Contact Us


Portland Fashion Institute is a nationally accredited private nonprofit career institute of higher learning and Portland’s only accredited fashion design college.

PFI announces $20,000 fashion scholarship

Portland Fashion Institute’s 2024 fashion design scholarship competition now open; $20,000 on the (clothes) line

Entry deadline is May 17

PORTLAND, Ore.—Portland Fashion Institute (PFI) is now accepting entries for its 2024 fashion design scholarship contest. The competition is open nationwide to people who are full-time high school juniors (grade 11) or seniors (grade 12) this school year.  Applicants must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher. The deadline to enter is 5 p.m. PST, Friday, May 17, 2024, and the winner will be notified Tuesday, May 28.

More than 7,000 people have studied at PFI since it opened in 2010. While many students come to PFI for a class or two, those interested in a career have gone on to start their own clothing lines, to join one of the area’s many apparel companies or to work in New York, Los Angeles, London or Paris. Portland is third in the U.S. (after NYC and LA) for apparel and footwear manufacturing by number of employees and revenue, and PFI is the only accredited fashion design school in Oregon.

The student with the top entry will receive up to $20,000 worth of free fashion design classes at PFI to study fashion design, artificial design and digital design and the business of fashion. They will prepare a portfolio and take part in a graduate fashion show.

Entries must include a three-minute video highlighting the student’s design and fashion ideas, their inspiration, and how it’s relevant to the world of fashion. Entrants are encouraged to tell a story that informs and draws upon their inspiration and love for fashion. That can include sketches, illustrations, photographs and other visuals to capture their design concept.

Previous winning submissions include:
— Dynamic bicycle gear that’s ready for work
— Floating dresses of recycled silk and chiffon
— Zero-waste comfy cozy knit garments as a “uniform for living”
— Practical unisex separates as art

The goal of the scholarship program is to prepare students with the skills and knowledge to start their own fashion line while also gaining real-world experience for a career in the fashion industry. The winner also has the opportunity to intern with a Portland-area apparel designer.

Classes will be taught in-person at PFI, located at 4301 NE Tillamook St., Portland.

Last year’s winner was Izak Schwartz, a Grant High School senior from Portland, Ore. For his winning entry, he designed a convertible and functional puffer jacket with zip-off sleeves to be worn in the Pacific Northwest, where the weather is notoriously unpredictable, sometimes going from rain to sunshine to snow all in the same day.

About Portland Fashion Institute
Portland Fashion Institute was founded in 2002 as Portland Sewing with a beginning sewing class for just four students. Now, PFI is a private non-profit college that offers three degree programs in apparel. All of its teachers work in apparel and are well-versed in current techniques so enrollees can graduate job-ready. It finds ways for enrollees to self-finance their education so they can leave school without debt.