The two have come together to create a scholarship program that will offer students who face financial hardship the opportunity to enroll in the MA fashion program at the School of Design, starting next September.
It will be offered to two students annually over the next three years. Each recipient will receive 30,000 pounds, covering full tuition fees as well as a contribution toward maintenance and materials.
Alongside the funding, there is also an opportunity for the students to experience a paid design internship at the Max Mara headquarters in Reggio Emilia, Italy.
Ian Griffiths, creative director of Max Mara, said this initiative is close to his heart because he has held a longstanding tie with the school, having graduated in MA fashion in 1987. One of his first projects at the time was a competition organized by Max Mara, which inspired his move to join the brand as a designer upon graduation.
“At a critical time for the fashion industry, Max Mara is proud to support the RCA and its students in exploring new processes, methods and models. The designers at the RCA are redesigning fashion, rediscovering the joy of fashion and identifying fashion as an instinctive human activity. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to accompany them on their journey,” said Griffiths, who was appointed an honorary visiting professor at RCA on this occasion.
Zowie Broach, head of program of MA Fashion at the RCA, said, “Griffiths holds a deep passion for identity, culture and fashion. His support with the Max Mara scholarships shows great leadership and care for the future of study in and about fashion at the RCA, welcoming a wider representation, a community of voices to build new identities and cultures.”
While the RCA is one of the most expensive art schools in the world, it has a wide variety of initiatives to support talented students through the courses.
Last month, the college unveiled the RCA Virgil Abloh Scholarship, named for the late designer who served as a visiting professor at the London institution. The scholarship will be offered to a talented, yet financially restricted, Black British student in any program at the RCA’s School of Design.
Other scholarships the school offers include the Märit Rausing scholarships in ceramics and glass; the Sir Frank Bowling scholarship, which supports U.K. students from Black African and Caribbean diaspora heritage, or mixed Black African and Caribbean diaspora heritage; the RCA Logitech scholarships, which provide scholarships for students from underrepresented communities and facing financial hardship, and the Tony Snowdon Scholarship, which supports students with a physical or sensory disability.