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LA brand Outerknown partners with Joe’s Blackbook on student scholarship award

By Jackie Mallon


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Outerknown and Joe's Blackbook scholarship flyer Credits: Joe's Blackbook

Sustainable apparel brand Outerknown has partnered with Joe's Blackbook on a scholarship opportunity for juniors at a handful of the top U.S. design schools. The brief is to redesign Outerknown's signature item, the Blanket shirt, in a genderless silhouette using its signature twill weave. The winner will receive a 10,000 dollar scholarship and a 2024 summer internship with Outerknown.

Founded in 2015 by professional surfer Kelly Slater and creative director John Moore, Outerknown’s mission to craft lasting wardrobe staples with ecological mindfulness reflects Slater’s respect for the the natural world in which he has made a record-breaking name for himself. Responsible sourcing and farming, worker-wellbeing and circularity are pillars of the business, empowering everyone involved in creating the clothes with a goal of inspiring change within the industry.

Executive search firm Joe’s Blackbook connects talent in retail, fashion, and technology, and in 2011, the Joe's Blackbook Foundation was established to nurture emerging creative talent, and to date it has granted over 200,000 dollars in scholarships. While its scholarship program was paused during the pandemic this collaboration is being considered a soft relaunch, with the full Joe’s Blackbook scholarship program to return en force for fall. According to a spokesperson for Joe’s Blackbook Scholarship, the updated brief will eliminate separate menswear and womenswear categories and plans are being explored to involve schools internationally.

Student winning award from Joe's Blackbook Scholarship Credits: Joe's Blackbook

Applications open for Outerknown and Joe’s Blackbook scholarship

The Outerknown scholarship is aimed at fashion students in their junior year and, despite Outerknown being a West-Coast outdoorsy brand, the list of 4 eligible institutions is NYC heavy: Fashion Institute of Technology, Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design, and California College of the Arts. While the Joe’s Blackbook Scholarship requires candidates to create an entire collection, this scholarship asks students to reimagine a singular item, and Outerknown will provide a sample of the shirt plus extra fabric for the students to work with. Participating classes will get the opportunity to have a seminar and working session with John Moore, Creative Director and co-founder of Outerknown. Each school may submit up to five entires and one finalist per school will be invited to a special event hosted by Outerknown in their Culver City headquarters. The winning garment will have a limited production run and will be exclusively sold at the retail location nearest to the winner's school for fall 2024 where, upon the shirt’s release, the company will also host a “Night with the Designer.” Additionally Outerknown will publish a “Journey Story” about the winner on its website. The deadline for submissions is April 5, 2024.