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Published
Jun 14, 2020
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Gucci and CFDA reveal Gucci North America Changemakers x CFDA Scholars by Design Award winners

Published
Jun 14, 2020

The Council of Fashion Designers of America and Gucci have named Oakland, California native Ajai Kasim and Washington, D.C. native Kaya Ugorji as the two winners of the Gucci North America Changemakers x CFDA Scholars by Design Award. 


Gucci x CFDA


The award aims to provide support to two high school graduates pursuing a higher education in the field of fashion design, with a focus on "fostering diversity, inclusion, and equity within fashion," the CFDA said. I

n order to achieve this goal, the award will provide winners with up to four years of scholarship support at $20,000 per year, and will provide mentorship from the CFDA and Gucci.

Both recipients will start their fashion design studies in the fall. Kasim is set to attend Parsons School of Design in New York, and Ugorji will attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. 

“[The] CFDA and Gucci share a commitment to education, diversity, and inclusion in fashion,” said Steven Kolb, president and CEO of the CFDA.

“Our Gucci North America Changemakers x CFDA Scholars by Design scholarship recipients Ajai Wilborn and Kaya Ugorji have the opportunity to shape the future of fashion and we look forward to seeing their progress through the four-year scholarship support."

“Education and mentorship have never mattered more, and the CFDA is honored to partner with Gucci North America in congratulating [Kasim] and [Ugorji], and helping to guide their professional journeys as part of the CFDA community,” added Sara Kozlowski, the CFDA’s director of education and sustainable strategies. “

[Kasim and Ugorji] are true changemakers, full of potential and clear in their vision of how, through design, they can lead fashion into the future.”

The two winners were selected by a committee including Abrima Erwiah of Studio One Eighty Nine; Aurora James of Brother Vellies; Carlos Campos of Carlos Campos New York; Doo-Ri Chung of  Marist College; Dr. Ronald A. Milson of Fashion Institute of Technology; Greg Armas of Assembly NY, Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss; Sade Teyibo of Kering Group Americas, and filmmaker Satchel Lee.

Gucci also announced an additional 20 winners of its "North America Changemakers Scholars" program under the umbrella of Gucci's Changemakers North America, launched in March 2019.

The Gucci North America Changemakers x CFDA Scholars by Design Award was first introduced in October 2019. 

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