A model walks the runway at the Academy of Art University Spring 2017 Collections during New York Fashion Week at The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 10, 2016 in New York City.

Academy of Art University Presents Spring/Summer 2017 Collections During 20th Showing at New York Fashion Week

In-house Press Contacts:
Ian MacKintosh / 415.618.3849 / imackintosh@academyart.edu
Elena Eberhard / 415.618.3831 / eeberhard@academyart.edu

Academy of Art University Presents Spring 2017 Collections During 20th Showing at New York Fashion Week
Saturday, September 10 at 8:00 PM
The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station

San Francisco, CA, September 11, 2016 — The School of Fashion at Academy of Art University selected 13 students to debut their Spring 2017 collections at the University’s 20th New York Fashion Week show on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 8:00 PM in The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station in New York City.

“Since our first runway presentation at New York Fashion Week in September 2005, the show has grown in size and in the caliber of those in attendance such as retail executives, designers, recruiters, as well as the national and international media,” said Dr. Elisa Stephens, President of Academy of Art University. “We have always been committed to help launch the careers of our students, and are honored to have a platform of this magnitude to present their work.”

“This season each of designers holds a unique and thoughtful vision,” said Simon Ungless, Executive Director of the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University. “Their collections honor the essence of our industry and carry a conscientious connection to textile design, three-dimensional design, tailoring and construction techniques. It has been a pleasure for all of us in the School of Fashion to guide them while preserving their individuality and integrity.”

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Download Runway Images
GettyImages High Resolution Runway: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/wChXQ
GettyImages Low Resolution Runway: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/zmXFL

Watch NYFW Spring 2017 Show

Download NYFW Spring 2017 Video:

Download Designer Portraits
Designer Portrait Photographer: Bob Toy

Download Designer Look Book Images
Collection High Resolution: https://www.hightail.com/download/cUJYYURLa0RsamZtcXRVag
Collection Low Resolution: https://www.hightail.com/download/cUJYYURLa0RKV081eDhUQw
Collection Photographer: Nick Gutierrez
Art Direction: Simon Ungless
Stylist: Danielle Wallis
Hair and Makeup: Joshua Conover at Workgroup
Models: Claire and August at Stars Model Management
Photo Assistant: Danielle Rueda

Designers Presenting Collections
For the Spring 2017 New York Fashion Week showing, 13 designers will present ten collections; in total, seven womenswear collections and three menswear collections will be shown. One of the designers created acrylic eyewear that will be shown in two different collections.

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Nina Nguyen Hui, MFA Fashion Design, was born and raised in Da Nang, Vietnam. While studying at Academy of Art University, she won a competition to intern in BCBG Max Azria where she created samples using macrame and other craft techniques. Her looks were featured in the “Celebrating 30 Years of Hervé Léger” Collection at the 2015 Graduation Fashion Show. Her thesis collection is inspired by sea corals and the organic nature of their patterns. Sea coral can be fierce and unforgiving but also exhibit a soft beauty that is both powerful and fragile. Her interest in learning various techniques shows throughout her designs that feature elaborate tambour beading, embroidery, and laser cutting.

Credit: Yolanda Chiu, MFA Jewelry and Metal Art, created the acrylic eyewear

  1. Embroidered grey blue dress
  2. Pink and grey embroidered dress and cropped jacket
  3. Navy blue embroidered dress
  4. Coral pink and grey embroidered dress
  5. Grey blue dress with embroidered top


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Melissa Kheng, MFA Fashion Design, was born and raised in Singapore. Her thesis menswear collection is inspired by the unabashed masculinity of the Japanese subculture Bosozoku, and utilitarian elements of traditional fishermen. Both concepts are similar in being part of a group that gave life meaning and solidarity with others. Waxed cotton coats and jackets, oversized pocket pants, layered panels, and laser cut graphic pieces are combined with classic street wear shapes.

  1. Laser cut vest with white pants
  2. Contrast trimmed coat with cotton pants
  3. Contrast trimmed jacket, top and white cotton pants
  4. White jersey tee with contrast laser cut details white pants
  5. Contrast jacket with oversized pockets and cotton pants
  6. Contrast jacket with laser cut sleeves, cotton pants and top


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Natalya Sheveleva Robinson, BFA Knitwear Design, was born in Izhevsk, Russia. Her inspiration for her thesis collection evolved from Arnold Schoenberg’s musical theory “Emancipation of Dissonance” as well as Art Deco architecture. She challenged herself to express synergy of the opposites such as warm and cold colors, and strong geometric lines with fluid drapes. As a knitwear designer, she manipulated every stitch to show this graphic composition incorporating the idea of a textile print into knitwear.

  1. Brown and teal contrast knitted wool and silk top over knitted silk dress
  2. Contrast knit teal and brown layered silk and wool dress
  3. Sleeveless turquoise knitted silk blend dress
  4. Brown and teal long sleeved layered silk and wool dress
  5. Long sleeved teal silk blend dress with cropped mohair blend coat


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Yi Ru Chen, MFA Fashion Design, was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. After completing her BFA in Visual and Media Art, she worked at Bun-Hung jewelry company as a studio assistant, creating jewelry designs and merchandising the showroom. Chen’s collection, in collaboration with Jing Qian, MFA Textile Design, aims to express the changeable and soft feeling of water such as melting forms and streams. Her fluid silhouettes combine 1920s shapes with minimalist drapes creating relaxed and comfortable garments.

Jing Qian, MFA Textile Design, was born in Suzhou, China, and grew up in Nara, Japan. While studying for her BFA in Illustration, Qian interned at Alexander McQueen. In China, she worked as freelance graphic designer for Bailin Commercial Consulting. For this collaborative collection with Yi Ru Chen, MFA Fashion Design, Qian designed abstract prints on organic cotton and jersey. Large brush strokes and hand painted giant flowers patterns are printed using eco-friendly pigments.

Credit: Yolanda Chiu, MFA Jewelry and Metal Art, created the acrylic eyewear

  1. Olive and off-white abstract print top and pants
  2. Abstract color print bomber jacket with tiered skirt
  3. Abstract print drop shoulder top with pants
  4. Asymmetric neck abstract print blouse with split skirt
  5. Drop shoulder abstract print dress
  6. Drop shoulder abstract print top and skirt


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Lindsey Trueman, MFA Fashion Design, was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Her thesis collection is inspired by her family heritage, uniting her great-great grandmother story and Native American roots. Tailored silhouettes are created using repurposed grain sacks bearing original embroidered initials and burn-out brocade. Garments appear to have already had their own life and story. By giving them new life, Lindsey longs for honoring her own heritage, drawing strength from that and building a legacy for the future.

Credit: Melody Hesaraky, MFA Textile Design, created one of the prints

  1. Graphic print grain sack long split coat with shirt and pants
  2. Grain sack long jacket with shirt and pants
  3. Long shirt dress with vintage embroidery and pants
  4. Grain sack jacket, shirt and pants
  5. Burn out brocade jacket and shirt dress
  6. Grain sack coat and shirt dress


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Ben Ellis, BFA Menswear Design, was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. Having seen first hand the dramatic deterioration of the native Alaskan habitat, Ellis upholds ethical and sustainable practices in his own design work. His collection is inspired by the Fauvism oeuvre of French artist Andre Derain. Ellis used repurposed denim and jersey for the majority of his designs. During his last semester at Academy of Art University, Ellis was awarded the 2016 California Fashion Foundation Scholarship Award.

  1. Short-sleeved wolf denim vest with treated denim pants
  2. Alligator denim appliqué tunic with pants
  3. Eagle printed and appliqué denim top over applique shorts
  4. Leopard print denim tunic with pants
  5. Sleeveless serpent lined denim top with jersey dungarees
  6. Print denim draped coat over denim vest and drawstring jersey pants
  7. Bear printed applique tunic over pants
  8. Printed denim jacket over denim vest and pants


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Anita Szu-Yi Chen, MFA Knitwear Design, was born and raised in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Chen’s thesis collection explores the dichotomy of appearance and expectations in the construction of clothing. She manipulates her knitwear designs into angular shapes with structured folds, and designed her fabric to be reversible with varying patterns on both sides.

  1. Layered contrast merino knitted vest over dress
  2. Contrast merino top with kid mohair side drape over black knitted skirt
  3. Short sleeved merino jacket over black and lilac contrast merino dress
  4. Black and red long sleeved merino top over black and red pleated merino skirt
  5. Draped black merino dress with white contrast details


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Dora Li, MFA Fashion Design, was born and raised in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China. Li completed her BFA in Fashion Design in China and worked as assistant designer at Ningbo Peace Bird Group, where she did collection development research and was responsible for styling seasonal look books. Her thesis collection was inspired by photographs of child workers from the 1930s who wore adult clothes. Their awkward yet touching proportions are referenced in the high waist, pleats, and oversized silhouettes constructed from burn out fabrics created in collaboration with Carly Dean, MFA Textile Design.

Carly Dean, MFA Textile Design, was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. While a student at Academy of Art University, she interned at Abercrombie and Fitch where she assisted in developing and designing prints for seasonal concepts. Collaborating with Dora Li, M.F.A. Fashion Design, Dean created multi-layered fabrics treated in a burnout technique. She was inspired by unexpected textures found throughout the city.

  1. Beige sleeveless pleated dress with burn out fabric detail
  2. Lilac burn out fabric pleated jacket with oversized pants
  3. Blue cut out shoulder detail top with pleats and burn out fabric, oversized pants
  4. Ombré burn out navy blue pant suit
  5. Pale blue cut out shoulder detail jumpsuit in burn out fabric
  6. Beige cut out shoulder detail dress in burn out fabric


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GeuMi Lee, MFA Fashion Design, was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. GeuMi has interned at Diane von Furstenberg, Vera Wang and Wes Gordon. Her thesis collection is based on the ideas of athleticism and orientalism, combining active sportswear with the traditional Asian garments.  Football jackets, boxing shorts, and martial arts skirts are made of technical fabrics, such as polyethylene and polypropolene, creating sophisticated sculptural forms.

  1. White funnel neck top with padded short
  2. White asymmetric jacket with white padded pants
  3. Zipped white jacket with double layered pants and top
  4. White top with white pleated skirt
  5. White zipped double layered coat over shorts
  6. White padded shoulder top over white shorts


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Brandon Kee, BFA Menswear Design, grew up in Murray, Utah. Kee’s collection is a combination of oversized baggy cuts mixed with aviation inspired details that pay homage to 90s hip hop and Chinese anti-gravity pilot suits of the 1970s. He applied rust die techniques to transform the conventional materials and reversed the jacquard fabric using the ‘wrong’ side.  While studying at Academy of Art University, Kee was awarded a Teen Vogue Scholarship.

  1. Pale pink coat with lace-tied sleeves over rust treated top, shirt and pants
  2. Pale pink rust treated jersey top and shirt with multi-treated pants
  3. Multi-treated shirt with short pants
  4. Rust treated jumpsuit with lace-tied sleeves over jersey rust treated top
  5. Multi-treated long tunic with lace-tied sleeves and long pants
  6. Pale pink multi-treated bomber jacket with lace-tied shoulders, rust treated jersey top and short pants
  7. Short multi-treated jumpsuit
  8. Rust treated long shirt with lace-tied sleeves and long pants


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Yolanda Chiu, MFA Jewelry and Metal Art, was born and grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. Before studying at Academy of Art University, she worked as jeweler and graphic designer in Taiwan and founded her private label Yolanda C Studio. Her collection of acrylic glasses feature western decorative patterns, and baroque laser cut forms in flashy pop-art colors bring playful accents to two of the collections in the show.

End of Show

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, Art Teaching Credential, Automotive Restoration, Fashion, Fashion Costume Design, Fashion Journalism, Fashion Marketing, Fashion Merchandising, Fashion Product Development, Fashion Visual Merchandising, Fashion Styling, Fine Art, Game Development, Game Programming, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design (Transportation, Product, & Toy 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 Writing for Film, Television & Digital Media. Academy of Art University is an accredited member of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WSCUC), National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), Council for Interior Design (CIDA) for BFA-IAD and MFA-IAD, CTC (California Teacher Credential), and National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) for M.Arch. and B.Arch.

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; Costume Design; Fashion Illustration; Fashion Journalism; Fashion Marketing and Brand Management; Fashion Styling; Fashion Merchandising; Fashion Product Development; 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, BCBG Max Azria, Bill Blass, 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, The North Face, 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 Zaid Affas, Azzedine Alaïa, Prosper and Martine Assouline, Max and Lubov Azria of BCBG Max Azria Group, Yigal Azrouël, Geoffrey Beene, Mickey Boardman of Paper Magazine, Rose Marie Bravo, Alex Brownless of Arts Thread, Sarah Burton, Andrew Buckler, Julie Chaiken, Kenneth Cole, 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, Lisa Smilor and Sara Kozlowski 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, Ian Hannula and Joe Haller of N.I.C.E. Collective, Elisa Palomino, Laure du Pavillon, Lars Byrresen Petersen of Visionaire, Zac Posen, Oscar de la Renta, Zandra Rhodes CBE, Kate and Laura Mulleavy for Rodarte, 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, Tim Blanks, Robin Givhan, Cathy Horyn, Suzy Menkes, and Joe Zee.

About School of Fashion Directors

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 10 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 Executive 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, as well as 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. Currently, Ungless operates two artisanal design companies, When Simon Met Ralph, which focuses on apparel, and Blackened, which centers on accessories and home. Both projects are the culmination of Ungless’ inspirational development work over his career.

Jayne Foster, Graduate Director of Fashion, graduated from The Royal College of Art with a M.A. in Womenswear. She has designed for a private label that showed in London, Paris, and New York. Her freelance clients included House of Fraser, Urban Outfitters, and Whistles. She created a collection of concept designs for Burton Snowboards for both the main women’s range and the younger B by Burton range, designed textiles for Hop Lun Lingerie, and her fashion illustration work has been exhibited in London galleries. Before joining the School of Fashion in 2012, she taught design for eight years in London and designed for the British brand Monsoon.

Gary Miller, Director of Fashion, has more than 16 years of experience in New York and London as a fashion director. His design scope encompasses building and maintaining a brand’s identity, initiating a start-up concept, reinvigorating an existing line, and nurturing an ongoing successful brand. For many years, he worked as a Design Director for men’s sportswear division at Macy’s Merchandising Group in New York. Previously, he worked at The Men’s Wearhouse, Wilke-Rodriguez, Here and There (now part of The Doneger Group), and Michiko Koshino. He holds a B.A. in Fashion Design with Textiles from Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication in the U.K.

Sharon Murphy, Graduate Director of Fashion Merchandising, graduated with a B.A. from Ohio State University, and has held management positions in product development, sourcing, manufacturing, and fashion retailing. She worked for Esprit de Corp on domestic and international levels with a focus on the development of fabrics and apparel for contemporary, junior, and children’s markets. Murphy joined the School of Fashion as an instructor in 2001. She continues to work with Venice Collaborative, sourcing textiles and related materials for the group’s architecturally and artistically expressive residential projects in Venice, California.

Jinah Oh, Director of Fashion Merchandising, earned her M.B.A. in Marketing at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, as well as a B.S. in Clothing and Textiles and a B.A. in Philosophy from EWHA Women’s University in Seoul, Korea. She has extensive experience in international fashion and luxury brands. With Escada Asia, she developed business and market strategies, managed merchandising and buying for multiple brands, pioneered and initiated brick and mortar and e-commerce channel development. Later with Cartier, Richemont Korea Ltd., she oversaw retail operations and all aspects of retail marketing activities for the Korean market.

Iliana Ricketts, Director of Online Fashion, was appointed to Director of Online Fashion in 2014, Assistant Director of Online Fashion in 2009, and previously held the position of Fashion Department Coordinator since 2005.  Prior to coming to the United States, Iliana had established herself as a recognized designer in her country of Bulgaria. She received her M.F.A. in Fashion Design from Academy of Art University. In 2002, she launched ‘ILYA,’ a designer ready-to-wear label sold nationally in stores such as Henri Bendel. Her line was also seen on the HBO television series, Sex And The City. In 2004, she became head designer of the boutique and golf line GGblue. Under her creative direction, GGblue became one of the most successful and fashion-forward brands in the golf and leisure industry.

Stephan Rabimov, Director of Fashion Journalism & Social Media Center, has ten years of experience in digital and print publishing, journalism, social media, public relations and marketing. He is Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of DEPESHA, and a contributing writer to The Huffington Post and Forbes International. Stephan has lectured at Johns Hopkins University and at The Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology. Stephan was also Executive Fashion Editor for FourTwoNine magazine since May 2011, and Founder of RABIMOV Public Relations Agency since May 2010, successfully launching Thom Browne, Rubin Singer, and Custo Barcelona in Russia. Stephan directly managed the opening of Nicola Formichetti’s pop-up store in New York City as well as produced runway shows featuring emerging international designers during New York, St. Petersburg, Toronto, and Vancouver Fashion Weeks. Stephan has been interviewed and published across dozens of publications, including The New York Times, Russia Beyond The Headlines Edition, Women’s Wear Daily, L’Officiel Ukraine, Vogue Russia, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CNN, Yahoo Style, Examiner, and The Huffington Post.

School of Fashion at Academy of Art University
79 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
Call 800.544.2787 (U.S. only) or 415.274.2200
Academy of Art University: www.academyart.edu
School of Fashion: www.academyart.edu/academics/fashion


Executive Producer – Simon Ungless, Executive Director of the School of Fashion
Casting – Zan Ludlum Casting / zanludlum.com
Stylist – Marcell Rocha for Workgroup / workgroup-ltd.com
Production – LDJ Productions / ldjproductions.com
Front-of-House Production – ProjectG Productions
Show Press – Jono Waks / jono.waks@gmail.com


Music – Scott Ewalt
Production Assistant – Arlene Zacarias
Dressers – Audrey Smaltz Inc. The Ground Crew
Hair by Jon Reyman for Aveda


Make-up by Victor Cembellin and the MAC PRO team


Nail Services by Patricia Yankee


 In-house Press Contacts:
Ian MacKintosh / 415.618.3849 / imackintosh@academyart.edu
Elena Eberhard / 415.618.3831 / eeberhard@academyart.edu