NEW YORK, Jan 5, 2011 / — Celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund will hold its annual awards dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC on January 11, 2011

Each year, YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF), the leading non-profit organization dedicated to investing in students pursuing careers in fashion, honors key figures within the fashion industry who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment to educating and mentoring aspiring fashion professionals.

The 2011 YMA FSF Honorees include Manny Chirico, Chairman and CEO of Phillips-Van Heusen, and Jeff Kantor, President of Merchandising at Previous YMA FSF Honorees include Zac Posen, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Paula Abdul, Tim Gunn, Tommy Hilfiger, Geoffrey Beene and Ralph Lauren.

This year, Visionaire founders Cecilia Dean, Stephen Gan and James Kaliardos, will be awarded the first-ever Future of Fashion Award, acknowledging their 20 years of influence and contributions to fashion.

The evening will also include the presentation of the highly-coveted $25,000 Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship to four deserving students to pursue their education and career goals as well as $5,000 scholarships to 100 YMA FSF Scholars. Recipients were chosen after a highly competitive and rigorous selection process that enabled students to showcase their passion and dedication to fashion through essays, creative presentations and in-person interviews.

This year’s program will be hosted by Mary Alice Stephenson with remarks by YMA FSF President Ken Wyse.

Expected to attend are Manny Chirico, Chairman and CEO of Phillips-Van Heusen; Jeff Kantor, President of Merchandising at; Visionaire Founders: Cecilia Dean, Stephen Gan and James Kaliardos; Glenda Bailey, Harper’s Bazaar Editor-In-Chief; Donald Trump; Calvin Klein Collection Creative Director Francisco Costa; and Estee Lauder Group President John Dempsey, Geoffrey Beene Foundation Trustees Tom and Mara Hutton, Dani Stahl, Annabel Tollman
Since its inception in 1971, FSF has awarded over $6.5 million in scholarships to more than 800 students nationwide. In 2005, FSF began a partnership with the Geoffrey Beene Foundation, which includes a $2 million commitment to establish the Geoffrey Beene National Scholarships.

In addition to numerous $5,000 scholarships FSF awards annually, four outstanding Geoffrey Beene Scholars will receive $25,000 scholarships to pursue their education and career goals.

Each year, the scholarships are awarded to deserving students at the FSF’s principal fundraiser, the Annual YMA FSF Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards Dinner, graciously underwritten by Geoffrey Beene Gives Back, with 100% of net proceeds going directly to FSF programs, including mentor and internship programs.