Shota Adamia carves his niche in the fashion world

Named finalist for the highly competitive, $30,000 Geoffrey Beene Scholarship

Photos/Mike Lovett

Shota Adamia ’15 gets the most out of each day.

The Tbilisi, Georgia native has no qualms about staying busy or balancing schoolwork with his many passions. Ask him what he does during his spare time and Adamia will respond, “what free time?”

Indeed, the economics and sociology double major has little down time but many accomplishments to show for it. He’s fluent in five languages — Georgian, English, Russian, French and German. He has served as chairperson and vice president of the European Youth Parliament. He has made the Dean’s List every semester at Brandeis. Adamia also has earned the Wien Scholarship, which is awarded to international students who display outstanding academic and personal achievement, and the Karpf and Ari Hahn Peace Prize as a sophomore for his research on the political and ethnic conflicts in the Northern Ireland region.

Now Adamia has his focus on the fashion industry, and he has found quick success.

“I’ve been interested in fashion my entire life,” says Adamia. “Fashion is an expression of art and social formation in our communities because we project our meanings onto the garments and accessories we wear. This is how we convey ourselves.”

In 2013, Adamia entered the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund competition. Working through the Hiatt Career Center and in consultation with professors Alice Kelikian, Chandler Rosenberger and Grace Zimmerman, he submitted a winning case study on how to improve JCPenney’s sales, which earned him a $5,000 scholarship and a summer internship with Thom Browne in New York City, where he worked in the sales department and facilitated orders for 40 retailers worldwide.

Adamia recently learned that the YMA has named him one of eight national finalists for one of four Geoffrey Beene Scholarships, which comes with a $30,000 award to help with education and career goals. Adamia earned $10,000 for being selected a finalist.

This January he will travel to New York to present his case study on the potential impact of 3D printing on the fashion industry before the YMA executive board, which includes CEOs, COOs and board chairs of major corporations in the fashion and related industries.

In between prepping for his January presentation, interviewing prospective students at admissions and working on his honors thesis, Adamia is also gearing up to work in the showroom for Thom Browne's Milan fashion sales campaign in three weeks.

Like always, Adamia is busy, but he’s embracing it.

“I have all of these amazing resources and I don’t want to miss out on any experiences because I think they’re invaluable,” Adamia says. “To do this while I’m in college and right after college is amazing. I try to integrate all my interests and my responsibilities as a student, a son, and a citizen. We face many responsibilities. It’s hard, but very rewarding to address all of them.”

In addition to providing scholarship support, the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund facilitates internships with prestigious fashion companies and provides career mentoring by prominent senior executives who serve on the organization’s Board. Participating companies have included Calvin Klein, Li & Fung, VF Sportswear, Fishman & Tobin, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Liz Claiborne, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Perry Ellis, Bloomingdale's, Levi Strauss & Co., Target, Kenneth Cole, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger and Randa Accessories to name just a few.

Paul Rosengard ’80, CEO of DDK/Boston Traders and co-president of the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund, arranged for the university’s participation in the program beginning in the 2010-11 academic year. So far, 11 Brandeis students have received scholarships, internships and career mentoring from prominent senior fashion executives. A total of 46 colleges and universities participate in the program.

Categories: Business, General, Student Life

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