New Max Mara scholarships at MMU aim to improve fashion industry diversity
Italian luxury fashion house Max Mara is launching scholarships in the UK to enable budding designers from under-represented backgrounds a chance to study fashion.
The Max Mara ‘Opportunity Scholarships in Fashion’, in conjunction with Manchester Metropolitan University, will provide funding for six students over three years from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.
The scholarships “address the need to improve racial diversity and inclusivity within the fashion industry”, MMU said.
Beginning in September and running until 2024, two undergraduates who are enrolled on BA (Hons) Fashion degree each year will receive scholarships to help meet living and study costs.
“The scholarship recognises the further need to provide financial support, clear career pathways and access to professional networks for underrepresented communities in the creative subjects, including fashion”, MMU added.
University fashion alumnus Ian Griffiths, now creative director of Max Mara, has supported the creation of the scholarship and is delivering a guest lecture for current Manchester Fashion Institute students today (2 March).
He said: “Let’s talk about the culture of fashion. At street level, it’s hugely enriched by the participation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, but on a structural level their voices are largely absent.
“At Max Mara we have always thought that communities that the brand seeks to engage with need to recognise themselves within the overall brand identity: so it’s time to open up the culture of fashion. These scholarships will open the door and develop the full potential of talent which might otherwise be wasted.”
Professor Malcolm Press, vice-chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University, added: “[We are] proud to be one of the most diverse universities in the UK, striving to expand opportunities across all subjects and for all communities.
“These generous scholarships will support wider access to higher education and enhance career opportunities for students from underrepresented backgrounds.”
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