The British Fashion Council has announced this years recipients for the MA Scholarship award. They are Benny Andaloo, Gabriella Sardena and Shaun Harris. The three promising students of the BFC Education Foundation MA Scholarship 2015, who have already excelled in their BA degrees, will study the MA Fashion course at Central Saint Martins and Royal College of Arts.
The BFC Education Foundation is a registered charity and is dependent upon the generosity of the companies and individuals funding scholarships at both BA and MA levels. The Education Foundation was set up to establish pathways through education and into employment for exceptionally talented people studying BA and MA fashion courses. With fees for a BA home student now running at £27,000 (without counting the cost of rent, living and materials) it is ever-more acutely important to support the most promising talent through the additional expense of taking an MA, for which fees are set at around £9,500.
The scheme is funded by donations from Coach, Marks & Spencer, Net-a-Porter and Eiesha Bharti Pasricha. This project has also been partly supported by HM Government with Employer Ownership funding through Creative Skillset.
Previous winners of the scholarship include Aitor Throup in 2004 and Erdem Moralıoğlu in 2002. Aitor Throup is now an acclaimed British menswear innovator with his own company and is creative consultant at G-Star. Erdem went on to win the inaugural BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund and the Womenswear Designer of the Year award at the 2014 British Fashion Awards.
Aitor Throup commented: ‘The BFC have long been committed to supporting young talent from their earliest stages through its Education Foundation. I was honoured to receive one of the scholarships for my own Masters degree at the Royal College of Art, and was equally honoured to be asked by Sarah Mower and the BFC to be on the panel to help select this year’s recipients. We saw an incredible amount of talent and it’s encouraging to know that the support has gone to such deserving candidates. I wish them all success with their studies and their careers. We are all excited about their future and I’m looking forward to following their progress.’
Sarah Mower MBE, who is co-president of the BFC Education Pillar with Meribeth Parker, said: ‘With the news that UK fashion colleges are some of the top in the world, it is more important than ever that we are able to support the exceptionally talented students who would otherwise be significantly held back, or deterred, by the high cost of fees and living expenses attached to studying fashion. The trustees are extremely grateful to every donor who has stepped forward to support the Foundation. Their contributions alleviate individual student debt and allow talent to develop. In the long term, they will underpin the vibrancy of British fashion culture and ensure the success of the UK’s fashion industry in the future. I’d also like to thank Aitor Throup and Janet Lance Hughes for bringing their expertise to the judging panel.’
Applications were open to graduating students from member colleges of the BFC’s Colleges Council. Eleven shortlisted applicants were interviewed by a judging panel consisting of Aitor Throup, designer; Clara Mercer, BFC Head of Communications; Janet Lance Hughes, artist and former Head of Fashion Design and Communication at CSM; and Sarah Mower MBE, American Vogue journalist and BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent.