West is launching a creative incubator program designed to offer financial assistance and mentorship to up and coming fashion designers, Vogue reports.
The first grant recipient is former Yeezy womenswear designer Maisie Schloss. Schloss is from Chicago and a graduate of Parsons School of Design. Her brand, Masie Wilen, is launching at a friends and family showing next week in Los Angeles, with another debut event scheduled in Paris later this month.
“My first collection is inspired by rhythmic gymnastics and robotics, specifically studying how elegant fluidity emerges from rigid system,” she told Vogue. “Strongly driven by print, the clothes themselves are playful and fashion-forward but rooted in very wearable shapes.”
Schloss’ line will feature an 85-piece resort collection, with items priced between $100 to $950. She says executing her vision would not have been possible without West’s support — first at Yeezy, and now through this new grant program.
“Yeezy is a really special environment for growing and developing a career. When I started I was just an assistant, but the highly creative and unconventional atmosphere allowed for me to have visibility and input in a wide variety of projects,” Schloss told Vogue. “Kanye very generously offered to support me; he truly cares about sharing resources, creating opportunities for creatives to grow and be recognized.”
While West’s Yeezy label might have quieted down lately — though there’s always a controversy or two making headlines — this new grant could allow him to exercise his influence over fashion’s rising stars. It’s not yet clear what the application process would be like or how designers will be chosen for the grant, but West’s commitment to the future of high fashion is unmistakable.