One of the biggest challenges facing students wishing to break into the fashion industry is access, particularly for those with no connections to get their foot in the door. It's a feeling designer Brandon Maxwell knows all too well, having grown up in a small Texas town with very few resources to gain knowledge in fashion.
"When you're coming from a place like I did, where you don't know anyone and you don't have any access to the fashion industry, that hurdle to get from there to where I am now is quite big," says Maxwell, who didn't go to school for fashion and adds that he had no understanding of where to intern or which companies to know.
Maxwell is one of several industry leaders who are sharing their experiences navigating the fashion industry, including designer Virgil Abloh, Elite World CEO Julia Haart and Estée Lauder group president John Demsey. Through a new video series called "Fashion Facing" produced by the Fashion Scholarship Fund in partnership with PAPER, each installment offers advice on how to succeed in the fashion and beauty worlds, and will be released over the next two weeks.
The videos will lead up to a live virtual auction benefiting the Fashion Scholarship Fund, which will be hosted by Christie's Lydia Fenet alongside TV and radio host Ryan Seacrest featuring special product packages across fashion, sports and entertainment.
Finally, the "Facing Fashion" campaign will culminate with the Fashion Scholarship Fund's first virtual awards celebration honoring the new class of scholars on January 12, which will be announced along with the recipients of Abloh's Post Modern Scholarship for Black students.
"The [FSF] Scholarship would have been a huge benefit for me," says Maxwell. "Had I had a hub that could help educate me on the industry and what I needed to be focusing on, I think I would have gone a little bit faster."
Check out Brandon Maxwell's "Facing Fashion" video, below, and stay tuned for more clips in the days ahead.