In 2018, Council of Fashion Designers of America had once again considered the School of Fashion at the Academy of Art University for students with creative fashion potential. The Academy of Art University was one of five institutions to attend CFDA’s Fashion Future Graduate Showcase (FFGS) at Industria Studios in Manhattan’s West Village. The others included the Fashion Institute, Pratt Institute, Savanah College of Art of Design, and Parsons. Of the fifty-three students who were invited to take part in the physical/digital showcase, twelve were from the Academy of Art University, representing their textile and design programs. The showcase was held from July 9th to the 10th, during New York’s Fashion Week.

Zhouyi Li, an Academy graduate, showcased a collection of womenswear in large silhouettes and 3D shapes, which was inspired by Richard Serra, a sculptor. A few honors were also handed out, including the Kenneth Cole Award, which was given to Susan Zienty, a fashion design student, and the Liz Claiborne Scholarship went to Cameron Orland, a knitwear design student. The FFGS allows for fashion students to exhibit their creative talent and is a place where students can network with peers and guiding figures in the fashion world, as stated by Executive Director Simon Ungless.

The CFDA is a not-for-profit association with the mission of boosting the impact of American fashion on the global economy. Founded in 1962, there are currently over 450 designer members, with fashion designer Tom Ford serving as the chairman since June 2019.

The Academy of Art University was founded nearly a century ago by painter and magazine editor, Richard S. Stephens. The campus is located in the city of San Francisco, California. They are accredited, offering degrees, both online and in person, in over twenty subjects. They range from fashion, to architecture and design, to graphic design and game development. They boast an impressive list of alums, including actress and singer Raven-Symone, actress Heidi Montag, Pulitzer Prize winner photographer Deanne Fitzmaurice, and retired makeup artist Rick Baker, who had won the Academy Award for Best Makeup a record seven times out of eleven nominations over the years.

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