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Nordstrom and Fashion Scholarship Fund announce winners of first Nordstrom Made Scholarship

By Simone Preuss


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Ashley Hisken, senior strategy manager at Nordstrom, with the winners LeeAnn Huang, Kiki Wanjing Zuo, Cristina Cruz, Jakarie Whitaker, Maliki Gilbert and women’s fashion director at Nordstrom, Rickie De Sole, vice president of corporate affairs, Gigi Ganatra Duff, and winner Tahaj Tanksley-Barrett (from left to right). Image: Nordstrom

Together with the Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF), US department store chain Nordstrom has announced the winners of the newly launched Nordstrom Made Scholarship. It was awarded to six sustainability-minded students from diverse backgrounds who study fashion design and are aiming for a career in the fashion industry.

Each one will receive a 10,000 US dollar college scholarship and an all-expense-paid, two-day career awareness experience in New York City, including the organisation’s annual gala and a career panel at Nordstrom. The winners will also participate in a year-long mentorship program with more than 20 Nordstrom leaders across several functions. Nordstrom also promises “hands-on, immersive experiences” aimed to develop relevant career skills.

“The Nordstrom Made Scholarship launched with the Fashion Scholarship Fund is one of the many ways we aim to improve pathways for historically underrepresented talent into the fashion and retail industry,” commented Nina Barjesteh, president of the Nordstrom Product Group, in a press release. “We understand the importance of investing in the next generation of fashion talent and are grateful to play a role in the career journey of these talented scholars.”

The recipients of the Nordstrom Made Scholarship are Cristina Cruz and Maliki Gilbert, both from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia; LeeAnn Huang from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona; Tahaj Tanksley-Barrett from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia; Jakarie Whitaker from Clark Atlanta University and Kiki Wanjing Zuo, Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, California.

“Having a wonderful experience in New York, and thanks to Fashion Scholarship Fund X Nordstrom for the opportunity,” said Zuo on LinkedIn. “I have met so many talented people. I am glad that I had the pleasure to talk to Karlie Kloss, Phillip Lim, and Sergio Hudson. Sergio's guidance and support have been invaluable to me, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to talk and learn from him.”

In 2022, Nordstrom first partnered with the Fashion Scholarship Fund as part of Concept 018: Virgil Abloh Securities with scholarship donations and mentorship opportunities for four students. They were part of the FSF’s Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund, which fosters equity and inclusion in the fashion industry by providing scholarships to students of academic promise of Black, African-American or African descent.

“The Fashion Scholarship Fund is so pleased to announce the inaugural class of FSF x Nordstrom Made Scholars,” said FSF’s executive director Peter Arnold. “We are extremely grateful to Nordstrom for their continued  and deepening partnership, and for the incredible support and valuable experience, mentorship and career opportunities they are providing our scholars.”

Over the past year, Nordstrom has also announced a partnership with Harlem’s Fashion Row and their non-profit ICON360, a product management coursework and mentorship program at Morehouse College and the continuation of its partnership with the National Retail Federation’s Student Program.  

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Fashion Scholarship Fund