Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fashion School News Alumni Spotlight: Justin Kennedy and Nobue Shinohara's Kennedy Design Studio

Justin Kennedy, 2000 BFA Fashion Design Graduate, and Nobue Shinohara, 2001 BFA Textile Design Graduate, have created an impressive list of clients for their company, Kennedy Design Studio, including Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Zac Posen, Gaelyn and Cianfarani.

Their own Spring 2008 Collection has been bought by Barneys New York, OTTE, and by george in Austin, Texas.

We caught up with Justin after hearing the good news.

Thanks. Just got into Barneys as well ... working on a project with them.

What else are you working on?
Currently Renee Lee (another School of Fashion graduate) and I are working on the Kennedy Fall 2008 Collection. At the same time, I am developing prints for Calvin Klein and their four Fall 2008 deliveries. (Pre-Fall, Fall 1, Fall 2, and Cruise/Resort). This is my sixth season working with Calvin Klein. I am also teaching online for the School of Fashion.

I hear you get some last minute calls from clients.
I had done tons of development with Calvin Klein for Spring 2008 and in the end I was told nothing was going to be used. Then I get a call at 4pm on Sunday... the show is 4pm on Tuesday. I had 48 hours!

They needed me to come in. They were adding more prints last minute to the collection but didn't know if there would be enough time. Fortunately, I was in the area finishing up an Academy of Art University portfolio review near Bryant Park so i stopped by to see what they needed. I went back to my studio to start developing, getting screens ready, and printing. They had a car pick up the printed fabric Monday night around midnight and here's what came down the runway the next afternoon.

Favorite thing about New York City?
Wow. Favorite thing about NY ... being able to get around the city is very easy and it is the fashion capital of the states. I love the seasons except for the hot humid summer.

Favorite thing about San Francisco?
The second fashion capital of the states ... love the weather ... very consistent and it's a clean city.

Favorite thing about the School of Fashion?
The textile lab and being able to express my own creative style as a designer.

Where have you found inspiration lately?
Looking at the Maasai Tribe in Kenya and Northern Tanzania. Using the natural way they wrap fabric around their bodies for protection and mixing with a modern New York style. A little mix, match, and drape.

What is your most valued possession?
Nobby [Nobue] and Amber [their dog].

What was the last movie you saw?
Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst.

Fashion School News Alumni Spotlight: Justin Kennedy and Nobue Shinohara's Spring '08 Collection

Fashion School News Alumni Spotlight: Justin Kennedy and Nobue Shinohara's Spring '08 Collection

Fashion School News Alumni Spotlight: Justin Kennedy and Nobue Shinohara's Kennedy Design Studio

Kennedy Design Studio print for Calvin Klein Collection
in February 2006 Harper's Bazaar.

Kennedy Design Studio print for Ralph Lauren's resort collection
on the cover of June 19, 2006 Women's Wear Daily.

Online Fashion Program Student Spotlight

Jeanne Lovrin, online MFA Fashion Design student, lives in West Haven, CT.

Jeanne shared her design ideas with us for the Discarded To Divine project that both online and onsite fashion students are creating items for. The items will be presented in a silent auction and/or fashion show on Saturday, April 26th to raise money for St. Vincent de Paul Society in San Francisco, an organization that helps the homeless. Academy of Art University is providing the venue for this event.

So Jeanne .... Tell us about yourself .... Background/education/job?
I grew up in CT. I got my hairdressing license in 1985, opened a salon in 1986, went to Yale from 1986-93 for my BA in Studio Art, started teaching art in 1995, Certified Art pre-K-12 in 1996. I have been teaching art and graphic design to adolescents with social and emotional disorders for 10 years as a resident artist at juvenile detention facilities in CT.

Why MFA Fashion Design online?
Originally, I was looking for a Masters Program to fulfill CT teaching requirements. I looked at Fordham University and Smith College Social Work Programs, Vermont School in Fine Art, SCSU Art Education. Nothing seemed quite right. I had a secret desire to study fashion design so I periodically searched on Google for MFA programs in fashion design. Academy of Art University popped up, I researched the program, and went to an Academy Day in New York.

I was still intimidated by the whole fashion scene, so I spoke to the photography school, showed my portfolio, etc. Then I met with Simon Ungless, Director of Graduate Fashion. I was disarmed by his humility, as I expected the fashion school to be unapproachable and intimidating. I decided to apply in photography because I was more confident in that area. Simon recommended taking a few electives in fashion.

After I was accepted into photography, I realized that fashion design was a little closer to my heart and I reapplied in fashion, was accepted and started classes in January 2006. I am studying online because I am not ready to relocate to San Francisco.

What do you want to achieve from the program?
The most important thing is to figure out who I am as a designer, meaning what my strengths and weaknesses are, and what I want to focus on while I am here. Of course making connections in the industry is crucial. I am looking forward to directed study time. I am hoping to incorporate my jewelry design into the master plan. I also want to learn about every aspect of design from conception through production and marketing. I have to find my place in the mix.

I am visiting the University for a week this April and cannot wait to meet some of the other designers and the faculty. Even though I am an online student I prefer working with actual people.

You came to the recent MFA show in NY Fashion week...What did you think?
AB FAB!!! Again, I was a little intimidated by the whole FASHION WEEK BRYANT PARK thing. I planned on going then changed my mind a few times. My BFF Frank threw me in the car and drove me to the show. Once I got to the city, I was fine. The show was PACKED, standing room only. EVERYTHING was so professional. The designs were amazing, music was ultra-fabulous. The true artistry of the designers was what impressed me the most. The hype of the fashion scene became insignificant. The knitted helmet covers were my favorite. I loved the silk-screened prints. Menswear was breathtaking. Knitwear gorgeous. Very impressive.

Tell us about your shredded knits..what is the story?
After I left my ex-husband, I moved into a brownstone in New Haven. My roommate (a “Will and Grace” situation) was a real clothes hound and gave me bags and bags of hand me downs. My favorite shirt was a button down Abercrombie and Fitch plaid shirt. It was so worn that it had a few holes in it. I had been making yarn out of fleece fabric and thought this would make a nice yarn. I shredded the shirt into one inch strips, hand sewed the pieces together to make a ball of yarn. It took 8 hours to make the ball of yarn and 45 minutes to knit the hat. The hat has a certain energy to it because the fabric has so much history.

Rag hat and scarf.
Rag hand warmer.

What are you planning to do for the Discarded to Divine project?
I expect to get a shipment of donated items from St. Vincent de Paul this week. I requested men’s cotton button down shirts to shred, sew and knit into a hat maybe. I have been working on some hand warmers from shreds, so maybe those as well. I have also been thinking about unraveling some hand knits. Maybe I will unravel a sweater and re-knit into something else. Whatever I get, I will work with. I have a real passion for discarded items, love looking at flattened trash on the street, looking in dumpsters, etc. I desperately need this project; I am so looking forward to making something new.

What is your life inspiration?
I am inspired by resilience. There is a pine tree sapling growing through a cement step at the school where I teach. I cannot believe this thing. I am awestruck by it. It gives me faith in the impossible. My students inspire me. Many of them have grown up in residential facilities, survived horrendous abuse, and have basically been society’s throw-aways. They are brilliant. Smarter than so many adults I know.

Where do you want to be 5 years from now?
I would like to be designing professionally and teaching incarcerated youth. Working in the school systems is extremely exhausting and limiting. I would like to work as a resident artist while developing my design business.

What is on your iPod, Walkman, Stereo or Radio?
Jimmy Somerville, Gregorian Chants, Madonna, and lots of show tunes!

Fashion School News Alumni Spotlight: 2007 BFA Fashion Design Graduate Oshrat Ben-Isaac

2007 BFA Fashion Design Graduate Oshrat Ben-Isaac is working in New York for VPL by Victoria Bartlett. After graduation she interned with ThreeAsFour.
Let's see what she is up to ...

How is working with Victoria Bartlett?
Working with Victoria is great. She's a very special person with great vision and talent.

How was ThreeAsFour?
The internship at ThreeAsFour was a good hands on experience in a creative environment. No BS, just art, philosophy and beer.

What are you working on now?
I am developing the Transition and Fall/Winter 08 collections.

Favorite thing about New York City?
Everybody smokes here.

Favorite thing about San Francisco?
Naan 'n Curry

Favorite thing about the School of Fashion?
The sewing lab 5 minutes before deadline.

Your dream destination?

What's playing on your iPod?
The new Radiohead album and Flight of the Conchords.

Oshrat (front row on left) with the Three As Four Team of designers, employees, interns and Luna the dog.

Fashion School News Alumni Spotlight: 2005 Fashion and Knitwear Graduate Jamie Mihlrad joins Kate Spade

Jamie Mihlrad has accepted a position at Kate Spade in New York.

A 2005 MFA Fashion and Knitwear Design Graduate, she was selected by Guest of Honor Carla Sozzani to work in Milan. Jamie was the sole designer responsible for the signature 10 Corso Como line of apparel and products, including collaborative projects with MAC, Converse, Diesel Jeans and Mackintosh of London. For a year, she designed the private label line as well as the signature cashmere sweaters, trenchcoats, handbags and various other apparel and products under the direction of Sozzani.

Returning to New York, Jamie became an associate designer for L.A.M.B collection, under the creative direction of Gwen Stefani.
Jamie Mihlrad
A look from her May 2005 runway collection. Photo by Randy Brooke.

Jamie, along with Sara Shepherd and Rhice Mannelli Brewer, showed her collection under the tents in Bryant Park during Olympus Fashion Week in September 2005. Photos by Randy Brooke.

Congrats Jamie!

Fashion School News Alumni Spotlight: Two School of Fashion Graduates Included in Prestigious World of WearableArt (WOW) Awards Show in New Zealand

Yu-Shin ‘Mue’ Kim, 2007 MFA Fashion and Knitwear Design graduate, and Lynn Christiansen, 2005 BFA Fine Art/Sculpture graduate, were included in the September 21st World of WearableArt (WOW) Awards Show in New Zealand.
While visiting the School of Fashion this past spring, representatives from WOW saw Mue’s collection and asked that three looks be included in their show.

A native of South Korea, Mue created this collection for the April 27th 2007 San Francisco show. She decided to move away from a contemporary fashion look and used the sculptures of Tony Cragg, the knitwear craft art of Mark Newport, wardrobes of comic-book heroes, and the performance costumes of Leigh Bowery as inspiration.

Mue’s collection was also shown in the 2007 Macy’s Passport show and will be in the upcoming Avant Guardian issue of Surface magazine.

Lynn created two looks, Swiss Maid and Double Chocolate Decadence, made to look like chocolate and whipped cream. In 2005, Lynn was the first Fine Art/Sculpture student to collaborate with a School of Fashion student on a collection for the spring fashion show. Canadian-born, Lynn now lives in Australia.

Executive Director of Fashion, Gladys Perint Palmer, was invited by Tourism New Zealand to be a guest of the country and attend New Zealand Fashion Week. She was the guest international judge for WOW, responsible for choosing the most outstanding international entry for the event, although she was not allowed to vote for Mue or Lynn. She also met with local designers and fabric mills.

Fashion School News: Toronto Display of School of Fashion French Rabbit Creations

French winemaker Jean-Charles Boisset at the launch of French rabbit "petit" in the 250 ml format in Toronto. He is shown with models wearing designs from San Francisco's Academy of Art University which hosted the competition in 2007.
Boisset has donated $320,000 to date to help re-establish the Eastern Loggerhead Shrike, North America's only predatory songbird, in Canada. As part of the launch of French rabbit "petit" in the 250ml format, Jean-Charles Boisset presented an additional $160,000 donation to Wildlife Preservation Canada.

Fashion Illustration School News: Gladys Perint Palmer Illustrations in New Book

LinkUltimate and unprecedented, American Fashion is a richly illustrated celebration of the history of fashion in this country. Commissioned by the CFDA, AMERICAN FASHION by Charlie Scheips is a visual journey beginning with the protean creators in Hollywood and New York during the 1930s and the significant and creative expansion that took place in the years surrounding World War II.

Our own Fashion School Executive Director Gladys Perint Palmer has her own page.

Fashion Merchandising School News: The Real World of Retailing

In FSH 464, students participate in all aspects of running a retail business
at the 79 New Montgomery store.
Students gain experience in product development, sourcing, assortment planning, financial planning, visual merchandising, marketing and retail store management.

Fashion School News Music Update: Gwen Stefani Concert

November 2nd, 2007 – Oakland, CA - As the clock neared 7:30pm this past Friday, the Oracle Arena beamed with cheer and excitement as Gwen Stefani began her 99th show on her 100 The Sweet Escape show tour. After a brief performance by opening act Sean Kingston, Stefani finally emerged on stage, looking as stylish as ever. The backdrop continuously flowed throughout the entire production, with the band blending in perfectly. Stefani, along with her entourage of dancers (including her four Harajuku girls), charmed the audience by making them feel a part of the show. A sense of family was exhibited by all of the performers, with a slide show montage of Stefani’s life accompanying one of her ballads. There were approximately three major costume changes, one being a sporty midriff-baring number. The other two ranged from 1920s to 1940s inspired bathing beauties. High waisted bottoms showing off lots of leg, in hues of black and white colored tights, with layers of structured top pieces. Texture was definitely an element in all of her outfits. Spurts of break dancing from the male dancers mixed in an old school NYC appeal, while the presence of the Harajuku girls introduced Japanese fashion. Gwen Stefani’s way of diversifying traditional fashion and music definitely put a fresh spin on the conventional trends of America.

- Posted by Emily Dvoskin

Fashion School News: Blog Spotlight on Dressed by Dino Ray Ramos

One of our favorite bloggers, Dino Ray Ramos, wrote about the store opening of Eco Citizen on is blog Dressed. Check out his blog and add it to your favorites!

Fashion School News: Blog Spotlight on Glam Watch by Nerissa Pacio

From Glam Watch blog by Nerissa Pacio.

Another great review of new fav boutique Eco Citizen.

Sara Shepherd, 2005 Fashion School grad, sells organic pieces there.

Art Director Michael Carbaugh, 2002 Fashion School grad.

Fashion Illustration School News: Gladys Perint Palmer illustration of Carla Sozzani in New York Times Magazine

In the upper right hand corner is an illustration of Carla Sozzani by fashion illustrator Gladys Perint Palmer, also the Executive Director of the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University.

Carla Sozzani was a 2005 guest to the fashion department and chose student Jamie Mihlrad to work with her in Milan, Italy.