Fred Segal, Black In Fashion Council And Mastercard Join Forces To Offer $10K Grant For Up & Coming Designers
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There has long been a racial divide in the fashion industry. The $2.5 trillion fashion ecosystem has long been rife with prejudices, inequity and blatant racism for years, and now three juggernaut organizations have teamed up to fight back. 

Fred Segal, the Los Angeles-based “curator of cool” and Black in Fashion Council, have partnered again for the second annual Season Zero design contest presented by Mastercard®. The annual competition offers early-stage up-and-coming designers with the funding, mentorship, and retail platform to help kick-start their brand. 

The second annual competition will be accepting submissions until February 28 nationwide, and will be open to all designers and creatives without a current retail footprint.  The winner will have their collection showcased and sold at their own pop-up space at Fred Segal’s Flagship Sunset Blvd. location and online at in the fall. Mentorship with representatives from Fred Segal and Mastercard, as well as a Mastercard $10,000 grant and Digital Doors Toolkit to help further grow and digitally enhance their business will also be top prizes as well

“Fred Segal remains dedicated to continue learning, growing, and making strides towards diversity, equity and inclusion as a brand today, and everyday,” said Jeff Lotman, Fred Segal CEO and Owner in a news release. “It’s extremely important to us that we’re not just talking the talk, but walking the walk, which is why the second iteration of the Season Zero design contest and supporting and mentoring young, diverse creators is so important to us.”

Criteria for applicants include: being an emerging designer or artisan within the fashion and creative industries without a current brick and mortar or retail footprint, submitting 10-15 digital files of personal designs (of which they own the rights to), provide a bio, vision for their brand and video (optional). 

 “We are thrilled to support Fred Segal’s Season Zero design contest because it shares so many of the values we support at Mastercard as well: inclusion, entrepreneurship and doing well by doing good,” said Nicki Grant, executive vice president, North America Marketing and Sponsorships at Mastercard. “Together with Mastercard’s funding, digital tools and resources to help get their business online, and support and expertise sharing through mentorship, we hope to help people not only build their business but bring them closer to their passion for fashion.”

The winner will be announced on March 31 and the resulting collection will be available for purchase in store on September 1. For more information please visit: