Students make another splash on the fashion scene

Receive highly coveted scholarships from YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund


Shota Adamia '15 (left) and Fallon Rosen '16 (right) stand with Paul Rosengard '80, who paved Brandeis's inclusion in the YMA Scholarship Fund

In a selective competition that attracts hundreds of students from some of the country’s top schools, two Brandeis students were awarded scholarships from the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund.

Shota Adamia ’15 was presented with the highly coveted Geoffrey Beene Fashion Scholarship, which includes a $30,000 award in addition to receiving a $5,000 fashion scholarship. Fallon Rosen ’16 also received a $5,000 scholarship during a gala event at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel last month. This is the fifth consecutive year that Brandeis students have earned YMA fashion scholarships.

Adamia was recognized for his presentation and research of the use and expression of 3-D printing on the fashion industry. He was one of only four students nationally to earn the Geoffrey Beene Fashion Scholarship.

“It hasn’t all sunk in yet,” says Adamia. “Being recognized is very rewarding and empowering. At the same time, this project was so interesting. It’s wasn’t just work for a case study. It was captivating. Now I have amazing career and social opportunities and an encouragement to do future work.”

Meanwhile, Rosen’s award was the culmination of a yearlong study that sought to rebrand or introduce Lululemon Athletica to new locations or in pop-up stores.

“I was incredibly excited to be recognized for my case study on Lululemon, as it’s an amazing honor and an opportunity to network and further delve into the fashion industry,” says Rosen, a sociology major who is currently studying abroad in Copenhagen.

For Adamia, the honor signifies the end of one journey and the start of another. Soon after winning the scholarship, he was presented with job offers from dozens of companies, designers and industry professionals.

“My point was that 3-D printing is not something transient,” says Adamia. “It’s revolutionary in the sense that it brings a new medium into the consciousness of thinking about and wearing clothes. The presentation, which was very visual, clinched it for me. The panel that judged me is composed of leading voices in the fashion industry, including designers and heads of companies.”

Adamia and Rosen had a team of mentors behind their efforts, with professors Jane Ebert, Tory Fair, Alice Kelikian, Chandler Rosenberger and Grace Zimmerman forming the academic advisory board. Kelikian encouraged Adamia to connect with the 3-D printing lab at Brandeis, as well as Neri Oxman, an MIT professor who is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on the subject, for guidance on his research, while Caroline O’Shea at the Hiatt Career Center assisted the students in preparing their applications.

“I’m not surprised by Shota’s success,” says Kelikian. “He has a disciplined imagination. He’s smart and determined. He has a great handle on how innovation and technology inflect upon fashion. I see him going down an entrepreneurial path dealing with style and design.”

Adamia is the first Brandeis student to win the top Geoffrey Beene prize. Paul Rosengard ’80, chief executive officer of DDK Apparel and who helped sponsor Brandeis’ inclusion in the scholarship program, is especially proud of Adamia’s achievement.

“Very few schools have enjoyed a better success rate of converting applicants to scholarship winners,” says Rosengard.  “This year, we achieved a new pinnacle through Shota. As I prepare to attend and co-chair my 35th Brandeis reunion, I recall that my college education was made possible by scholarships and loans, so I am thrilled to have introduced the YMA Fashion Scholarship awards to Brandeis as a vehicle to support and recognize talented students interested in entering the fashion apparel and retail industry."  

Adamia, a Tbilisi, Georgia, native who is double majoring in sociology and economics, is looking forward to enjoying his final semester at Brandeis, while at the same time is excited about his future.

“My last semester is a logical conclusion to a big, big project called ‘college,’” says Adamia. “I realize that as each day goes by I’m connecting all the dots of my experience from throughout my Brandeis career. I’m trying to make sense of who I am now and who I was four years ago. I have this identity, goals, experience, and achievements—so many mentors and friends. I’m going to miss it a lot.”

Kelikian says the value of the YMA program extends beyond its scholarship support. “The connections the students make with industry leaders through the internship and the career mentoring programs are invaluable and have served as a unique launching pad for their careers in the fashion industry, from design, to marketing, to legal counsel,” says Kelikian. “We are indebted to the support of Paul Rosengard, David Katz, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Randa, and Rose Turi-Thompson, licensing manager at Randa."

Thirteen Brandeis students have earned 14 scholarships, internships and career oversight from prominent senior executives since the 2010-11 academic year, and five of these now graduates have gone on to work in the fashion industry.

Students interested in applying must be a sophomore, junior, or first-semester senior with at least a 3.0 grade-point average who wish to pursue a career in design, merchandising, retailing, journalism, computer science or business.

For further information on applying for the fashion scholarship, please contact Alan Bertman.

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