Exclusive: The Digital Fashion Group partners with CLO on scholarship programme
The Digital Fashion Group (TDFG) has announced a new strategic partnership with 3D garment simulation tech provider CLO(thing) Virtual Fashion revolving around the launch of a scholarship programme.
The ‘TDFG x CLO Equity Scholarship’ scheme will particularly focus on the African continent in a bid to drive equity and diversity in digital fashion education.
Participants will learn how to use CLO’s tool with those behind the programme hoping it will enable them to promote a system change in the product creation process.
In a release, TDFG co-founder Leslie Holden said: “[TDFG] is acutely aware of a digital divide and global disparity, between developed and developing countries, particularly regarding access to computing and digital skills training but also the ability to afford the training and education.
“Many people have limited access to technology or the internet and do not have the skills necessary to use it effectively. There is also an issue with cost. Training in digital fashion is very much priced for developing countries.”
For one year, the programme will provide five scholarships each month, with the selection process carried out through a collaboration with The Fashion Collective Naija, which will scout the most deserving candidates.
Founded in 2020 by fashion illustrator Omonigho Aito-Imonah, the online community boasts over one thousand members from different sectors in the fashion industry, for whom it looks to provide a network and opportunities to help them grow.
CLO’s academic lead in Europe, Fernanda Bernardi, added that change in the fashion industry was only possible through education.
Bernardi continued: “The TDFG x CLO Equity Scholarship programme will allow young talents to learn a new tool and most importantly it will equip them to promote a system change in the product creation process. We're thrilled to see the emerging designers from The Fashion Collective Naija learning CLO and implementing 3D in their everyday work.”
‘Technology is the key to unlocking the potential of Africa’s fashion industry…’
Speaking on the decision to focus on Africa, Sean Chiles, co-founder of TDFG, noted the increasing scale in which African fashion has grown and attracted global fashion attention in recent years.
Chiles continued: “You could say that embracing technology is the key to unlocking the potential of Africa’s fashion industry in a digital economy. Going digital, for African fashion entrepreneurs, is not just an option–but a must. And this scholarship and our partnership with CLO is a vital part of this process for this sector.
“There needs to be strong collaborative strategies across the borders, between education and industry to educate the African entrepreneurs of tomorrow.”
The scheme builds on the existing efforts TDFG, which said it has educated over seven thousand students since July 2021, and carried out partnerships with the likes of Parsons The New School, DressX and Bloomsbury Press.