Students Address Real Issues Facing the Fashion Industry

Two School of Fashion students were recognized recently by the Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF) as 2023 FSF Scholars.

The annual FSF Case Study Scholarship is the Fashion Scholarship Fund's signature program, asking applicants to address real issues facing the fashion industry today. This year, the organization recognized 127 FSF Scholars from colleges and universities across the United States. In addition to a financial award, FSF Scholars receive access to internships and full-time jobs through partner companies and enjoy ongoing professional development and support.

Junior fashion merchandising student Uzoamaka Oranugo and junior fashion design student Amirah Shupe will each receive $7,500 and attend the annual FSF Awards Gala in New York City in April. Amirah Shupe was mentored by faculty members Krissi Riewe, assistant professor of fashion design, and Rachel LoMonaco-Benzing, assistant professor of fashion merchandising. Uzoamaka Oranugo was mentored by faculty member Mindy Paradise, assistant professor of fashion design and merchandising.

Awardee Uzoamaka Oranugo was also recognized as one of 27 Virgil Abloh™ “Post-Modern” Scholars. Created in 2021, the Virgil Abloh™ “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund fosters equity and inclusion within the fashion industry by providing scholarships to students of academic promise of Black, African American or African descent.

To learn more about Kent State University's 2023 FSF Scholars and to view their case studies, visit The Fashion Scholarship Fund Website.

Uzoamaka Oranugo

Uzoamaka Oranugo Headshot

Uzoamaka Oranugo’s case study focused on the skin care line for the brand Origins. The line centered on three ingredients from three continents, South America, Asia and Africa. Each geographical location had specific branding, packaging and skin care items. Hair oil was made from ingredients from South America, a toner used ingredients from Asia and body butter ingredients were from Africa. Uzoamaka created the packaging for the products using inspiration from the product ingredient and the region. South America's package design was inspired by the desert, as the ingredients were used by people who live in desert climates. Africa's packaging was inspired by fabrics from Western, Eastern and Northern Africa, recognizable by someone with an African background. The packaging for the Asia line was inspired by the architecture in Northern and Southern Asia.

“I originally did FSF because I wanted to go outside my comfort zone. I started it when I was a freshman, so to me, the possibility of winning was not high.” said Uzoamaka, “I think this experience has really shown me how much I can do and my ability to succeed in the things I put time and energy into.”


Uzoamaka Oranugo's Concept board for her case study, showing cultural images from Asia, South America, and Africa

Uzoamaka Oranugo's concept board for the FSF case study


Amirah Shupe

Amirah Shupe Headshot

Amirah Shupe’s case study, titled Golden Hour by Victoria's Secret, aims to help women feel comfortable and confident throughout the day. Amirah addresses the reality that women's bodies change throughout the day, from bloating to sitting, clothes should be able to change to the wearer’s body. The solution Amirah created is a line of adjustable clothing. Along with this solution, Amirah also included a brand refresh for Victoria's Secret, removing plastic packaging and diversifying their representation of women. 

“The FSF Case Study may have been one of the best and most rewarding experiences in my academic career. Thanks to FSF I have had countless interviews with name brands, made endless connections with industry professionals and other designers, and I will be an FSF Scholar for life.” said Amirah. "A six month project provides many challenges, especially in terms of stamina, passion and time management. There was a point where I had to completely restart my concept because I wasn’t happy with my initial idea and didn’t deem it good enough to win. Other times I wasn’t sure if I would complete it at all, and sometimes the uncertainty of winning the scholarship against so many applicants scared me. Even so, I knew I would regret it more if I didn’t at least try, and so I reimagined my concept to something that I had a personal connection to, and something I knew I could pour my heart and soul into no matter how long it took."


Amirah Shupe's case study showing adaptable clothing designs

Amirah Shupe's clothing design concepts for the FSF case study


The Fashion Scholarship Fund is the foremost fashion-oriented education and workforce development nonprofit in the U.S. The FSF works directly with the country's most talented young students from diverse backgrounds and awards over $1 million each year in scholarships to help these students succeed in all sectors of the industry, including design, merchandising, marketing analytics and supply chain.

Header images: (Left) Uzoamaka's packaging design; (Right) Amirah's adaptable top design


POSTED: Friday, February 17, 2023 09:06 AM
Updated: Tuesday, March 7, 2023 03:36 PM