Kent Fashion Design Graduate Named as Kenneth Cole Annual Footwear Innovation Fellow Recipient

Sloan Fox at the 2019 CFDA Fashion Awards in NYCTop designers in the fashion industry were recognized during the 2019 CFDA Fashion Awards on the evening of June 3, at the Brooklyn Museum in New York. Recent design graduate, Sloan Fox, from the Kent State University School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, was one of the award-winning designers honored that evening when she received the Kenneth Cole Footwear + Innovation Award during the event.


Fox, who was mentored by Kent Fashion associate professor, Sara Snyder, has been granted a one-year fellowship with Kenneth Cole which includes a one-year residency funded with an annual stipend. Throughout her fellowship, she will be tasked with designing new products that incorporate social consciousness. 


Designer Christian Siriano and model Ashley Graham presented the award to Fox live on stage at the event.  “It was great but so crazy to walk on stage and have my name and my school said in front of all those designers!” exclaimed Fox. 


Led by Kenneth Cole, the prestigious selection committee of fashion designers, selected Fox as the winner from more than 30 finalist applications. Another Kent Fashion graduate, Elisha Hamric, made it into the top 10 of finalists for the award. Hamric wowed the audience during the Fashion School’s 2019 Annual Fashion Show in April with her award-winning collection “FemiMENity” that featured functional womenswear garments made from unconventional fabric such as upcycled fire gear and waxed denim. 


In a statement to the online fashion publication, WWD, Fox said, “I am honored to have been chosen as the 2019-20 Kenneth Cole Footwear Innovation Fellow. I am so thankful to Kenneth Cole and the CFDA for seeing the value in my sustainable and socially conscious collection and for giving me the opportunity to begin my career by working at such an iconic brand.”


Added Cole, “The goal of the Kenneth Cole Footwear Innovation Award is to identify prospective recipients who demonstrate innovative thinking in their approach to footwear design and accessories, as well as individuals who recognize the inherent relationship of design with social impact as well as sustainability. We were all very impressed with Sloan’s passion, her design skills and her understanding of sustainable fashion.”


Fashion Future Graduate Showcase


Recent design graduates, Abigail Donahue and Hazel Jiahui Yu were chosen to represent Kent State in the CFDA Future Fashion Graduate Showcase which took place June 17-18 in New York. The showcase is a hybrid physical and digital showcase that spotlights exemplary talent in the industry and connects participants with professional opportunities. Over 600 industry professionals attend the annual event and participating graduates receive jobs with some of the top fashion companies in the world including Ralph Lauren, Thom Browne, Reebok and more.

Every year, the CFDA only selects up to 50 graduates to participate in the two-day showcase and gives them the opportunity to present their thesis collection and portfolio to industry professionals and influencers.




The CFDA and its Education + Professional Development based initiatives- are committed to supporting talent of all design specializations- at ALL phases of the designer lifecycle. For the last seven years, CFDA+ has been a vital part of their spotlight to graduate talent- showcasing creatively diverse talents curated from leading global fashion programs.  In parallel, since launching Fashion Future Graduate Showcase in 2017, they have provided American graduate talent with pipeline to professional opportunity and visibility through hybrid physical and digital platforms.




Media Contact: 
Brittani Peterson, Fashion School, marketing associate,





POSTED: Thursday, June 6, 2019 04:56 PM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 07:47 AM