The Academy of Art University was previously known as the Academy of Art College. This University is located in San Francisco California and was established in 1929 by Richard Stephens. The Academy of Art University has claims to be the largest privately owned design and art institution within the United States and has over 12,500 students actively enrolled.
The Academy of Art University has been a proud participant of the New York Fashion week since 2005 and has designers featuring their work bi-annually. New York Fashion week is coveted by fashion designers as a way to premier their work. In September of 2017 the Academy of Art University participated in their twenty first runway showcase. Designers featured five womenswear and two menswear collections. This runway show was held at the Skylight Clarkson Square where ten BFA and MFA graduates were given the opportunity to showcase their work.
Designers participating in this September 2017 fashion show were from various regions of the world spanning from the eastern coast of the United States all the way to China. These unique cultural backgrounds and regional influences played a great part in the diversity of the showcased designs. The fashion show is broadcast via livestream feed so viewers from all around the world have a chance to watch the fifteen minutes of runway time. The designers often spend hours in classes and workshops finalizing the designs that are so quickly walked down the runway.
When The Academy of Art University was founded Richard Stephens ran it until 1951. In addition to running his University he was also a painter and editor of magazines. His son who was also named Richard took it over for his father and ran it until 1992. In 1992 Richard’s daughter took over the Academy of Art, her name was Elisa Stephens. The university has come a long way since its establishment back in 1929 and the Stephens family has been fortunate to watch it grow into the highly sought after institution that it has become under their guidance and vision.