The Academy of Art University is regionally accredited private for-profit University. Located in San Francisco AAU offers students associates, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a plethora of twenty-five subjects. In 2012 it had a student body 18,000 strong, 58% of which were female. The University offers arts-based majors from architecture, to advertising, to fashion. In addition to its arts programs AAU also has an accomplished athletics department.

Founded in 1929 the Academy of Art University provides optimum design, arts, communication, and online education. Students of AAU hail from all over the world, at least 112 different countries. Its fashion department hosts an annual Spring Show and Student Showcase. The Showcase allows graduate students to see their designs walk a runway. Each graduate putting on their own little fashion show for a slew of actual fashion designers and attendees. Since 2005 the Showcase has been a part of NY Fashion week bi-annually. Students are bused to New York and participate.

The Showcase offers practical application to students, giving them a taste of the real deal. They get to actually feel like designers, tasked with an upcoming show, working round the clock to get everything ready. Then they get to sit back and watch the audience gape at their designs. The working designers who attend get to view the newest fashions, fresh from the next generation of creativity. The Showcase can lead to numerous future opportunities for designer, giving them a solid foot forward into the industry. It helped Project Runway alum Brandon Kee merit his 16th season spot. Although he did not win the 2016 graduate of AAU wowed the judges numerous times, and made it farther than most on the show.

The Showcase is also an avid mix of traditions, styles, culture, and personality. The melting pot of students come together to really produce something new. The heads of the School of Fashion encourage collaboration. In an interview University President Elisa Stephens stated, “collaboration is an important aspect of the professional industry.”