In this year’s case, you will explore partnership opportunities between a fashion retailer or brand and a collaborator that is not currently in the fashion business. Click below to view a list of our frequently asked questions for 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 7, 2019.

What date will the 2020 prompt be released?

The 2020 case study prompt was published on March 6th, 2019 to all FSF academic partners.

How do I access the 2020 case study prompt?

You can find this prompt on the scholarship dopdown menu.

If I am studying abroad for the entire 2019-2020 academic year, can I still participate and apply for the case study competition?


What are the instructions for submitting my case study?

Case studies should be submitted via Zengine - the link to apply can be found under the 'Scholarships' dropdown menu.

How do I get access to log onto the platform to submit my case study?

Applicants will create a Zengine profile by clicking the 'Apply Now' link on the 'Scholarships' dropdown menu. Applicants then complete the online application, upload their completed case study and SUBMIT by October 7, 2019 before 11:59 PM EST.

Should each applicant choose whether to 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, Analytics or Supply Chain).

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 or 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.

Can the chosen brand/retailer be a start-up?

No, it must be a pubicly traded company.

Is this method asking us to perform a regression analysis?

A regression analysis is one way to approach the problem.

Are beauty, accessory or home retailers/brands acceptable?

While the Design/Product Development, Merchandising/Marketing, Analytics and Supply Chain prompts all reference “fashion” companies, beauty, home, kids, gender neutral and other accessory companies are all acceptable.

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 7, 2020. 2020 FSF scholarship winners arrive in New York City on January 6, 2020 and will have complimentary rooms at a hotel in NYC. Winners attend the FSF's Winter Institute which is a required event the evening of the 6th. The morning of January 7th the FSF will host a Talent Acquisition Event with over 50 employer exhibitors between 9:00 am to 12:00 PM. All scholars then attend a production rehearsal in the afternoon and the Annual Awards Gala festivities begin at 5:00 PM. Scholarship winners check out of the hotel and return home on January 8th.

Can I chose a company that is publicly traded in Europe but not on the NYS?

A company which is publicly traded in Europe is still a public company and can be used in the case.

Is it possible to work on both aspects of design and merchandising for the FSF competition?

No, you must develop your case study from the lens of only one of the four disciplines; (1) design/product development, (2) merchandising/marketing, (3) supply chain, or (4) analytics.

Are streamlined footnotes with a hyperlink to the reference acceptable?


Do both companies have to be publicly traded or just the retailer/brand?

Only the retailer/brand must be a publicly traded company. The collaborator does not have to be publicly traded.

Can food/restaurants be a collaborator?

Yes, both food and restaurants fit the description of the collaborator provided in the case study: “primary affiliations and activities focused outside of the fashion industry”.

Please define the individual component. Can it be a celebrity, influencer or blogger?

Yes, a celebrity, influencer, or blogger are all defined as an individual/person.

What is the max amount of slides the merchandising and marketing prompt can have? The format instructions say 12 slides but the slide layout goes up to 18 slides.

Slides 13-18 are the appendix.

I am an MA Fashion Studies student at Parsons in NYC. I am going into my second and final year and wanted to know if this is open to graduate students?

No, undergrad only.

If the non fashion affiliated company produces environmentally friendly materials which also includes a type of leather does it qualify as a non fashion collaborator?


If the clothing company has donated to the other company's causes in the past, would they still be eligible to work together? My collaboration includes a clothing company and a charity with different divisions. They have donated to other divisions within this charity, but not this specific one. I can give you more details if need be.

This is fine.

For the design collaboration, can the product be a garment collection based on the fashion brand chosen, as inspired by the non-fashion brand? Or does it have to be a product of the non-fashion brand as inspired by the designer/retail store selected?


If the clothing company has donated to the other company's causes in the past, would they still be eligible to work together? My collaboration includes a clothing company and a charity with different divisions. They have donated to other divisions within this charity, but not this specific one. I can give you more details if need be.

This is fine.

Validity of a possible collaborator. I have an idea for a collaborator with my selected retailer, but the collaborator owns well-known retail stores. However, the collaborator is known as a non-profit organization and does not widely mention their retail stores on their "about us" page. It seems they are more focused on philanthropic efforts as an organization, but I am worried that their retail presence might disqualify my case (since the collaborator cannot be in the fashion industry). Should I possibly look into a different collaborator if I am worried about them being considered a retailer?

This would be fine if they are primarily not in the fashion industry.

Can a publicly traded company include a brand under that company, or must it be the company itself? For example, would it be possible to use Anthropologie for my collaboration, when their parent company, URBN, which also owns Free People and Urban Outfitters, is publicly traded?

Yes, a qualifier for a “publicly” traded company may be a brand or division within a parent company which is publicly traded.


Have a question about the 2020 FSF Case Study Competition?  Inquire below!

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