The Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California, is a privately held for-profit art school led by Elisa Stephens. It has undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs and over 11,000 students. Their main campus is located on New Montgomery Street near the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
They have many degree programs and recently added two more that are focused on shoes and accessories. Students will work on their 2-D and 3-D design skills in both programs. The National Association of Art and Design has accredited both programs. Both shoes and accessories are big money-makers in the fashion industry. Program Coordinator Damion Le Cappelain stated that they don’t have much in the way of competition among other universities offering this type of education.
The university was established in 1929 by Richard S. Stephens. He was the creative director of Sunset Magazine at the time. He wanted to help aspiring artists professionally develop their skills. He believed that professional artists should provide an education in art and so hired working artists as professors. This tradition has continued through today.
In addition to 2-D and 3-D design, students in these two programs will learn about market trends, manufacturing, materials, and technical specifications. Students will have access to a bachelor of fine arts and master of fine arts degree programs for both the shoes and accessories programs. Le Cappelain stated that the Academy of Art University is supplying all of the resources he needs to teach students.
Students have access to sports programs at the Academy of Art University. Among the sports students compete in are basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, tennis, and golf. They offer 14 sports and compete in the Pacific West Conference as the Urban Knights. Former students include Mobolade Ajomale, who competed in the Olympics as a sprinter for Canada.
Shoe and accessory design are big in San Francisco. There are 11 bag manufacturers in this city. The university is looking at building relationships at local businesses such as Peak Design, Aer, Everlane, and Timbuk2 to benefit its students in these new programs. Students will also collaborate with other people in the other degree programs.