A packed audience at Condé Nast College heard two big announcements at a fabulous launch event. Firstly, globally recognised impact investor and College Advisory Council member, Roberta Annan, is funding a scholarship in her name which will be exclusively available to a promising fashion hopeful from Africa.
The scholarship will fund the successful applicant through the Vogue Foundation Programme and then a BA (Hons) Fashion Communication & Industry Practice with all tuition fees and living expenses paid. The money will be channelled through the African Fashion Foundation (AFF) of which Roberta is the founder.
Roberta says, “The College has a clear desire to be more accessible to people from a broad range of backgrounds and this scholarship is one small step towards that goal. Africa is bursting with talent just waiting to be unleashed and this will provide a wonderful opportunity for someone to not only move ahead with their own career, but also to be an example to others on the continent of what they can achieve – and these role models are so important.”
Roberta took part in an ‘in conversation’ with Emily Chan, Sustainability Editor for Vogue, where she revealed that she hopes the number of people offered scholarships will grow in the coming years.
Starting a global conversation
Also announced at the event was the new Global Fashion Perspectives initiative which is a joint enterprise between the College, the AFF and the Centre for International African Fashion Education (CIAFE). Lisa Mann, Director of Post-Graduate, Professional & Online Programmes; Business Development explained that it will open up significant global conversations about the industry in a two-way knowledge exchange. The first step will be the creation of online courses aimed at students from Sub-Saharan Africa, with content and delivery tailored to their specific industries and markets. Lisa says, “This isn’t just about the College offering powerful educational opportunities to people for whom they wouldn’t normally be available, this is about learning from each other in a meaningful way to broaden all our horizons.
Supporting United Nations targets
The Global Fashion Perspectives programme is being specifically designed to support four key objectives of the United Nations. These are to:
- Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
- Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
- Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
- Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
The aims and ambitions of the Global Fashion Perspectives project were discussed by an expert panel with lively contributions from the audience, which was made of past and present students and invited guests from all sectors of the fashion industry from luxury brands and businesses as well as journalists from many top publications. The panel was expertly moderated by Ruth Marshall-Johnson (a course leader at the College and respected cultural analyst) and included Yoanna “Pepper” Chikezie, founder of The Assembly (a community and platform for ambitious young people in the fashion industry), Emily Chan, and the College’s own Johannes Reponen, Director of Post-Graduate Programmes; Academic Affairs; Research & Knowledge Exchange.
Lisa says, “It’s been such a great evening and a real thrill to be able to announce two such powerful and positive initiatives. You could tell from the buzz of conversation how much excitement there was in the room for what we’re trying to do. The fashion industry is at the forefront of conversations around diversity and sustainability. People really want to see positive change, and it’s only right that as an educational institution we at Condé Nast College should be spearheading that.”