GBC fashion student wins international Fashion Scholarship Fund award, will be celebrated at NYC awards gala with Vogue Editor Anna Wintour 

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George Brown College (GBC) fashion student Hazel Ycasiano's impressive case study on ethical and sustainable fashion has earned her $10,000 US in scholarships. She'll be celebrated at a gala awards ceremony this spring alongside other students and industry luminaries, including American Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour. 

Hazel is among the winners of the annual Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF) Case Study Challenge. The honour comes with a $7,500 US award. Her work also impressed luxury retailer Neiman Marcus. The company awarded her an additional $2,500 US scholarship and will dress her for the annual FSF awards gala on April 3 in New York City, where Wintour will also be honoured. 

"I am both thrilled and a bit nervous because I never imagined I would get to be in the same room as Anna Wintour," Hazel said. "Before the gala, we will have an opportunity to visit her Vogue office and meet the editorial staff. I am excited to meet incredible people and expand my connections at the event." 

George Brown College students can participate in the FSF case study challenge because the Fashion Management program is the only Canadian academic program endorsed by the American Apparel and Footwear Association. 

Merchandising case study highlights ethical and sustainable fashion 

Hazel (pictured) started working on her case study last summer. Her pitch, intended for online fashion retailer Everlane, aims to "tackle the problems faced by single mothers working in the garment industry." These include low wages, lack of opportunity for advancement, and discrimination.  

Fashion student Hazel Ycasiano

To provide more flexible working hours, better pay, and improved career prospects for garment workers, Hazel proposed a campaign to fund the efforts. It features an Everlane "post-baby capsule wardrobe" for millennial mothers in the U.S. The capsule wardrobe includes practical and nursing-friendly garments that help mothers "look put-together with ease." 

"As a fashion designer from the Philippines, I have met sewers working in factories," Hazel said. "I know how it is for them, and I wanted to include this in my case study." 

Hazel also weaved social commerce into her merchandising strategy to reach her core audience of American moms. 

Her winning pitch earned her an FSF scholarship, as well as a spot as one of 10 recipients of the new Neiman Marcus Group x FSF Scholarships for students showing talent and commitment to advancing ethical and sustainable fashion.  

Fashion Management Professor Vladimira Steffek mentored Hazel on her case study and praised her "exceptional work ethic and communication skills." 

"Hazel demonstrated her talent, dedication and drive in this competition, and she is very deserving of these awards," Steffek said. "This case study challenge brings exciting networking opportunities. I can't wait to see what Hazel does next." 

As a Neiman Marcus Group x FSF scholarship winner, Hazel will receive mentorship and education opportunities with the company. 

Looking forward to a future in fashion merchandising and teaching 

Hazel aims to land a fashion design or merchandising job after graduating this spring and wants to be part of the change for an ethical and sustainable industry. 

She was also a fashion schoolteacher in her native Philippines, a calling that she finds fulfilling. 

"Hopefully, I would also get to do that here in Canada." 

Learn more about the School of Fashion and Jewellery. 

Promoting sustainable fashion production at GBC

George Brown College’s Fashion Exchange (FX) aims to address challenges in the industry by sharing expertise in sustainable fashion production, partnering with entrepreneurs and brands and fostering a new generation of industry leaders focused on people and the planet. 

Learn more about the Fashion Exchange 

Applied research 

Students and faculty at the School of Fashion and Jewellery participate in applied research projects aimed at easing the industry’s impact on the environment, improving affordability and accessibility and other goals.