You are here

Otis College Celebrates 36th Annual Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show for the First Time at its West Los Angeles Campus

Notable guests included Jason Wu, Maxine Waters, Hana Mae Lee, and numerous top figures in fashion, entertainment and design

Otis College of Art and Design staged its Annual Benefit and Fashion Show on campus for the first time on May 5, 2018, inviting Special Guest Jason Wu to a sold-out fashion show followed by an exclusive scholarship dinner at its newly-expanded Elaine and Bram Goldsmith campus in the Westchester neighborhood of Los Angeles. Benefit Chair Shelley Reid and Otis College President Bruce Ferguson welcomed guests to the Fashion Show, noting the show falls on the eve of Otis College’s Centennial Year that begins in the 2018 to 2019 academic year.

Notable attendees included Maxine Waters, U.S. Congresswoman for California’s 43rd congressional district; actress and alumna Hana Mae Lee; designer Jason Wu; athlete and former ambassador Sid Williams; Marisol Gerona Bradford, VP of Design & Development at NBC Universal Consumer Products; Claudia Cividino, CEO of Bally Americas; Johnson Hartig of Los Angeles label Libertine; Jose Fernandez of Ironhead Studios; philanthropist and Otis College Board Chair Emerita Elaine Goldsmith; Cliff and Mandy Einstein, and Billie Miriam Weisman. 

The Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show, in its 36th year, showcases the collaborations of industry mentors and students in the fashion design program, and is one of the key sources of scholarship funding for Otis College students, aimed particularly at assisting those from underprivileged circumstances who have a keen interest in the arts and design.



This year, juniors and seniors worked with top leaders in fashion and costume design who served as industry mentors, assigning students to work with distinct scenes all falling under the general theme of Celestial Bodies. The 2017 to 2018 mentors included Rod Beattie of Bleu, Marisol Gerona Bradford for Universal, Chris Chang for Poesia, Claudia Cividino for Bally, costume designer Louise Mingenbach with Jose Fernandez for Ironhead Studios, Johnson Hartig for Libertine, Davora Lindner for Prairie Underground, and Sapna Von Sick for Alo Yoga. Each mentor worked with their students from sketch selection through to model fitting, visiting the college throughout the academic year to guide, advise, and develop student designs. The runway show included over 125 unique designs, and upon conclusion of the evening fashion design student William Wang was honored as the Student Designer of the Year by Jill Zeleznik, Chair of the Fashion Design Program at Otis College.

Select student designs will be displayed during the Annual Exhibition at Otis College on Saturday, May 12. Following this, all designs featured in the final scene of the show, an elegant evening wear collection inspired by the signs of the zodiac led by mentors Jose Fernandez and Louise Mingenbach, will be exhibited at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles in Summer 2018.

The 36th Annual Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show is an important milestone on the eve of Otis College’s Centennial Year through 2018 to 2019. Founded originally in 1918 by General Harrison Gray Otis, Otis College was the first professional school of art in Southern California. Located in the Westchester neighborhood of Los Angeles since 1997, Otis has become one of the preeminent art and design schools in the United States, known for its unique industry partnerships in entertainment, art, and design. In 2016, Otis College expanded the Elaine and Bram Goldsmith Campus, with a new residence hall and academic wing that houses the Fashion Design program.