Academy of Art Alumni in the Art & Design Industry Today – Innovations & Initiatives

Academy of Art University graduates are making waves in their respective industries. Here are but some of them creatively pursuing their passions with their innovations and initiatives.

Put in the hard work, and you will succeed. This is what graduates of Academy of Art University usually give as advice to those currently going through their Academy journey. For these proud alumni below, they’ve done their homework beyond the classrooms, and certainly put in the work for them to achieve their career goals. 

Jacqueline Rabot of Rabôt

BFA School of Fashion, 2012
rabot-jacqueline rabot

For School of Fashion alum Jacqueline Rabot, the fashion industry could do a lot more doing and not just talking when it comes to practicing sustainability and integrating it in actual business models. That’s why when she launched her own brand, Rabôt, in 2019 with fellow fashion designer Catherine Dahm, she made sure to make this concept central to their brand identity.

They use deadstock fabrics for their designs, which, in industry lingo, refers to the leftover fabrics from a manufacturer’s fashion line. Because they use leftover fabrics, their clothes are produced in very limited quantities. “Our garments are made-to-order in LA. We work with a small company to produce our goods, and our made-to-order concept allows us to not hold inventory and create waste. 

Learn more about Rabôt’s design philosophy and Jacqueline’s experience in the Academy here.

Alvin Ang of Clean Clothes Only

BFA School of Fashion, 2017

Alvin Ang is no stranger to the limelight. Even as a student, he has been making waves on runways, not only at Academy of Art but even at the much anticipated New York Fashion Show. His clothes have also been featured at the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Fashion Future Graduate Showcase, among others. 

For his brand Clean Clothes Only, he sought to collaborate with online marketplace Not Just A Label to go beyond the limiting borders of traditional brick-and-mortar shops. This decision to go online suits him especially well since Clean Clothes Only is based in Bali, Indonesia. Like Rabôt, sustainable fashion is the brand’s advocacy. “I created my brand to help others see that there is a future in clean production with good design.”

Alvin Ang talks more about his brand and how his time at Academy of Art helped him prepare to be “an independent designer in the real world” here.

Benjamin Anderson for Handiguru Sanitizer Dispenser

BFA School of Fine Art, 2001
handiguru-benjamin anderson

Thanks to his training in sculpture at the Academy’s School of Fine Art, Benjamin Anderson was able to actualize his vision of a handy sanitizer dispenser, Handiguru. And it’s a timely innovation at that too, considering where the world is at today.

Apart from fine art, he also credits the courses he took in the School of Graphic Design, which allowed him to create an effectively striking branding and packaging for his product.

Read more about his journey from fine artist to product innovator here.

Jonathan Thai for Hatch Duo

BFA Industrial Design, 2012

In 2019, School of Industrial Design alum Jonathan Thai and his Hatch Duo business partner Michael Yim teamed up with New Jersey-based ThirdEye Gen to introduce the X2 Mixed Reality Glasses. The unveiling was made at no less than the CES 2019 in Las Vegas. 

Thai is the principal designer for Hatch Duo, which means that a good deal of the project, which involved a full redesign and re-engineering, fell mostly on him and his partner. 

For him, it is thanks to his education in industrial design that he was able to build on his “baseline skills of industrial design, creativity, and discipline.” Read more about it here.

Jong Chan Kim on the GPX-F1 Facet Grand Piano

BFA School of Industrial Design, 2016

Jong Chan Kim of the School of Industrial Design joined Rolan’s piano design contest in 2015 after seeing it posted on the school board. The following year, he was announced as the winner for his GPX-F1 Facet Grand Piano design. 

In January 2020, Kim’s piano, dubbed as the “Cybertruk of Pianos” for its very modern design, officially debuted to the rest of the world at the 62nd Grammy Award.. Singer-songwriter H.E.R. was the lucky one who got to play it for her performance. 

Check out his unique piano creation in action, and learn more about his time at the Academy, here.

Definitely, they are just some of the Academy of Art University graduates that the university is so very proud of. Plenty more alumni are putting their learned skills and techniques from the Academy to good use by making their dream innovations and initiatives come true.

Academy of Art University is open for admissions. Request information from our admissions representatives or apply today for the upcoming 2021 school year.