Spike Lee

Spike Lee’s HBCU Program Partners With Ralph Lauren To Dress Students For Success

This initiative aims to equip aspiring filmmakers with the attire they need to make a strong impression.

Renowned director Spike Lee’s commitment to empowering Black talent extends beyond the silver screen. In a unique collaboration, Lee’s fellowship program, Spike Fellows, created in partnership with the filmmaker’s agency, Gersh, has joined forces with Ralph Lauren to provide students with a wardrobe that epitomizes professionalism and success, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This initiative aims to equip aspiring filmmakers with the attire they need to make a strong impression and thrive in their professional endeavors.

The innovative initiative showcases a cross-industry partnership rooted in longstanding relationships and a shared commitment to offering transformative opportunities specifically tailored for Black talent. Gersh’s Head of Culture, Jayson Council, expressed the significance of this collaboration, stating, “What makes this cross-industry partnership so meaningful is that it’s rooted in longstanding relationships where all parties share an unwavering commitment to providing access to transformative opportunities specifically for Black talent.”

Ralph Lauren has enthusiastically embraced this initiative, engaging with the program by conducting individual styling sessions for the inaugural cohort. The iconic American label has generously provided the participants with a curated selection of pieces from its collection, ensuring they exude confidence and professionalism. This collaboration aligns with Ralph Lauren’s commitment to empowering the next generation.

The inaugural cohort of Spike Fellows, announced in May, has already benefited from Ralph Lauren’s involvement. Following their eight-week paid fellowship at Gersh’s offices in New York and Los Angeles, all five participants are now employed full-time at the agency, marking a successful transition from the program to professional careers.

Applications are currently open for the second cohort of Spike Fellows, targeting undergraduates from the Atlanta University Center Consortium. Comprising historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) such as Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Clark Atlanta University, this consortium represents a rich pool of talent interested in pursuing careers in the entertainment industry.

Expressing gratitude for Ralph Lauren’s support, Spike Lee said, “Big Thanks to the good folks at Ralph Lauren for blessing our HBCU fellowship program with fashion for the seasons. We and the students truly appreciate it, peace and Love Ya-DIG SHO-NUFF?”

This collaboration exemplifies the power of partnerships between industry leaders, fostering access and opportunities for underrepresented talent. As the second cohort takes shape, the Spike Fellows program continues to be a beacon of empowerment, providing a platform for aspiring professionals to thrive in the competitive entertainment industry.