THE SWAROVSKI FOUNDATION
The Swarovski Foundation provides a generous fellowship of $25,000 USD per year for graduate students in the MFA in Fashion Design & Society (MFA FDS) at Parsons School of Design in New York. The funds are allocated by the program director to assist a promising student with their tuition fees for this prestigious two-year program.
The recipient is known as the Swarovski Scholar and the fellowship provides opportunities for the student’s work to be recognized through their annual exhibition, their collaboration with 1 Granary Magazine and in the MFA Runway show presented during NY Fashion Week each September.
The MFA program is the first graduate program of its kind in the United States. Both interdisciplinary and international in scope, this academy for advanced studies in fashion design trains a small cadre of world-class designers to have a global understanding of fashion. Innovative and progressive, the Fashion Design and Society program offers students the opportunity to make substantive contributions—both professional and conceptual—to the field of fashion design. Aiming to bridge the gap between industry and education, the MFA Fashion Design and Society program reframes fashion design education within the context of the global world. Students learn to consider design, production, and distribution cycles as well as social, critical, ecological and communication dimensions of fashion in self-directed projects supported by the fashion industry. Central to the pedagogy of the program is the engagement of visiting professional practitioners such as photographers, art directors, artists, curators, choreographers and business consultants, who bring their own expertise and experience highlighting the collaborative strength of the program. The program was initiated with the support of Parsons alumna and designer Donna Karan, whose own career reflects a broad view of fashion that has transformed the field.
The program is highly competitive with an approximate 9% acceptance rate. We receive over 220 applications for only 18 places. The applications have increased year on year without an increase in acceptance rate, which serves to protect the high-quality delivery of education that we deliver as Directors and allows the program to remain boutique in size. This in turn allows the students to receive the highest level of professional teaching contact hours with a one-on-one mentorship. Mentorship often continues after graduation with some of our graduates, enabling them to navigate the real-life challenges in terms of production, retail, and choices that they face going forward.
2017 - 2019 HUALEI YU
Hualei Yu is currently a 2nd year student at the Parsons MFA Fashion Design & Society program in New York. Originally from a small town in Eastern China, Hualei moved to Beijing to study fashion where she completed her undergraduate degree in fashion design at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology.
In 2016, her B.A. collection, “The Floating Population”, won “BIFT·KSU·SCU”, the International Conference of Young Designers Competition Silver Award. Her work was also shortlisted for the “OFF FASHION” competition in Poland, “WOW” World of Wearable Art competition in New Zealand, and showcased at the “IFFTI” conference exhibition. While still in China, Hualei worked with Joma Sportswear and Zuczug, a contemporary womenswear company.
Hualei started at the Parsons MFA Fashion Design & Society in September 2017, receiving a scholarship from the Swarovski Foundation for the duration of her studies. Since coming to New York, she has been a part of a number of exciting collaborations through the Parsons MFA Fashion Design & Society program, most notably with fragrance manufacturer Robertet. During her summer internship she continued her work with the creative team of Robertet. Since her move to New York she has worked for menswear brand Kozaburo and womenswear brand Snow Xue Gao – both alumni of the Parsons MFA Fashion Design & Society program. Hualei Yu is set to graduate from the Parsons MFA Fashion Design & Society program in May 2019.
Please visit the gallery to view Hualei Yu work.
2015 - 2017 ZOE CHAMPION
Zoe Champion is a knitwear designer, driven by experimentation and innovation. Born in Sydney, Australia, Zoe studied Fashion and Textile Design at the University of Technology Sydney, where she learnt to work conceptually and integrate textiles in every step of the design and construction process.
A recipient of Presidential and Swarovski scholarships to study an MFA in Fashion Design and Society at Parsons, Zoe relocated to New York. Through interning and partnering with different knit factories and sample houses, locally in NY and internationally, Zoe has drawn upon industry knowledge to re-imagine and abstract classic knitwear. Zoe challenges the established structure of needles and stitches to garments, which re-interpret traditional notions of knitwear and the capabilities of the knit structure. Zoe has gone on to develop knitwear for Telfar, Alexander Wang and Tory Burch.
Zoe’s INLAY collection explores the emotional response one experiences towards another person’s clothing. She expresses this by tapping into the personal and collective memories of her recently deceased grandmother’s clothes, as well as the sensation of holding garments up to the body, without the ability to inhabit them physically.
Please visit the gallery to view Zoe Champions work.
2013 - 2015 MAYAKO KANO
New Zealand architectural graduate Mayako Kano decided to explore clothing as a fine art. She relocated to Belgium to study fashion design at Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts and later completed the Parson's MFA Fashion Design and Society program, attracted by its hands-on and studio-based approach. In 2015 Maya was the first recipient of the Swarovski Scholarship in the United States. She went on to win the ITS Fashion Award in July 2016 in Trieste, Italy. After graduation, Maya gained work experience at Zero + Maria Cornejo, Vera Wang, and DVF. She then held a Collection Design Coordinator position at Jason Wu for two years. Maya currently works as an embroidery designer for Tory Burch, New York.
Please visit the gallery to view Mayako Kano work.