Fashion Alumni and Students Answer the Call of South Asia

This fall, alumni and students from Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion will depart for Nepal, Bangladesh, and India for educational and professional opportunities, including the fulfillment of a Fulbright Scholarship, internships, and a new fashion school student exchange program developed in response to the San Francisco-Bangalore Sister City Initiative.

bethany_meuleners21-copyFulbright Scholarship
Kathmandu, Nepal

Bethany Meuleners, 2010 Academy of Art University Fashion and Knitwear Design Alumna, was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to spend 10 months in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal to study traditional apparel crafts with local artisans, and research how these techniques may be incorporated into global fashion while remaining sustainable for the artisans and beneficial to their economy.

“I strongly believe that the apparel crafts of Nepal will find a place within modern fashion, and that the techniques used can be applied in ways that are sustainable and maintain cultural integrity. I’ve always wanted to visit Nepal, a developing nation rich in apparel crafts; it is the perfect place to focus my Fulbright studies and research.”

As part of her Fulbright Scholarship, Bethany will be working with the Felt Industries Association of Nepal, the Handi-Crafts Design Centre, the Women’s Entrepreneurs Cooperative, and affiliate organizations for introductions to the artisan communities, local industry and trade. Upon completion in the summer of 2011, Bethany plans to create a textile and clothing collection that is culturally relevant, fashion-forward, and upholds sustainable and socially responsible practices.

In February 2010, Bethany debuted her collection during the Academy of Art University fashion show at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. She recently launched, a San Francisco-based label with fellow alumna, Sabah Mansoor Husain.

Follow the jump for more info on our students venturing off to South Asia.

Dhaka, Bangaladesh


Clockwise from top left: Vanessa Chan, Delphina Star Rodriguez, Kaleo Magdaro and Camille Bucu

Academy of Art University fashion design student, Vanessa Chan, and three Academy of Art University 2010 textile design alumni, Delphina Star Rodriguez, Camille Bucu, and Kaleo Magdaro, accepted internships with YELLOW, the in-house fashion label and retail division of Beximco Textile in Bangladesh. Until 2005, Beximco Textiles worked exclusively in exports and is still identified as one of Bangladesh’s largest garment exporters. With their decision to venture into the domestic retail market, YELLOW was launched in Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Vanessa, Delphina, Camille, and Kaleo will begin their internships this fall at Beximco’s headquarters in the capital city of Dhaka. Their experiences will include: pattern making; weaving; fabric technology; dyeing; wash/dry processing, as well as, sales forecasting, collection planning and post-season sales analysis.

Student Exchange Program
Bangalore, India


Adriane-Lauren Hueso (left) and Jennifer Isaza

In response to the San Francisco – Bangalore Sister City Initiative, the School of Fashion, Academy of Art University and the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) established an international student exchange program that will commence this fall. Two textile students from each school were selected for the exchange. Academy of Art University’s textile students, Adriane-Lauren Hueso and Jennifer Isaza, will study at NIFT’s Bangalore campus; NIFT’s textile students, Soumya Nandivada and Sumit Gill, will study at the School of Fashion, Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Upon completing her semester at NIFT in Bangalore, Adriane-Lauren Hueso will begin her internship with Beximco Textiles in Dhaka, Bangladesh.