Presentation of Final Projects at the Academy of Art University

Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Global View | No Comments

My roommate, during the first semester of grad school, was a Fashion Design major. She spent hours in the design studio and at home, some nights all night long, sketching and cutting up small swatches of fabric, pasting them in a little black book, and draping patterns over her mannequin. Before living with her, I never understood the time and effort put into designing clothes.

People mingling in the courtyard of the Cannery, waiting for the Academy of Art university fashion show to begin

These memories were very much in my mind when on May 3rd, as I watched over 100 graduating BFA and MFA fashion students present their final projects, results of years of work at the Academy of Art University’s annual spring fashion show. Students, teachers, family, the press, and potential employers came together at the Cannery in San Francisco to support and congratulate the graduating students.

Sarah Burton views Zhangchi Wangs work

Books upon books of mood and story boards, illustrations, textiles samples and garment designs covered a conglomeration of tables spread out inside the Cannery building. Hopeful students shared with excitement details of their inspirations and stories of hard work – both past and yet to come – as people mingled in their most stylish outfits before making way upstairs to watch the ever anticipated runway show.

Amongst the hopefuls was Timothy Lam, MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) Fashion Merchandising major. Lam, dapperly dressed in suit and bowtie, presented his final thesis project. Equally dapper was his visualization of a high-end men’s retailer, designed in detail from fixture placement down to shopping bags. Like most students, Timothy is currently an intern and after graduation this summer, will be looking for a job as a merchandiser, stylist or buyer’s assistant. He hopes one day to have enough money saved to launch the store he so thoroughly envisioned in his project.

Carrie Childs Sterling, MFA Fashion Design major, explaining the inspirations for her designs

Carrie Childs Sterling, MFA Fashion Design major, also impressed during the portfolio review. As groups of onlookers gathered around her table, she shared her experiences working in travel and the opportunity her job provides her to tour the world. Mali, Japan, and Guatemala are some of her favorites and have been most inspiring. With compelling pictures to boot, Sterling transformed her inspiring excursions into beautiful textiles and clothing.

With so many eye-catching projects to review, I felt like time flew by before the show and the opportunity to see the designs laid out in print before us come to life on the runway.

Written by Bethany Mullinix

Bethany Mullinix

Bethany is a publicist at SutherlandGold Group is San Francisco where she has had the privilege of working with a wide range of consumer tech and enterprise startups such as Apartment List,, Comcast Ventures, CardSpring, and Solar Universe. However, her true love is fashion.

As a child, Bethany would painstakingly design garments for her Barbies, as her father watched in wonderment, questioning his eight-year-old’s taste for micro-mini skirts! Today Bethany channels this love of fashion and design into her writing, taking inspiration for the best and avoiding vapid fashion magazines too easily bent by advertising. Her main goal as a journalist is to make people understand fashion the way she does – as much more than playing dress-up. Above all, fashion makes her feel good and through her writing she hopes to share this feeling with others.

In addition to ModeConnect, Bethany has written for variety of fashion and lifestyle outlets including Fashion School Daily, Paper Pearl and The World According To. She also manages her own online magazine, MOXIE, which she began as part of her M.F.A. Fashion Journalism thesis while at the Academy of Art University. In addition to an MFA, Bethany holds a B.A. in Journalism/PR from Union University in Jackson, Tenn.
You can follow Bethany on twitter at @bethanymullinix