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CFDA partners with Genesis on new AAPI design grant

By Rachel Douglass


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Credits: Genesis House, New York. Image: Genesis

The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has come together with automotive brand Genesis on a new mentorship programme supporting design within the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.

Dubbed the AAPI Design and Innovation Grant, the initiative will provide three emerging fashion designers with education and mentorship from industry leaders, alongside 40,000 dollars in funding from Genesis.

Those selected will participate in a five-month challenge, which will include an immersion trip to Seoul, South Korea to study the country’s heritage and meet with the fashion team at the Onjium research institute.

The project will culminate in a showcase at Genesis House in New York in February 2024, where garments will be displayed and the winner will be awarded a further 60,000 dollars to help develop their collection.

Both the CFDA and Genesis have appointed a range of fashion and business leaders to act as design mentors and for a newly established advisory board to judge the final collections in September.

Mentors and board members include Monse founders Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim, actress Jodie Turner-Smith, designer Prabal Gurung, CEO of CFDA Steven Kolb and Sandra Park, Saks’ vice president merchandise manager, menswear.

In a release, Kolb said: "AAPI talents play a significant role in contributing to and shaping American fashion.

"We are excited to partner with Genesis to develop the new grant programme to help herald a future generation of AAPI designers making their mark on our industry through creativity and innovation."

Submissions for the project will open later this summer.