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Columbus is ‘great city for fashion;’ OSU student wins New York City scholarship

The Fashion Scholarship Fund gives financial awards as well as internship opportunities to some of the nation’s brightest and most innovative in fashion design. Ohio State has recently made more of a presence in the competition.
“We’re pretty competitive,” said Nancy Rudd, professor in consumer sciences and screening liaison for FSF. “We have students the last five years that have gotten scholarships.”
Sherelyn Smith and Bradley Parker are the two most recent additions to the list of award winners.
“I had friends that were speaking highly about [design] and I met Dr. Nancy Rudd,” said Parker, an ’08 OSU graduate. “I have to say she swayed me. She brought to my attention the knack I have for it.”
Parker found out about the FSF competition the day his application and project was due, he said. He ended up winning a scholarship as well as an internship.
“They offered [the internship] to me the year I won it, but I was working at Abercrombie,” Parker said. “The next year I quit Abercrombie and they were still willing to help set me up with Greg Norman Collection, a golf company.”
Smith, a senior in business and marketing, became interested in design from a business perspective.
“I originally picked fashion because I thought I’d be interested in design,” Smith said. “Now I’m trying to get involved with business organizations.”
Smith was president of the fashion production association and helped conduct student design shows with Rudd, her adviser, who also told her about the scholarship.
Smith not only received a scholarship, she is now in line to win the Geoffrey Beene Scholarship for $25,000, only available to FSF scholars. She is only the second student from OSU to have this opportunity.
Ohio State students such as Smith have an advantage when it comes to understanding fashion and marketing.
“Columbus is a tremendous city for retail headquarters,” said Stu Nifoussi, the executive vice president of Business Journals, Inc. as well as the FSF coordinator with OSU. He cited such Columbus corporate headquarters as Abercrombie and Limited Brands.
Students can “see what [the fashion business] is while they are studying,” he said. “Fashion is a major industry like any other; there are so many different pieces.”
OSU also attempts to teach multiple sides of the industry to prepare students for retail.
Fashion is “comprehensive, we don’t teach only design or marketing,” said Rudd. “We really integrate them … They really have it all start to finish.”
This shows in the numbers of OSU students who are interested in competing for FSF.
“Every year you can submit five names,” Rudd said. “Up until now I’ve never had more than five names. This year, 16.”
To help with the OSU application process, Nifoussi will fly down Oct. 5 and 6 to speak with OSU fashion students about FSF.
“We can have preliminary interviews, that’s really going to be helpful,” Rudd said. “I’ve never had so many apply. We want to [send] the most competitive people.”

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