Fashion Scholarship Fund Case Study Competition (UCLA Nomination) -- Design and Product Development

The Fashion Scholarship Fund Case Study Competition covers (1) Business Strategy, (2) Design and Product Development, (3) Merchandising or (4) Marketing. Nominees eventually complete a roughly 20-slide presentation in only one of the four categories mentioned above for the national competition, to which UCLA (one of 66 member schools) nominates contestants. The topic of this year’s case study is the intersection of digital technology and fashion.

Applicants to the national competition, which has a deadline of October 24, must first receive a UCLA nomination from the Center for Scholarships and Scholar Enrichment by doing the following:

(1) sign up for an account and create a profile asap in the FSF Wizehive Portal: Take that critical step asap, as the first thing you do. Fashion industry recruiters review profiles in the Wizehive Portal when looking for potential internship candidates. You do not need to win an FSF Scholarship in order to be considered for such an opportunity.
(2) submit a current resume
(3) submit a 250-word essay that identifies the top five FSF “Named Scholarships” to which you wish to apply (
(3a) if (and only if) you are an international student, submit an additional 250-word essay on what it would mean to you as an international student to become an FSF Scholar
(3b) if (and only if) you are a student of Black, African American or African descent who would like to apply for the FSF Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship, submit an
additional 250-word essay on why the Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship mission is important to you ( and what you
would like the team carrying on Virgil’s mission to know about you, including relevant personal and fashion-related experiences
(4) upload a 90-second video regarding your backgound and any experiences that make your situation unique, why you have chose your particular case study discipline, as well as your interest in the fashion industry and career aspirations
(5) upload a slide deck summarizing your overall case study premise, outline and plan for completion (at least three slides total)
(6) upload an unofficial UCLA or community college transcript
(7) provide the best cell phone number to reach you in case the Center for Scholarships & Scholar Enrichment needs to contact you regarding your application

Please see below for guidance on the format of the full case study slide deck for the national competition (17-21 slides).



▪ Rising full-time sophomore, junior or senior for AY 2024-25 (except rising seniors must be graduating no sooner than Spring of 2025)
▪ Must demonstrate a desire to pursue a career in fashion


2025 Fashion Scholarship Fund Case Study
The Intersection of Digital Technology and Fashion
Design and Product Development

ACCESS THE MAGAZINE FORMAT* OF THE CASE STUDY (which includes slide deck examples) HERE:

How is digital technology intersecting with traditional, craft processes and affecting the future of fashion design?

There is a growing opportunity for fashion designers to use digital technologies strategically. For instance, McKinsey and Company (2023 — see bibliography at end of document) noted that generative AI is “giving fashion professionals and creatives the technological tools to do certain tasks dramatically faster, freeing them up to spend more of their time doing things that only humans can do.” Digital technology enables designers to communicate traditionally handdrawn ideas quickly and across vast networks. Digital technologies that are supporting designers in the sampling process include advanced computer aided design, artificial intelligence (AI), and 3-D design software. Additionally, generative AI may be used to create high-quality, interactive collections and creative portrayals of products (Richford, 2023). Digital technology in design and product development continues to improve accuracy and efficiency of the garment development process through fits, vendor communications, and technical design.

As a counterpoint, journalists have expressed concern that AI will make design trends more homogenized (YEC, 2023). Therefore, alongside increased use of technology, fashion professionals are also exploring traditional handmade processes, natural materials, and ancient print techniques. The dynamics of technology and craft points to an industry where craft and technology can co-exist. As Bain (2023) theorized, “Just as photography didn’t spell the extinction of painting, generative AI won’t kill off human designers. It may even create more appreciation for the physical craft of fashion.” Thus, while evolving digital technology provides advancing opportunities, many brands continue to express interest in the use of time-honored skills and craft within design.

The spectrum of craft to technology in design & product development

Examples of digital technology within fashion design exist.

● In 2018, Robbie Barrat created a Balenciaga collection using AI resulting in an Acne Studios collaboration and early conversations surrounding the potential for AI in fashion (Sicardi, n.d.).
● Companies like Adobe, Browzwear CLO, and OpenAI are all working to improve the design and development process through advancing digital technologies such as 3D design. Director for Technical Design at Thinx (2023) explained that by using 3D design software, the brand is able to ensure appropriate fit and adjust patterns for scale prior to making the initial sample. In the future, technology-driven design and development ideas are likely to include the use of digital technology and AI throughout the design process, from concept development to mass customization (Lee, 2023e).

Examples of craft in fashion design also exist.

● Considering the future of natural materials, Ecco Leather is exploring the future of natural materials with a long-term partnership with mycelium producer Ecovative (Davidson & Tillman, 2022).

Some brands are blending craft and technology.

● Loewe flipped the switch on how we see digital technology IRL, creating digital-glitch-styled pieces in the S/S 23 collection (Brain, 2023).

Your Role

You are the Vice President of Design (i.e., Head of Design) for an existing fashion brand/retailer of your choice. It is your responsibility to lead the design team in the creation of a design strategy that aligns with the marketplace and consumer demand. As VP of Design, you can bring new concepts and design ideas to the brand/retailer’s fashion collections while maintaining the brand ethos and heritage. Your designs should move the company forward while aligning with the company’s priorities and goals.

Objective: Further fashion design in a modern, technology-driven world.

Your objective is to design a collection for an existing brand or retailer of your choice. The brand/retailer that you select should be generally well-known. The brand that you chose must be a fashion apparel, accessories, footwear, home, beauty, or health & wellness brand. In your design concept, consider the spectrum of digital technologies and time-honored craft processes that can evolve the company’s design ethos. You must address design practices spanning craft and/or digital technology to advance the chosen brand’s mission, processes, and market relevancy in the modern, technology-driven world.

To advance design practices in a technology-driven world, your vision may reflect trends in materials, production processes, and/or design technique. For example, you may address evolving digital technologies such as 3-D prototyping of digital design. Alternatively, you may demonstrate the advantages of craft-based processes such as leatherwork or traditional dye processes. You must consider the integration of design details (e.g., fabrics and trim) within your collection and rationalize your design choices.

Submission Format

Case studies should be submitted as a 17-21 page slide deck including title, appendices, and references. The slide deck should be in landscape orientation, with slides sized for on-screen show 4:3 or 16:9 display (approx. 10” x 7.5”).

Submission files can be created in any software of the applicant’s choosing, such as PowerPoint, Keynote, Adobe InDesign, Illustrator etc. However, all cases must be submitted in a flat PDF format without video or sound.

Required Content

Section 1: General Introduction (2-3 Slides)

Title Slide. Must be the first page/slide of the deck. Include: title, case study discipline (Design and Product Development), and one sentence summary of your collection concept. Do NOT include any identifying information (name, school, etc.).
Executive Summary. Cover all components of your case study to provide the essence of your case study without the fine details in paragraph format, no longer than 350 words.
Optional Table of Contents. Outline sections of your case study.

Section 2: Research (2-3 Slides)
This research should relate to your collection development while demonstrating rigorous research.

Technology Trends. Address evolving technology and product trends that are important to your brand/retailer and influence your design direction.
o Address how these trends affect the evolving fashion marketplace that are relevant to your concept and technology and/or craft skills.
o Address how trends relate to consumers.
Craft Trends. (Optional). Address the modern use of craft processes in design and product development. Elements of craft that are explored should be important to your concept and how you plan to use craft in a technology driven world.
Impact. Address how your collection will utilize trends as a part of your strategy in a technologydriven world. How will the trends impact your brand/retailer and create an opportunity for your creative vision.

Section 3: Conceptual Direction (1-2 Slides)
Introduce your collection concept.

New Technology or Craft Concept. Introduce your technology and/or a craft concept in paragraph form with relevant supporting imagery. Address the applicability to your chosen brand/retailer and any specific design and development processes that support your brand goals.

Section 4: Design Development (4-5 Slides)
Create a concept board for your collection and show your design process. The concept board and/or design process should showcase how you will integrate technology or craft.

Concept Board. Develop a concept board or mood board that visualizes your design direction. Include a 3-5 sentence conceptual statement that speaks expressly to design direction.
Design Process. Present your documented design process. Include development sketch work, iterative strategies, 3D and/or digital development efforts, fabric/material studies, etc. Documented processes should communicate how your research and conceptual direction translated into design outcomes.
Color and Fabric Board. Create a color and fabric board presenting the master color palette and all materials used. Include a photo with name and a content/quality description of each fabric/material chosen. Briefly explain how your materials and color story ties into the collection concept.
o Print and Pattern. If applicable, develop three original prints/patterns that match into the color palette.

Section 5: Collection Presentation (3-5 Slides)
Design 10-15 products for your chosen category. Explain (or demonstrate) how you will align your designs with the integrate technology or craft.

Creative Designs. Present the creative designs for your 10-15 items. Illustrations may be done by hand or by CAD and should reflect the intentions of your design strategy.
o If you have chosen apparel as your focus, you can do head to toe looks or individual pieceshead to toe looks would be counted as each item not the look itself.
o Consider diversity, inclusion, and representation within the development of your croquis.
Technical Flats. Create technical front and back flat sketches for three of these products. Include design callouts and construction details relative to functional, technical, or aesthetic details. Explain how research, trend, and/or your design process facilitated the development of functional, technical, or aesthetic details appropriate to your concept.
o If you have chosen beauty, include ingredient details and rationale for the selection.

Section 6: Conclusion & References (2-4 Slides)

Use the final slides for your conclusion, bibliography, and any footnotes.

Conclusion. Your conclusion should be your final statement expressing the importance and relevance of your idea for the brand you have selected and the industry. This may utilize a traditional recap approach, touching on key points, or you may utilize creative storytelling to instill understanding and importance.
o Your conclusion must connect your technology or craft-driven concept to the design process and final product.
References. All text references should be properly formatted using a format such as APA, Harvard, or Chicago style. Images may be cited with the source name listed under the image on each page, such as “Vogue” or “WWD”. Alternatively, image citations may be provided in a separate list with web addresses only.

Section 7: Appendix (3-5 slides)

Optional. Use the appendix to present additional, supplemental ideas that support your project concept.

General Guidelines

Do not include your name or college/university affiliation on the title page or anywhere in the case study as the review process is anonymous.

No specific font or format will be enforced. You are encouraged to utilize visuals throughout your presentation. It is advisable to not overload each slide with information, and to keep your presentation concise and to the point: each slide should take no more than 1-2 minutes to absorb by the reader.

Do not exceed the page limit. Ensure your content connects from section to section to tell the story you are trying to convey. This is the first time judges will be exposed to your case study and they should be able to fully interpret your intended plans.

All references should be included within a references/bibliography page at the end of your slide deck or annotated in footnotes visible within the slide. Do not use hyperlinks in a footnote as the content cannot be accessed once the case study is uploaded.

Be sure to proofread your case study. Points will be deducted for not following format directions, as well as for grammar and spelling errors.

AI Disclosure

You may use AI programs (e.g. ChatGPT) for brainstorming and help in generating ideas. However, note that the material generated by these programs may be inaccurate, incomplete, or otherwise problematic. You may not submit any work generated by an AI program as your own. If you include material generated by an AI program, it should be properly cited like any other reference material.

Eligibility Requirements

● You must be a full-time sophomore, junior, or senior.
● You must be graduating no earlier than Spring 2025.
● You must demonstrate a desire to pursue a career in fashion.
● To receive on-campus support, you must be enrolled in an FSF member school.

Required Documents for Submission:

1) Completed FSF Case Study
2) Current Resume
3) Current Unofficial Transcription
4) New for 2025 Prepare an (approximately) 90 second video containing your responses to the following prompts:
• Explain why you have decided to select your case study discipline.
• Tell us about your interest in the fashion industry and career aspirations.
• Tell us about your background and any experiences that make your situation unique.
5) Required for all applicants: Please submit a 250-word maximum written response identifying the top five Named Scholarships you’re most interested in applying for, and why.
IN ADDITION: If you are an international student only: Submit a 250-word maximum response to address the following question:
• As an international student, what would it mean to you to become an FSF Scholarship recipient?
IN ADDITION: If you are a Virgil Abloh™ “Post-Modern” Scholarship applicant: The mission of the Virgil Abloh™ “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund is to foster equity and inclusion
within the fashion industry by providing scholarships to students of academic promise of Black, African American, or African descent. Mr. Abloh named the fund “Post-Modern” to
represent that recipients will not only receive funds, but will also be given access to vital career support services and mentoring. Submit a 250-word maximum response to the
following question:
• Please explain why Virgil Abloh’s™️ “Post-Modern” Scholarship mission is important to you. What would like the team carrying on Virgil’s mission to know about you?
We encourage you to tell us about relevant personal and fashionrelated experiences.

Judging Criteria

Your case will be reviewed by industry professionals including the FSF Board of Governors, FSF Mentors, and FSF Alumni. Judges will use the following criteria to score your case:

Creativity & Feasibility (20%)

• Is the applicant’s idea unique, inspiring, and innovative?
• Is the applicant’s idea well-thought-out and conceivably executable?
• Is the applicant’s idea clearly connected to the selected brand/retailer?

Research & Development (20%)

• Has the applicant researched the selected brand/retailer, demonstrating depth of knowledge of the company’s activities and competitive positioning as relevant to the presented concept?
• Has the applicant conducted thorough research regarding the retail landscape and the attitudes, behaviors, and lifestyle traits of the intended consumer?

Collection Presentation (40%)
• Has the applicant presented their concept development in a manner that is clear and supports the final collection design?
• Has the applicant presented a final collection that conveys a strong presentation of design and is fitting to the intended concept?
• Has the applicant presented technical design details (through tech sheets) that are easy to understand and show how to execute the concept?

Clarity (15%)

• Does the applicant clearly and consistently tell their story, aligning direction from executive summary, through core content, and into the conclusion?
• Does the applicant’s case follow logical development and a clear structure; is it easy to follow and summarize?
• Did the applicant clearly complete each portion of their prompt?

Format (5%)

• Did the applicant use correct grammar and spelling?
• Did the applicant include a title page with one sentence to summarize the case?
• Was the applicant’s name and school kept anonymous?

Deadlines and Announcement of Competition Results

February 1, 2024: Wizehive, the digital platform used for FSF case study submissions will open. Your FSF faculty member will provide you with the Wizehive link. Complete the Applicant Profile on Wizehive to participate in FSF Summer Scholar Series which will run from June – August 2024 (see details below). October 14, 2024: Submit all required materials on Wizehive BEFORE 8:59 AM Pacific Time (11:59 AM Eastern Time) to avoid any issues with submission. The Wizehive portal will close PROMPTLY at 9:00 AM Pacific Time (12:00 PM Eastern Time). Be sure to allow sufficient time to upload all required documents (i.e., case study, resume, unofficial transcript, video) – the Wizehive submission portal will close automatically at the scheduled time even if an upload is still in progress. If all documents are not fully uploaded, your submission will not be received by the FSF. Please contact Katie Simone, FSF Program Manager, at who will help rectify any submissions that are incomplete. You will receive a Confirmation of Submission to your Wizehive homepage that your submission process was completed. Mid-December 2024: The Scholarship competition results will be announced in midJanuary. Results will be sent to the FSF faculty member at your school. Your FSF faculty member will share the results with you. If you are applying from a school without an FSF Educator, you will be contacted by the FSF team to be notified of the results. Additionally, results will be posted to the FSF website. Following the announcement of results, you will receive a Welcome Letter from the FSF.

Attend the Summer Scholar Series

This program consists of workforce preparedness courses and master classes from industry experts on relevant topics and current challenges of the industry. We equip Scholars, Scholar Applicants, and Alumni for their future internships or full-time job opportunities.

Supporting Materials

Additional resources are available for all case study tracks in the FSF Student Resources Dropbox folder.

Ready to Get Started?

To start your research, reference the following articles.

AlixPartners. (2023). ‘Fail Fast and Fail Forward’ When Implementing AI into Workflows. WWD.

Bain, M. (2023). Generative AI Won’t Be the End of Human Fashion Designers. The Business of Fashion.

Bain, M. (2023). The Complete Playbook for Generative AI in Fashion. The Business of Fashion.

Behance. (n.d.) 3d fashion.

Belgum, D. (2023). Martha Stewart Entering AI Arena With ‘Ask Martha’. WWD.

Bell, J. (2023). Searching for Fit With AI. WWD.

BOLT. (2023). How AI and Web3 Are Shaping Fashion’s Future. BOF Professional Summit.

Center for Humane Technology (2023, March) The A.I. Dilemma.

Clark, E. (2023). Episode 27: AI’s Arrival, In Retail and the World. WWD Voices.

Feitelberg, R. (2023). Tory Burch and Christopher John Rogers Talk AI, Creativity and Social Media. WWD.

Hickman, M. (2023). How AI Is Helping Retailers Right-size Inventory. WWD.

Lee, A. (2022). H&M Group is about to go Big with AI. WWD.

Lee, A. (2023a). Amazon Juices Shopping With Generative AI Summary of Reviews. WWD.

Lee, A. (2023b). Amazon Sees Itself Driving Generative AI in Retail. WWD.

Lee, A. (2023c). Generative AI’s Implications in Fashion. WWD.

Lee, A. (2023d). Shopify on Its New AI-powered Direction. WWD.

Lee, A. (2023e). What Brands Need to Know About Generative AI. WWD.

Lee, A. (2023f). What to Know About Google’s AI Apparel Try-on. WWD.

Lee, A. (2023g). What to Watch: Fashion, Retail Tackle AI. WWD.

Lobad, N. (2023a). Charlotte Tilbury Combines AI and Artistry for New App Launch.

Lobad, M. (2023b). How Generative AI Will Shape the Face of the Beauty Industry. WWD.

Manso, J. (2023). How Beauty Executives Are Leveraging AI. Beauty Inc.

Medieros, J. (2018). Here’s How North Face Boosted Conversions Using AI. Modev.

Moin, D. (2023). Lily AI Appoints Its First-ever President. WWD.

Pastore, A. (2023a). Accenture Announces $3 Billion Investment in AI. WWD.

Pastore, A. (2023b). AI Could Be Crucial for Customer Engagement, Verint Study Claims. WWD.

Pastore, A. (2023c). Consumer Sentiment Around Generative AI Remains Challenging. WWD.

Richford, R. (2023). What Will AI Mean for Fashion? WWD.

Salesforce, Inc. (2023). 1 in 6 Shoppers Have Used Generative AI for Purchase Inspiration – Salesforce Report.

Salesforce: News & Insights.

Signals. (2023). Commerce in the age of generative AI. Mastercard Labs.

Talwar, K. (2023a). Despite Data Concerns, Most Are Welcoming AI Integration. WWD.

Talwar, K. (2023b). New Research Reveals the Potential of Commerce in the Age of Generative AI. WWD.

Weil, J. (2023). Generative AI Will Make Over the Beauty Industry. Beauty Inc.

Zaczkiewicz, A. (2023). Klarna, OpenAI Partner on AI-powered Shopping Experience. WWD.

UCLA Nomination to National FSF Competition (Minimum $7,500 national award plus award gala in NYC, internship & mentorship)
Supplemental Questions
  1. Have you signed up for an account and created a profile in the FSF Wizehive Portal? *That needs to be the very first thing you do as an applicant, without delay*: Fashion industry recruiters review the Wizehive Portal profiles for potential internship candidates. You do not need to win an FSF Scholarship in order to be contacted regarding an internship.
  2. Please upload a current resume that focuses on your key experiences and skills with relevance to your interest in design and product development and the fashion industry.
  3. Please identify the top five FSF "Named Scholarships" to which you wish to apply: Why have you selected each of those five opportunities? Why do they align with your own background, interests and goals?
  4. *If* you are an international student, what it would mean to you, as an international student, to become an FSF Scholar?
  5. *If* you are a student of Black, African American or African descent who would like to apply for the FSF Virgil Abloh "Post-Modern" Scholarship, why is the Virgil Abloh "Post-Modern" Scholarship mission ( important to you? What would you like the team carrying on Virgil's mission to know about you, including relevant personal and fashion-related experiences?
  6. Upload a 90-second video regarding your backgound and any experiences that make your situation unique. Why have you chosen your particular case study discipline? What is the nature of your interest in the fashion industry and what are your career aspirations? If you cannot upload the video, please just upload a document stating that, and email the video to Provide a Dropbox link or similar in the email if necessary.
  7. Please upload a slide deck summarizing your overall case study premise, outline and plan for completion (at least three slides total) in the Design and Product Development category.
  8. Please upload an unofficial copy of your UCLA or community college transcript.
  9. Please provide the best cell phone number (nine digits with no dashes, spaces or parentheses) for the UCLA Center for Scholarships and Scholar Enrichment to contact you regarding your scholarship if necessary.
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