In this year’s case, you will explore opportunities for a fashion company to expand in the global market. Click below to view a list of our frequently asked questions as further support during the application process.



What is the judging criteria for the FSF case study competition?

You will be judged on the depth and relevance of your research (30% of score), the creativity and feasibility of your ideas (50% of score) and the clarity with which you portray both (15% of score). Following format directions will account for the remaining 5% of your score. Your case will be judged by industry professionals including the YMA FSF Board of Governors, YMA FSF Mentors, and YMA FSF Alumni. They will be using the following criteria to score your case:


• Has the scholar completed exhaustive research on best-in-class market players and their retailer of choice in order to successfully fulfill the objective at hand?

• Has the scholar acknowledged any instances in which their idea (or something close to) has been executed in the past, and whether it was successful?

• Does the scholar display strong business acumen and common sense?


• Is the scholar’s idea unique, inspiring and innovative?

• Is the scholar’s idea well-thought-out and conceivably executable?


• Has the scholar clearly completed each portion of their prompt?

• Does the scholar’s case follow logical development and a clear structure; is it easy to follow and summarize?


• Has the scholar followed all formatting directions, 1" margins on all 4 sides, double spaces, size 12pt Times Roman font?

• Has the scholar used correct grammar and spelling?

• Has the scholar included a title page with one sentence to summarize the case?

• Was the student's name and school was kept anonymous?

When is the case study due?

The completed case study is due October 1, 2018.

What date will the 2019 prompt be released?

The 2019 case study prompt was published on February 5th, 2018 to all FSF academic partners. The prompt can be found on the 2019 FSF Case Study Prompt link under the Scholarships tab of this site.

I am currently a high-school senior and I have been accepted to one of the FSF member schools. Can I apply for the scholarship prior to starting my freshman year?

Unfortunately, the scholarship is open only to students currently enrolled at one of our member schools. High school seniors must wait until their freshman year in order to apply.

How do I access the 2019 case study prompt?

To access the 2019 case study prompt, click the 2019 FSF Case Study Prompt link under the Scholarships tab of this site.

If I am studying abroad for the entire 2018-2019 academic year, can I still participate and apply for the case study competition?


Is there a preferred format or order of subtitles?


Is a primary source required for this year's case study?


What are the instructions for submitting my case study?

Case studies should be submitted via Slideroom through the following link:

How do I get access to log onto Slide Room?

Applicants will create a SlideRoom account by going to Then complete the online application, upload their completed case study and SUBMIT by October 1, 2018 before 11:00 PM EST.

Should each applicant choose whether do complete part A/B/C/D or are all applicants expect to complete all four sections?

Each applicant is expected to only choose one discipline (Design & Product Development, Merchandising & Marketing, Technology & Analytics or Supply Chain).

Is the page limit 10 (15 for Design & Product Development), one-sided?


Does the 10 page limit (15 for Design & Product Development) include references?


Is the cover page included in the page limit?


Is there a page limit on the appendix?

Yes, the appendix should be no longer than 5 pages.

Within the design case, what type of sketches are acceptable? Is it limited to hand-drawn sketches, digital sketches?

Illustrations can be done by hand or by CAD.

Are students required to complete a SWOT analysis for the study this year?

No. While students are required to conduct research on the leading fashion retailers that are relevant to each discipline prompt and to share a brief comparison of the various retailers researched, there is no required format or framework for this section of the case study.

Does this year's scholarship need to contain an abstract at the beginning of the report? If so, is that included in the 10 page limit?

No abstract page is required. We asked that an abstract statement is incorporated on the title page and reduced it to one sentence to summarize the case.

For the Merchandising and Marketing six-month financial plan, should the focus be on one physical store's finances or the entire company?

The format of the financial plan is up to the scholar. What is important is that the scholar clearly outlines all the assumptions they made to project out their expected sales, receipts, profit margin and inventory. The case reader should get a can get a clear sense that the scholar has thought through the financial repercussions of their proposal, and that they have a specific plan for how their proposal will provide a return on the company's investment.

Do students have a choice to pick either an existing retailer/brand for their global expansion or create a company and develop a global expansion plan?

Students should pick an existing company.

Can the chosen brand/retailer have 'any' global presence?

Yes, as long as the company does not have physical stores in the chosen country of expansion.

Can the chosen company manufacture their product in the chosen expansion market? Can they have an online presence?

Yes, as long as the company does not have physical stores in the chosen country of expansion.

Are students required to submit their case formatted using APA guidelines?

Please follow the instructions provided on the case prompt (below). Please note that formatting directions are only 1% of the total case study score. What is most important is that it is easy for the judges to follow the applicant's thought process from beginning to end and clearly find the information necessary to score. "All case studies are to be done in an 8 ½“ by 11“ (portrait style only) APA format. Please note that points will be deducted for adding superfluous color, graphics and headings that are not in line with APA format. Points will also be deducted for use of first-person narrative, and failing to use font size 12, Times New Roman, double space, 1 inch margins and in-text citations. Headings and figures such as images can be used as long as they are properly captioned using APA format. Merchandising, Supply Chain and Analytics cases should be no longer than 10 pages, Design should be no longer than 15. This does not include the appendix and footnotes, which should take up no more than 5 additional pages total (15 total for Merchandising, Supply Chain and Analytics cases, 20 total for Design). All design work should be in the body of the case. Make sure to include a title page, with one sentence to summarize your case in lieu of an abstract page. While the case should be in APA format, we ask that you do not provide an abstract page and instead include a one sentence summary of the case on your title page."

Is this method asking us to perform a regression analysis?

That is up to the student, a regression analysis is one way to approach the problem.

Does the size of the company matter when choosing a brand to expand internationally?

No, size of the company is up to the student.

Are beauty, accessory or home retailers acceptable?

While the Merchandising/Marketing, Analytics & Supply Chain prompts all reference “fashion” companies, beauty, home and accessory companies are all acceptable.

Does the chosen retailer have to expand internationally by opening only one permanent brick and mortar store(s) of their own?

The expansion in all four prompts has to include a physical presence in the new, international market; however, whether or not the retailer owns those physical stores, whether or not their presence is permanent, and how many stores are opened to start is all up to the student.

Can the chosen retailer have a very small international presence (say a few stores in one location outside of their own market) or do they need to be strictly contained to one international market?

That is fine, as long as they do not have a physical presence in the country of expansion.

Should the currency in the product assortment and financial plan be kept in American dollars or in the currency of the country that we are choosing to expand to?

Please express all currency in USD.

When is the awards ceremony? How many days? What does the award ceremony consist of?

The FSF Annual Awards Gala will be held on January 10, 2019 at the New York Hilton Hotel located at 1335 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY. 2019 FSF scholarship winners arrive in New York City on January 9, 2019 and will have complimentary rooms at the Hilton Hotel. Winners attend FSF Hearst Winter Institute which is a required event the evening of the 9th. The morning of January 10th the FSF will host the Career Fair with 50 exhibitors between 8:00 am to 12:00 PM. All scholars then attend a production rehearsal in the afternoon and the Annual Awards Dinner festivities begin at 5:00 PM. Scholarship winners check out of the Hilton and return home on January 11th.

In the Marketing and Merchandising lens, item #6, can you please clarify if you expect a response that selects a new country? Or, can the response include expansion into other cities within the selected country?

Up to the student.

In the Marketing and Merchandising lens, item #3, when you say omni-channel, do you expect an online strategy response or an off-line strategy response or both?



Have a question about the 2019 FSF Case Study Competition?  Inquire below!

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