Launched through Gap’s ongoing partnership with HFR, ‘Closing the Gap’ aims to strengthen educational opportunities for the next generation of Black fashion leaders and provide a platform that empowers Black students to propel their studies and drive innovation within the fashion industry.
Additionally, Gap and Icon360 will partner to provide mentorship and internship opportunities to students currently enrolled in each of the winning HBCU programmes, Gap and HFR said in a joint press release.
"It is a great honour for us to partner with a global leader in the fashion world to kick off the inaugural awards ceremony that will turn into a yearly event. We are coming together as one to not only address pipeline issues of diversity and inclusion in the industry but also to help give them tools and guidance the next generation needs to take the fashion industry to new heights," said Brandice Daniel, founder and CEO of HFR.
The ten award recipients include 2 scholarships of $100,000 to North Carolina Central (Durham, NC) and North Carolina A&T (Greensboro, NC); 5 scholarships of $50,000 to Delaware State University (Dover, DE), Howard University (Washington, DC), Bowie State University (Bowie, MD), University of Maryland Eastern Shore (Princess Anne, MD), and Tennessee State (Nashville, TN); and 3 scholarships of $20,000 to University of Arkansas Pine Bluff (Pine Bluff, AR), Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta, GA) and Norfolk State University (Norfolk, VA).
"As a company rooted in being Inclusive, we are guided by the belief that business can, and should, be a force for good. This extends not just to our employees and our customers but to the communities we serve," said Sarah Holme, executive vice president of product design & development at Old Navy and executive sponsor of the cross-brand creative community across Gap Inc. "I look forward to working with Harlem's Fashion Row to not only support the rich, storied history of HBCUs but to change our industry for the better through cultivating pipelines to careers in fashion for Black creative talent."
HFR recently launched its inaugural Fashion Playbook, sponsored by Gap Inc. The Playbook, targeted at youth, middle and high school, and college level, is an online video content library featuring stories, tips and insight from fashion industry professionals to create awareness of the vast opportunities that exist in the industry.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (KD)