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Glowing Gowns and Matisse-inspired Swimwear

Otis College of Art and Design's 2017 Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show

On May 6, Otis College of Art and Design honored Claudia Cividino, CEO of Bally Americas, and jewelry designer Daniela Villegas at its Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show, held at the Beverly Hilton with over 700 guests in attendance. The Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show, now in its 35th year, showcases the collaborations of industry mentors and students in the fashion design program and is an important source of scholarship funding for Otis College students.

This year, juniors and seniors worked with renowned costume designer and two-time Academy Award winner Albert Wolsky, couture designer Chris Chang, and industry leaders such as David Meister, Zaid Affas, Claire Pettibone, Red Carter, as well as designers from Illia, Michi, and Jessica Simpson.

The runway show included 120 original student designs is L.A.’s largest annual fashion show. Select designs will be displayed during the Annual Exhibition at Otis College on Saturday, May 13 and in the windows of Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills, CA, as well as available for bid online through 501 Auctions through May 12. 



"A fashion school graduate herself, Cividino said she understands the power of a good fashion education for anyone in the industry," reported the Los Angeles Times. “It’s important to have an appreciation of the craft,” she said. “When people in the field know that you’ve lived their challenges, they follow you, because they know you know what you’re asking.” Additional press for the show and the unique mentor program at Otis College came from Women's Wear DailyFlaunt, The Argonaut, California Apparel NewsCulture Trip, and Cultured Magazine

Each mentor presented one student from their project with a Best Design Award, winners included Kiara Murase for Michi, Hanna Dorman for Red Carter, William Wang for Claire Pettibone, Alice Xuan for Jessica Simpson, Hanna Dorman for Illia, Jinny Song for Universal, Lillian Xie for David Meister, Claudia Cheng for Zaid Affas, and Magdalena Lee for Chris Chang.

The last award of the evening, the 2017 Designer of the Year award, was presented to senior Joanna Rubalcaba, who also received the design award in Albert Wolsky's stunning finale of fairy-inspired gowns. Wolsky, celebrated costume designer of such films as Grease, Manhattan, and Revolutionary Road, had asked students to create a collection of ethereal evening gowns that incorporated layering, translucent materials, and actual LED lighting into the design. 

This year, Otis College’s Fashion Design program moved to join the other undergraduate programs at the Goldsmith campus in Westchester. The program was ranked the number one fashion program in the nation by College Magazine and has received many accolades for their alumni’s industry success. 

Now in its 35th year, the Annual Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show was founded by Elaine Goldsmith, Chair Emerita of the Board of Trustees at Otis College. The 2017 benefit event co-chairs are Shelley Reid and Cathy Louchheim and the event’s exclusive media partner was Cultured Magazine. Additional information available at