It was an emotional night on Monday in New York. The Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF) hosted its annul awards gala celebrating a new class of fashion scholars. The evening also honored the legacy and impact of Fashion Scholarship Fund board member Virgil Abloh.
The late designer, who died in November 2021, partnered with FSF in 2020 to establish the “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund with initial support from Evian, Farfetch, Louis Vuitton, New Guards Group and Nike. Abloh’s vision for the fund was to foster equity and inclusion across the fashion industry by providing funds, career support, and mentoring to Black students.
At the gala, Abloh’s wife, Shannon Abloh, took the stage to give heartfelt remarks about her husband, his support for the next generation and to announce the top scholarship winner.
“One of the things I always admired about Virgil was his deep sense of compassion and care for others. He believed that being a leader meant serving others in need. And he felt a tremendous sense of purpose in opening doors for others. He would say, ‘The work isn’t simply about opening the doors, it’s about laying the groundwork to ensure these doors remain open permanently for others to walk through.’ When he would say, ‘Everything I do is for the seventeen-year-old version of myself,’ he of course wasn’t talking about himself. He was talking about every young person who has ever dreamed of becoming something,” she said.
She added, “The Post-Modern Scholarship Fund is intended to encompass all of these ideas and I am so grateful to the Fashion Scholarship Fund and to all of the ‘Post-Modern’ students who are helping Virgil to achieve his dream. I simply don’t have the words to describe how much you all meant to him. I am honored that we will continue to move forward in his spirit, building up the foundation that he established so that what he started may continue on for decades to come, and I will always be your partner to ensure his legacy lives on.”
The Fashion Scholarship Fund awarded over $1 million in scholarships to 123 scholars
from across the country, including the new class of 23 Virgil Abloh’s “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund scholars, all of whom were in attendance and had their work showcased at the event. The four finalists competing for the FSF’s top $25,000 Chairman’s Award competition presented their work during the ceremony and shared personal anecdotes of the journey so far in fashion.
Ultimately, Naecia Dixon, a 2022 Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholar, took home the top honor.
In addition, Neiman Marcus Group CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck was honored for his contributions to the fashion industry. Other guests included the event’s host Renée Elise Goldsberry, Fashion Scholarship Fund executive director Peter Arnold, Fairchild Media president Amanda Smith, Supreme creative director Tremaine Emory and LVMH head of diversity and inclusion Corey Smith.