Now open: the 2015 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Fashion and Biomedical Science

Applications are now open for the 2015 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise!  As in the past, three winners will be selected in the field of biomedical science, and three in the arts, which this year will be awarded in the field of fashion.  New this year, however, is the increased prize amount: Each winner will receive a $50,000 cash award with their prize.

The Creative Promise Prizes are awarded annually to young immigrants who have made significant contributions to their fields early in their careers.  The Vilcek Foundation worked closely with Shelley Fox, an award-winning designer, Donna Karan Professor of Fashion, and Director of MFA in Fashion Design and Society at Parsons, to establish the fashion prizes.

Eligible applicants in fashion must be a naturalized citizen or permanent resident and no older than the age of 38.  Eligible practitioners include designers (clothing, textile design, accessories, and more); stylists (including editorials, advertising campaigns, and fashion presentations); hair and makeup artists; image makers (including fashion photography, film, animation, and illustration); curators (including exhibitions, display, virtual environments and more); and writers (including curatorial, journalistic, critical, editorial and historical). 

The practitioner categories go beyond what is typically found in fashion awards, something that Shelley thought was crucial: “Fashion as a medium is always collaborative, and it was with this in mind that I wanted to open up the categories to include all of these practitioners,” Shelley says.  “Fashion designers are often the face of fashion but have always collaborated with other creatives, and a wider public audience often misunderstands this relationship.  

Shelley was also inspired by the plethora of new technology, which is changing the way fashion professionals design, create, and present their work.  New digital media “has enabled fashion designers and filmmakers alike to take control of their own image making and communicate the power of their work through film in a way that is not often possible through live model runway presentation,” says Shelley.  Likewise, wearable technology is an “ongoing development” that could present a new realm of possibilities in the near future. 

Biomedical science applicants should be no older than 38 years of age; hold a PhD or MD; hold an independent, full-time position in a research or academic institution; and be a naturalized citizen or permanent resident. 

Applications will be accepted through June 10.  Until then, help us spread the word and stay tuned for more news through our Facebook pages for the biomedical science and arts prizes!  

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