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Academy of Art University Chooses 12 Student Designers To Debut Their Thesis Collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week


The School of Fashion at Academy of Art University has chosen 12 student designers to debut their thesis collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Since 2005, the School of Fashion has premiered the collections of students and recent graduates during New York Fashion Week.

Tune in to the LIVE Broadcast on September 6th, 2014 at 7pm EST here: >> http://www.academyart.edu/fashionshow/webcast

“We are committed to helping our students launch their careers, and as a part of that commitment we are thrilled to give students the opportunity to present their work to industry professionals,” said Dr. Elisa Stephens, President of Academy of Art University. “It is an incredible opportunity for each designer to debut their collection during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.”

“This group of designers have gone back to the essence of what the fashion designer should do, focusing on proportion and silhouette development as opposed to decoration,” said Simon Ungless, Executive Director of the School of Fashion. “I see them as a collaborative Le Corbusier moving towards a new fashion sense of the architecture of clothes. I see what they are producing as a shift in fashion that will not doubt become

In addition, for the first time in advance of the fashion show, Academy of Art University will host a fashion symposium. The symposium, entitled 180 Degrees of Style, will be held on September 6th at 3:00 PM at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in the Bruno Walter Auditorium. Keanan Duffty, Senior Director of Fashion Merchandising, will be joined by internationally renowned fashion photographer Nigel Barker for a discussion on their experiences in the fashion industry, building a brand, and key takeaways for success in the world of fashion. For more information visit http://on.nypl.org/1lRSlwm.

Designers Presenting Collections

For the Spring 2015 season, 12 designers will present six collections; in total, five individual womenswear collections and one collaborative menswear collection will be presented.


Die Zhou, M.F.A. Fashion Design, hails from Wuhan, China. Die holds a B.S. Degreein Engineering in Gem and Material Technology and before beginning work on her M.F.A. Degree she acted as Executive Editor for Blue Sock Publishing Company in Taiwan.


For her Spring 2015 collection, Die took her inspiration from nature, translating the lines and shapes associated with butterflies into the silhouettes of her garments. The collection is focused around a light, fresh pastel color story and is executed in cotton-blend twill.



Mia Jianxia Ji, M.F.A. Fashion and Knitwear Design, grew up in Shangrao in the Jiangxi province of China. Mia’s design skills have earned her recognition on many occasions; in 2010 she won an honorary award in an international design competition held by the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) and Paris American Academy (PAA), and in 2008 she was a Second Degree scholarship winner in the Creative Sketch Competition held by her B.F.A. alma mater, the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology.


Mia’s collection, which she has named “SILHOUKNIT,” uses the texture of knitted fabrics to evoke the shapes and feelings of Ana Rajcevic’s art collection “Animal – The Other Side Of Evolution.”



Madison Detro, M.F.A. Fashion Design, was born and raised in Los Altos, California. Before pursuing her graduate degree in fashion, Madison earned her undergraduate degree in Architecture. During her fashion design internship at Yigal Azrouel she gained experience designing, styling and prepping the Fall 2014 collections.


Madison’s Spring 2015 collection is fabricated mostly from lambskin leathers and calf suede, and explores geometries and imbalance as a catalyst for beauty. Intrigued by the oddities in Le Corbusier’s architectural work, Madison’s designs are reminiscent of the angles found in the architect’s famous chapel Notre Dame du Haut de Ronchamp.



Szu Chi Huang, M.F.A. Fashion Design, hails from Taiwan where, before coming to Academy of Art University, she completed a B.A. in Costume Design. Her background in costumes led Szu to be inspired by traditional Japanese samurai armor. Szu’s collection translates her inspiration into modern fashion by using innovative construction techniques to achieve the three-dimensional feeling of armor that has been compiled from many small pieces.


Szu used origami-folding techniques on leather and wove grosgrain ribbon in mesh fabric to mimic the woven texture of the samurai garments. The simple black and white color palette of her collection is a nod to traditional Japanese ink paintings and calligraphy.



Wei Bai, M.F.A. Fashion Design, grew up in Chongqing, China. Having completed a B.F.A. in Fine Arts and Graphic and Web Design, Wei worked as a graphic designer before undertaking her graduate degree in fashion.


Wei’s collection features tomboyish, tailored silhouettes that are evocative of the neo-Edwardian Teddy Boy style that became popular in 1950s England. Garments are constructed in one-piece, although many give the illusion that they are separates.

A Collaborative Spring 2015 Menswear Collection was created by seven designers


Asiyat Tsalikova, M.F.A. Fashion Design, from Baku, Azerbaijan Republic


Max Lu, M.F.A. Fashion Design, from Taipei, Taiwan


Liz Li, M.F.A. Fashion Design, from Shanghai, China


Jihyun Kim, M.F.A. Fashion Design Menswear, from Seoul, South Korea


Jingci Wang, M.F.A. Fashion Design, from China


Yin Yang, M.F.A. Fashion Design, from Chongqing, China


Yaqiong Zhou, M.F.A. Fashion Design, from Changsha, Hunan, China

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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