May 24, 2006 Men of Fashion

On Wednesday, May 24th 2006, the Academy of Art University in San Francisco honored the ‘Men of Fashion’ and presented the School of Fashion graduate collections of the Class of 2006 in the historical Morgan Auditorium. President Dr. Elisa Stephens hosted the occasion and presented honorary doctorates to Alexander McQueen, Christophe Girard, Robert L. Mettler, and Wilkes Bashford. In addition to receiving their honors, these noted ‘Men of Fashion’ selected graduate stars for internships and honors.

Alexander McQueen and Dr. Elisa Stephens, President of Academy of Art University

Alexander McQueen, celebrated fashion designer, whose numerous awards include CFDA International Designer of the Year and Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty the Queen, received his honorary doctorate and thanked our own Simon Ungless, Director of Graduate Fashion, as Ungless collaborated with McQueen on eight collections before joining the Academy of Art University. “I think I owe a lot of thanks to Simon Ungless who I was at St. Martins with,” said McQueen. “We studied together at St. Martins about 15 years ago. We actually started off working on prints. I am a bit jet lagged but it’s worth it. I’m just very honored.”

Alexander McQueen and JiWon Ree

Alexander McQueen chose three graduates to intern with him in his London studio for three months. They are BFA Knitwear Design Graduate JiWon Ree, BFA Fashion Design Graduate Alexandra Armstrong Igleheart, and BFA Fashion Design Graduate Stephanie Weaver.

Christophe Girard, Deputy Mayor of Paris Responsible for Culture, and Director of Fashion Strategy of the LVMH Fashion Group, one of the biggest fashion conglomerates internationally, is also an award-winning producer of documentaries, a tireless AIDS activist, Greenpeace member, and even lived in our beloved city of San Francisco in 1977.

Dr. Elisa Stephens, Yan Li Zhu, and M. Girard

M. Girard chose BFA Knitwear Design Graduate Yan Li Zhu to intern for three months in Paris working at Louis Vuitton women’s RTW with fashion designer Marc Jacobs.

M. Girard also selected three graduates based on their portfolios that he viewed during the Static Exhibition before the show and whose collections were not on the runway to also intern at LVMH in Paris. He announced to the audience and the three graduates that he would “have to find a way” but would “work it out for 2007.” The three are:
o Pablo Fernandez, a MFA Fashion & Knitwear Design graduate who will showcase his graduate menswear collection with his fellow MFA graduates during September 2006 New York Fashion Week in the IMG / 7th on Sixth Bryant Park Tents.
o Adrian Chang, BFA Fashion Design graduate.
o Soraruk Tikaphanya, BFA Fashion Design graduate.

Since 1998, Academy of Art University has been involved with The Sister City Scholarship Exchange with Studio Berçot and L’Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, two of the best fashion schools in Paris. Gladys Perint Palmer began this exchange at the suggestion of then San Francisco Mayor Willie Lewis Brown Jr., and the program has been flourishing ever since with Academy of Art University students going to Paris for one full year and students from both Studio Berçot and L’Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne attending Academy of Art University. This year’s Academy of Art University scholarship recipient is BFA Fashion Design Graduate Anna Arguello.

Robert L. Mettler and Dr. Elisa Stephens

Robert L. Mettler, Chairman and CEO of Macy’s West, is a 30-year retailing veteran who served as Sears, Roebuck & Co.’s President of Merchandising for all full-line stores, President and CEO of Robinson’s in Los Angeles, as well as in various positions with Allied Stores Corporation and May Department Stores Company.

Mr. Mettler chose collections to be showcased in the 24th Annual Macy’s Passport Fashion Extravaganza: an evening of fashion and compassion to be held in both San Francisco from September 19-21 and Los Angeles on September 28 and 29. Passport has raised nearly $22 million to date. This is the School of Fashion’s 2nd year of involvement.

“At Macy’s, we’re always looking for what’s new and fresh in fashion” says Mettler. “We’re proud to support the School of Fashion’s up-and-coming designers who exemplify the creativity and innovation that Macy’s encourages and personify the future of fashion. These students pour their hearts into their work, and will go on to do great things in the exciting world of fashion.”

Wilkes Bashford and Dr. Elisa Stephens

Wilkes Bashford, the man who “made Sutter Street” with his successful flagship store, is hailed by Esquire as “The Most Important Men’s Fashion Specialist in the Country.” His awards include Cutty Sark Award for the Best Men’s Store, Uomo Moda Collections Award for Italian Menswear in America and the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.
After viewing BFA Fashion Design Graduate Yana Galbshtein’s collection of wearable elegance, Mr. Bashford chose her to intern at KITON in Naples, Italy for three months where she will work in both men’s and womenswear.

Mr. Bashford also selected collections to showcase in his flagship store at 375 Sutter Street for a two-week period. This honor is from the man who is credited with introducing Ralph Lauren to the West Coast. Graduate collections included those of:
o Yan Li Zhu, BFA Knitwear Design graduate.
o Anna Arguello, BFA Fashion Design graduate.
o Marlene Pixley, BFA Textile Design graduate.
o Jung-Eun ‘Jay’ Kim, MFA Fashion and Knitwear graduate.
o Ji Won Ree, BFA Knitwear Design graduate.
o Brooke Murphy, BFA Fashion Design, who collaborated with Olga Henry, BFA Knitwear Design.
o Abigail McCannon, BFA Fashion Design graduate.
o Alexandra Armstrong Igleheart, BFA Fashion Design graduate.
o Yana Galbshtein, BFA Fashion Design graduate.