Apparel Design Student Named Finalist in Fashion Scholarship Fund

February 15, 2019

The YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund is an educational non-profit that focuses on creating career opportunities for apparel design students worldwide.

With the end goal of encouraging growth in the fashion industry by supporting the next generation of industry professionals, the non-profit awards the largest total number of scholarships in the entire fashion community. This year, undergraduate Maxine Britt (Apparel Design) was named one of the eight finalists for the Fashion Scholarship Fund’s largest scholarship. Britt speaks about the experience of being a finalist in the interview below.

How did you hear about the scholarship and why did you decide to apply?

I found out about the scholarship through my apparel studio course. One of the volunteers with the scholarship program gave a presentation to the class and it seemed like a great opportunity in terms of networking and internships. It also seemed like a great way to help finance my degree and the apparel brand I want to launch.

What was your focus for the research portion of the application?

For the scholarship, the brand I chose to focus my research portion on was Wildfang, a Portland-based retailer that provides masculine clothing, especially suits, for women and nonbinary people. I am passionate about gender-neutral fashion because it promotes self-expression and comfort for gender-nonconforming people, especially transgender and nonbinary people of all genders, who are often overlooked by fashion.

What did you do during your trip to New York City?

My time in NYC was a whirlwind! I was able to visit MoMA on the first day, but after that, the next three days were packed with career fairs, firm tours, and presentations by scholarship finalists at Macy’s headquarters. There was also a gala, where all of the scholarship recipients were given the opportunity to mingle with industry professionals and fashionable New Yorkers.

What was the number one takeaway for you from your trip?

For me, the number one takeaway was that gender-neutral apparel is an exciting and growing field in the fashion industry and that many major retailers are starting to integrate gender-neutral clothing into their stores.

What recommendations do you have for other students who apply for this scholarship?

I would say that students need to be prepared to expect the unexpected! Aside from the amazing fashion opportunities, we also visited Live with Kelly and Ryan, where I danced live on air! I was also lucky enough to be interviewed by OUT Magazine. This experience was unbelievable in so many ways, so students should be ready for professional interactions but also ready to take on the vibrant culture of NYC.

Accompanied by retail merchandising instructors Peggy Lord and Jaye Thompson, students from retail merchandising, apparel design, the College of Liberal Arts, and Carlson School of Management attended the 2019 NRF Foundation Student Program in New York City January 9 through 13.

For the second year in a row, an alumnus from the College of Design will receive the University of Minnesota Alumni Association’s U40 Award.

Though easily forgotten and often misunderstood, the infrastructures of wastewater treatment are closely tied to our everyday lives.