Press RoomArizona Costume Institute 2018 Holiday Luncheon featured legendary designer, raised funds for Phoenix Art Museum

Arizona Costume Institute 2018 Holiday Luncheon featured legendary designer, raised funds for Phoenix Art Museum

Dec, 14, 2018

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Arizona Costume Institute 2018 Holiday Luncheon featured legendary designer, raised funds for Phoenix Art Museum

Iconic milliner Stephen Jones headlined annual luncheon in support of fashion exhibitions and programs at Museum

PHOENIX (December 14, 2018) – Arizona Costume Institute (ACI), an affiliate group of Phoenix Art Museum, presented its 2018 Holiday Luncheon on Monday, December 3, which featured renowned celebrity designer Stephen Jones as its guest of honor and keynote speaker. A fundraiser in support of the fashion design collection at the Museum, the 2018 ACI Holiday Luncheon was chaired by Lynne Love and raised more than $100,000 in vital resources for the Museum.

“We are so grateful to both the board of Arizona Costume Institute and its members for their ongoing generous support of Phoenix Art Museum. Now entering the 52nd year of its history, Arizona Costume Institute and its annual holiday luncheon play a crucial role in both the history and future of the Museum and its fashion design program,” said Amada Cruz, the Sybil Harrington Director and CEO of Phoenix Art Museum. “The members of the luncheon’s planning committee truly devoted themselves to creating a beautiful event, and their tireless efforts resulted in an infusion of generous support for Phoenix Art Museum.” 

Keynote speaker Stephen Jones, who has collaborated with designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Thom Browne, and Christian Dior and whose designs have graced the covers of Vogue and have been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, presented examples of his work during the event and shared stories and exclusive insights into his meteoric rise to success as one of the most innovative milliners and fashion designers of our time. At the conclusion of the event, the British designer signed copies of his recent book, Stephen Jones: Souvenirs.

The event also honored Mary Ellen McKee, community philanthropist and fashionista, who was recognized as the first-ever Honorary Holiday Luncheon Chair in honor of her generous, longtime support of Arizona Costume Institute and the fashion design program at Phoenix Art Museum. The elegant annual luncheon featured a champagne reception, floral arrangements created by Avant Garde, and cuisine provided by Santa Barbara Catering. The event was made possible through the generous support of the Scottsdale-based luxury consignment boutique To Be Continued.

Arizona Costume Institute is led by Luba Burns, who serves as the organization’s president, along with a board composed of local Valley community leaders and working professionals. The Museum’s fashion design program has been led since 2000 by Dennita Sewell, the Jacquie Dorrance Curator of Fashion Design. The fashion collection is composed of more than 7,000 objects of both historical and contemporary fashion. For more information about Arizona Costume Institute, visit

Media images for Stephen Jones: download here.

Media images with ID’s for the ACI 2018 Holiday Luncheon:  download here.

About Phoenix Art Museum

Phoenix Art Museum has provided access to visual arts and educational programs in Arizona for nearly 60 years and is the largest art museum in the southwestern United States. Critically acclaimed national and international exhibitions are shown alongside the Museum’s permanent collection of more than 19,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. The Museum also presents festivals, a comprehensive film program, live performances, and educational programs designed to enlighten, entertain, and stimulate visitors of all ages. Visitors also enjoy vibrant photography exhibitions through the Museum’s landmark partnership with the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. To learn more about Phoenix Art Museum, visit, or call 602.257.1880.

About the Fashion Design Collection at Phoenix Art Museum

Founded in 1966, the fashion design collection of Phoenix Art Museum is notable for its quality and comprehensiveness. More than 8,000 objects comprise the collection, including American and European men’s, women’s, and children’s dress and accessories dating from the late 17th century to the present. The Museum organizes two exhibitions annually in the Kelly Ellman Fashion Design Gallery. Phoenix Art Museum is one of only a handful of art museums in the country with a long and continuously active fashion program.

About Arizona Costume Institute

The Arizona Costume Institute was founded in 1966 to support the fashion design department of Phoenix Art Museum in the acquisition and preservation of garments and accessories of historical and aesthetic significance. It also promotes appreciation of fashion design through programs and support of the Museum’s exhibitions. ACI’s support of this collection area depends on the enthusiasm of dedicated volunteers to help maintain and expand the collection and educational programs. To learn more about Arizona Costume Institute, visit

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