This past fall semester, I competed in the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF) competition. The YMA FSF is a foundation that is dedicated to cultivating young fashion students’ minds and making sure they are ready for the industry upon graduation. In order to compete, you must meet certain criteria. A winner gets a $5,000 scholarship, attends the annual gala, and builds a network that will last a lifetime.
For the competition, students had to present a case study that focused on a nontraditional collaboration between two retailers. The project I developed was a collaboration between Patagonia and Lowe’s Home Improvement. My idea was: Patagonia will make an exclusive clothing line for Lowe’s that is inspired by the Patagonia Workwear line; Lowe’s will produce sustainable gardening tools that will be sold at Patagonia locations. The collection will bring awareness to sustainable clothing and to the great outdoors through social initiatives.
With this project, I won the YMA FSF. I received a $5,000 scholarship and attended the gala.
Attending the 3-day event was an eye-opening experience. Being in a room filled with people that had a sincere love for the industry and wanted to see you succeed from all walks of life meant the world to me. That was felt from the staff running the event, employers at the job fair, and even students. Much like our school, but amplified by 100. It was nice winning the scholarship, and I will be forever grateful for the financial assistance it has given me.
The thing I valued the most was meeting other young, driven students ready to take on the industry and make changes in the near future. I met people from all over. I’ve built relationships with people who go to the top Ivy League schools such as Harvard, as well as with people who go to schools such as Florida State studying design. The network I have built is unbelievable in such a small amount of time.
The YMA gives students a platform to connect with like-minded individuals and with people in the industry who are willing to help you succeed. They know what it is like to be an ambitious fashion student. If you have the opportunity to partake in the competition, DO IT. The hard work that you put into it will pay off. It will help you grow and understand what employers are looking for in the industry.
I would like to thank LIM College’s faculty and my classmates for the overwhelming support, but more specifically Professor Greene, Professor Conrad, and Professor Benhamou.