US' Gap has continued its longstanding support of Harlem’s Fashion Row (HFR) as a sponsor at the recently held fifteenth annual HFR Fashion Show & Style Awards. With legendary fashion figures in attendance, Gap was honoured to bear witness once again to incredible collections and welcome in the next generation of exceptional Black and Latinx designers.
Since 2019, Gap partnered with HFR on the shared commitment to amplify the work of designers of colour in the fashion industry. As one of the largest specialty retailers in the world, Gap believes it is its responsibility to lead the industry and create opportunities for professionals of colour by uplifting voices that historically have been overlooked, Gap said in a press release.
Gap recently announced the Closing the Gap initiative – a scholarship programme formed between Gap Create with Audacity (CWA) designers and ICON360, a non-profit subsidiary of HFR, aimed at strengthening educational opportunities for the next generation of Black fashion leaders by offering financial awards to fashion departments at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
This fall, Gap will announce the second round of Closing the Gap award recipients, in addition to launching the first ever CWA Design Apprenticeship class. The Design Apprenticeship year-long programme seeks to attract, develop, inspire and retain diverse high-calibre creative talent who have potential to become future industry leaders. Design Apprentices are partnered with creative mentors from across Gap’s portfolio of powerful brands. The mentor and apprentice relationship is one that fuels shared learning, as well as inspirational and creative experiences – with each apprentice building skills across the product creation cycle. Threading through the commitment to ICON360, more than half of the apprentices are recent graduates from Closing the Gap-awarded HBCUs.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (GK)