School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) hosted Fashion 2013, the school’s 79th annual fashion show, over the weekend on Friday, May 3. The event culminated with THE WALK—SAIC’s annual benefit supporting the production of student work and scholarships. This year, THE WALK celebrated fashion designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte with the Legend of Fashion Award, as well as constant supporter of SAIC, Melissa Sage Fadim, with the Heart of Fashion Award.

“This magnificent show is a fitting platform for the marvelous, innovative work of our students. I am inspired by the creations that they continue to produce each year,” said SAIC President Walter E. Massey. “This year, it is a special privilege to honor both Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte who, like many of these students, began their creative explorations at such a young age, as well as a true friend to SAIC and the Fashion Design department, Melissa Sage Fadim, whose passion and commitment to this institution makes events like this possible, including the annual fashion show.”

Kate and Laura Mulleavy founded Rodarte in 2005 in Los Angeles, California and are now “the most celebrated American designers working today” (The New Yorker). The sisters received their liberal arts degrees from the University of California at Berkeley in 2001, where Kate studied art history with an emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries, and Laura focused her studies on literature and the Modern novel. Following graduation from Berkeley, both Kate and Laura moved to Los Angeles where they launched their brand. The name “Rodarte” is of Spanish origin, taken from their mother’s maiden name. Now, Rodarte is stocked globally by the world’s premiere retailers including Barneys, Neiman Marus, Nordstrom, Net a Porter and many more.

“We are truly honored to be receiving the Legend of Fashion award from SAIC’s distinguished Fashion Design program,” said Kate and Laura Mulleavy. “We feel privileged to be recognized and involved with Fashion 2013.”

Fashion 2013 presented an electrifying runway show featuring more than 300 original garments created by undergraduate students in SAIC’s internationally renowned Fashion Design program. Students and faculty work together on creating the design, sounds, and garments showcased, with seniors presenting complete collections with five looks; juniors with three-look collections; and sophomores each with one avant garde approach.

“It is creative, entrepreneurial leaders such as Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte who elevate the importance of artists and designers in the cultural landscape,” added Anke Loh. “To our SAIC community, Rodarte’s role and work within the fashion design industry is an example of both success and sustained artistic integrity. Kate and Laura’s interdisciplinary and conceptual approach—and their fearless instinct for innovation—resonates with our students and faculty and inspires them to push the boundaries of fashion.”

A few of the looks showcased at THE WALK.