CFDA & Swarovski Foundation create Re-Generation Innovation Award

The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and the Swarovski Foundation have launched the Re-Generation Innovation Scholar Award, in order to celebrate the 25th anniversary of CFDA and with a shared commitment towards sustainability and education. The Swarovski Foundation’s mission is to support charitable initiatives and organisations.

Timed to Earth Month, the CFDA and Swarovski Foundation will launch the three-year partnership to advance learning and innovative design thinking within sustainable systems. The annual $30,000 scholarship will feature a fellowship opportunity and provide one annually selected student with meaningful mentorship to help them grow their exemplary potential to transform fashion through ingenuity, according to a media statement by CFDA.

Since its establishment in 1996 through a named Perry Ellis scholarship at Parsons School of Design, the CFDA has awarded more than $2.2 million and 302 scholarships to student design talent attending 22 leading American colleges and universities. From 2015-2020, 76 percent of scholarships were awarded to women and 72 per cent from ethnic/diverse backgrounds, according to CFDA.

With the new Re: Generation Innovation Scholar Award, $280,000 will be awarded through the 2021 CFDA Design Scholar Awards, the Suntchi Image Maker Award, the Liz Claiborne Design for Impactful Futures Award, and the Geoffrey Beene Designer Masters Scholar Award.

The new scholarship opportunity is open to full-time undergraduate BFA or BA college students. The 2021 Re: Generation Innovation Scholar will be chosen by a CFDA–Swarovski Foundation committee based on portfolio review and virtual presentation, demonstrating interests or strengths in sustainable systems, talent, financial need, and professional potential. Students will be tasked to embed
Swarovski Foundation’s focus on culture, creative innovation, care for the environment and human rights within their narrative, CFDA said.

In addition to the scholar award, Swarovski Foundation and the CFDA will expand upon the principles of creativity for problem-solving and sustainable innovation, embarking on programming, professional development tools, learning opportunities, and information resources available to students at American design schools and in the wider fashion industry.

“Students are the future of American fashion and will be leading the charge in transforming today’s challenges into tomorrow’s solutions. Creative ingenuity is a prerequisite for impactful innovation in sustainable and lasting change. 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 working with Nadja Swarovski as well as the Swarovski Foundation and thank them for the support,” Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA said in a statement.

“Building on almost two decades of collaboration, I am proud to partner with the CFDA in a new capacity via 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. Design students have a unique ability to use the creative process to examine sustainable development and lay the foundations of a new and better future for this industry. Their creative expression through fashion is a vehicle for evolution, not only for trail-blazing concepts and products, but also for societal changes in thinking and behaviour,” member of the Swarovski executive board and Swarovski Foundation chair, Nadja Swarovski said.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (GK)

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