Columbia students to be recognized by Fashion Scholarship Fund alongside industry icons

By Vivian Richey, Staff Reporter

Five Columbia students will travel to New York in April to be recognized by the Fashion Scholarship Fund and meet with industry professionals, such as Anna Wintour and Emma Grede.

Out of 513 project submissions, 127 applicants were selected, including senior fashion merchandising major Evelyn Gonzales, marketing major Ivonne Malagon, fashion design major Emily Hochbaum and sophomore fashion merchandising majors Tiffany Barney and Savannah Applewhite.

Applewhite and Barney were also named Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund winners.

Students started their projects in March 2022, working over the summer and submitting their work in October. Later, they were asked to present creative solutions using a real issue and business within the fashion industry through a 20-page plan, which was sent to be reviewed by industry professionals.

Barney’s case study focused on livestream shopping through Nike, in order to create a more inclusive market, while Applewhite’s focus was the combination of digital gaming and Milk Makeup to create an immersive shopping experience.

“I created the initiative called ‘Tip My Hand,'” Barney said. “Essentially, I chose three different artists to design Nike Dunks or Nike Air Force Ones, and they partnered with different charities to give back.”

Choosing Ralph Lauren as her brand, Malagon said the main focus of her project was to create a strong strategy to boost sustainability in a world of luxury.

Sustainability “is an issue that’s really picking up, but a lot of brands say a lot of empty words, promises, and missions,” Malagon said.

Malagon said she chose Ralph Lauren due to the brand’s culture and tradition being synonymous with the American dream.

It would be fantastic for a brand with so much culture and tradition in America to really embrace sustainability and technology,” Malagon said.

Gonzalez did her case study on Patagonia’s use of innovative science and technology to preserve sustainability for the fashion industry as well as the environment.

“I was never really focused on sustainability,” Gonzalez said. “When I came to Columbia, I started realizing how much passion and drive there is behind this sustainability issue, especially in the fashion industry.”

Hochbaum chose Savage X Fenty, a lingerie brand started by Rihanna, because of their inclusive marketing and their history with physically disabled models.

Hochbaum said Savage X Fenty was perfect for her project. 

“I feel like they’ve got their foot in the door, so [my project] was a direction that made sense for them,” Hochbaum said.

In New York, the award winners will attend the FSF Live Annual Awards Gala on April 3, with a chance to meet and network with industry professionals.

The award winners will be recognized at the same gala that Wintour, the Global Editorial Director of Vogue, will be honored at for the night.

Barney said getting the opportunity to meet Wintour is surreal.

“None of the students expected to find out that Anna Wintour would really be at the event.” Barney said. “Everyone that is being awarded should be proud of themselves for getting the opportunity to be honored alongside such an icon in the industry.”