Fashion and beauty brands are continuing their efforts to support the Black Lives Matter movement with scholarships and mentorship programs specifically for Black students.
Major brands and designers, such as Adidas, Gucci and Virgil Abloh of Off-White and Louis Vuitton men’s have responded to the recent protests surrounding the police killings of unarmed Black people across the country and the Black Lives Matter movement by launching scholarship opportunities for Black students in fashion and other industries.
Fashion universities, such as the Parsons School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology, have also pledged support to their Black students with new scholarship and mentorship programs.
Here, WWD looks at the fashion and beauty brands and universities that are creating scholarships for Black students.
Louis Vuitton men’s wear designer and Off-White founder Virgil Abloh has raised $1 million to benefit Black fashion students.
The “Post Modern” Scholarship Fund will be managed through the Fashion Scholarship Fund, which awards funds to students studying in different areas of the fashion industry. The fund includes a personal donation from Abloh and matching donations from his partners Evian, Farfetch, Louis Vuitton and New Guards Group.
The scholarship will be awarded to between 100 to 200 Black fashion students.
In March 2019, Gucci North America established its Changemakers Scholarship program to provide funds for undergraduate students pursuing careers in the fashion industry.
The design house announced 20 recipients coming from diverse backgrounds this June, awarding each up to $20,000 in scholarship funds as well as mentorship and virtual internship opportunities with Gucci America.
Council of Fashion Designers of America
The Council of Fashion Designers of America revealed in early June several initiatives to foster Black talent within the fashion industry. One initiative is a mentorship and internship program to pair students and graduates with established companies in the fashion industry.
The CFDA is also working with Gucci to award two recipients of the Gucci North America Changemakers x CFDA Scholars by Design program with $20,000 a year for four years. The program aims to support graduating high school seniors that plan on studying fashion design at an accredited four-year university.
The Fashion Institute of Technology
As part of its response to the Black Lives Matter movement, the Fashion Institute of Technology is establishing a scholarship fund in honor of George Floyd, who was killed by police in Minneapolis in late May.
The scholarship is meant to recruit and support more students of color and increase diversity among the student body.
Adidas unveiled several initiatives in early June to support the Black Lives Matter movement, one being a scholarship program going to 50 Black students each year at the brand’s partner schools.
Parsons School of Design
The Parsons School of Design announced in June it will be launching a scholarship and mentorship program to support its Black students and alumni.
Hourglass Cosmetics donated $100,000 across several organizations that support the Black community, including the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a nonprofit that supports roughly 300,000 students attending historically Black universities.
Hungarian fashion designer Eva Franco has established a paid internship program for Black high school students to work at her company this summer.
The brand posted the initiative on its Instagram on June 6, stating that Franco herself will act as a mentor to the students involved in the internship program.
“While I am aware we can donate to organizations, most of my steps in building my dreams of becoming a designer and entrepreneur were the result of individuals,” Franco wrote on Instagram. “Individuals without the formal title of mentors that taught, advised and made introductions. I am advocating that if we have the capacity to give of our most valuable asset — time — we can collectively foster this movement to uplift, give voice and bring opportunity to Black lives.”
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