Jan 9, 2020
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CFDA and Dia & Co announce Inclusive by Design {Education} Fund winners

Jan 9, 2020

The Council of Fashion Designers of America and plus-size direct-to-consumer retailer Dia & Co. have announced the winners of the first CFDA + Dia & Co. Inclusive by Design {Education} Fund. 


Dedicated to advancing body positivity, design diversity, and inclusive design thinking within American fashion education, the fund invited applicants from the faculty and administration of participating CFDA Educational Initiatives schools to submit proposals that promote curricula focused on size-inclusive education.

Proposal topics included extended size dress forms, technology, resources, supplies, guest lecturers and expert speakers, research, or project-based opportunities for students requiring special funding, among others.  

Winners included Lauren Peters of Columbia College Chicago, who was awarded $10,000; Amy Sperber of Fashion Institute of Technology, who was awarded $10,000; Grace Jun of Parsons School of Design, who was awarded $5,000; and Kenlyn Jones of Massachusetts College of Art and Design, who was awarded $5,000. A special honorable mention was given to Kendra Lapolla of Kent State University.

According to the CFDA, Peters plans to use her winnings to acquire examples of large-size dress for her school’s historic fashion study collection and create a scholarship fund to support entrepreneurship and design innovation in the plus-size sector, among other goals.

Sperber will create a dress form that merges body inclusivity and dress forms based on real proportions; Jun will work to create change regarding fit, size, and design that takes into account disabilities through fashion design education; and Jones will work to add plus-size inclusion in MassArt’s regular curriculum. 

The Inclusive by Design fund follows the CFDA and Dia & Co.’s #TeeUpChange, a 2018 collaborative program and panel focused on size-inclusive education and featuring speakers including Nadia Boujarwah, Dia & Co.’s co-founder and CEO; Tracy Reese; rapper, singer and body positivity advocate Lizzo; and Venus Williams.

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