Given the state of the education system in the UK, it has fallen to both the British Fashion Council and many a luxury fashion house to step in and offer scholarships and grants to fashion students in an attempt to support creativity and enable opportunity, regardless of financial resources. From Alexander McQueen and Self-Portrait's Central Saint Martins MA fashion scholarships to Gucci’s North American ‘Changemakers’ initiative, brands are doing their bit to empower a new generation of creatives to feel secure as they finish their degrees.

The latest scholarship programme in the UK has been announced by Italian heritage brand Max Mara, which offers aspiring students at the Royal College of Art facing financial hardship the opportunity to enrol into the MA Fashion programme, starting in September 2023. 

This comes after a recent survey by the Office for National Statistics, that suggests 91% of students are worried about the cost of living crisis with close to 50% of them reporting that their mental health had been affected as a result over the autumn term.

The Max Mara for the RCA scholarship will cover full tuition fees as well as a contribution towards maintenance and materials. Given to two students for the next three years, the initiative will also present the opportunity for paid industry experience at the brand’s headquarters in Reggio Emilia, Italy. 

Max Mara is the most recent brand to team up with the Royal College of Art in supporting the next generation of fashion designers and to welcome wider representation from all financial histories. Last month, the college also revealed the RCA Virgil Abloh Scholarship, honouring the late designer, which will provide funding to Black British students in any design program.