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Fashion Design Retreat


The Fashion Design Retreat is a 10-day fully immersive program for designers of any level of expertise to develop their personal synergy of fashion concepts, fine art, technical skills, and broad experimentation. The retreat, led by Amy Bond, Project Runway Contestant Season 16, will use a non-traditional approach to fashion design. Combining the exploration of manual construction skills such as patternmaking and sewing with innovative draping techniques, the participants dig into making things with fabric as well as other art materials and mixed media.

The Retreat includes specialty workshops, guest speakers, multi-media presentations, and field trips. Participants have full access to the bright large rooms of the Fashion studio, wood shop, welding bay, plasticine mold and 3D printing room, letterpress studio, digital lab, or any of the many creative facilities that Otis College has to offer as they develop a direction and push toward a culmination of their design ideas. Living on-campus amongst fellow creatives gives the retreat participants an inventive and nurturing environment in which to practice their craft and exchange ideas and energy; resulting in a final fashion project of their making.

Sign up for updates about the Fashion Design Retreat.

If you would like to nominate someone within your community for this program, please complete a Summer Programs Nomination Form and our office will reach out to them with your nomination.

Dates and Fees

The retreat will take place from June 23 through July 3, 2020 at Otis College of Art and Design. Priority applications are due by February 3, 2020 to be considered for a fellowship. The Summer Programs Office will review applications and send out acceptance notifications on a rolling basis, however fellowship notifications will not be sent out until after the February 3 deadline. Residents who apply by the February 3, 2020 deadline will be considered for fellowships if the fellowship portion of the application is complete, priority preference of residency session, as well as early acceptance to the program. It is highly recommended international applicants apply by the priority deadline to ensure the appropriate arrangements can be made to attend the Residency. After the priority deadline, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis as capacity allows until the start of the program. There is no application fee.

The fee to attend the retreat is $2,500 and includes room and board, laboratory access, and meals. There are limited fellowships available for the program. To be considered for a fellowships you must complete your application by the priority deadline of February 3, 2020. A deposit is required to secure your spot in the residency after notifications go out.


Applications are now open! Please click the apply now button below to begin your application. You are able to save your application and return to it at anytime before the application deadline.


Guest Speakers

A full list of the 2020 speakers and schedule will be added as the information is confirmed. Sign up for updates about the Fashion Design Residency.

Amy Bond

Amy BondAmy Bond is a contemporary women’s wear designer inspired by Fine Art and the changing cultural landscape.  She believes in leaps of faith, and her most recent one found her on Project Runway; experimenting with the materials and skills she began at Stephens College while earning a BFA.  Gigs in Couture Bridal followed, and then the first big leap in 1999 to Los Angeles and to her own collection.  Many clients and a flagship store at One Colorado in Pasadena soon filled the landscape.  From design and manufacturing the path of education reemerged and landed Amy at the Academy of Art University to complete her MFA; and now on to creating and generating fashion exploration in all its many forms.

Melissa Fleis

Melissa FleisMelissa started her business creating custom leather jackets for private clients which she continues to design in great demand today, earning her a loyal customer base. She's been able to scale her business to incorporate that uniquely personal, artisanal custom touch in her ready-to-wear line, designed and produced exclusively in Los Angeles. Meticulously selecting raw materials that feel as pleasing to the body as they are to the eye, Melissa strives to create a series of core, integral pieces that can be seamlessly combined from day to night - and for years to come. Melissa's vision translates across multiple mediums, and she is continually sought out for design partnership opportunities; including hospitality uniform design and private label work. She's apprenticed as a pattern maker and cutter in Italy for well-known fashion designer Alessandra Marchi and was selected to participate in Lifetime’s Project Runway season 10, where she advanced to show her collection as second runner-up at Mercedes Benz fashion week. Melissa later returned to New York City to compete on Project Runway All Stars, seasons 3 and 6. Originally hailing from Michigan, Melissa has been living happily in design-centric California for over ten years. After obtaining her BA from the University of Michigan, she later went on to pursue her MFA in fashion design from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. When Melissa's not designing her latest collection she's spending time driving her Javelin and seeking constant inspiration on the streets of Los Angeles.

Adolfo Sanchez

Adolfo SanchezAdolfo Sanchez began his career in 2010. He set out to start a self named women's label, that would offer designs making woman feel strong and beautiful. Since starting the label, Adolfo who is originally from Los Angeles, has expanded his line to offer made to measure bridal, women’s evening wear and most recently men’s suiting. Inspired by the world around him, Adolfo has created a fashion brand that reflects both a classic and sexy modern day woman, who is not afraid to be ahead of the trends. Being a catalyst for young designers, you can currently find Adolfo on Netflix's first fashion competition series “Next in Fashion”.

Roman Sipe

Roman SipeRoman Sipe has worked as a stylist for celebrities, brands, commercial and editorial productions for nearly a decade. His goal over the years has been to effectively and efficiently bring the vision of his clients into fruition, with subtle hints of his personal flair strategically placed in the mix. Roman began his career as an intern at one of New York’s top modeling agencies and soon after accepted a job working in model development. Here is where he was quickly introduced to world of fashion and got his first taste of working as a stylist. Roman has worked on campaigns and commercials for Condé Nast, Google, and Wells Fargo; his editorial work is featured in numerous fashion publications; and he has done red carpets for events such as the Billboard Awards, BET Awards, Daily Front Row, Teen Vogue and the Trevor Project. Roman has also worked with music artists from Warner Bros. Records, Interscope, and Hitmakers Entertainment. An Entrepreneur, Roman is the Founder of MENAGERIÉ Intimates, premier men’s lingerie brand and Editor in Chief of HERMOSO Magazine. Roman prides himself on his focus to bring beauty and adornment back into men’s fashion through his work as a designer, groomer, and men’s editorial fashion stylist.


Explore Los Angeles

With the guidance of Amy Bond participants will learn about the fashion industry in Los Angeles first hand. Built into the program schedule are trips to iconic Los Angeles locations such as the Fashion District and the Marciano Foundation. While on the trips you will be inspired as well as have the opportunity to gather materials for the retreat. Participants will also receive resources and recommendations on areas to explore during their free time upon arrival to the retreat.


"The Fashion Design Residency at Otis has been one of the most positive and enriching programs I have been a part of. I am an art teaching and practicing artist and the time I spent there has truly impacted my work for the better. The instructor, Amy Bond, tailored our group's experience to our needs and desires. We were able to spend equal time in and out of the studio; learning about fashion culture on our many excursions, attending interesting talks by industry professionals, and receiving individualized instruction."

The school staff were very friendly and helpful. We were able to access the other labs during our time to incorporate other media into our projects, which was a valuable unique opportunity. Both the dining and residence halls were also great accommodations. I had an amazing time, and hope I can go back in the future."



"The Fashion Residency with Amy was one of the best programs I have taken; not only due to its versatility, but for the amount of knowledge and inspiration I have walked away with. Amy is extremely passionate in what she does, and her capacity to allow for Artistic approach has undeniably granted everyone the freedom to express their creative side. The program was packed with extracurricular activities that have ultimately cultivated a wonderful group environment. I could not say Thank you enough for this educational, hard working, yet therapeutic 10 day experience that has blessed me with friends for life!"



“Otis Fashion Design Residency was in many ways an eye-opening experience as I witnessed how mind-blowing passion for art and fashion are brought together by Amy Bond who was leading our summer residency at Otis. We also went through the most artistic and creative on campus hands-on workshops. Furthermore, we also participated in and became a part of the highly regarded LA-based museum workshops where, in an limited time, all residents created one-of-a-kind wearable pieces and presented during the show at the end of the event.

Amy’s true appreciation of art overflows and crystallizes in her fashion and it is this same passion and vision with which she teaches her residents, creating a truly unique, one-of-a-kind enriching experience for both – experienced and not so experienced designers! Her ability to involve and engage both sides of the brain blew us away. Thank you, Amy!!!"