DALLAS, Sep 2, 2008 / FW/ — Since Sep 2005, the Academy of Art University has showcased the work of their recent graduates under the tents at Bryant Park. For the Spring 2009 season, AAU once again brings 8 of its students to the New York catwalks, with one little difference – two of them completed their degrees 100% online!

Ali Kahn of Pakistan and Elena Akoulova of Marietta, GA who enrolled in AAU’s online program join Jaime Cole, Desiree Daniels, Johanna Hatzenbuehler, Anne Jones, Kara Laricks, and Warot Subsrisunjai who finished their degrees the traditional way in AAU’s San Francisco campus.

Born and raised in Lahore, Ali completed his degree online while in Pakistan. He has created a clever mix of classic wearability in his shapes and color-scheme with avant-garde surface textures and details. His humor delivers through his slogan Caution: For External Use Only. Ali shipped his menswear collection to San Francisco for his thesis presentation, which was held by videoconference.

Russian-born Elena Akoulova completed her degree online while in Marietta, GA. She has created a womenswear collection of simple A-line linen dresses with draping techniques and colors inspired by orchids. She presented her thesis before the review committee in San Francisco. Elena plans to go into production with her RTW line here in the U.S.

Meanwhile, the traditional AAU students are being noticed even while they are still in school.  In April, Jaime Cole was featured in MTV: True Life I’m Going To Fashion Week.

Johanna Hatzenbuehler will present a sustainable collection of recycled fabrics and Warot’s Man Ray inspired womenswear will include sculptor Mike Feeney’s accessories.

“We are thrilled,” exclaimed Dr. Elisa Stephens, President of the University. “Ali and Elena have excelled in the program proving the success of the online environment. They have benefited from a solid program and the great opportunities presented to them by the University.”

The online program launched seven pilot courses in 2002 and today has 116 online fashion courses in BFA and MFA Fashion Design, Fashion Journalism, Fashion Illustration and Merchandising.

Established in 1929, Academy of Art University is the largest accredited private art and design University with nearly 12,000 students onsite as well as nationally and internationally in the online program.

AAU Graduates Catwalk Show
Friday, Sep 5, 2008 8:00 PM
The Tent in Bryant Park
New York, NY


Photo courtesy of AAU