Founded in 1937, The YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF) is a national non-profit association made up of influential members of the fashion community. We are dedicated to promoting education of the fashion arts and business by granting scholarships to talented students and facilitating internships, mentorships and career programs.
FSF's goal is to advance the fashion industry by encouraging gifted and enterprising young people to pursue careers in design, merchandising, retailing and business so the industry will continue to attract dedicated, capable and creative individuals.
FSF regards its scholarship grants as a very worthwhile investment in the future of the fashion industry and, since its inception, has awarded over $8 million in scholarships to more than 900 students nationwide.
Record donations of over $16 million have been received in the past ten years, including a $1 million bequest from the Estate of Geoffrey Beene and a $2 million donation from the Geoffrey Beene Foundation to underwrite scholarships and enable naming rights of our annual dinner. Now, in addition to the approximately 100 $5,000 scholarships FSF awards annually, an additional 4 outstanding Geoffrey Beene Scholars will receive $30,000 scholarships to pursue their education and career goals, while 4 Finalists will receive $10,000.
As further support to its scholars, FSF facilitates internships with prestigious fashion companies and provides career mentoring by prominent senior executives who serve on the FSF Board. Participating companies have included Calvin Klein, Li & Fung, VF Sportswear, Fishman & Tobin, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Liz Claiborne, Nordstrom, Macy's, Perry Ellis, Bloomingdales, Levi Strauss & Co., Target, Kenneth Cole, Lacoste and Tommy Hilfiger to name just a few.
In addition to generous contributions from benefactors and sponsors, 100% of net proceeds from the annual YMA FSF Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards Dinner goes directly to FSF programs. This is thanks to the generosity of the board of governors, who volunteer their time to ensure that all funds raised go where they are needed most: to the students.
Key Dates in Fashion Scholarship History
AAFA Educational Fund approves an $800,000 grant as part of their on going partnership with the YMA-FSF
Lanvin's Alber Elbaz accepted the YMA-FSF Iconic Designer Award
YMA-FSF increased school membership to 41 schools nationwide
A record-breaking $2.0 Million is raised at the 2011 YMA-FSF Geoffrey Beene Awards Dinner
YMA-FSF surpassed $6.5 Million in scholarship support granted to over 700 scholars
YMA-FSF establised long-term strategic partnership with AAFA Educational Fund
Received a $100,00 strategic gift from Ross Stores
Formed five-year strategic alliance with The Geoffrey Beene Foundation
Received $2 million bequest from The Geoffrey Beene Foundation
Established Geoffrey Beene National Scholarships in the amount of $30,000 to be awarded to four outstanding students each year
Dinner is renamed YMA Geoffrey Beene Awards Dinner
Received $1 Million bequest from the Estate of Geoffrey Beene
Changed Name to YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund (Fashion Fund)
Established $100,000 endowment at Brandeis University
Established $50,000 endowment at Cornell University
Provided Parsons School of Design with first endowment
Established initial endowments of $50,000 at FIT and North Carolina State University - Raleigh
Commenced individual scholarship grants of $500 in support of students pursuing careers in apparel and textile disciplines
Renamed Young Menswear Association (YMA)
Young Men's Apparel Association of the Men's Apparel Industry founded as a networking organization
The YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund is proud of its work and is wholly committed to its mission of recruiting, nurturing and cultivating the best students so that they become the next generation of leaders in the fashion industry.