Five Columbia Students Earn Prestigious Fashion Scholarships

five head shots of studentsClockwise, from left to right: Tiffany Barney, Liv Byam, Bryannah Minor, Annabella Thornton, and Haven Hathaway
Once again, the Fashion Scholarship Fund has awarded five Columbia College Chicago students scholarships and funds to travel to New York City for a gala event recognizing their accomplishments. 

For the second year in a row, the Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF) has awarded scholarships to five Columbia College Chicago students, with each student receiving $7,500 and a stipend to travel to New York City in April. There, FSF will celebrate scholarship recipients, and students will meet industry leaders and influencers. Two of the five scholarship recipients from Columbia have been named  Virgil Abloh™ “Post-Modern” Scholars. All of the students will find out in January if they will receive an additional $10,000 named scholarship. 

 Below are Columbia’s FSF scholarship recipients. Tiffany Barney and Bryannah Minor are Virgil Abloh™ “Post-Modern” Scholars. This is the second time Barney has received this recognition.                                                                                                                                        

  • Tiffany Barney, junior, Fashion Merchandising 
  • Liv Byam, senior, Fashion Design 
  • Haven Hathaway, senior, Marketing 
  • Bryannah Minor, senior, Fashion Design 
  • Annabella Thornton, senior, Fashion Merchandising 

This year the FSF received 521 case study submissions from 60 FSF member schools, including Columbia. Of those, 130 applicants from 49 schools will be awarded FSF scholarships, including 30 Virgil Abloh™ “Post-Modern” Scholarships. This fund was launched by the late Virgil Abloh — a fashion designer and entrepreneur who served as artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s men collection — to support the next generation of black fashion industry leaders.  

 The FSF works directly with the country's most talented young students from diverse backgrounds and awards more than $1 million each year in scholarships to help these students succeed in all sectors of the industry including design, merchandising, marketing analytics, and business strategy.  

 The Columbia students earned their scholarships by participating in a student challenge focusing on real issues facing the fashion industry such as sustainability and the demand for adaptive fashion. This year the case embraced the industries growing interest in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) highlighting the need for sustainable actions while measuring brand impacts and reporting those actions and results to consumers.   

  "The students individually conducted original research and developed merchandising and design strategies, integrated marketing and merchandising plans, and detailed financial analysis,” says Dana Connell, associate professor and director of scholarship initiatives in Fashion Studies. Connell taught the spring 2023 course that focused on the challenge, mentoring students throughout the summer and into fall until submission in October 2023. 

 “The students summarized this collaborative work with a 20-page plan book, and variety of industry professionals evaluated their work, including those representing brands such as Louis Vuitton, Kohl's, Neiman Marcus, and Ralph Lauren,” Connell says. 

Through the process, students received support and mentoring from others in the Columbia community, including Associate Professor Virginia Heaven, Communications Department Chair Peg Murphy, Practitioner-in-Residence Reyes Witt, Alum Emily Hochbaum (an FSF winner last year), and Alum Raj Patel ’21.  

 Congratulations to Tiffany, Liv, Haven, Bryannah, and Annabella for this important recognition of their talent and hard work, and kudos to the Columbia team that helped make it happen!