The grant will be used to improve infrastructure for Textiles and Apparel education, including updated technology and equipment, as the program works toward developing a fully equipped textile lab. The grant also covers $10,000 scholarships for two students.
“The distinguished Icon 360 x The GAP award will impact our department tremendously,” said Darlene M. Eberhardt-Burke, Ph.D., interim chair of the Textiles and Apparel Program. “This award will directly influence our current and future students, unlocking infinite potential and opportunity for generations to come.”
Icon 360 was launched in 2020 to provide support to designers of color impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
NCCU is part of the Closing the Gap initiative, which provides financial support to 10 fashion programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to strengthen educational opportunities for the next generation of African American fashion leaders and provide a platform engaging African American fashion students.
The grant will also assist to build a relationship with Harlem’s Fashion Row and The GAP to involve students in experiential learning, Eberhardt-Burke adds.
The funding announcement comes off the heels of the program’s annual Fashion Design Competition. The competition received support from textile companies Spoonflower and Implus that provided students with materials for their designs, including custom cotton fabrics and shoestring. Additional financial support from Cotton Inc. provided prizes for students awarded first-, second- and third-place honors in the competition’s new “Best of Cotton” category.