The TOMODACHI-UNIQLOFellowship provides financial support for a student from Japan who is enrolled in the MFA Fashion Design & Society program. This fellowship is possible due to the generous support of the U.S. Japan Council and Uniqlo - This fellowship is administered by U.S. Japan Council, and made it possible due to the generous support of Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. 

The TOMODACHI-UNIQLO Fellowship is open to applicants from Japan and provides financial support of up to $150,000, to the full cost of attendancefor both tuition and Iiving expenses for the two-year program. The amount awarded is based on the student’s financial need. In addition, the fellowship recipient has the opportunity to participate in an internship at Fast Retailing Co., Ltd. during the summer after his or her first year in the program.


The TOMODACHI-UNIQLO Fellowship seeks candidates who meet the following criteria:

• Completed the majority of their education in Japan

•  Is a Japanese National

• Have demonstrated financial need

• Have demonstrated leadership skill

To be considered, individuals must apply and be accept­ed to Parsons’ MFA Fashion Design and Society program. Parsons will review all eligible applications for scholarship consideration and select a recipient on the basis of the criteria Iisted above.

 The TOMODACHI-UNIQLO Fellowship recipient will be noti­fied at the time of admission. 



There is no separate scholarship application for the TOMO­DACHI-UNIQLO Fellowship - simply apply to the MFA Fashion Design and Society program by visiting: 

lf you would like to address your candidacy for the TOMODACHI-UNIQLOFellowshipin your application, please feel free to mention it in your Statement of Interest essay (as part of the on line application).


Enquiries about the program can the MFA Fashion Design and Society program please email us at:


Program Information



MFA Fashion Design & Society







MFA Fashion Design & Society



About the TOMODACHI Initiative 

The TOMODACHI Initiative is a public-private partnership between the U.S.-Japan Council and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, with support from the Government of Japan. Born out of support for Japan’s recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, TOMODACHI invests in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges as well as leadership programs. The initiative seeks to foster a “TOMODACHI Generation” of young American and Japanese leaders who are committed to and engaged in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations, appreciate each other’s countries and cultures, and possess the global skills and mindsets needed to contribute to and thrive in a more cooperative, prosperous, and secure world. 

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2016 - 2018                           KOTA OKUDA

KOTA OKUDA has a wealth of experience working in the jewelry industry in both New York and Tokyo while collaborating with various fashion designers.

The boundaries between fine art, fashion and applied craft fascinate Okuda and this space is the starting point that informs his design thinking. The balance of significance, purpose, value, materiality, scale and performance is important and considered throughout his process. He is hyper enthusiastic about investigating and understanding the history, context, material and techniques behind contemporary jewelry, art and fashion. His aesthetic contains classical and antique elements whilst having a contemporary twist with a sense of humor that allows his work to be accessible and fit into the wider art and design context.

Okuda’s fundamental creative focus is on combining traditional handcraft processes with hi-tech digital technologies, such as 3D modeling and printing. Okuda’s mission is to expand the imagination and possibility of jewelry design. Communication with the human body is a significant part of his design process and he explores the various possibilities of the relationship between jewelry and fashion. Okuda aims to expand the meaning of jewelry design in the social sphere rather than just within the jewelry communities and industries.

Originally from Niigata Prefecture, Japan, he received his undergraduate degree in Jewelry Design with first class honors from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. Further achievements include winning the grant-prix prize at the International Talent Support in Jewelry Category (Trieste, Italy) and receiving the scholarship from Swarovski Foundation (London, UK). He graduated MFA Fashion Design and Society at The Parsons New School, New York in 2018. It supported by Uniqlo – Tomodachi Fellowship Program (US - Japan).

Please visit the gallery to view Kozaburo Akasaka work.



2014 - 2016                           KOZABURO AKASAKA

Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Kozaburo Akasaka moved to London to pursue his undergraduate degree in Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. He then gained professional experience in New York at the menswear department of Thom Browne.

This experience convinced him to further develop his aesthetic and style in menswear.  In 2014 he was admitted to the Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society in New York, where he received his graduate degree in 2016. Kozaburo Akasaka was the second Tomodachi-Uniqlo Fellowship scholar.  

With work he developed during the 1styear of the Parsons MFA Fashion Design & Society program he won the 2016 Spring/Summer VFiles Award. The following year of his graduation Kozaburo was awarded with the 2017 LVMH Special Prize. Kozaburo Akasaka launched his eponymous label KOZABURO in 2017 and is stocked world-wide at Dover Street Market, Opening Ceremony, Dongliang Bejing, Rare Market, Mukta, to name a few.   

Having grown up during the 90s in japan, Kozaburo’s aesthetic is heavily inspired by music subcultures and various street styles he was exposed to during the period. His academic and professional background always prevails when it comes to consideration of quality of garments, fits and finishing which is grounded in his tailoring skill. Timeless design of classic men’s apparel is at the core of his aesthetic. The juxtaposition of high fashion and street culture has come to define the uniquely poetic and contemporary - yet not temporary – style of Kozaburo.

Please visit the gallery to view Kozaburo Akasaka work.



2013 - 2015                           RYOHEI KAWANISHI

Brooklyn-based designer Ryohei Kawanishi began designing his menswear label Landlord with a U.S. military-contracted factory in 2015. Born in Tottori, Japan in 1987, Kawanishi graduated from Parsons School of Design in 2015 with a Masters of Fine Arts in Fashion Design and Society, and studied at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London in 2011.

Kawanishi has exhibited his works globally, including MoMA (2017); Museum of Arts and Design (2017); Artipelag in Sweden (2015); Biennale International Design Saint Etienne in France (2015); Trapholt in Denmark (2015); Somerset House in London (2012); Mode Biennale in the Netherlands (2013).

A runner-up for the Nova Prize, Kawanishi was shortlisted at the International Emerging Fashion Talent Showcase in 2012, and is first scholar for the Uniqlo-Tomodachi Scholarship.

The Landlord team consists of graduates from Parsons and Central Saint Martins. They make contemporary, twisted casual and sporty designs rooted in military style. LANDLORD was named in honor of starting a fashion label with a factory manager.

Please visit the gallery to view Ryohei Kawanishi work.