Fashion School News Eco Spotlight: Eco-friendly Wine Producer French Rabbit and Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University and eco-friendly wine producer, French Rabbit, challenged University students to create works of art, products, sculpture and fashion pieces inspired by and using the French Rabbit environmentally friendly packaging. Jean Charles Boisset, president of Boisset America, awarded scholarships to the winners of this challenge.

An exhibition of this project was on display until June 29th at the Academy of Art University Annual Spring Show, 601 Brannan Street in San Francisco.

Jean Charles Boisset, president of Sausalito-based Boisset America, and Dr. Elisa Stephens, president of Academy of Art University in San Francisco

For years, the Boisset family has been a leader in introducing sustainable, biodynamic and organic winemaking methods at all of its vineyards. With the launch of French Rabbit, Boisset and French Rabbit took things to the next level with the introduction of the “Tetra-Prisma” containers. 100% recyclable, the containers take less energy to produce, transport and recycle. They reduce packaging waste by 90% compared to glass bottles as well as reduce emissions and greenhouse gases during shipping. Imagine – 25 trucks of empty glass wine bottles is the same as one truck of empty French Rabbit cartons; once filled, three trucks of glass wine bottles is the same as one truck of French Rabbit. Since launching in July 2005, French Rabbit has saved over 4,400,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, which is the equivalent to taking 146,600 cars of the road for one day or 400 off the road for one year.

The Best of Show French Rabbit Scholarship Award winning project was “Rabbit with a Green Heart” by Zachary Roberts, Michael Feeney and David Sekoll, all School of Fine Art Sculpture. The welded steel rod rabbit has panels made from the French Rabbit packaging and stands over 11 ½ feet tall. Through an empty panel, one can view a potted tree where the rabbit’s heart would be. This represents French Rabbit’s partnership with nonprofit America Forests, pledging to plant a tree for every four containers sold. To date, more than 35,000 trees have been planted.

Scholarship Award Winner: Rocket Ship by Stephan Krasner, School of Fine Art Sculpture.

Scholarship Award Winner: Hooded Scarf by Van Kim Le, School of Fashion.
Scholarship Award Winner: Evening “sequined” gown by Virgil Sparks, School of Fashion, landed the cover of the May 3rd Issue of
Scholarship Award Winner: Jackie Lee-Nakayama and Sarah Alvidrez, School of Fashion, designed this dress dubbed by fashion designer Loulou de la Falaise as the “bubble dress” and covered in the May 6th edition of San Francisco Chronicle.
Scholarship Award Winner: Necklaces by Tura Sugden and Emi Ando,
School of Fine Art Sculpture.

Scholarship Award Winner: Umbrella by Paul Galang, School of Industrial Design.
Scholarship Award Winner: Rabbit Herb Garden by Robin Casey, School of Graphic Design.

The opening night of the Academy of Art University Annual Spring Show on May 24th was packed with a stellar crowd admiring the showcase of student work. Over 200 executives scouted talent and were on hand to give advice to graduating seniors including Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks, General Motors, ILM, Kodak, Nickelodeon, BMW, Mercedes Benz, MTV, CNN, Electronic Arts, McCann-Erickson, Ogilvy-Mather, BBDO, Insomniac Games, Sony, Activision, Warner Brothers, Mazda and Nissan, among others.

Zac Posen, Loulou de la Falaise and Jean Charles Boisset chat about the French Rabbit fashion creations at the fashion show.

The School of Fashion premiered their French Rabbit creations at the April 27th graduation fashion show to an audience of over 1,500 guests. The show was produced three times equaling over 4,500 attendees including Mayor Gavin Newsom, former Mayor Willie Brown, Fashion designers Zac Posen, Loulou de la Falaise, Joe Haller and Ian Hannula of Nice Collective, as well as Wilkes Bashford, Maria Manetti Farrow, Gina Gallo, and executives from Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom. Media in attendance included Robin Givhan of The Washington Post, Titti Matteoni of Italy’s leading Fashion magazine, Kimball Hastings of Teen Vogue, and editors from Womenswear Daily, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco magazine, and many others.

All dresses were created using the French Rabbit packaging and select looks were shipped to Bordeaux, France where French Rabbit will display them at Vinexpo, the world’s largest wine and spirits fair.

Runway looks from the School of Fashion
Aisha Drake, Helen Jang and Megan Rork created the silver and green “lace” dress.
Ashleigh Tucker created the “shredded” dress design that ended up in the pages of the
May 17th issue of SF IS.
Rhiannon Hartig designed the orange and purple “molecule” dress.
Maho Fujita and Sook-Yeong Kwon designed the “ruffle” dress.
Dulce Chavez designed the “armor” dress.

Surf Board by Derek Smith, School of Graphic Design.

Hand Woven Bag by Solomon Choi, School of Industrial Design.

Rabbit Wonderland by Vic Setiawan, School of Graphic Design.
Trivia Board Game by Jessy Dewi, School of Graphic Design.

Tote by Katrina Cordiale, School of Fashion.
Lamp by Sandy Kim, School of Graphic Design.
Purple dress by Erin Kears, School of Fashion.
“Flower” dress by Wendy Cheung and Darana Phonoi, School of Fashion.

Photos by Randy Brooke and Bob Toy.