Fashion students win $5K international scholarships, celebrated in NYC

Five students from our School of Fashion and Jewellery started 2019 off right by celebrating impressive scholarship wins at a gala in New York City among the likes of Martha Stewart and Ryan Seacrest.

Our Fashion Management students each won US$5,000 YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund awards based on their strong academic performance and on case studies they developed and presented.

The YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund’s annual Scholarships Awards Dinner was held January 10, 2019 at the New York Hilton in midtown Manhattan. Martha Stewart, Ryan Seacrest and Macy’s President Hal Lawton were also honoured at the event.

George Brown was the only Canadian school eligible to submit students for the competition because its curriculum is endorsed by the American Apparel and Footwear Association. The competition included more than 70 schools from across the United States.

The YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund winners are:

  • Milica Djukanovic
  • Samantha Macri
  • Courtney Mancuso
  • Fabio Mikai
  • Kelsey Nowlan

Winning case studies

For her winning case study, Courtney Mancuso chose to bring an Australian big and tall menswear brand to the United States, using body scanning and RFID technology to determine perfect fits for “fashion-forward men, 20-40.”

“This award is the opening of new doors and the opportunity to challenge myself,” Mancuso said. “This award allows me to belong to a new community and network within that community.”

She’s aiming for a career in visual merchandising or product development with a large corporation.

Fabio Mikai did his case study on bringing TJX (in Canada it’s known as the parent company of Winners, Home Sense and Marshalls) to Brazil and using omni-channel marketing initiatives to gather data and understand local markets.

"The cash prize and trip to NYC are certainly great,” Mikai said, “but most of all is the recognition for a project that I worked hard on and invested a lot of time and effort to complete.”

He’s hoping to work with new retail technologies in buying or allocation when he graduates.

Milica Djukanovic focused her case study on exporting a U.K.-based brand, The White Company, to Sweden.

“My aim was to create an experience-based retail space that integrates technology and socializing to provide a more seamless and enjoyable shopping experience,” she explained.

Djukanovic is interested in a career in product development but notes she’s “still evaluating all options.”

Samantha Macri also tackled an international expansion case study, looking at Canadian brand Aritzia’s presence in the U.K.

“Winning the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund has been such a blessing for me to connect with like-minded creatives dedicated to driving the fashion industry forward," Macri said. “The prize money was just the tip of the iceberg when put into perspective with the amazing network of people you now have unending contact to as a scholar.”

Macri is looking forward to working as an assistant buyer at the Hudson’s Bay Company. She landed the position after an internship last summer.

“George Brown has truly been the driving force in providing me with the tools and opportunities to be a part of such great initiatives that have gotten me to where I am today,” she added.