about the award

Are you a high school student with an interest in fashion design? Cornell University's Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design has a challenge for you!

Here it is:

Fear and Freedom

What do you fear? Spiders? Being alone? Performing in front of others?

Fear is a useful feeling that can protect us from danger. We can experience present fear of something we encounter, or fear in anticipation of a future threat.

But what is the opposite side of fear? Have you ever overcome an irrational fear, and gained an ability to act that was blocked by the fear? Perhaps you played in a recital, and learned that you enjoy performing. Conquering our fears can free us as individuals. As musician Jim Morrison said: "Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free."

Can we apply this same philosophy to our collective fears as a society? We live in a world in which we are told that we must give up freedoms in order to be safe from people who are not like us. Where is the right balance between fear of the unknown and freedom for us all?

Design a garment that reflects a personal fear you have overcome, or a garment that makes a statement about the line between fear and freedom in our society.

Entries need to include both a design and an entry form.
Submission date: Midnight on January 31, 2018
Finalist Announced: February 16, 2018
Entry Fee: $15

Mail in entries addressed to:
Karen Steffy
Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design
T57 Human Ecology Building
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
Online Entries: (Link)
Hard copy entry form: (Link)
Poster: (Link)

If you have any questions about the award, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

prizes awarded

The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place winners will be invited to attend the Cornell Fashion Collective's fashion show (VIP seating). The 1st place winner will receive a subscription to Women's Wear Daily, a selection of professional apparel construction tools, and will be invited to attend a master class with an FSAD apparel professor, focusing on techniques related to the process of transforming their sketch into a garment. The 2nd prize winner will receive a one year subscription to Woman's Wear Daily and selection of professional apparel construction tools. The 3rd prize winner will receive a selection of professional apparel construction tools and the 4th place winner will receive a gift bag of art supplies.

Honorable mentions will receive a certificate.

judging the award

Judges consist of three Fiber Science & Apparel Design alumni working in the apparel design industry and one Apparel Design faculty member.

submit your design

Click here to download a hardcopy submission form.