San Francisco, CA, Jan. 21, 2015 — The School of Fashion at Academy of Art University has chosen 14 students 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.
“We are committed to helping our students launch their careers, and we are thrilled to give them the platform to present their work to fashion industry professionals,” said Dr. Elisa Stephens, President of Academy of Art University. “It is an incredible opportunity for our student designers to debut their collections during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.” “This group of designers is focused on transformation,” said Simon Ungless, Executive Director of the School of Fashion. “They are using fabric manipulation and printing techniques to change the inherent qualities of textiles to create new textures and surface qualities. There is a focus back to the body and
wearability in silhouette, which the designers have utilized advanced tailoring techniques to achieve.”
Christian Willman, M.F.A. Fashion Design, was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Christian holds a B.B.A. in Marketing with a minor in Fine Arts. Willman’s fall 2015 collection is inspired by the work of Northern Irish installation artist Matt Calderwood, whose sculptures challenge the physical potential of materials, explore
structural power, and portray the use of friction and gravity to achieve equilibrium. Playing off these themes, Willman’s collection is both structured and minimalistic, and is executed in wool, eco-wool and cotton. Emmanuelle Ciara Jones, M.F.A. Fashion Design, was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. Emmanuelle holds a B.F.A. in Painting, and has interned at 440 Brannan Studio in San Francisco, where she drafted patterns, cut garments, and sewed samples. Jones’ collection was inspired by hip-hop street culture and music, and features textiles designed by Ghazaleh Khalifeh, M.F.A. Textile Design. Jean-Michel Basquiat—whose artwork focuses on suggestive dichotomies such as wealth versus poverty, integration
versus segregation, and inner versus outer experience—has been especially inspirational to Jones as she designs her fall 2015 collection.
Ghazaleh Khalifeh, M.F.A. Textile Design, hails from Marin County in California. Khalifeh designed the textiles for a collaborative collection with M.F.A. Fashion Designer Emmanuelle Ciara Jones. Khalifeh played off Jones’ inspiration of African textiles and voodoo, complementing silhouettes with textiles that incorporate elements of the culture, spirit and graffiti of New York’s Lower East Side in the early 1980s. All fabrics are 100% natural fibers. After earning her B.F.A. in Fashion Design from Academy of Art University,
Khalifeh chose to return to pursue her graduate degree in Textile Design. Khalifeh’s work has received widespread industry recognition: in 2008, Khalifeh won the prestigious $25,000 Geoffrey Beene Design Scholarship Award, and in 2009, she earned a scholarship to study at L’École de La Chambre Syndicale de
la Couture Parisienne in France. While in France, she was selected to display her illustrated homage to Yves Saint Laurent at the City Hall of Paris. Khalifeh had the opportunity to show at Academy of Art University’s 2010 Graduation Fashion Show in San Francisco and was selected to intern at Diane von Fürstenberg. For the university’s 2014 Graduation Fashion Show, Khalifeh’s knitwear designs were part of a collaborative collection. Erin A.F. Milosevich, M.F.A. Fashion Design, was born in Champaign, Illinois, and grew up in Carmel, Indiana. Prior to undertaking graduate studies at Academy of Art University, Milosevich earned her B.F.A. in Fashion Design. Milosevich’s fall 2015 collection centers on movement and restraint, which is portrayed
through the juxtaposition of flowing fabric with constructed silhouettes. To further exaggerate volume and movement, each look includes a handmade crinoline. Farnaz Golnam, M.F.A. Fashion Design, is from Kermanshah, Iran. Before coming to Academy of Art University, Golnam earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in her home country. For her fall 2015 collection, Golnam drew inspiration from nature and incorporated three-dimensional details from flowers into
the garments. The collection has a sculptural quality, which is enhanced by voluminous panels and seam detailing. The collection is executed in solid gray and black wool, and features needle-felting details that play with viewers’ perceptions of depth and dimension.
Kevin C. Smith, M.F.A. Fashion Design, is a California native who was born in Walnut Creek, grew up in Sacramento, and has a B.F.A. degree in Art Studio. In collaboration with Andrea Nyberg, M.F.A. Textile Design, Smith created menswear designs based around the ideas of light and volume. His inspiration comes from Christo’s Running Fence, a 24.5 mile-long installation art piece made by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in 1976, as well as from vintage light bulbs and candle smoke. The clothes are layered pieces comprised of sheer, flowing overcoats.
Andrea Nyberg, M.F.A. Textile Design, was born in Columbus, Ohio, and was raised in Northridge, Ohio. She holds a B.F.A. in Fashion Design and has worked with Fossil, Oshkosh B’Gosh, and DSF Clothing Company. Collaborating with Kevin C. Smith, M.F.A. Fashion Design, Nyberg uses shades of blue wool suiting paired with tonal creams as well as electric blue and white cotton shirting. Inspired by the idea of coming out of a fog and beginning to regain sight of surrounding objects, she aims to create a cloud-like
atmosphere by using whites and blues that have a subtle, layered transparency.
Ozanhan Kayaoglu, M.F.A. Fashion Design, was born in Eskişehir, Turkey, and grew up in Istanbul. After completing his bachelor’s degree in Textile Design, Kayaoglu pursued graduate studies at his alma maters Marmara University and La Cambre – École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Versailles in Textile Design, finally coming to Academy of Art University with a full scholarship from Uludag Textile Exporters’ Association to finish his degree in Fashion Design. He has interned with Daniel Andresen in Antwerp, where he created over 600 pieces for runway shows, and with N.I.C.E. Collective in San Francisco, where he gained experience creating menswear patterns. Kayaoglu has received numerous industry awards, including the Most Innovative Design Award in the 2012 Istanbul Innovative Textile Designers Competition, placing fourth in the 2012 Istanbul Textile Inventions Competition, being named as one of the 15 best designers in the 2010 Istanbul Young Fashion Designers Competition, ranking as one of the top eight designers in the 2009 Istanbul New Generation Carpet Competition and placing as a top 10 designers in the 2008 Istanbul Fabric Design Competition. Additionally, Kayaoglu created a weaving technique that was patented in Europe and Turkey. French philosopher Michel Foucault’s use of panopticon prison architecture to illustrate power and social order is credited as the inspiration behind Kayaoglu’s fall 2015 collection. Kayaoglu was drawn to images that showcased rusted metal inside the prison, which led him to develop a technique of dyeing fabric with rusted metal.
Paulina Susana Romero Valdez, M.F.A. Fashion Design, was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, and grew up in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. Before coming to Academy of Art University to pursue her graduate degree in fashion, Valdez earned double B.F.A. degrees in Graphic Design and Publicity. For her
collection, “It’s Only Heritage,” Valdez draws inspiration from her Mexican roots as well as her fascination with baroque art and culture. The collection is executed in Baroque-style wool brocade, wool tweed, silk, cotton, hand-dyed leather, and is accented with vibrant, traditional Mexican embroidery.
Han Tang, M.F.A Fashion Design, grew up in Beijing, China. Tang has a B.F.A. in Interactive Media Design
from Jilin College of the Arts. Tang has worked as an illustrator for the Chinese Children’s Newspaper, a packaging design intern for Hainan Boswell, and as a graphic design assistant for Idea Pool Group in Beijing. Tang collaborated with M.F.A. Textile Designer Tam Nguyen to create a fall 2015 collection made of wool
and silk. Inspired by Italian photographer Yvonne De Rosa and her series of dark photographs, Tang focuses on smooth lines and strong, elegant silhouettes for the shoulders and sleeves of her designs.
Tam Nguyen, M.F.A. Textile Design, hails from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She has a B.F.A. in Fashion Design from Columbia College Chicago, has interned for Anthropologie as a visual display coordinator, and often does freelance textile work. Nguyen is a recipient of the Columbia College Chicago December 2011
Vivian Price Scholarship and participated in the May 2012 Fashion Columbia juried show, which benefitted the Columbia Scholarship fund. The textiles for her fall 2015 collection, which is made in collaboration with Han Tang, M.F.A. Fashion Design, is inspired by the decaying and chipping surfaces of abandoned houses.
Her designs capture the texture of peeling and naturally weathered exteriors. Xiaowei Liu, M.F.A. Fashion Design, was born and raised in Wuhan, China. Liu worked as a fashion design
assistant and drawing assistant at the ShenZhen Yangzhi Cheng Fashion Business Company before
coming to Academy of Art University. In her collection, Liu uses a combination of denim, cotton and leather
inspired by boro, a type of Japanese indigo patchwork. The collection centers on the basic silhouette of a
bomber jacket, and is comprised entirely of indigo fabrics custom dyed by Liu.
Xue Yang, M.F.A Fashion Design, was born and raised in Jilin, China. Before coming to Academy of Art University, Yang attended film school and later became assistant costume designer for the film Buddha Mountain, which won Best Picture at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2010. Inspired by vintage
Chinese fabric, Yang’s collection focuses on a unique sleeve design. The cocoon shape of the garments represents restrictive practices, such as foot binding as practiced in prior centuries on Chinese women. Yang collaborated with Oom Terdpravat, M.F.A. Fashion Design and Textile Design, on their joint fall 2015
Oom Terdpravat, M.F.A. Fashion Design and Textile Design, is from Bangkok, Thailand. She received a B.A. in Visual Arts while studying in Canada and was named a “Super Intern” during her 2014 internship at BCBG Max Azria. During her time with BCBG, Terdpravat developed embroidery for a runway collection
and textile burnout for a main line. She collaborated with Xue Yang, M.F.A. Fashion Design, in designing the textiles for their joint fall 2015 collection in a watercolor palette of deep purples, blues and greens. Her print inspiration derives from the floral, geometric embroidery of a Northwest Chinese hill tribe.
The fashion show will be streamed live at:
Social Media Channels
Fashion School Daily: www.fashionschooldaily.com
Designer Portraits and Lineups
Designer portraits and illustrated lineups are available for download at: