2017 Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Finalists



Introducing Vivian Cooper, Philadelphia University

Major: Fashion Design


Hometown: Dunmore PA, right outside of Scranton… if you watch The Office!

What drew you to pursuing a career in fashion? My grandparents on my mother’s side are both artists and my mom has always been extremely creative and artistic. Growing up surrounded by art lovers meant there was an abundance of art supplies, crafts, creativity and imagination. Somewhere along the line, I realized I had a deep passion for bringing joy through art, and that clothing was the way I wanted to do it. When I was in 6th grade, I got one of the paper doll books were you can design clothing, and I was hooked! Then I was gifted sewing lessons in 8th grade for Christmas and went on to sew all thought high school, designing and making all of my prom dresses.

What are some of the activities you are involved with on campus?  On campus, I serve as a Producer on the board of FIA (Fashion Industries Association), the organization that produces the annual spring fashion show every year (one of the largest student run shows in the nation) as well as the Design X show featuring garments made from unconventional material. I’m also involved with Christian fellowship and outreach on campus, and lead a weekly women’s bible study at PhilaU through my church.

Where you do you hope to see yourself after graduation?  After graduation I can see myself employed in Philadelphia or New York City, (not opposed to the West coast), with a company that has a mission bigger than themselves. I crave to be in an environment with impassioned people who love what they do, and aren’t just waking up and going through the motions to get to Friday. Ideally, a company that has their eyes on transparency, sustainability and innovation.

How do you hope to make an impact on the future of fashion?  In everything I do in life, I strive to bring light and love. I want to impact this industry by bringing optimism and an outlook that helps me to see anything is truly possible when we work together for good.

As a previous winner of the $5,000 FSF Scholarship, what has been the most valuable part of the FSF program to you?  The most meaningful part of winning the $5000 scholarship has been the connections and opportunities provided to me by the FSF. I am so thankful for the networking opportunities, and for the professionals who are all so invested in helping the scholars succeed.

 What does winning a YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund Geoffrey Beene Scholarship mean to you? How will this scholarship help to support your dreams and career goals in the fashion industry?  To win the Geoffrey Beene portion of this scholarship would be an incredible honor and blessing. It would show that all of the hard work, sleepless nights, and redoing was worth it. It would mean paying off a massive amount of student loans and after school expenses. It would also give me the change to give to those in need through charity. Finally, it would open up doors in the industry that many graduates only dream of. Money comes and goes, but the connections you make with people can last a lifetime.