You are here

The Centennial Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show Shines

Top Designers Serve as Mentors, Event Raises over $500,000 for Student Scholarships

For its Centennial Year, Otis College of Art and Design held its 37th Fashion Show the evening of May 4th celebrating the year-long collaboration between Otis students and a wide array of creative talent from some of the world’s best known fashion brands, stylists and designers. Hosted for the second year on-site at the Elaine and Bram Goldsmith campus at Otis College in Westchester, Los Angeles, the event honored Shelley Reid, who has served as the Chair of the Annual Benefit and Fashion Show for nearly 20 years. The event raised more than $500,000 in support of student scholarships. The event also coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Fashion Design Program at Otis College, now amongst the top fashion design programs in the nation.


In its 37th year, the Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show 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 art and design. During the gala dinner following the Fashion Show, alumni including Arthur Thammavong, now a designer at Vince, recounted about the vital role the scholarship funds provide fashion students like himself to achieve an education in fashion. In addition to Thammavong, alumni designers that participated this year as mentors included Bao Tranchi, Debbie Sabet, and Jennifer Tong.

Under the overarching theme of Limitless, junior and senior fashion design students worked with an array of top designers and creative talent in fashion, styling and costume design throughout the 2018 and 2019 academic year. Mentors this year included designer and celebrity stylist Bao Tranchi; Jennifer Tong, design director for Adidas / agron, inc.; Debbie Sabet, Patrik Ervell and Arthur Thammavong, designers for Vince; creative talent from Ralph Lauren, celebrity stylist B. Akerlund; and Eduardo Castro, costume designer for ABC’s Once Upon a Time. Of particular note this year was Jason Wu’s collaboration with Mary and David Martin’s foundation MADWORKSHOP that partnered with the Costume and Textiles Department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), offering students unique access to reference a vast historical archive to aid in Wu’s design direction.

The runway show included over 125 unique student designs, and at its conclusion, student Soo Min Chun was honored as Student Designer of the Year by Jill Zeleznik, Chair of the Fashion Design Program at Otis College.


Notable guests at the event included designer Jason Wu; actress Lisa Edelstein; celebrity stylist B. Akerlund; Bao Tranchi; Mary and David Martin / MADWORKSHOP; artist Kohshin Finley; costume designer Eduardo Castro; Claudia Cividino, CEO North America, Loro Piana; model and artist Yi Zhao; Homeira Goldstein; Otis College alumni Arthur Thammavong and Debbie Sabet, designers at Vince; alumnus Marisol Gerona Bradford, VP Product Design & Development at NBCUniversal; and Otis College trustee Cliff Einstein with Mandy Einstein.

The Centennial Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show represents the deep links that the College has cultivated with top design talent and the broader fashion and entertainment industry. Celebrating its 40th academic year, the Fashion Design Program has educated some of the top designers throughout the United States and around the world. Alumni who have studied Fashion Design at Otis College include Claire Pettibone, Rick Owens, Red Carter, Chris Chang, and Rod Beattie. 

The event received media attention in Fashionista, The Hollywood Reporter, KCRW, LA Weekly, CA Apparel News, WWD, and The Argonaut, among others.