Gap Inc. and Harlem's Fashion Row Announce 2022 "Closing the Gap" Award Recipients
Funding fashion programs at nine Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Established in 2021, the “Closing the Gap” initiative strives to empower future generations of BIPOC fashion innovators by strengthening educational opportunities. In addition to financial support, Gap also offers career opportunities to students through its Create With Audacity Design Apprenticeship, which aims to equip creative talent with the necessary skills to become industry leaders over the span of one year.
“Empowering the next generation of Black fashion leaders is a responsibility that we owe not only to our customers and communities who look to Gap Inc. to do the right thing, but to the industry who is in need of these critical voices,” said Bahja Johnson, head of customer and community belonging and enablement at Gap Inc., in a statement. “We are honored and proud to continue partnering with Harlem’s Fashion Row to foster the incredible talent found within HBCUs and unlock their limitless potential.”
This year’s “Closing the Gap” awardees include North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and University of Maryland Eastern Shore, both of which received $100,000 USD in funding; Bowie State University, Clark Atlanta University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina Central University and Tennessee State University, each of which received $50,000 USD; and Delaware State University and University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, both of which received $30,000 USD.
“Our mission at Harlem’s Fashion Row has always been to bridge the gap between brands and designers of color. Creating equity in the industry starts when these BIPOC designers are developing the skills for their field,” said Brandice Daniel, chief executive officer and founder of Harlem’s Fashion Row. “We have seen the impact of our first award and are inspired to continue to support the next generation of fashion leaders.”
In more fashion news, Gigi Hadid’s new fashion line has launched a FW22 “Varisty FUNK” collection.