Image of a female in a blue shirt and jeans crouched over paintings laid out on the floor
May 2021

Opening a New Pathway

Fast Retailing Foundation invests in the future of fashion by supporting RISD graduate students.

With the purpose of helping “build a society that encourages the harmonious coexistence of diverse peoples and facilitates sustainable development,” a new Fast Retailing Foundation scholarship program offers fellowships to graduate students studying Graphic Design or Textiles at RISD as well as to students from a select group of other top schools.

RISD will nominate two students from either major for the award. Fast Retailing Foundation will provide fellowship support—sufficient to cover tuition, health insurance and mandatory fees for the duration of enrollment—for up to two candidates nominated by RISD. The foundation will make the final selection of the students to ultimately receive the award. Selected students will be part of RISD’s Society of Presidential Fellows and participate in special programming designed to enrich their studies and advance their careers, including opportunities to connect with RISD alumni mentors who are creative thought leaders.

“RISD Graphic Design has always been a conceptual and speculative space for research that seeks to further the field.”
Graphic Design Department Head Lucinda Hitchcock

“We seek the brightest and most curious, experimental and thoughtful applicants,” says Graphic Design Department Head Lucinda Hitchcock. “Unfortunately, we often lose our top candidates to better-funded institutions. Higher education has become out of reach for most people, and especially at the graduate level. Massive debt means a student is more concerned with jobs and professional conventions after school instead of being able to focus on opportunities to experiment, reinvent and speculate. Support like this is everything for an incoming MFA student.”

“Student beneficiaries of Fast Retailing Foundation’s support will be able to immerse themselves in the rigors of their education without the burden of tuition costs. This will free them to go into the field with a commitment to an established, sustainable and responsible practice after they graduate.”

“The Fast Retailing Foundation is very pleased to partner with RISD through our new Global Graduate Fashion Scholarship program. Together we look forward to nurturing future leaders in the fields of Textiles and Graphic Design,” says Yoshio Ishida, secretary-general, Fast Retailing Foundation. “We are confident that we can find and support students interested not only in becoming experts in these areas of study but also in using their gained knowledge and expertise to build brighter futures for all of us.”

“Sustainable practice is a critical future component of the Textiles graduate program because textile and fashion production has had such a negative impact on the environment and human rights. Solving real-world problems to achieve a cleaner and more just industry will drive future design and development decisions, particularly as our alumni are so influential in textiles and fashion.”
Anais Missakian 84 TX, Pevaroff-Cohn Family Chair In Textiles And Graduate Program Director