2016 Design Graduate Wins Kenneth Cole Innovation Award

B.F.A. (design) alumna Kara KroegerKara Kroeger, who graduated from the Fashion School in May 2016 with a B.F.A. in fashion design, has been named a Kenneth Cole Footwear + Accessory Innovation Award winner. She is one of only two post-graduates nationwide chosen for the award, which entails a yearlong fellowship with the company and carries a $50,000 stipend.

Created by Kenneth Cole Productions and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), the Kenneth Cole Footwear + Accessory Innovation Award challenges senior-year design students to develop a design portfolio featuring footwear or handbags. Another prerequisite of the award is a commitment to civic engagement, as demonstrated by a “fully envisioned brand story encompassing a social- or community-based component.”

Three of the ten award finalists were Kent State alumnae; the other two were Anastasia White and Camille Winslow. Kent State University is one of the 20 CFDA member institutions whose students were invited to apply for the fellowship.

The award was presented during the annual CFDA Awards, held in New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom on June 7. The event’s top honorees included Marc Jacobs, Thom Browne and Beyoncé.

Kara’s portfolio collection — which comprised boots, flats, heels, gloves and purses — was designed to honor the Charity:Water organization, which facilitates access to clean water for millions in rural communities worldwide.

This past spring, Kara Kroeger’s “Occupy Everything” collection was shown at China Fashion Week in Beijing and received the Best in Show Award at the Fashion School’s Annual Fashion Show. She was also selected to represent Kent State University in the Supima Design Competition, for which she will develop a new collection to show at New York Fashion Week this fall.

Kara will begin her full-time, one-year fellowship with Kenneth Cole later this year.


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Alex Parrott, marketing associate
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POSTED: Tuesday, June 07, 2016 12:42 PM
UPDATED: Thursday, December 08, 2022 05:21 PM
Alex Parrott

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