2017 Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Finalists



Introducing Em Kinville, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Major: Textile and Fashion Design 


Hometown: Kenosha, WI

What drew you to pursuing a career in fashion design?  I have been drawn to fashion design since I learned to sew on my Mom’s machine. The art of creating with fabric was fascinating to my young self, as it still is today. 

Talk to us about life on campus, what sorts of activities are you involved with at UW Madison?  I was Vice President of the Apparel and Textile Association at UW-Madison last school year. It was exciting planning and getting involved in activities that furthered our major and introduced what we do to a campus primarily based in the maths and sciences. 

How do you enjoy spending your free time outside of school ?  In my free time, I love to cook, bake, and sew. Cooking and baking give me the same feeling of accomplishment as sewing does, being able to create something from start until finish. 

What is on the horizon for you after graduation?  After graduation, I hope to land a job at a fashion house designing, or learning more about the production side of the industry. My history at Ralph Lauren has opened my eyes to menswear, which is something I also see myself pursuing in the future. Houses I aspire to work for include Alexander Wang, Marchesa, and Balmain. 

Where do you hope to see yourself 10 years from now? 10 years from now, I see myself with production and design experience under my belt, and hopefully my own fashion house or line. I feel like I have a strong design aesthetic that could flourish under my own name. In contrast, I also find my aesthetic to mirror that of Geoffrey Beene. Earning a scholarship in his namesake is a wonderfully ironic achievement. I owe a lot to Geoffrey Beene, as his work has been a prime source of inspiration for me for almost all of my collegiate life. A dream of mine, if not having my own line, would be to relaunch Geoffrey Beene's Women's collection line. Beene's aesthetic is something truly unique and, in my opinion, lacking from modern runway. 

What has been the most meaningful part of the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund program since winning a $5,000 scholarship? The most meaningful impact that YMA has had on my life thus far has most definitely been the vast network of industry people I have made true relationships with over the course of the past year. These relationships are invaluable to me and I hope to grow them further, as well as build new ones in this upcoming year. 

 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? Winning this scholarship means so very much to me, most importantly the fact that it allows me proof that my design aesthetic and my ideas are ones that can reach many, and are considered worth looking at. Being awarded this scholarship gives me the drive to further my ideas about sustainability and the global fashion market, and the award itself will allow me to stay in NYC, a world fashion capital and place where I can best learn about the sustainability and fashion, as well as the home of the network of industry relationships that I have built.