Milan - Italian fashion house Gucci has launched a R23 million university scholarship program that is aimed at students who are "traditionally underrepresented" in the fashion industry.
The scholarships for students attending four-year universities will consider ethnic and gender diversity. Gucci said special consideration would be given to students attending black colleges or universities, and living in 12 North American cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto and Washington, DC.
Along with the scholarships of up to R305 000 per student for the 2020-21 academic year, Gucci also announced R15 million in grants to community-based organisations focusing on education; social justice and equity; and art and culture.
Two scholarships will be awarded to design students in conjunction with the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Another 20 to 50 scholarships will be awarded by the Changemakers council to students aiming for fashion careers but not necessarily design.
Applications for both the scholarship and grant programmes opened on Monday. The grant deadline is November 7; scholarship applications close on December 31.
"With the scholarship programme, we aim to create opportunities and visibility for traditionally underrepresented creatives," said lawyer and writer Yaseen Eldik, who is co-chair of the Changemakers Council.