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Celebrating School of Fashion Icon – Rosemar...

Celebrating School of Fashion Icon – Rosemary Sullivan

Rosemary Sullivan in her new winter coat and clutching her bouquet. Illustration by Gladys Perint Palmer

Model as muse is a common theme in the world of fashion – models inspire us to create, to design, to photograph, to illustrate. And at the Academy of Art University, there is one model who has been inspiring students for decades. Rosemary Sullivan, who poses for fashion illustration students, began modeling for the school in her late teens. “One day I just decided I want to model,” she recalled. “And I had a boyfriend whose friend was studying at the Academy. He introduced me to someone, and right away I started modeling for the drawing classes. That’s how I got started.”

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The former professional ice skater quickly caught the eye of photographers and moved to Chicago to work with Kenneth Heilbron, known for his proejcts with retail giant Marshall Field & Co. But after a few years, and a brief stint in New York, Rosemary decided it was time to come back to San Francisco. She continued to model for catalogs, including Macy’s Department Store, and returned to her first gig – modeling at the Academy of Art University and our very own fashion school.

“I was always so much happier modeling than I was skating,” Rosemary confessed. “There is just something about being around creative people, especially art students. They’re all just so nice and have been so kind to me.” Rosemary continues to model for our fashion illustration students, holding poses, donning creative costumes, and inspiring their work. Yesterday, to show our deep appreciation for Rosemary, Gladys Perint Palmer and the fashion illustration departmentpresented her with a winter gift – a warm coat for the season, and a bouquet of flowers to brighten the cold days. Thank you to everyone who contributed!

And thank you to Rosemary, we are so grateful for your dedication and the constant inspiration you provide.

Fashion Illustration students with model Rosemary Sullivan, sporting her new coat. 


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