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2010-11 Fashion Design Mentors

Please contact Margaret Reeve (310) 665 6957 for inquiries.

America’s Top Fashion Designers Pay it Forward: Cynthia Rowley, Bob Mackie, Ken Kaufman and Isaac Franco of Kaufman Franco in the Classroom at Otis College of Art and Design

Announcing the Otis Fashion Design Mentors for 2010/11 School Year 

Los Angeles, CA., (NOVEMBER 1, 2010) – Otis College of Art and Design’s Fashion Design Department announces the professional designers who will mentor students during the 2010/11 school year. They are, for the Senior Class, Cynthia Rowley, Bob Mackie, and Ken Kaufman and Isaac Franco of Kaufman Franco, plus head designers from top fashion companies MAXSTUDIO.COM, Sean John and BCBG MAX AZRIA. The Junior class will work under the direction of head designers from fashion brands Diesel, Forever 21, Hurley/NIKE, Bleu by Rod Beattie (’86), Juicy Couture and Old Navy.

These professional designers volunteer their time to provide direction to a small team of juniors and seniors who then work through the design process - researching, sketching, draping and drafting to construction of a final garment - all under the guidance of the professional design mentor and the Otis fashion design faculty.

For example, New York-based womenswear designer Cynthia Rowley will give 15 members of the Otis Fashion senior class the following fashion design direction: Design contemporary dresses that have a “second life.” Create a dress that can evolve into a “new” garment through reconstruction and redesign. Think longevity and sustainability when designing. Use environmentally friendly fabrics. Consider the consumer’s post-purchase behavior, especially the care and cleaning and eventual evolution of your eco- fashion look.

The best work by the student designers will be presented on the runway on May 7, 2011 at Otis College of Art and Design’s annual scholarship fundraising gala.

The mentorship program, developed by Otis Fashion Design Chair Rose Brantley, is unique to Otis, and is the primary reason that Otis is considered one of the best fashion design schools in the country. Past design mentors for Otis’ Fashion Design program include Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein, Monique Lhuillier, Vera Wang, Isabel Toledo, John Varvatos, Diane von Furstenberg, Yeohlee Teng, Behnaz Sarafpour, Isaac Mizrahi, Mark Badgley and James Mischka, Jeremy Scott and Rick Owens.

“The Otis Fashion Design Department is embracing the new apparel business model of the Triple Bottom Line: Profit, People and Planet. We are telling our students that they need to think about design accordingly,” said Brantley. “What can they create that reduces waste, uses less resources, and is more respectful of human life? Our projects this year with Hurley/NIKE and also with Cynthia Rowley will exemplify this new and evolving direction in fashion design.”

Additional Information on the Otis fashion design program and the 2011 Otis Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show is available at

PRESS CONTACT: Sheri Mobley (323) 668-0874;



Established in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide variety of visual and applied arts, media, and design. Core programs in liberal arts, business practices, and community-driven projects support the College’s mission to prepare diverse students to enrich our world through their creativity, skill, and vision. As Los Angeles’ first professional art school, visionary alumni and faculty include MacArthur and Guggenheim grant recipients, Oscar awardees, and design stars at Apple, Anthropologie, Pixar, Mattel, and more. The renowned Creative Action program has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for Community Engagement, and the Otis Report on the Creative Economy is a powerful advocacy tool for creative industries. The College serves the Greater Los Angeles Area through compelling public programming, as well as year-round Continuing Education courses for all ages. More information is available at