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Neiman Backs Next-Gen Industry Talent

Neiman Marcus Group (NMG) and the Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF) named the 2023 recipients of the first cohort of the NMG x FSF Scholarship Fund. Neiman awarded 10 scholarships of $10,000 apiece to undergraduate scholars at U.S. universities who demonstrated talent and commitment to advancing sustainable and ethical fashion.

The partnership with FSF is fueled by The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation. Since 2019, Neiman and its foundation have partnered with FSF to fund scholarships, mentor students, connect rising talent to entry-level roles in the company’s executive development program (EDP) and provide executive leadership to the FSF board of directors. The NMG x FSF Scholarship Fund builds on the successful matriculation of FSF alums, like Mecca Hodge and Shanita Hunt, into NMG’s EDP and assistant buyer roles in recent years.

NMG x FSF Scholarship 2023 Recipients

“The NMG x FSF Scholarship Fund represents our commitment to the evolution and impact of the next generation of fashion leaders,” Lana Todorovich, president and chief merchandising officer of Neiman Marcus and five-year board member of FSF, said. “NMG, and our talented associates, are working with brand partners to advance sustainable products and services. It all starts with cultivating a culture of belonging and investing in diverse talent, elevating career journeys with the goal of creating positive change in our industry. The scholarship creates a talent foundation that builds on our past success and supports scholars as future changemakers in fashion.”

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The annual case study scholarship competition is FSF’s signature program, an NMG spokesperson said. Divided into four disciplines—design and product development, merchandising, marketing analytics and business strategy—the case study is a merit-based scholarship competition that challenges students to solve relevant problems facing the industry from the perspective of one of the four areas of focus. Faculty members nominate undergraduates from 70 FSF member schools to compete for the scholarship. After the students submit their case studies, their submissions are anonymously judged and scored by over 300 industry experts. This year, 127 scholarship recipients were selected. From this class, the NMG leadership team of judges reviewed a subset of the winning case studies focused on the commitment to promoting ethical and sustainable fashion and selected 10 scholarship recipients.

In addition to pairing each scholar with a mentor, recipients will also gain access to educational programming with NMG leaders on topics like climate change, sustainable and ethical products, circularity, human rights and ESG reporting throughout the year. Neiman and the scholarship recipients will join FSF Live 2023, the 86th annual awards gala, on April 3.

“The FSF is pleased to announce the inaugural class of Neiman Marcus Group x FSF Scholars—a new generation of innovative thinkers in the sustainable and ethical fashion space,” Peter Arnold, executive director of FSF, said. “We are immensely grateful to the NMG team for providing our scholars with this opportunity, and for their continued support of the FSF’s mission to foster equity by uplifting and empowering young talent.”

The 2023 recipients of the NMG x FSF Scholarship Fund are Mallory Butts of Spelman College, Mia DeMeola of Fordham University, Lyla Duffy of Thomas Jefferson University, Amaryllis Dunklee of the University of Texas at Austin, Isabella Kostrzewa of Parsons School and Design, Megan Lenzi of Iowa State University, Rachel Slesnick of Ohio State University, Lei Xiang of Parsons School of Design, Hazel Anne Ycasiano of George Brown College and Britney Zhang of the University of California, Berkeley.

“I’m honored to be selected in the first cohort of the NMG x FSF Scholarship,” Lenzi said. “I look forward to the mentorship opportunities with Neiman Marcus Group and advancing my future career in sustainable and ethical fashion. I plan on utilizing this scholarship to help pay for the rest of my education and a summer internship.”

Neiman Marcus stores across the U.S. will fundraise for the 2024 cohort of NMG x FSF scholars at point-of-sale through the end of April. The company declined to comment on how much money it hopes to raise.

Last April, FSF partnered with Off-White on a capsule collection that extends the legacy of Virgil Abloh, an initiative assisting fashion students of Black, African-American or African descent in finding financial and professional support.