Santa Clara University

Santa Clara Magazine

A very good year

Vintage Santa Clara celebrates the big 25
More than 2,000 guests gathered in Mission Gardens on a stupendously sunny Sept. 7 to celebrate the harvest of a quarter century’s work: the 25th anniversary of Vintage Santa Clara. On hand (and in glass) for the occasion was wine from 45 local vintners, as well as plates of grilled sandwiches, tacos, gelato, and chocolate-dipped strawberries donated by area restaurants.

Alumni and friends of Santa Clara sipped and supped in the garden and enjoyed this uniquely Bronco homecoming. The celebration of the fruits of the vine is also a fundraiser for the Alumni Family Scholarship program, which helps support undergraduate legacy students. This year’s Vintage boosted scholarships by some $45,000.

Organizers in the Alumni Office send a shout-out of gratitude to all vendors, including Joseph S. Franzia ’64, one of the first supporters of the event and owner of Classic Wines of California, and Peggy Bradshaw ’72 with Comerica Bank, the principal sponsor. Plus, a shout-out to the weather: In 25 years of Vintage celebrations, it’s only rained once.

See the photos at


Bronco Profiles

Couture jam

Start with the silhouette, says Ibi Oluwole ’07
Designing woman: Oluwole models some of her latest work
Photo: Charles Barry
Halfway through her freshman year of college, Ibi Oluwole saw something that changed her life. It wasn’t just what she saw—a fashion show on television—but the fact that the designer whose work was being showcased was just a year older than Ibi. For a young woman who’d designed prom dresses for herself and friends in high school and hoped to pursue a career in design, it was an aha! moment: Time to get serious about her work. And get that work out in the world.

In spring 2004 she began selling her Ibi Couture at a co-op in San Francisco and made enough to cover the cost of materials. Within a year, she found a score of stores from San Francisco to Los Angeles that would carry her jewelry and clothes on consignment. And, just a few months after graduating, she opened the Ibiss Boutique in Santa Clara’s Franklin Mall. The business plan was one she’d worked out during her capstone course in marketing. “Fashion is art that people can wear and carry with them anywhere,” she says. For her own designs, she finds inspiration in the everyday, just walking down the street. It might be a building, it might be a person. “I always start with the silhouette, then work in whichever colors would complement the shape and the season.”

Ibi, whose family is Nigerian and who grew up in San Jose, takes some cues from her favorite designer, Donatella Versace, for the fearlessness and fun in her designs. But her interest in design goes back to childhood. “My mum and I sewed and embellished little doll dresses for my Barbies,” she admits.

With a new business on her hands, Ibi quickly realized the drastic difference between creating fashion and running a boutique that retailed her clothing and jewelry alongside that of other local designers. There have been growing pains, to be sure—including worries about location and the economy and more time spent crunching numbers than designing. But having a store has helped Ibi hone her designs toward what people can buy and wear. “I tend toward more casual, lifestyle fashions,” she says. "Wearable without being predictable" is one phrase she’s used. This season, she was inspired by soft, durable bamboo fabric, organic gold-tone jewelry, and the androgynous, tailored suits spotted all over the fall runways.

“I love going in to work every day,” she says with a radiant smile. “I love to see people in the things I’ve made. It’s like dressing my Barbies again—only life-size.”

—Mary Kolesnikova '06