2017 Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Finalists



Introducing Marley Isaacson, Indiana University

Major: Fashion Design / Minor: Apparel Merchandising and Marketing


Hometown: Northbrook, Illinois

What drew you to pursuing a career in fashion?Being a visual learner, I’ve always had a love for designing and being creative. Growing up with sketches on my notebooks in middle school I knew that one day I wanted to take my designs and make them a reality. Taking my first fashion class, freshman year of high school, I knew this was the career path I wanted to take.

What are some of the activities you are involved with on campus and off campus?  Before I left to study in Florence, Italy for my spring semester Junior Year, I was an undergraduate teaching assistant for the Introductory Fashion Studio. I assisted in teaching students the fundamentals of sewing during class time as well as my own office hours. This spring I will be an undergraduate teaching assistant for Digital Fashion Design, where I will help teach students how to use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and other Creative Cloud programs to create their digital portfolios.

Outside of school, I participate in multiple clubs and organizations. I am a member of our Retail Studies Organization, which hosts meetings and events throughout the year. We network with other students at Indiana University who share their internship and job experiences, as well as with executives and professionals in the industry who come to speak to us about their roles and offer advice. Through this organization I found my first internship in New York City with Twelvenyc.   I am also involved in a sorority where I have held leadership positions as the chapter’s Apparel Chair and on the Board of Standards.

How do you enjoy spending your free time? I participate in a dance club called Hip Hop ConnXion. I have been dancing my entire life, and being able to continue this in college has been a way for me to relieve stress from school and focus on something I’ve always loved. During my free time I also like to work on my own designs outside of required schoolwork. I regularly spend time sewing and pulling inspiration boards for future projects.

What are your dreams for the future, where do you see yourself 10 years from now?  I dream of developing my own high fashion label. In 10 years my goal is to have experience from working with designers and shadowing in ateliers. Creating my own line will take a lot of hard work and guidance, but I am driven to get there.

In what ways do you hope to make an impact on the future of fashion?  I want to inspire through innovation and creativity, creating fashion that integrates the most advanced technology. I plan to positively impact the future of fashion by reducing the carbon footprint the industry has made on the environment.

What has been the most meaningful part of the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund program to you since winning a $5,000 FSF scholarship?  From the moment I landed in New York for the gala last year to this past summer, the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund program has offered the most amazing experiences. After winning the $5,000 scholarship I was able to fund my housing in New York City to pursue the internship I got through connections made at the internship fair. Being in New York I was able to participate in the YMA summer program, which was an invaluable experience. Whether it was networking mixers or Breakfast With The Boss, these opportunities taught me so much about the industry now and where it’s headed in the future. It was incredible to network with professionals in the industry gaining knowledge and advice from their experiences. These conversations have made me more aware of the importance of keeping up with the industry’s fast pace and I now follow industry news and trend information more closely.

 What does winning a YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund Geoffrey Beene Scholarship mean to you? How will this scholarship help to support your aspirations and career goals in the fashion industry? Participating in this year’s case study has opened my eyes to issues under the surface of the industry unknown to the common consumer. It’s inspiring to see how leading companies prioritize sustainable practices.

Winning this scholarship will help launch my career in design and start me down the path toward creating my own collection. I’ve learned so much from this case study that I can now incorporate and build on as I move forward with my career. It takes a leader to start a trend, and as I aspire to find my place in the industry I want to be known for practices that create value for the consumer and the environment.