Academy of Art Fashion Students Collaborate with Activisit Juanita More to Design Tote Bags for SF Pride Week

Academy of Art University School of Fashion is partnering with local activist Juanita MORE! to raise money in support of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) community during San Francisco Pride Week. MORE!, a celebrated drag performer, fundraises with a variety of LGBTQ organizations each year and has chosen to raise money for the Youth Empowerment Summit (Y.E.S.) for her annual Pride Party on June 28, 2015.

Eight School of Fashion Textile Design students have hand printed imagery inspired by MORE! and her French Bulldog, Jackson, on 100% organic cotton tote bags made in the U.S. with eco-friendly, water-based ink. MORE! selected her four favorite designs to be produced locally by Morrison Productions and distributed to select retailers in San Francisco; the winning totes are currently for sale at Sui Generis Consignment, Unionmade, ATYS Contemporary Design, s16 Home, Asterisk San Francisco and M.A.C. Modern Appealing Clothing. The bags are priced at $25 and all proceeds will go to Y.E.S.

“I am excited to be collaborating with the textile class at Academy of Art University,” said MORE!. “I talked to the students at the beginning of the semester about Pride and the nonprofit Y.E.S. When I returned at the end of the semester I thought I was only going to view about a dozen totes, and when I saw that there were over 30 totes on display I was incredibly impressed. I was in disbelief that I was the inspiration behind all of the amazing artwork. Picking just one tote to produce was impossible – so I choose four of them! I hope we work together again next year!”

The additional 28 designs (below) are for sale at the Academy of Art University store, SHOP657, for $15 each. SHOP657, located at 657 Sutter Street in San Francisco, is open Thursday, Friday and Saturdays from 1- 6 p.m.

All money raised will be given to Youth Empowerment Summit (Y.E.S.) Y.E.S. is a free annual conference for LGBTQ and ally youth activists who are dedicated to racial, economic, and educational justice for trans and queer youth under the guidance of Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Network. Y.E.S. ensures that queer youth and their allies have the necessary tools and information to confront adversity on all levels, whether in the classroom, at home, or on the street. GSA Network is a next-generation LGBTQ racial and gender justice organization that empowers and trains LGBTQ and allied youth leaders to advocate, organize and mobilize an intersectional movement for safer schools and healthier communities.


“I’m absolutely brimming with pride that the Supreme Court got it right on this momentous occasion. That I can relish this victory with my community in my hometown of San Francisco, one of the birthplaces of the modern gay rights movement, during Pride weekend makes it that much sweeter. While it is true that there is still much more to fight for and defend in the way of equal rights for all people, this is a monumental step in the right direction.” – Juanita MORE!

“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is momentous. Academy of Art University is lucky enough to be rooted in San Francisco, a city that has a long history of supporting LGBT causes and equal rights. With a student body that is nearly as diverse as the city itself, we are celebrating this move toward equality. Going into SF Pride with this ruling, now more than ever we feel incredibly honored to be involved with Juanita MORE!’s fundraising efforts for Y.E.S.” – Simon Ungless, Executive Director of the School of Fashion

Photos by Bob Toy

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