Four apparel merchandising and management students were awarded $5,000 each in a national scholarship competition.
The nonprofit YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund selected students Gabriela Ramirez Luis, Ashley Garcia, Jonathan Mayorga and Viridiana Navarro as scholarship recipients after its annual case study competition.
The competition required each student to explore how digital technology and offline shopping can improve the performance of a fashion retailer. It was the most competitive contest in fund’s history, with 540 submissions from 60 member schools.
Mayorga submitted a case study that rendered a hypothetical unisex collection for Macy’s that enabled younger generations to see the department store as a trending retailer that caters to their desires and beliefs.
“Originality is highly sought after, especially right now. Every person wants to showcase how unique they are and how special their social media can be,” the senior from Fontana said. “This hype about self-originality can be mirrored through fashion.”
Navarro wrote a case study envisioning Nordstrom and tech company Musion collaborating to launch an in-store entertainment concept and draw more customers into the department store.
“The in-store entertainment concept that I talked about was having human-like holograms that will be able to display any article of clothing that the store carries,” said Navarro, a sophomore from Inglewood.
Luis entered a case study about building an algorithm and technology to better predict consumer behavior in stores.
“I researched five retailers and compared what they were doing,” the senior from Vista said. “I created steps to follow and information which would help describe consumers and their shopping behaviors.”
Garcia, a senior apparel production major from Norco, submitted a case study about Macy’s revamping its Charter Club line and possibly capturing plus-sized consumers that the Ascena Group was likely to lose with the closing of Lane Bryant stores.
FSF awarded more than $1.2 million in scholarships to 227 applicants.
Scholarship recipients were honored at the FSF Awards Gala and Dinner on Jan. 9 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square in New York City. The YMA FSF also covered the students’ travel, food and lodging. The event included an internship/career fair, and mixers and meetings with industry recruiters. As a continued benefit, these winners get the opportunity for internships with the best textile and apparel companies in the USA.
Founded in 1937, the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund is the largest and oldest scholarship organization in the fashion industry, seeking the best and brightest students from around the world to be the future leaders.