Gap Inc.

June 21, 2021

$510,000 in Funding to be Awarded to Ten Deserving Fashion Departments at HBCUs

In an ongoing effort to bridge the gap between education and fashion's new generation of Black, Indigenous and Other People of Color (BIPOC) leaders, Gap Inc., Harlem's Fashion Row (HFR), and ICON360, a nonprofit subsidiary of HFR, announced today the winners of the 'Closing the Gap' scholarships. These 10 deserving fashion departments at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) will be receiving financial awards from a pool of $510,000, making this the largest donation to HBCUs fashion programs by a major retailer.

Launched through Gap Inc.’s ongoing partnership with Harlem's Fashion Row, ‘Closing the Gap’ aims to strengthen educational opportunities for the next generation of Black fashion leaders and provide a platform that empowers Black students to propel their studies and drive innovation within the fashion industry. Additionally, Gap Inc. and ICON360 will partner to provide mentorship and internship opportunities to students currently enrolled in each of the winning HBCU programs.

"It is a great honor for us to partner with a global leader in the fashion world to kick off the inaugural awards ceremony that will turn into a yearly event. We are coming together as one to not only address pipeline issues of diversity and inclusion in the industry but also to help give them tools and guidance the next generation needs to take the fashion industry to new heights," said Brandice Daniel, Founder and CEO of Harlem's Fashion Row. "When Harlem's Fashion Row started, we focused on the designers that were looking to present their collection to buyers and editors and quickly realized that to make a difference, we must educate and mentor the new talent entering the field. We look forward to extending this initiative and opportunity by welcoming all incoming professionals."

The ten award recipients include: 

  • Two (2) scholarships of $100,000:
    • North Carolina Central (Durham, NC)
    • North Carolina A & T (Greensboro, NC)
  • Five (5) scholarships of $50,000:
    • Delaware State University (Dover, DE)
    • Howard University (Washington, D.C.)
    • Bowie State University (Bowie, MD)
    • University of Maryland Eastern Shore (Princess Anne, MD)
    • Tennessee State (Nashville, TN)
  • Three (3) scholarships of $20,000:
    • University of Arkansas Pine Bluff (Pine Bluff, AR)
    • Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta, GA)
    • Norfolk State University (Norfolk, VA)

"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," said Sarah Holme, Executive Vice President of Product Design & Development at Old Navy and Executive Sponsor of the cross-brand creative community across Gap Inc. "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."

Just last week, HFR launched its inaugural ‘Fashion Playbook’, sponsored by Gap Inc. The Playbook, targeted at youth, middle and high school, and college level, is an online video content library featuring stories, tips, and insight from fashion industry professionals to create awareness of the vast opportunities that exist in the industry. Of the 22 videos to be released in the next year, seven Gap Inc. employees will be featured. New videos will be added each month providing exciting content and continued engagement. This enables us to address an industry-wide issue: inequitable access to opportunities for black talent, specifically for our most creative roles. 

For more information about the 'Closing the Gap' initiatives or learn more about the award recipients, visit HFR ICON 360.

About Gap Inc.

Gap Inc., a collection of purpose-led lifestyle brands, is the largest American specialty apparel company offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children under the Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, and Athleta brands. The company uses omni-channel capabilities to bridge the digital world and physical stores to further enhance its shopping experience. Gap Inc. is guided by its purpose, Inclusive, by Design, and takes pride in creating products and experiences its customers love while doing right by its employees, communities, and planet. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase worldwide through company-operated stores, franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. Fiscal year 2020 net sales were $13.8 billion. For more information, please visit

About Harlem’s Fashion Row

Founded in 2007 by Brandice Daniel, the organization supports emerging talent and provides a platform for underrepresented African American and Latino designers. Harlem’s Fashion Row (HFR) engages audiences and aligns brand partners with emerging designers of color in Fashion. HFR’s mission is to discover and showcase the emerging talent of color through a platform of national events and customized multi-platform programs. The organization initiates innovative events which attract a multitude of diverse influencers connected to the fashion industry. Their objective is to provide real business opportunities to people of color in fashion to showcase their skills and abilities in an industry, which is often inaccessible to this group. To learn more, please visit

ICON360, a subsidiary of HFR was started in 2020 during the pandemic and functions as a non-profit that was started to help designers of color who were impacted by COVID 19. The nonprofit has now grown to not only helping designers but also investing in the next generation of creatives.

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