Apr 2, 2021
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CFDA and Swarovski Foundation launch award for innovation in sustainability

Apr 2, 2021

The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and the charitable foundation run by Austrian crystal maker Swarovski have partnered up to launch an annual scholarship for fashion students innovating with sustainable systems.

Nadja Swarovski and Steven Kolb - Photo: CFDA

Entitled the Re: Generation Innovation Scholar Award, the three-year partnership between the CFDA and the Swarovski Foundation will see one annually selected student receive $30,000, as well as mentoring designed to help them develop their ingenuity.
Scholars will be selected by a CFDA–Swarovski Foundation committee based on their portfolio and a virtual presentation, which should demonstrate their talent, financial need, professional potential and interest or experience in sustainable systems. Candidates are expected to integrate the Swarovski Foundation’s key focuses of culture, creative innovation, care for the environment and human rights in their applications.

The scholarship is open to full-time undergraduate students on BFA or BA courses.
“Students are the future of American fashion and will be leading the charge in transforming today’s challenges into tomorrow’s solutions,” said CFDA CEO Steven Kolb in a release. “Through the Re: Generation Innovation Scholar Award, we look to students to imagine a new global and conscious fashion industry. We look forward to again be working with Nadja Swarovski as well as the Swarovski Foundation and thank them for the support.”
Swarovski and the CFDA have worked together for close to 20 years, with the crystal maker having sponsored the American fashion organization’s Emerging Talent and Positive Change Awards until 2019.
“Building on almost two decades of collaboration, I am proud to partner with the CFDA in a new capacity via the Swarovski Foundation,” commented Nadja Swarovski, who serves as both a member of the Swarovski executive board and the chair of the Swarovski Foundation. “The Re: Generation Innovation Scholar Award reflects our shared vision to identify, empower and accelerate the next generation of leading fashion talent in the sustainability realm.”
Since first launching a named Perry Ellis scholarship at Parsons School of Design in 1996, the CFDA has awarded over $2.2 million through 302 scholarships awarded to design students at 22 American colleges and universities. According to the organization, between 2015 and 2020, 76% of its scholarships were awarded to women and 72% to students from “ethnic/diverse backgrounds.”
With the launch of the Re: Generation Innovation Scholar Award, the CFDA will grant students a total of $280,000 through its 2021 Design Scholar Awards, which also include the Suntchi Image Maker Award, the Liz Claiborne Design for Impactful Futures Award, and the Geoffrey Beene Designer Masters Scholar Award.
As part of their ongoing collaboration, the CFDA and the Swarovski Foundation also said that they are developing programming, professional development tools, learning opportunities and information resources focused on “creativity for problem-solving and sustainable innovation” for design students, as well as the wider fashion industry.

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