MESSAGE FROM ACI PRESIDENT JUDY STEERS

In support of our mission statement which is to promote the appreciation and understanding of fashion design through the acquisition and preservation of works of historical and aesthetic significance, educational programs and exhibition support for Phoenix Art Museum’s Fashion Design Department ACI provides many aspects of service to enhance this effort.  ACI members should be well informed about these services and particularly pleased that its board works tirelessly to bring about outstanding opportunities with well managed strategic planning.  Here are some of the highlights of the 2014-2015:    

 
  • ACI orchestrates monthly educational lectures through the Program’s Committee by working in tandem with Curator Dennita Sewell’s vast array of fashion oriented contacts, bringing local and national speakers to the museum’s Whiteman Hall.  Many of these speakers had book publications exposing ACI members to personal contact and conversation with a variety of fashion experts and industry insiders.    
  • ACI supported the fall Ellman Fashion Gallery exhibition, Fashioned in American, organizing and sponsoring the Opening Evening Reception as well as the spring  exhibition Opening Reception for Pattern Play, which is currently on exhibit in the Ellman Fashion Gallery until August 9, 2015.   
  • ACI’s Holiday Luncheon is the organization’s major fundraising event held in December.  The 2014 soiree brought a financial result netting income of over $55,000 and provided luncheon participants with guest speaker Freddie Leiba, New York stylist to well-known celebrities. This year’s decadent event, established in 1966 has become a must attend Sonoran Valley holiday tradition, and is scheduled for Tuesday, December 8, 2015.  
  • ACI has increased its membership to 344+, a 30% increase surpassing the original goal of 10%. for the year, which includes a 98% increase in Nouveau membership whose members are aged 35 and younger.  The Membership Committee acted as welcoming ambassadors at each ACI luncheon/lecture, held special events for new ACI members, which included a tour of the Fashion Design Gallery led by curator Dennita Sewell, and hosted a private reception with valued access to the Dennita and her staff following the tour.   
  • ACI’s 100+ Benefactor level members were invited to a special behind-the-scenes tour of costumes, a ballet rehearsal and reception at the Phoenix Ballet in October 2014 to stimulate interest in ACI and to cordially thank ACI supporters and sponsors.
  • ACI published professionally formatted biannual Newsletters that were distributed to membership by e-blast in the fall and the spring.
  • ACI offered an exclusive trip to London with dynamic access to costume and textile collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Bath Textile Museum, Kensington Palace, Philip Treacy Hats, Zandra Rhodes, the extraordinarily incredible Alexander McQueen Exhibit.  The Farewell to London dinner held at the Lansdowne Club offered an evening of dinner and conversation with guest fashion designer and activist, Dame Vivienne Westwood and her husband Andreas Kronthaler.
  • ACI board governance is integral to getting business done in the proper manner.  With that in mind, a new strategic plan was created and implemented with all goals being met or surpassed.
  • ACI worked with the Fashion Design department to create and sponsor a newly redesigned Membership brochure that offers new tools to promote the organization and provide a more visually appealing image.
  • ACI sponsored the redesign of the ACI website along with newly-designed marketing collateral that was a result of meeting with a professional marketing firm that greatly improved social media and press outreach and digital correspondence.  This financial effort included flyer and email redesign that is used in event promotion that encourages professional branding of the organization.
  • ACI contributed $25,000 toward the newly purchased Emphatics Collection of over 400 avant-garde garments and ephemera to assist with storage costs, acid free boxes, photography and other related necessities. 
  • The newly elected board has been formulating committees and implementing tasks to carry forward the strategic plans established for 2015-2016 board year creating a smooth transition for outgoing and incoming board members.  2016 brings into play ACI’s 50th Anniversary.  Those plans have been evolving for the past twelve (12) months in an effort to provide a year of celebration and opportunities to expand knowledge about the ever changing world of fashion in 2016.
  • On May 11, 2015 ACI hosted sixteen (16) past presidents to a tea and photography session in connection with the 50th Anniversary.
  • ACI financially supports a portion of the annual salary for the Fashion Design department’s curator assistant, and sponsored her trip to London in April with other ACI members.
  • ACI sponsors a yearly subscription for the digital Vogue Archives, which is made available to the public by accessing the information in Phoenix Art Museum’s Lemon Research Library.  This access provides historical fashion and style research for international, national and local professionals and students representing a wide range of interests.  
  • In summary, ACI had an extremely productive and dynamic year and is poised for success in 2015-2016.  We held the first board meeting of the 2015-2016 board year on Wed., June 10, 2015.