Since its establishment in San Francisco in 1929, Academy of Art University has come a long way. When Elisa Stephens took over as president in 1992, enrollment increased ninefold. Today, nineteen thousand plus students call AAU home. The school offers both on-campus and online programs, including Undergraduate; Graduate; study abroad; pre-college; and high school completion programs. The school has steadily grown and continues to grow as its students gain recognition by attending showcases.
In 2005, Academy of Art University students put on their very first showcase at New York Fashion Week. There, a few pre-selected students were chosen to present a collection on the runway. Since then, AAU students have semi-annually presented and stolen the show for the past twenty-one years. With all those years of groundbreaking new collections from students, it is no wonder that the collections presented at their twenty-first showcase were said to be the future of fashion.
Despite having a student population that is 58 percent female, Academy of Art University is an impressively diverse private school. At 2017’s New York Fashion Week showcase, students from China; Mexico; and across the US debuted seven collections. The level of variety seen at this showcase was a direct result of the diversity at AAU.
On September 9, 2017, a myriad of fantastic ideas and techniques were exhibited on the runway. Just as ranged as the students’ ideas, materials featured varied from vinyl and PC to recycled rubber tires and denim. It goes without saying that the students put their blood, sweat, and tears into their work.
Notable alumni such as Heidi Montag, Raven-Symoné, and Chris Milk make huge shoes to fill for the next generation of AAU graduates. It seems the students who presented at New York Fashion Week 2017 have very bright futures ahead of them; they’ll have no problem filling those shoes.