The Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence
Application Requirements

Applicant must be enrolled as a junior or senior undergraduate student in good standing in a fashion design program at a partnering school. The school partners for the 2016 – 2017 academic year are:

  • Columbia College Chicago
  • Dominican University
  • The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago

One collection may be submitted per designer and must meet the following requirements:

  • contain three to five garments
  • be constructed during the 2016 - 2017 academic year
  • represent womenswear or menswear
  • represent ready-to-wear, eveningwear, outerwear, sportswear, bridal, or wearable art
  • may include accessories such as footwear, scarves, millinery, handbags, gloves, and costume jewelry. *collections may not be submitted containing only accessories.
Evaluation Criteria

The Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence’s Selection Committee evaluates each candidate based on the merits of their collection and their professional potential. In reviewing applications, the committee considers the student’s overall brand vision and commitment to the business of fashion. Each collection is evaluated based on:

  • construction techniques
  • overall proportion, balance & fit
  • craftsmanship
  • design concept
  • cohesiveness of collection
  • innovation & creativity
  • material selection & execution
  • logistical feasibility for runway presentation
Application Requirements

Designers interested in applying must provide a completed entry submission which includes:

  • Completed Driehaus Design Initiative Application
  • One sheet describing collection concept, materials, construction techniques and incorporating photos, sketches, etc.
  • A 100-word biographical statement with responses to the following questions:
    • What are your future plans for your brand or career?
    • Describe your short and long term goals and how a financial award/mentoring would help in achieving those goals
Interview Requirements

School Representative will coordinate 10-minute Interview with Selection Committee and each designer who has submitted completed application materials by deadline.
*Interviews may not be rescheduled except in approved circumstances due to emergencies.

Designer is required to present collection and describe design concept, construction, and materials at Interview. Designer must bring/present:
  • Enough completed work to represent collection (completed garments are encouraged).
  • Three (3) quantity, 8.5" x 11" sheet, color printed copies of each of the following:
    • Sketches of design concepts with designer’s name & school in lower right-hand corner
    • Photos of each individual look, one look per page, with designer’s name & school in lower right-hand corner of each page