Prada launches new scholarships, educational programs
Italian luxury label Prada is deepening its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion with the launch of several new investments including scholarships, educational programs and a new design lab.
As part of the investment, Prada is partnering with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) to develop scholarships, which will exclusively support aspiring fashion industry professionals and undergraduate students of colour in the United States and Africa.
Moreover, the group will work with UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, to develop an educational fashion module to promote gender equality in Africa, set to initially launch in Ghana and Kenya.
Finally, it will create a design lab for diverse designers and artists in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles in collaboration with, Theaster Gates, as well as will launch the Generation Prada Internship for diverse talent, providing hands-on opportunities across Prada Group’s corporate and retail teams.
“Prada Group is taking real and significant actions that will expand career and professional opportunities for people of colour in the fashion industry,” said Malika Savell, who joined Prada as chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for North America, in October 2020.
“We recognise the barriers to entering the fashion industry and the importance of representation, so we want to develop many new programmes that will advance and mentor aspiring fashion professionals, while investing in the next generation of diverse talent.”
In her role, Savell is responsible for developing policies, strategies, and programmes to help ensure that diverse perspectives and experiences are represented at all levels of Prada.
Prior to her appointment, the Prada Group equally established its Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council, a group of leading minds in art, fashion, cultural institutions, academia, and activism, in February 2019.
It is co-chaired by Gates, an artist, social innovator, and founder of Rebuild Foundation, as well as award-winning writer, director, and producer Ava DuVernay.
“We are extremely proud of these programmes, which reflect Prada Group’s commitment to cultivating, recruiting and retaining diverse talent and to creating an inclusive culture,” added Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada Group head of marketing and head of corporate social responsibility.
“These initiatives mark real progress, and we look forward to building on this momentum to create more opportunities that increase diversity and representation both within Prada and in the fashion industry today and in the future”.
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