The Art Institute of Seattle Partners with McCaw Hall

By: Sam King Filed under: Fashion

August 3, 2017

Ai Seattle McCaw Hall design challenge


Students’ final project for Advanced Fashion Illustration will design new guest service uniforms for McCaw Hall staff.

SEATTLE – The Art Institute of Seattle (Ai Seattle) and Marion Oliver McCaw Hall announce an exciting student competition and final project to redesign the guest services uniforms worn by staff during performances and events at McCaw Hall. The design concepts for the new uniforms will be the students’ final project in the Advanced Fashion Illustration course taught by Lori Meyer this quarter. Over the next 10 weeks, advanced design students studying at Ai Seattle will go through the complete design process from initial sketches to final technical packages ready for garment manufacturing.

Throughout the course, students will receive additional guidance from Heidi Zamora, Seattle Opera's Costume Show Manager. All students in the class will be participating in this final project, and at the midpoint of the class, three top designs will be chosen by McCaw Hall and Ai Seattle staff. From those designs, a winning concept will be selected. The winning student designer will be awarded a $4,000 scholarship provided by McCaw Hall, and have her or his design go into production and debut late fall 2017.

This final project was envisioned to give students at Ai Seattle real-world project experience and to provide the staff at McCaw Hall with a more modern aesthetic. Designers will be asked to accommodate both male and female apparel, and have the unique tasks of designing and choosing formal and casual pieces that will complement the variety of events McCaw Hall hosts: opera and ballet performances, trade shows, rock concerts, comedy and everything in between.

Scott Carnz the Dean of Academic Affairs at The Art Institute of Seattle said “We are so excited to partner with McCaw Hall on this project. We are always looking for real-world opportunities for our students to put their skills to the test. McCaw’s needs provide a unique client experience for our students that will test their abilities to meet the diverse needs of an arts organization and while seeing an actual project through from beginning to end. This type of experience is at the heart of The Art Institute’s mission to prepare students for professional practice, as well as being an engaged and contributing member of Seattle’s arts community.”

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center is the home to the Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Seattle Opera as well as many other concerts and events. The venue hosts hundreds of thousands of patrons and guests at over 320 events annually. Currently guest service staff are outfitted with a uni-sex tuxedo uniform that has not changed since the building opened in 2003.

Joe Paganelli, McCaw Hall’s General Manager noted, “We are thrilled to partner with The Art Institute of Seattle for this unique opportunity. We could have put our uniforms out to bid when we decided to refresh our staff’s look, but thanks to support from Aidan Lang and Ellen Walker, Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet’s respective Executive Directors, we will engage and challenge our community to take the journey with us….”

McCaw Hall and The Art Institute of Seattle will be posting student progress and the process throughout the challenge. Follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see the students’ design journey using #McCawHallChallenge.

McCaw Hall:


Twitter: @McCawHall

Instagram: @McCawHall

The Art Institute of Seattle


Twitter: @AISeattle

Instagram: @AISeattle

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By: Sam King Filed under: Fashion

August 3, 2017