The Royal College of Art (RCA) has announced new scholarships, funded by Italian luxury fashion label Max Mara, will be offered to two students on the MA Fashion programme annually over the next three years.
The scholarships, totalling 30,000 pounds per person, will be offered to students who “face financial hardship,” explains the RCA, and will include full tuition fees as well as a contribution towards maintenance and materials.
The first scholarship will be open from the next academic year, starting in September 2023, and will be available for students enrolled on the MA Fashion programme in the School of Design.
In addition to the financial funding, Max Mara is looking to cultivate the next generation of designers at the RCA by also offering the scholarship students international industry experience through a paid design internship at its headquarters in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The student will receive first-hand experience working in a high-end fashion studio to elevate their skillset.
The initiative was spearheaded by Max Mara’s creative director Ian Griffiths, who graduated from the RCA with an MA in Fashion Design in 1987. One of his first projects at the College was a competition organised by Max Mara, which inspired his move to join the brand as a designer upon graduation. Griffiths has also been appointed as an honorary visiting professor by the RCA to share his industry expertise with the College’s emerging fashion designers.
Griffiths said in a statement: “At a critical time for the fashion industry, Max Mara is proud to support the RCA and its students in exploring new processes, methods and models. The designers at the RCA are redesigning fashion, rediscovering the joy of fashion and identifying fashion as an instinctive human activity. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to accompany them on their journey.”
Zowie Broach, head of programme, MA Fashion at the RCA said: “Ian holds a deep passion about identity, culture and fashion. His support with the Max Mara Scholarships shows great leadership and care for the future of study in and about fashion at the RCA, welcoming a wider representation, a community of voices to build new identities and cultures."