Designer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Kimora Lee Simmons announced at an event held at FIT on October 21 that she has established a $1 million scholarship fund, $500,000 of which is being given to FIT to provide scholarships to first-year students from under-represented populations.
The Kimora Lee Simmons Scholarship Fund has been established to benefit and inspire the next generation of designers, artists, and fashion industry leaders. The fund will be dispersed in partnership with the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year, and will go to three educational organizations: FIT, the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM), and Rush Teens, with the most significant gift being given to FIT.
The gift to FIT will be distributed over a period of five years to a total of 85 students, including 15 who will be studying abroad. The program will also afford students the opportunity to intern with KLS Kimora Lee Simmons, Simmons’ new, high-end women’s wear line. By establishing the fund, Simmons aims to recognize aspiring talent who have demonstrated promise in the areas of art and design, and a commitment to community service.
“Fashion has been at the core of my creative life for more than 25 years, and I am thrilled to be able to provide similar opportunities for the next generation of designers, executives, and artists,” Simmons said during the press conference announcing the scholarship fund.
“We are deeply grateful to Ms. Simmons for her generosity,” said Dr. Joyce F. Brown, president of FIT. “With the exceptional scholarship fund she has established at FIT, she has demonstrated her recognition of the need to identify and support those young people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to develop their creative talents. I thank her on behalf of the college— and all of the students who will benefit from this gift.”