2017 YMA Geoffery Beene National Fashion Scholarship Awards

Words Byron Cordero
Photography Lyn Hughes Photography

When editors, bloggers, buyers, and social media influencers (self-proclaimed or not), travel from cities across the world to come to New York Fashion Week, they’ve got two things on their mind, “What do I wear?” and “Who am I seeing?” The former, just as challenging a question as the latter – hunting for the streetstyle photo on WWD – however, the latter can make or break a designer’s career based on attendance. Oftentimes, there’s the line-up of already established designers bringing the world their newest riffs on eras past, a no-brainer to many of these fashion aficionados, and there are those that dedicate their careers by shining light on the youngest, most talented designers. At the end of the day fashion, like any other, is a business and businesses need a business model and capita. Thanks to many organizations and funding, young designers are able to sketch, sew, and design without worrying about that two word phrase that can rain on any parade, “how much?”

Last week, celebrities, VIPs and fashion industry titans joined for the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund’s 80th Annual Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards Dinner at the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York City. The gala celebrated the 2017 Fashion Scholarship Fund class and eight Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship finalists, awarding nearly $1.5 million in scholarships throughout the evening. The night also honored Michael Strahan, John Tighe and Judy Person for their generous contributions to the fashion industry with the Future of Fashion Award, Retailer of the Year Award and Wholesaler of the Year Award, respectively.

Celebrities and VIPs came out to show their support with attendees including Kellan Lutz (Geoffrey Beene’s newly appointed Brand Ambassador), Martha Stewart, Fern Mallis, Jonathan Adler, Simon Doonan, Sammi Giancola, Tom and Mara Hutton (Geoffrey Beene Foundation), among others. The crowd cheered on the eight finalists, selected from top colleges and universities around the country, who were awarded grants for either $10,000 or $30,000 to allow them to further the pursuit of their education and career goals.

The YMA FSF is a national non-profit organization made up of influential members of the fashion community. Dedicated to promoting education of the fashion arts and business, the YMA FSF grants scholarships to talented students and facilitates internships, mentorships, and career programs.


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