Design Students Win CFDA and Joe’s Blackbook Competitions

Mohua Goswani headshot
CFDA scholarship winner Mohua Goswani.

On September 14, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) announced the winners of its annual awards, and three FIT students were honored. Fashion Design BFA student Mohua Goswami won the $25,000 CFDA/K11 Scholar, one of five awards given to students studying in the United States. Each applicant worked with faculty to develop a lookbook for a themed collection that traced the entire evolution of the project.

Goswami’s collection, entitled Grihini, was inspired by “the many musings of a demure Bengali housewife.” The pieces are infused with both a masculine and feminine energy, and incorporate natural fibers like cotton, linen, jute, and wool in a neutral but warm color palette.

Illustration of two outfits by Mohua Goswani
A page from Goswani’s lookbook.

Yitao Li received honorable mention for the CFDA/K11 Scholar Award. Camerin Stoldt, a student in the MFA program in Fashion Design, received an honorable mention for the Geoffrey Beene Design Masters Scholar Award, granted to a student in a master’s degree program. During the past 25 years, the CFDA has awarded more than $2 million in student scholarships.

Cody Cannon headshot
Joe’s Blackbook scholarship winner Cody Cannon.

Fashion Design/Menswear student Cody Cannon won the $10,000 Joe’s Blackbook scholarship in the menswear category. Third-year students submitted a concept, mood board, fabric swatches, sketches, and technical flats for a fall/winter 2020 collection. Six finalists, three in menswear and three in women’s wear, presented their collections to judges this spring.

Cannon’s line “pays tribute to the resilience of the human spirit by valorizing the endurance of those who lived through the Dust Bowl, the greatest human-caused ecological disaster until now.” The designs are rugged and timeless, inspired by workwear and World War I military gear, and artfully distressed and mended using the Japanese techniques of Kintsugi, Boro, and Sashiko. The colors are muted to represent the barren but beautiful Dust Bowl landscape.

This is the 10th year of the Joe’s Blackbook program, which has given out $200,000 in scholarship funds to date.

Sketches and photo showing Cody Cannon's work and inspirations
Cannon’s work “valoriz[es] the endurance of those who lived through the Dust Bowl.”

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