Academy of Art University School of Fashion Opens SHOP657, a retail boutique in San Francisco’s historic Union Square

San Francisco, CA, December 2, 2014 – On Friday, December 5, 2014, Academy of Art University will open SHOP657, a permanent retail space created and curated by Academy of Art University School of Fashion Merchandising students. SHOP657 will sell one-of-a-kind clothing, shoes, accessories and decorative lifestyle items designed by School of Fashion students and alumni.

“With SHOP657 we are carrying on the momentum that the Academy of Art University School of Fashion experienced with our successful pop-up store, which made its debut at our spring show this past May,” said Keanan Duffty, Senior Director of Fashion Merchandising. “Creating and operating a dedicated fashion retail space is a unique opportunity and a logical progression for our Fashion Merchandising and Design students and alumni.”

The 1,500-square-foot store is located at 657 Sutter Street near the historic Union Square shopping district in downtown San Francisco. Academy of Art University merchandising students, who will also be operating the store, have transformed the space that formerly housed Marty’s Liquor & Gourmet. With items ranging from $50 to $800, the shop features products from alumni brands, including Mansoor Scott, San Francycle, VOIDTHEBRAND, Rinat Brodach, Freda Salvador, Mute by Joanne Lu, Apartment 415, Golden Pony Workshop, Gazel, Konstantina Tzovolou and NINETWENTYFIVE.

Additionally, the store provides hands-on merchandising experience for School of Fashion Merchandising students. As part of their semester coursework, BFA Merchandising Product Development students create a collection of gift items and accessories, from which BFA Merchandising Buying classes select products to be sold at the store. Merchandising Product Development and Merchandising Buying students then collaborate to set pricing and determine marketing strategy for these items. And beginning Spring 2015, merchandising students will have the opportunity to complete for-credit internships working at the retail space.

Executive Director of the School of Fashion Simon Ungless believes that the retail space is a key opportunity for Academy of Art University students to apply their skills in the real world. “The School of Fashion is committed to providing industry experience for our students. For our Design students, that manifests in the opportunity to show in runway shows at New York Fashion Week, and for our Fashion Journalism and Styling students the opportunity to work on 180 magazine lends them practical experience in the editorial world,” said Ungless. “Now, for our Fashion Merchandising students, the chance to work on SHOP657 gives them firsthand knowledge of working in a retail store environment.”

SHOP657 is located at 657 Sutter Street in San Francisco, CA, and will be open Wednesday to Saturday from 4:00-7:00 pm. The store will close at the end of the fall semester on December 20 and will reopen for the spring semester in January 2015.


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 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.

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About the School of Fashion Executive Director

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.

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