Max Mara is the latest brand to fund a fellowship program with the Royal College of Art in London.
The two have teamed up to create a scholarship program that will offer students in financial difficulty the opportunity to enroll in the School of Design’s Masters in Fashion program, starting next September.
It will be offered to two students per year for the next three years. Each recipient will receive 30,000 pounds, covering full tuition fees as well as a contribution towards maintenance and materials.
Along with funding, students also have the opportunity to experience a paid design internship at Max Mara headquarters in Reggio Emilia, Italy.
Ian Griffiths, Creative Director of Max Mara, said the initiative is close to his heart as he has a long-standing connection to the school, having graduated with a Masters in Fashion in 1987. One of his first projects at the era was a competition organized by Max Mara, which inspired him to join the brand as a designer after graduation.
“At a critical time for the fashion industry, Max Mara is proud to support RCA and its students in exploring new processes, methods and models. RCA designers are redesigning fashion, rediscovering the joy of fashion and identify fashion as an instinctive human activity. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to accompany them on their journey,” said Griffiths, who was named Honorary Visiting Professor at RCA on the occasion.
Zowie Broach, MA Fashion Program Manager at RCA, said: “Griffiths has a deep passion for identity, culture and fashion. Her support with the Max Mara Fellowships shows great leadership and care for the future of study in and about fashion at RCA, welcoming broader representation, a community of voices to build new identities and cultures.
Although RCA is one of the most expensive art schools in the world, it offers a wide variety of initiatives to support talented students throughout the course.
Last month the college unveiled the RCA Virgil Abloh Scholarship, named after the late designer who was a visiting professor at the London institution. The scholarship will be offered to a talented, but financially limited, black British student in any program at RCA’s School of Design.
Other scholarships offered by the school include the Märit Rausing Scholarships in Ceramics and Glass; the Sir Frank Bowling Scholarship, which supports UK students from the Black African and Caribbean diaspora, or from the mixed Black African and Caribbean diaspora; the RCA Logitech Scholarships, which provide scholarships to students from underrepresented communities who face financial challenges, and the Tony Snowdon Scholarship, which supports students with physical or sensory disabilities.