Aboubacar Barrie, Gucci Changemakers Fellow – Technical
The Gucci Changemakers North America Scholarship Program was launched in 2019 as an initiative to increase diversity in the fashion and design industries, as well as to support undergraduate students interested in these fields.
The group of fellows are financially rewarded with a scholarship of up to $ 20,000 and mentoring opportunities and programs such as the Gucci Scholars Program to learn more about working in the fashion industry.
“The fund was established to ensure that a new era of diverse and exceptional young people will gain opportunities and experiences in the fashion industry, thereby empowering young people and giving a voice to the next generation,” the site said. Gucci Equilibrium Web.
Second year BA Aboubacar Barrie was one of 22 Changemaker Scholarship recipients this year, selected from 450 applicants. Barrie owns the clothing brand FORENAIRE, which he founded in 2016.
The brand initially focused on creating minimalist hoodies and now hopes to expand into workwear as well.
“An individual who, despite all the obstacles, doubts, inconveniences, circumstances and injustices, ends up persevering and doing their best to become the best version of themselves [is a Forenaire]. A person who fights for the right thing is a Forenaire ”, explains the Forenaire site.
Recently, Barrie expanded their brand to make sportswear for athletes wearing hijabs.
In addition, the Forenaire Cares initiative was launched to support communities in the United States and abroad. A percentage of the profits made from sales of the “Forenaire For Guinea” hoodie were donated to organizations supporting people living in Guinea.
Barrie’s work in building his brand over the past few years as a high school and college student led him to discover the stock market.
“I discovered the Gucci Changemaker Scholarship through one of my business and career mentors who introduced me to the opportunity,” said Barrie.
“His name is Mr. Lorenzo Gordon of the Humbl Hustlr Organization. I decided to apply because I felt I met the criteria: an innovator in the fashion / clothing industry.
The scholarship application process consisted of both a written part and a portfolio. Barrie wrote about what progress meant to him and used the portfolio to showcase his brand.
“I have submitted photocopies of my ‘FORENAIRE’ brand, including product images, model photos and mock-ups,” said Barrie.
In early April, Barrie found out he had qualified for the finalists round.
“During this round I had to submit an introductory video explaining who I was and answering one of the three questions,” said Barrie. “I chose the option ‘Receiving a financial award from Gucci will be life changing because…’ In this round, I also had to submit a copy of my college transcript and details of my financial aid.”
On June 21, Barrie learned he had received the scholarship.
After hearing the news, Barrie reached out to some of the other finalists via social media to congratulate each other.
Being on a scholarship has helped Barrie in so many ways beyond the financial side.
“I received invaluable mentorship during an internship at Gucci, as part of the Gucci Program for Scholars. I also made valuable connections with key Gucci executives with whom I still speak today, ”said Barrie.
Looking to the future, Barrie hopes to combine his business degree with other interests.
“My plans after college [are] work at a technology company in a business-related role, ”said Barrie. “I would also like to work at Gucci in their marketing or advertising positions. Finally, I would like to continue working on my brand.
To learn more about the Barrie’s brand, visit forenaire.com/.