True Religion, an iconic American denim and sportswear brand, has partnered with the Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF) to create the True Religion x FSF Community College Bridge Scholarship, anopportunity that will support an LA-based student from an underrepresented community who desires to pursue a career in a fashion-related field. True Religion’s scholarship will also provide retail-industry leading networking, mentorship and professional development. This collaboration is a result of True Religion’s newly created Diversity Council, which hopes to create more diversity-led scholarship opportunities.
“I’m extremely proud of this exciting new program,” said Theresa Watts, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at True Religion. “Mentorship and DEI initiatives are core values to the True Religion brand. Providing these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to young talent in partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund is something we hope to continue doing for a long time.”
In its inaugural year, True Religion has identified El Camino College, an LA-based community college that has a high population of students from underrepresented backgrounds. El Camino sends many students on to both the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and Otis College of Art and Design, two fashion schools in the Los Angeles area. The scholarship is aimed at nurturing and providing professional and educational access to an awarded student who otherwise might not have a path to these career building experiences. Fostering young talent is a key pillar of True Religion, most notably with its recent collaborations with young creatives.
“We are pleased to be working with True Religion to identify and support community college talent from underserved communities,” said Peter Arnold, Executive Director, Fashion Scholarship Fund. “By identifying and supporting talent earlier in the pipeline, and providing a bridge to, and through, a four-year college experience, we can start to address issues of access and equity sooner and give community college students meaningful opportunities to acquire relevant knowledge, skills, and pre-employment experiences.”
True Religion is bridging the gap for students from underserved communities through its partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund and has committed to provide financial backing and related deliverables to a student in community college, supporting their transition to and throughout their entire experience at a four-year degree program. The partnership will also foster career growth with mentorship and internship opportunities while providing the student access to all Fashion Scholarship Fund professional development and networking opportunities.
Applications will be accepted this Fall, with a winner notified by the end of the year. Judged by a panel of representatives from True Religion and the Fashion Scholarship Fund, the scholar will be publicly announced in Women’s Wear Daily, alongside the Fashion Scholarship Fund honorees, as well as invited to New York City for the annual Fashion Scholarship Fund Gala in April 2023.