Dear ACI Friends of Fashion:

As we look forward to cooling temps in Phoenix when bragging weather becomes the norm, you will find that ACI activities are heating up.  WELCOME to the upcoming 2015 ACI Fall Season!

We are very excited to announce that the Luncheon/Lecture series begins on Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at 11:30 am in the Great Hall with the lecture to follow at 12:30 pm in Whiteman Hall.  Renowned milliner Patricia Underwood will be discussing her book titled The Way You Wear Your Hat.   The book is available for purchase at the Museum Store, and a book signing will follow after the lecture.  Tickets for the luncheon may be purchased online at

Please refer to your Program Cards which were mailed in early August, or check details online for information about other upcoming 2nd Wednesday luncheons and lectures.

To stimulate conversation and provide a cordial atmosphere on 2nd Wednesdays, a new fashion theme will continue to be offered each month for members and guests to enjoy.  This month please bring a photo of yourself in a hat that you loved (or didn't) or consider bringing a quote about a hat!   We can all be mad hatters on the 9th.

Your ACI board has been busy creating a most robust year of plans and activities that will pique the interest of the fashion minded.   Here’s an update about the latest sizzling, HOT topics:

We are thrilled to begin the year with an announcement of a newly organized ACI Book Club which will meet for the first time on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 @ 10:00 am in the Orientation Room next to the museum’s Book Store.  Selections will focus on fashion themed books that are connected to our current programming or the museum’s fashion collection.  The first book selection is Dana Thomas’ Gods and Kings:  The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano.   Interested in attending?  Contact 602-257-2151 or for more information view the ACI website for scheduled monthly meeting dates and upcoming book selections.

Tip:  Dana will be giving a talk about her latest work at Phoenix Art Museum on October 21st in Singer Hall at 7:00 pm.  

As ACI MEMBERSHIP continues to grow, the committee has implemented exciting plans to acquire new members, welcome back existing members and develop strategies that will provide a warm and fuzzy environment for all to enjoy.  Efforts are in place to have a personal phone conversation with each of you beginning in September.  One of our enthusiastic committee members will be contacting you soon with friendly conversation to inform you about ACI news and current events.

Tip:  Did you know that ACI membership at the $1500 Haute Couture level qualifies you for a vault visit with Dennita to make a garment selection for display at the Holiday Luncheon? 

PROGRAM cards were mailed in early August.  The compelling lineup of 2nd Wednesday lectures will bring experts into our midst who will share their insights on a variety of fascinating fashion industry topics.  Check out the website for more information.

As global outreach becomes more important to the growth of our organization and its mission, ACI continues to partner with the Fashion Design Department to improve PUBLIC RELATIONS and MEDIA outreach.  ACI funds help provide graphic designer fees, creative website content and flyers to promote PR/Media success.   Because participation from those who view the website and use social media can now be monitored, huge upticks are consistently being observed.  These statistics are a valued indication of how well ACI and department information is being received locally and throughout the world.

Our major fundraising event, the HOLIDAY LUNCHEON has become a “must do” valley tradition, and will be held on Tuesday, December 8, 2015.  The featured speaker will be highly acclaimed fashion maven, Fern Mallis, creator of New York’s Fashion Week.    Information and ticket purchase can be found on the website.   Spread the news!  It’s going to be a blowout!

NOUVEAU (age 35 and under/$35) had a 98% increase in members last year and continues to flourish.  With fresh ideas and willingness to bridge the generation gap, Nouveau members serve as a vital part of our growing ACI membership.  Our goal is to nurture their interests in the organization and help prepare them for future leadership roles.  Wouldn’t a Nouveau membership purchase be a lovely way to honor the special young adult in your life?

Two dynamic BENEFACTOR EVENTS have been planned for those who join ACI at upper levels above the $85.00 general membership fee.  Here are highlights:

On Thursday, November 19, 2015 benefactors will be treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the costume workshop at the Phoenix Ballet, a private viewing of the company’s Nutcracker rehearsal and a champagne lunch to follow.

Taliesin West will be the venue for the spring benefactor’s event scheduled for March 14, 2016 featuring Tony nominated set designer, Alexander Dodge, a viewing of the costumes from past Taliesin performances and a champagne lunch are included.

 The TRAVEL Committee will announce plans for a fabulous domestic trip that will be scheduled to take place during the last week of April 2016.  As details develop, more information will be made available.

 ACI/Fashion Department 50th Anniversary celebration planning continues with exciting details to be revealed as 2016 emerges.

Other sizzlers :

October 31-Italian Symposium-1:00 pm-3:30 pm-purchase tickets on the ACI website

ACI Ferre Opening Reception to follow symposium-3:30 pm-5:00 pm

November 4-Gianfranco Ferre:  The White Shirt According to Me exhibit

For more details or to participate with ACI in achieving purposeful goals, please explore our website or contact me at  We hope the coming activities will satisfy your fashion curiosity and provide many valued hours of education and entertainment.  THANKS for your support!


Judy Steers, 2014-2016 President