studio Production for Advertising & Design, Visual Development, Web Design & New Media and Art Teaching Credential, and Writing for Film, Television & Digital Media. Academy of Art University is accredited by WASC, NASAD, Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) (BFA/MFA-IAD), NAAB (B-ARCH*, M-ARCH), and California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). *B-ARCH program in candidacy status. Visit www.academyart.edu for more information.
About the School of Fashion
Approximately 2,500 fashion students study under the guidance of experienced fashion professionals in the School of Fashion, which houses the following areas of specialization: Fashion Design for Womenswear, Menswear, and Childrenswear; Technical Design; Textile Design; Knitwear Design; Accessory Design; Fashion Illustration; Fashion Journalism; Fashion Marketing; Fashion Styling; Fashion Merchandising; and Visual Merchandising.
The University works with international brands and recruitment agencies on internships and job placement. Graduates have gone on to such companies as Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas, Alexander McQueen, Azzedine Alaïa, Banana Republic, BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP, Blanc de Chine, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Corso Como 10, Chloë, Diane von Fürstenberg, Donna Karan, Gap, Kate Spade, Kiton, L.A.M.B., L’Ecole Lesage Paris–Atelier de Broderie, Liz Claiborne, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Martin Margiela, Martine Sitbon, Missoni, Nike, Nordstrom, Northface, Old Navy, Oscar de la Renta, Phillip Lim, Pottery Barn, Ralph Lauren, Reebok, Roland Mouret, St. John, Threeasfour, Tocca, Viktor & Rolf, and Williams-Sonoma.
Guests to the School of Fashion include Azzedine Alaïa, Prosper and Martine Assouline, Max and Lubov Azria of BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP, Yigal Azrouël, Geoffrey Beene, Rose Marie Bravo, Sarah Burton, Andrew Buckler, Julie Chaiken, The Honorable Bertrand Delanoë Mayor of Paris, David Downton, Steven Cox and Daniel Silver of Duckie Brown, Patrik Ervell, Loulou de la Falaise, James Galanos, Neil Gilks of the CFDA, Joan Kaner, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony, Antonio Lopez, Fern Mallis, Alexander McQueen, Rosita and Tai Missoni, Angela Missoni, Margherita Maccapani Missoni, Isaac Mizrahi, Josie Natori, Christina Neault of IMG Fashion, Ian Hannula and Joe Haller of N.I.C.E. Collective, Elisa Palomino, Laure du Pavillon, Zac Posen, Oscar de la Renta, Zandra Rhodes CBE, Ralph Rucci, Nathalie Rykiel, HRH Princess Reema Bandar Al-Saud, Jeremy Scott, Carla Sozzani, Philip Treacy, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk van Saene, and Dame Vivienne Westwood DBE, as well as Christophe Girard Director of Fashion Strategy of LVMH Fashion Group, Robin Givhan, Cathy Horyn, and Suzy Menkes.
Simon Ungless, Executive Director of the School of Fashion, graduated from Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in 1992 and was awarded the prestigious M.A. Degree in Fashion with Distinction. He collaborated with Alexander McQueen on the first ten collections shown in London and New York, and personally introduced Sarah Burton, Creative Director of Alexander McQueen, to the late designer. In 2002, he was named Creative Director of Member Holiday, a Korean-based contemporary brand, launching both men’s and women’s collections with 37 freestanding stores. His work experience spans fashion design, textile design, forecasting, brand development, and marketing for such clients as Givenchy, Paul Smith, and Versace. In addition to his duties as the Director of the School of Fashion overseeing both M.F.A. and B.F.A. programs, he is the editorial director of the School of Fashion’s 180 magazine, and the executive producer of the annual Graduation Fashion Show and Awards Ceremony in San Francisco and the biannual fashion shows during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center in New York City.