Student Achievement

Sustainable Innovations in Fashion Lead to $20K in Scholarships

Zoe Fernandes ’24, Marketing & Communications Intern
Ashley Redway '24 (left) and Annika Geissberger '24 (right). Photo by Nelson Echeverria/Marist College.

January 30, 2024 — Two standout Marist fashion students won highly coveted scholarships from the prestigious Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF). Their innovative and sustainable case studies addressing water-bottle pollution and skateboard sneakers’ lifecycle mark exceptional achievements in their academic and career journeys.

California native Annika Geissberger '24 and Florida native Ashley Redway '24 were awarded $10,000 each in FSF Fashion Scholarships and FSF Named Scholarships, providing financial support, industry recognition, and networking opportunities toward their dream careers.

“Winning this scholarship feels unreal!” said Ashley. “It makes me feel really confident in entering the fashion industry because FSF has connected me to so many fashion recruiters and mentors.”

Available to only 130 students nationwide, the Fashion Scholarship is highly competitive. Applicants submit a detailed case study addressing real issues in today's fashion industry. Named scholarships are sponsored by renowned fashion businesses and are awarded based on the characteristics of the student designer and are much more individualized.

Annika Geissberger '24
Creating 3D-printed handbags from recycled plastic water bottles

Image of Annika Geissberger

Annika Geissberger '24 in Steel Plant Senior Studio. Photo by Nelson Echeverria/Marist College.

A native of California, Annika has expressed her creativity from a young age. From crocheting to crafting, she always needed to do something with her hands. She decided to pursue a fashion degree at Marist, as she felt it was the perfect professional outlet for her creativity.

Annika was awarded the FSF Fashion Scholarship for $7,500 plus the Fashionphile X FSF Scholarship increasing her award to $10,000.

“Winning this scholarship gives me so much confidence while preparing to enter my career in the fashion industry,” she said. “FSF has already provided me with so many new networking connections in the industry through virtual seminars and mentorships.”

Image of Annika Geissberger '24 sketching out designs from her case study.

Annika Geissberger '24 sketching out designs from her case study. Photo by Nelson Echeverria/Marist College

Annika’s Case Study

Annika’s case study focused on her proposed collection for the brand CULT GAIA of 3D-printed handbags from recycled plastic water bottle filament. The collection addresses the wasteful impact of single-use objects by giving them a second life. Additionally, it deals with the problem of excess waste from fashion samples and overproduction through the use of advanced technology and a sustainable printing approach. She researched and developed her case study throughout her junior year, refining it in her senior year before submitting it in October.

“The big inspiration behind this project was my passion for sustainability,” she said. “I also wanted my Marist community to be involved, so the materials used for my project were made from recycled water bottles donated by other students.”

Annika worked with Professor Sonia Roy to perfect her FSF design case study titled Second Life.

“Annika is always enthusiastic about the process of design, and she is particularly inventive about how she addresses the challenges of designing a collection,” said Professor Roy. “She is as likely to use fabrics as she is to use wire and power tools, and it's exciting to work with a student who is open to exploration no matter where it takes her.”

“The Marist College design program has helped me in every way,” Annika said. “I would not have known where to begin with this project without Professor Roy. The knowledge I have gained from my classes and the advice I have gotten from my professors shaped this project.”

Ashley Redway '24
Helping popular shoe brand Vans create sustainable business operations

Ashley Redway '24 in Steel Plant Senior Studio. Photo by Nelson Echeverria/Marist College.

Growing up in Florida, Ashley has had a lifelong passion for fashion. As a first-generation American with Caribbean parents, she says she understands the significance of a stable career. Fashion merchandising was a field that she felt offered stability while also allowing her to pursue her love for fashion. These aspirations of studying fashion led her to Marist.

“The smaller size of Marist has allowed me to feel like I am a part of a community where I can cultivate connections with professors,” said Ashley. “The professors in the fashion program have really shaped my time here because they take the time to help you and form a genuine connection with you.”

Ashley was awarded the FSF Virgil Abloh Post-Modern Scholarship for $7,500 and was also awarded the WHP Global X FSF Scholarship increasing her award to $10,000.

The Virgil Abloh Post-Modern Scholarship Fund is dedicated to promoting equity and inclusion in the fashion industry by awarding scholarships to academically promising students of Black, African-American, or African descent.

Ashley Redway '24 working on her case study. Photo by Nelson Echeverria/Marist College.

Ashley’s Case Study

From the end of her junior year to her senior fall semester, Ashley worked very closely with Professor DooRi Chung to develop and refine her project titled SHREDDED. Ashley’s case study focused on the skate shoe brand Vans, where she developed a solution for the brand to rethink its business model to operate more sustainably.

“Ashley was able to leverage her personal experience to identify and address a unique market pain point for the brand Vans,“ said Professor Chung. "This recognition stands as a testament to her unwavering dedication and creativity in delivering innovative and sustainable brand solutions. I am so proud of Ashley for receiving this well-deserved honor!”

“The inspiration for my project came from my brother, who is passionate about skateboarding,” said Ashley. "I observed that he and his friends went through shoes so quickly, which contributed to pollution when they discarded their worn-out shoes. This realization led to my proposal: a new line of skate shoes that focuses on the end of the product life cycle and offers a way for skateboarders to improve their consumer waste.”

Annika and Ashley will be joining other student recipients at exclusive Fashion Scholarship Fund Gala in New York City in April.

About Marist’s Fashion Program
Marist's Fashion Program builds upon the College's strong liberal arts foundation, offering a dynamic curriculum tailored to students. This curriculum addresses the ever-evolving landscape of the fashion industry, fostering the development of creative, technical, business, and entrepreneurial skills.




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