DICTATION ADVICE: Building on an alliance that began last year, sportswear designer Eric Emanuel has launched a $500,000 scholarship program with the Fashion Scholarship Fund.
Applications are now being accepted for students to join the inaugural 2023 class of five EE x FSF Scholars. The goal is to attract a variety of students from different majors and backgrounds. Established with $500,000 for the first five years of the program, the EE x FSF Fellowship Program will select five scholars each year from different disciplines. Each person will receive a $10,000 scholarship, $5,000 in additional grant opportunities, an internship and one-on-one mentorship with Emanuel and his network of industry leaders.
In an interview Friday, Emanuel said the importance of education was something that was instilled in him at a young age. His mother was a first-grade teacher, and his father liked to joke with him during his college years at the Fashion Institute of Technology that “he might be brilliant enough to get a scholarship. I didn’t get any,” Emanuel said. “Sometimes the right people don’t have an opportunity for scholarship programs. By doing this, I hope I can give some kids a shot where people wouldn’t give me a shot. I have found success in everything I do. It makes no sense not to give back that knowledge and financial help.”
Having studied marketing at FIT, Emanuel talked about how essential it is for college students to learn from each other, no matter what their majors may be. The plan is to create an entrepreneurial community with selected scholars to foster future talent beyond the calendar year they are affiliated. This will pave the way for scholars to have access to ongoing mentoring and the opportunity to connect with scholars from previous years.
To qualify, students must currently attend one of the Fashion Scholarship Fund’s 69 member schools in the U.S. After posting about the new initiative earlier this month, Emanuel said he graduated from about 500 students. who wanted to know what parameters should apply. Applications are due October 17 and scholarship winners will be announced in January.
“The response has been extraordinary. The streetwear world has a very youthful clientele. I think it was so important – even to many other businesses that have contacted me – to empower young people. More often than not, many brands don’t care. I want to emphasize that I care because it was instilled in me from a young age that education is important and not everyone may have had the access that you had.”
The Eric Emanuel x FSF Scholarship Program is the second largest FSF program, with the Virgil Abloh Post Modern Scholarship Fund being the first. FSF continues to forge industry partnerships to provide opportunities for its researchers – including name scholarships with Skims, Neiman Marcus, Milk Makeup and others.