(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — Stella & Dot and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) announced the expansion of their partnership through the Stella & Dot x FIT Style Forward challenge, providing students from all backgrounds the opportunity to create a three-piece jewelry collection. Open to students from all majors, the collaboration marks the first time Stella & Dot has engaged a college student to design a collection, furthering its brand’s commitment to supporting and empowering the next generation of creators and innovators.
The first-place winner of the Stella & Dot x FIT Style Forward challenge was Yeongran Hong, Fashion Design AAS, ‘23. Hong, who hails from South Korea, described what the collaboration meant to her. “I feel incredibly fortunate that I could participate in the entire process, from design development to sample production, with the help and support of Stella & Dot. The lessons learned and guidance I received are invaluable and I will carry them with me throughout my career.” In addition to the opportunity to design the Stella & Dot x FIT Collection, available for sale on StellaDot.com, she will receive royalty for her design being sold.
“Collaborating with the impressive student designers and artists at FIT has been an honor and truly represents what we stand for here at Stella & Dot by providing a space to nurture independence,” states CEO and Founder of Stella & Dot Family of Brands, Jessica Herrin. “It is incredibly inspiring to see the work these young students have put forth to create an unforgettable collection and I am so proud of the capsule collection that Yeongran– has envisioned, designed and executed alongside Stella & Dot. Working alongside our dedicated collaborators such as FIT, we are achieving our goal of empowering the younger generation and laying the groundwork for future opportunities.”
As one of the main pillars and founding missions at Stella & Dot Family of Brands, Stella & Dot is dedicated to the belief that women deserve independence and such independence is achieved by providing opportunities for women to thrive and give back to their community. To create an environment for generation Z to amplify their talent, Stella & Dot collaborated with FIT to cultivate creativity, provide experiential learning, and design mentorship. Participants in the Style Forward challenge submitted mood boards and videos for consideration. Finalists were selected to present their designs to a panel of judges from Stella & Dot and FIT. The second prize winner, Brianna Jones, Fashion Business Management ’23. Rachelle Huntley, Advertising and Marketing Communications ’23, as the third-place winner. All three students benefitted from in-depth design feedback sessions from Stella & Dot and FIT faculty member Robin Baxter, Assistant Professor in Fashion Business Management, who served as the faculty mentor, in addition to gaining valuable career experience through the presentation process.
“With its emphasis on hands-on mentoring, this Stella & Dot competition represents the epitome of experiential learning, which is a pillar of an FIT education,” said Dr. Joyce F. Brown, President at Fashion Institute of Technology. “Surely all of the participants benefited greatly from the experience, but for the winners, it was truly transformational. Stella & Dot shares FIT’s commitment to empowering young women from diverse backgrounds, and I am deeply grateful for the exceptional opportunity this competition offered to them.”
The Stella & Dot x FIT Collection is available now at StellaDot.com. For more information, visit:stelladot.com