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Black Tie International:
 Otis College of Art and Design’s 32nd Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show

Designer David Meister and Student Designer of the Year Arthur Thammavong. Photo by: Kai He
Designer David Meister and Student Designer of the Year Arthur Thammavong
Photo by: Kai He
Los Angeles Fashion Benefit Draws Design Stars and Apparel Industry Leaders to Showcase Emerging Talent on the Runway
Plus-size glamour and sustainable design highlight Otis College of Art and Design’s 32nd Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show, drawing top fashion designers, celebrities, and business leaders together in support of scholarships for gifted artists and designers.

Otis College of Art and Design’s 32nd Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show, held at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA on May 3, 2014, raised nearly $1 million in support of emerging talent in art and design. The event showcased the work of upcoming designers mentored by Isabel and Ruben Toledo for Lane Bryant; Rod Beattie of Bleu with Erika Kane for Mattel; Todd Oldham; Maru Aldea for Under Armour; Howard Lichter, Jarrett Reyolds and Adrian Nyman for Nike; Christina Kim for dosa; David Meister; Amé Austin Max for MaxStudio, Robert Tuggle for Eddie Bauer; Biya Ramar for Johnny Was, and Bobi Garland for Western Costume.

“The future of fashion is on display at the annual runway show,” said Rosemary Brantley, Chair of the Otis Fashion Design Program.
The focus on environmental and social impacts of sustainability, whether in reuse, recycling, repurposing, multiple looks, or heirloom apparel, will shape fashion in the 21st century.”

The annual benefit black-tie gala is Los Angeles' largest fashion runway show featuring more than 70 professional models in 175-plus fashion designs for women, men, and juniors. Attracting leaders in business and entertainment, stylists, fashion and design retailers, celebrities and fashion fans, the Otis Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show offers a spectacular look at the future of fashion.

Highlights of the 32nd Annual Otis Scholarship Benefit Fashion Show included:

Designer and founder of Max Studio, Leon Max started one of the world’s most recognizable and stylish brands. With studios in Los Angeles, New York, and England, Leon Max celebrates 35 years of a line based on a balanced mix of traditional and cutting-edge elements.
President and CEO of Eddie Bauer, Michael Egeck is one of the retail industry’s most successful and respected leaders. He has more than three decades of highly relevant sportswear design, outdoor and specialty retail experience, and an exceptional track record of building global apparel and outdoor brands.
World-renowned creative partners, Isabel and Ruben Toledo are hailed for their timeless designs and signature style. Isabel is one of our generation’s most coveted fashion designers with a distinct aesthetic, and Ruben is one of fashion¹s most prolific illustrators with unrivaled ability to create unique, evocative sartorial illustrations. Isabel Toledo and Lane Bryant partnered this year to bring a dazzling plus-size collection to life at the Otis Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show.


Working with professional designers, students at Otis College of Art and Design learn all aspects of the design process, testing new ideas, methods, materials, and equipment. This year students were mentored by an outstanding group of designers.

ISABEL AND RUBEN TOLEDO – New York designers Isabel and Ruben Toledo have remained comfortably outside the mainstream fashion industry, despite high-profile clients like Michelle Obama. Isabel maintains a very personal style, based on a keen understanding of garment construction and appreciation for the geometric intricacies of pattern shapes. Her husband Ruben’s sketches often reference fashion, and are frequently incorporated into her work.  From store displays at Barneys to commissions from Louis Vuitton and Nordstrom, and illustrations for major publications, Ruben defines contemporary style. Students worked with Isabel and Ruben on a plus-size collection for Lane Bryant.
MATTEL/BARBIE with ROD BEATTIE OF BLEU and ERIKA KANE – The successful brand launch of Bleu/Rod Beattie in 2011 solidified alumnus Beattie’s reputation as the top designer in the U.S. swimwear market. For the past twenty years his swimsuit designs have been the best-selling styles at department stores and specialty stores nationwide. Students working with Rod and Erika Kane of Mattel used the Malibu Barbie icon to create swimwear for young women ages 18-24.

UNDER ARMOUR – Founded in 1996 by former University of Maryland football player Kevin Plank, Under Armour produces apparel that keeps athletes cool, dry, and light throughout the course of a game, practice, or workout. Students designed multi-functional garments for boys and girls  - - from play to dinner with the family.

NIKE – A world leader in sustainable design, from footwear and apparel to equipment, Nike’s design team works directly with athletes and consumers to design authentic performance products. Designing for 2020, students created uniforms for NYC’s Central Park Run Crew - part gym, part cross-country, part after hours club – that transform and adapt to weather conditions.

CHRISTINA KIM OF DOSA – Working with finite resources inspires Los Angeles-based fashion designer Christina Kim. Christina integrates recycled materials and the work of artisans from around the world into her eco-friendly, human-friendly dosa fashions. Garments from dosa are handmade, labor-intensive rather than resource-intensive, and combine traditional techniques with new designs. Inspired by the Huntington Library’s Flower Market, students worked with Christina to design separates.
AMÉ AUSTIN OF MAXSTUDIO – Established in 1979, MaxStudio sells through department stores with 46 of its own retail stores in the U.S and another 50 in the Far East. Students worked with alumna Amé Austin, to design tailored sportswear for men and women inspired by the architecture of Luis Barragan.

TODD OLDHAM - Artist, designer, and TV personality best known as host of Todd Time on MTV’s House of Style, Todd Oldham is president of L-7 Designs Inc. His fashion lines, interior design work, books, and television appearances have introduced millions to his exuberant style and playful aesthetic. Students worked with Todd on modern sportswear and dresses inspired by Native American culture.

DAVID MEISTER - David Meister is synonymous with sophisticated, beautiful, body conscious women’s wear. His designs are a red carpet staple, gracing Hollywood stars such as Diane Lane, Katherine Heigl, Queen Latifah, Fergie, Felicity Huffman, Tina Fey, Drew Barrymore, and Sharon Stone. Students worked with David to design jersey dresses that have a second life, transforming for multi-purpose use.

EDDIE BAUER - Eddie Bauer offers signature outerwear, apparel, outdoor gear, and accessories. Students working with Otis alumnus Robert Tuggle, Design Director for Men’s Sportswear, used recycled clothes from Eddie Bauer to remake and rethink suburban trekking gear for a post-apocalyptic setting.

JOHNNY WAS - Eli Levite’s Johnny Was offers beautifully crafted, luxurious, flowing clothing for the ultimate boho chic. Students designed a gypsy-inspired collection informed by different cultures from around the world, including tribes and national costumes of dancers from countries such as Pakistan, Mexico, Romania, Thailand,
 and Spain.

WESTERN COSTUME CO. – The Western Costume Co. has been dressing Hollywood since the days of silent film. The largest costume house in the U.S., they offer one-stop shopping for costumers, designers, and their crews, from made to order tailoring services and supplies to manufacturing. Students worked with Western Costume Co. to design costumes for dance throughout the decades.


Elaine and Bram Goldsmith, Eddie Bauer, B.N. Maltz Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, City National Bank, Mattel, Clinique, Gail Buchalter, Andrew and Bronya Galef, The Hyde Family, The Goldsmith Family Foundation, Marisa Arango, Gibson Dunn, and Lunada Bay.

Fashion Design at Otis trains students in all aspects of the design process, offering a fully accredited BFA degree. The school year follows the industry schedule and several seasons are designed simultaneously. Working with professional mentors, students learn far more than drawing, sewing, and patternmaking skills: they experience all facets of the industry, and they learn to meet deadlines with creativity and self-discipline. Graduates enter the profession as assistant designers, associate designers, illustrators, costume designers, textile designers, accessory designers, and product designers. Some start their own clothing lines immediately upon graduation.


Established in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design is a national leader in art and design education. The College mission is to prepare diverse students of art and design to enrich our world through their creativity, skill, and vision. Alumni and faculty are Fulbright, MacArthur, and Guggenheim grant recipients, Oscar awardees, legendary costume designers, leaders of contemporary art movements, and design stars at Apple, Abercrombie & Fitch, Pixar, DreamWorks, Mattel, Nike, and Disney.
Otis enrolls approximately 1,100 full-time students, and offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Architecture/Landscape/Interiors, Digital Media (Game and Entertainment Design, Animation, and Motion Design), Fashion Design, Communication Arts (Graphic Design, Illustration, and Advertising Design), Fine Arts (Painting, Photography, and Sculpture/New Genres), Product Design, and Toy Design.  Otis also awards the Master of Fine Arts degree in Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Public Practice, and Writing.   

The five-acre main campus is located on L.A.’s Westside near the beach and LAX; Fashion Design is in the heart of the downtown fashion district; and the Graduate Studios are on the Creative Corridor in nearby Culver City, and in the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica.

2,700 adults and children participate in Continuing Education art and design classes and workshops.

Additional information is available at


joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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