CFDA Creates Award in Hancox’s Honor

The Council of Fashion Designers of America is creating a scholarship award for men's wear in the name of former DNR columnist Clara Hancox.

NEW YORK — The Council of Fashion Designers of America is creating a scholarship award for men’s wear in the name of former DNR columnist Clara Hancox.

A 50-year veteran of Fairchild Fashion Group publication DNR, whose controversial, thought-provoking columns remain vivid in the minds of industry executives, Hancox died in January 2006 at age 87 after a battle with cancer.

In her memory, the CFDA will select one aspiring men’s wear designer from among the college applicants within its existing scholarship program. The CFDA Scholarship Program was created in 1996 to award merit-based scholarship grants annually to students in their junior year in a four-year, full-time college fashion-design program. Among the schools that participate in the program are the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons The New School for Design in New York; Drexel and Philadelphia universities in Philadelphia; Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Ga.; Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, R.I.; the Academy of Art University and California College of the Arts in San Francisco; Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, and the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.

Since its inception, the CFDA Scholarship Program has awarded 111 scholarships totaling $354,000, but the Clara Hancox Scholarship will be the first designated specifically for a men’s wear student. The first Clara Hancox Scholarship recipient will be selected in early April, and a $3,000 award will be given to the student in May.

Joseph Abboud, who is the chairman of the CFDA’s Educational Initiative programs and an underwriter of the men’s wear scholarship program, in addition to being a longtime friend of Hancox’s, stated, “A specific monetary goal has not been set. However, we want to raise a significant amount. Wouldn’t it be great if we could increase the number of award recipients each year and elevate the exposure of men’s wear, which is something Clara would really applaud? Clara can be the catalyst to create a whole new gene pool for men’s wear designers.”

The goal, according to CFDA executive director Steven Kolb, is to raise money from the industry to create a sizable endowment so that at least one Clara Hancox Scholarship recipient can be selected each year in perpetuity.

This story first appeared in the January 22, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The CFDA is actively soliciting donations to its Scholarship Program, including the Clara Hancox Scholarship Award. To contribute, contact Joseph Abboud at 914-234-4823, or Katie Campion, manager of educational initiatives at the CFDA, at 212-302-1821, ext. 112, or k.campion@cfda.com.