Fashion student wins scholarship
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 21:04
Junior Emma Sidoriak said she has been interested in designing and fashion ever since she was in grade school. Her interests were rewarded recently with the top fashion scholarship program in the country, the Young Man Association (YMA) and Fashion Scholarship Fund’s (FSF) Geoffrey Beene Scholarship.
“I realized that fashion is a way to communicate and it’s an expression of art,” Sidoriak said. “Fashion is art that you can wear.”
She began a two-year application process after winning a $5,000 scholarship from the Fashion Scholarship Fund in the fall of 2011 and was chosen from a national pool of 28 Geoffrey Beene applicants as a top-eight finalist.
A panel of professors selected Sidoriak as the sole university entrant to compete for the scholarship.
Once selected as a finalist, Sidoriak traveled to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City for five days in January to compete.
Fashion and apparel studies professor Martha Carper helped Sidoriak in the application process. She said Sidoriak’s academics helped her to win the scholarship.
“She’s an Economics and Apparel Design Major, which allowed Emma the ability to create the analytical and design portions of her business plan,” Carper said.
According to the rules of the scholarship competition, each scholar needed to create a new pop-up store for any city in the United States. Carper described a pop-up store as a trend in retail “designed to draw customers in, but not a brick and mortar-type store.”
Sidoriak named her pop-up store “The Matchbox.” Her goals for the project included reclaiming New York City telephone booths and implementing personalized color technology.
“Basically, a customer steps into the booth, and they get their colors done, which means they figure out what colors go best with their natural coloring,” Sidoriak said. “Then the booth tells them where they can go shopping for colors that look the best on them.”
Sidoriak said she was excited for her idea since it extensively used modern technology. She rounded off her “Matchbox” business plan with the creation of a smart phone app. Sidoriak presented an equal parts fashion and business case-study to the YMA/FSF and then shared it to a panel of ten judges.
Each member of the panel was a leader in the fashion industry, including representatives from both Nike and Ralph Lauren. The panel chose grand prize winners to receive the $30,000 scholarship, Sidoriak said.
Ultimately, Sidoriak did not finish in the top-four and received a $10,000 scholarship.
Marsha Dickinson, the chair of Fashion and Apparel Studies said she knew Sidoriak worked hard since she made it to the top-eight finalists.
“The legacy of Geoffrey Beene is the name recognition of such an important member of the fashion world,” Dickinson said. “These are a few super-elite young executives in the field that will take the industry forward.”
Carper said she was proud of Sidoriak.
“It was so rewarding to see Emma walk on that stage and represent the university and the fashion department,” Carper said.
Sidoriak said she was proud of her accomplishments and glad that her project helped her learn to communicate effectively.
She said she plans to use the scholarship to pay for her tuition or use toward an internship, though she said the ideal use for the money would be to live in Oregon during the summer and work for Nike. She said people hoping to achieve their goals should be brave and ambitious.
Don’t be afraid to go for it,” Sidoriak said. “Use all of the connections you have, don’t be afraid to ask people questions, don’t be afraid to send emails and just achieve your dream.”