Ian Griffiths Max Mara Scholarships

Max Mara’s Ian Griffiths announces scholarships for BAME students at Manchester Fashion Institute

  • Luxury fashion brand Max Mara will fund scholarships for BAME fashion design students at Man Met
  • Creative director Ian Griffiths visits students to make announcement
  • Alumni Ian studied fashion design at Man Met in the '80s

Man Met alumni and creative director for luxury fashion brand Max Mara, Ian Griffiths, has announced a series of scholarships available for BAME students to join Manchester Fashion Institute.

Ian, who studied fashion at Manchester Metropolitan during the 80s, visited students on campus this week to make the announcement.

“Forty years later I am so proud to be back here and to tell you that Max Mara is very proud to be announcing a series of scholarships for Black, Asian, and minority ethnic students to join the Fashion Institute,” he said.

“It’s a small gesture which hopefully will overcome an imbalance in the culture of fashion and will enrich it.”

In total, six undergraduate students enrolled on the BA (Hons) Fashion degree will be selected to receive the funding.

Starting from September 2022, the partnership will award two eligible students each year up until 2024.

Max Mara Ian Griffiths addresses MMU fashion students
Ian Griffiths visited MMU to make the scholarship announcement to fashion students. Image: Nathan Chandler

More than a third of Man Met students are from BAME backgrounds and the university accepts more students from lower income households than any other in the UK.

Professor Malcolm Press, university vice-vhancellor, said: “We are delighted to partner with Max Mara to offer this generous new scholarship to our fashion students.

“We are proud to be one of the most diverse universities in the UK, but we recognise there is much more that can be done to ensure fair access to higher education and enhance career opportunities for students from underrepresented backgrounds.”

The announcement is not the first time Ian has helped to drive representation in the industry.

In 2017, Max Mara was one of the first major fashion houses to feature a hijab-wearing model on the runway.

“I’ve always thought that the runway should reflect reality,” Ian explained.

“I hope for the people in my audiences to recognise themselves or what they could be in terms of what I am showing, rather than presenting something that alienates them.

“Which is why in 2017 when reality meant if you were walking down a shopping street, you wouldn’t at all be surprised to see a woman wearing a Max Mara coat and a hijab.

“Why would the runway be any different?”