New Delhi, October 08: Aimed at students who are “traditionally underrepresented” in the fashion industry, Gucci- the famous Italian fashion house, has launched a $1.5 million US university scholarship programme.
4-year programme for boosting diversity
The programme is a part of Gucci’s multi-pronged effort to enhance diversity following the uproar earlier this year over an $890 sweater that resembled blackface. The course is set to run for four years.
With the aim of supporting “industry change and to foster unity through community action,” the Gucci Changemakers initiative was announced in March. Ethnic and gender diversity will be considered by the scholarships for students attending four-year universities.
Special consideration to students attending black colleges
Special consideration would be given to students attending black colleges or universities, Gucci said. Also, those living in twelve North American cities, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto and Washington, D.C., will also be given preference.
Focusing on education, social justice, equity, and art and culture, Gucci has also declared $1 million in grants to community-based organizations along with the scholarships of up to $20,000 per student for the 2020-21 academic year. Grants run from $10,000-$50,000 for one year with the programme slated to run for five years.
In conjunction with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, two scholarships will be awarded to design students. The Changemakers council will award another 20 to 50 scholarships to students aspiring for fashion careers but not necessarily design.
Applications for both the scholarship and grant programmes are open now. The deadline for the grant is November 7, and scholarship applications will close on December 31.
“With the scholarship program, we aim to create opportunities and visibility for traditionally underrepresented creatives. Our goal is to break down barriers, particularly financial, and make fashion for diverse and inclusive,” lawyer and writer Yaseen Eldik, who is co-chair of the Changemakers Council, has been quoted as saying to a national daily.
Initially launched to allow employees up to four days to volunteer in community programmes, Changemakers was expanded earlier this year for including external outreach after the storm over a black wool balaclava sweater that stirred up racist imagery of blackface.