Rising stars of fashion

Dallas fashion stars to toast up-and-comers with scholarships and awards in virtual show

Dallas fashion stars toast up-and-comers with scholarships and awards

Neobantu fashion show, FGI awards
Today's fashion students are tomorrow's fashion stars. Photo courtesy of FGI Dallas

Fashion designers may get used to working behind the scenes, but talented up-and-comers around North Texas have the chance to step into bright lights to be honored with scholarships next month. Virtually, at least.

Bright local fashion students will be awarded more than $30,000 in scholarships from Fashion Group International of Dallas in a Project Runway-style virtual event on April 21. Dubbed "The Future of Fashion," the ceremony will feature a keynote talk by Dr. Maryann Cairns, assistant professor of anthropology at Southern Methodist University's Dedman College. She is spearheading groundbreaking new sustainability initiatives in the fashion industry.

The full presentation, beginning at 6 pm, will highlight award-winning designs from top-tier students at fashion schools, colleges, and universities with a chance to win scholarships valued up to $5,000 each and a coveted apprenticeship, according to a release.

But first, students have to apply. Here's what they need to know to do so.

Submissions are due April 2. Judging will begin April 5 in a number of apparel design and merchandising categories, as well as two new scholarship award categories: Apparel Sustainability in Fashion Design, and Digital Sustainability in Store Design or Fashion Portfolio. 

The scholarship categories for 2021 are:

  • Fashion Excellence - $5000
  • Director's Choice - $5000
  • Bridal/Evening Gown/Cocktail/Little Black Dress - $2000, $1000, $500
  • Sportswear - Men’s and Women’s - $2000, $1000, $500
  • Apparel Sustainability (technology/repurposed) - $2000 (in any category above using organic or recycled materials, considering socio-economic, environmental and ethical aspects of design)
  • Digital Fashion Portfolio - $2000, $1000
  • Digital Store Planning and Design - $2000, $1000
  • Digital Sustainability (technology/repurposed) - $1000
  • Apprenticeship - opportunity for a student to work under the guidance of an established design professional in a local company and learn all aspects of the business from development through production and into marketing, sales, and ultimately retail placement.

Interested students must submit apparel designs in two categories including Evening/Bridal/Cocktail and Sportswear (men and women combined). Merchandising students must submit digital projects in two categories, including Store Planning and Fashion Portfolio. The top awards in apparel design will be first place for Fashion Excellence and Director’s Choice.

Find out more about the competition on its official website.

FGI Dallas is part of Fashion Group International, Inc., a global, nonprofit, professional organization with more than 6,000 members representing all areas of the fashion industry. Dallas has the second largest chapter outside of New York City. 

To date, FGI Dallas has awarded over $210,000 in scholarships and hosted its first ever virtual competition last year, which awarded over $60,000.

“We refuse to let the pandemic stop us from our mission to serve our community of talented students seeking a career in fashion and sustainability. You can expect to see high-quality craftsmanship in designs from the next generation of North Texas designers, merchandisers, and entrepreneurs, so we would not miss the opportunity to raise money and honor them,” says Nerissa Helpenstill, Regional Director of FGI Dallas, in the release.

One thing the pandemic has postponed, sadly, is FGI's coveted Paris American Academy Couture Award, which allows one winner to study abroad in Paris with a generous scholarship. Oh well, plenty of time for Paris in the future.

What cannot wait are submissions, which — remember — are due April 2.

FGI Dallas Scholarship Competition is sponsored by City Sewing, LLC (Platinum), Dallas Market Center (Gold), Tootsies (Gold), Sharon Young (Gold), Heidi Dillon (Silver), Marisa Howard (Silver), Lela Orr – Ferrah - (Apprenticeship), Leah Frazier (Advocate), and Marsi Hubbard (Partner).

For more information about the virtual event or the competition, follow the FGI Scholarship Competition Facebook page.