There are few designers or institutions who can state they have achieved success and launched the careers of a range of fashion experts across two decades but that is exactly what the Academy of Art University has achieved with its 21 appearances and shows at New York Fashion Week. After developing an impressive fashion design program, the Academy of Art University made its first appearance at New York Fashion Week in 1996 and has now developed into one of the most anticipated academic institutions appearing each year at New York Fashion Week.
The impressive nature of the reputation of the Academy of Art University was shown in 2017 by the number of fashion experts and respected figures attending the showcase in New York in September 2017. Among those attending the showcase were Ms. J. Alexander and CFDA’s Sara Kozlowski who saw five womenswear shows, two menswear, and two more collaborations from the students who were reported to have come from as far afield as China.
Among the most anticipated shows at New York Fashion Week from Academy of Art University students were those from San Francisco Bay area MFA Fashion Design student Eden Slezin and Mexican BFA student Carlos Rodriguez.
The growing influence of the fashion program at the Academy of Art University has been a rather recent development for the school which began life as the Academy of Advertising Art in 1929. Founded by Richard Stephens, the third generation of the Stephens family to take control of the academic institution is represented by President Elisa Stephens.
Major changes were made to the curriculum of the Academy of Art University when Elisa Stephens took control of the institution in 1992 with the addition of new programs such as the fashion design options. To enhance the reputation of the Academy of Art University in the fashion industry the top performing students from the school have been given the chance to present their work at 15-minute showcases in New York since 2005.
The Academy of Art University is accredited to a number of different educational organizations including the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.