This message was sent to Gap Inc. U.S. Employees from Sarah Holme, Head of Product Design & Development at Old Navy
As part of Gap Inc’s commitment to creating a more equitable fashion industry, I am thrilled to announce our newest initiative, “Closing the Gap.” Launched through our ongoing partnership with Harlem’s Fashion Row, “Closing the Gap” aims to strengthen educational opportunities for the next generation of Black fashion leaders by offering financial awards to fashion departments at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). I am proud to lend my name to this effort as the executive sponsor on behalf of our cross-brand creative community.
We’re contributing $510,000 in total to the initiative, making this the largest donation to HBCUs by a major retailer. This funding will be distributed across 21 awards ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, providing a platform that empowers Black students to propel their studies and drive innovation within the fashion industry. Brandice Daniel, founder and CEO of Harlem’s Fashion Row, joined the Equality & Belonging lunch and learn session this week to express her gratitude and emphasize the impact that this partnership will have on HBCUs.
As a company rooted in being Inclusive, By Design, we are guided by the belief that business can, and should, be a force for good. This extends not just to our employees and our customers but to the communities we serve. I look forward to working with Harlem’s Fashion Row to not only support the rich, storied history of HBCUs but to change our industry for the better through cultivating pipelines to careers in fashion for Black creative talent.
Applications open on May 12 through the Icon360 website. Stay tuned for more details on this exciting initiative, including announcing the winners when they are selected in June!