Eugenie Designer Grant 2023 Recipient

eugenie announces Timothy Clark, founder of ROUGH–DRAFT®, as recipient of first annual Eugenie Designer Grant.

After a rigorous judging process, and with the help of Detroit’s fashion industry leaders, Eugenie has chosen a winner to receive a $10,000 award.

Timothy Clark, founder of ROUGH–DRAFT®, proposed project aims to activate people and their connection to the outdoors. ROUGH–DRAFT® promotes holistic living both in cities and in nature, producing clothing that is suitably stylish and functional for both environments.

“Timothy Clark's ROUGH—DRAFT® is something we all need: a collection that is both meaningful and encourages us to connect with nature,” said Aki Choklat, Panel Member and Linda Dresner Endowed Chair of Fashion Design at the College for Creative Studies.

As a part of the Eugenie Designer Grant, Clark will also receive one-on-one mentorship sessions over the next 12 months from the grant jurors who are experts in Detroit’s fashion industry: Aki Choklat, Ben Ewy, Deb Ferraro, Jen Guarino, Roslyn Karamoko, Tracy Reese and Eugenie co-founder, Gretchen Valade. These mentors will provide personalized guidance to equip the winner with valuable insight, industry knowledge and advice to refine their work further and foster their growth.

In addition to the mentorship sessions, Clark will have the opportunity to showcase his project through a special hosted event by Eugenie. This event will provide a platform for the Clark to present his ROUGH—DRAFT® collection to a curated audience of Eugenie customers, industry professionals and sustainable fashion enthusiasts.

We are proud to be supporting talented individuals, such as Timothy Clark, who are dedicated to creating longevity in Detroit’s fashion and design industry. By combining financial resources and professional mentorship, our hope is for the Eugenie Designer Grant to enable individuals to fuel responsible design and innovation in fashion.

Photographers: Destany Maddox @thekismetcollective Nate Sturley @nate.sturley
Models: Ayanna @herearthform Elhadji @hadjjpadjj Nisa @punkrock_hoodrat


Eugenie Designer Grant

Award: $10,000 USD

Apply Here: 2023 applications closed

Deadline: November 10th, 2023

Summary: Eugenie seeks to uplift and support Detroit-based fashion designers leveraging sustainability in their practice. Eugenie is accepting applications from local designers and brands prioritizing sustainable practices to be awarded a designer grant to pursue a proposed project.

The goal of this designer grant is to strengthen Eugenie’s ties with the local community by providing a local designer with the financial and professional resources to pursue fashion design through the lens of environmental consciousness. As Eugenie works to elevate local designers through monthly pop-ups, workshops, collaborations, visibility, and more, this designer grant is a natural next step that aligns with Eugenie’s values.


- Applicants must be living in the city limits of Detroit, MI. It is preferable that their brand, capsule collection or project also be based within the city limits of Detroit.

- Applicants must be 18 years or older.

- Grant must be used to advance an independently owned brand, capsule collection or project in the clothing or accessories category within 12 months of fund dispersal.

- Applicants must prioritize lessening their environmental impact, highlighting any innovative sustainable practices used, within their production process or project that the grant would be used for.

- Each brand or individual is eligible to submit one application.

Application Process:

- Applicants are required to fill out a general submission form with basic information about themselves and their respective brand.

- General submission form can be found here

- Applicants must submit written information* on their respective brand, capsule collection or project proposal incorporating sustainability.

*If the applicant chooses, they may submit a video of their summary outlining their brand and project proposal instead of a written proposal.

Applicants will submit written information as follows:

- Maximum 500-word summary or 5 minute video of their respective brand

- Maximum 1500-word or 15 minute video summary of their project proposal

- Maximum 500-word summary of how the project funds will be spent if granted, outlining the project budget

- Maximum 200-word summary of how the proposed project incorporates innovative, thoughtful design*

- Maximum 200-word summary of how the proposed project incorporates functionality in terms of quality and care*

- Maximum 200-word summary of the impact of the proposed project*

- Maximum 200-word summary of the feasibility of the proposed project and how it will be completed within the time frame and budget constraints*

*Alternatively, the applicant can submit one 5 minute video detailing all of the points

- Applicants must submit 5-10 images that are reflective of what the grant would be used for. This can include sketches, renderings, etc.

Applications will be reviewed by a selection of panelists who are local industry leaders, designers and educators.

- Panelists include: Aki Choklat, Linda Dresner, Endowed Chair in Fashion Design at CCS; Ben Ewy, Vice President of Global Product Design, Research and Development at Carhartt; Deb Ferraro, Vice President of Global Product Development at Carhartt.; Jen Guarino, Founder and CEO of ISAIC; Roslyn Karamoko, Founder and CEO of Détroit is the New Black; Tracy Reese, Founder of Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese; and Gretchen Valade, Co-founder of Eugenie and Sustainability Director of Carhartt

Applications will be assessed using the following criteria

1. Design

- Is the design of the project thoughtful in terms of design? How is innovative design incorporated into the proposed project? What audience is this project desirable for?

2. Quality and care

- Is the project functional for its intended goal?

3. Impact

- How does the project have a positive impact? What does that impact look like? Is it environmental, social, sustainable, etc?

4. Feasibility

- Is it feasible for this project to be completed in the time constraints and financial budget provided?

Applications will be reviewed, and a selection of applicants will move forward to a second round of the review process, where select applicants will present their proposals to the panelists in person. Location and time TBD and announced at a later date.

Once a select group of applicants present their proposals to the panel, one winner will be selected.


- The winner will receive a grant of $10,000 USD to pursue their project proposal as outlined in their application.

- The winner will have the opportunity over the 12-month period following the winner announcement to receive one-on-one mentorship sessions with each panelist.

- Once the proposed project is completed, the winner will have the opportunity to showcase their project at an event hosted by Eugenie.


1. Why do I have to live within the city limits of Detroit? How will I prove my address and what if I used to live in Detroit but now live elsewhere?

At this stage, we are only taking applicants residing within the city limits as the grant is designed to uplift a designer from Detroit. If an ID is not available, a piece of printed mail from the last 12 months showing name and address can be used to verify residency. However, please note we will only be asking for verification from finalists. If you believe an exception should be made for your situation, please indicate your significant ties to metro Detroit in your application.

2. What types of projects will you accept?

Applicants can propose any projects within the apparel and accessories space.

3. What should I include in my written project proposal?

What you include in your proposal is up to your discretion. However, consideration of the application criteria is recommended.

- Design

- Quality and care

- Impact

- Feasibility

4. How is sustainability defined for the project proposal process?

Eugenie is not prescriptive in what sustainability means to a brand or project. Applicants should highlight processes that reduce their impact on the environment and/or contribute a meaningful impact to their community. Examples (not limited to) below:

- Natural fibers or naturally dyed materials used

- Upcycling materials to make new products

- Innovative, eco-friendly approaches toward production

- Positive impact on a local community

5. Who are the panelists who will judge the projects and ultimately provide mentorship for the winner?

Panelists include:

Aki Choklat Linda Dresner Endowed Chair in Fashion Design at CCS

Ben Ewy, Vice President of Global Product Design, Research and Development at Carhartt

Deb Ferraro, Vice President of Global Product Development at Carhartt.

Jen Guarino, Founder and CEO of ISAIC

Roslyn Karamoko, Founder and CEO of Détroit is the New Black

Tracy Reese, Founder of Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese

Gretchen Valade, Co-founder of Eugenie and Sustainability Director of Carhartt

Panelists will judge the selected applications and will dedicate a one-on-one mentorship session at a mutually agreed upon time over the course of the 12-month period.

6. If I am selected as the winner, how will I receive the grant money?

The $10,000 USD will be deposited into the winner’s bank account following execution of the grant contract and receipt of their W9 form.

7. What will be in the contract? Do I have to spend the money in twelve months and what will Eugenie’s involvement be in my project?

The contract will outline the key deliverables and dates identified and agreed upon by both parties. The funds do not need to be spent within twelve months and we will not be auditing the spending. However, we will require proof of progress.

Eugenie should be acknowledged in a meaningful way in the final execution of your project. This will vary based on the proposal, but as an example, we’d be expecting something along the lines of “Made in collaboration with Eugenie” or “Made with support from Eugenie” included in any product descriptions and/or press relating to the project.

8. What will these mentorship sessions look like?

Mentorship sessions will be offered to the winner as 1-hour sessions with each panelist over the course of the 12-month project period. Each session will focus on a specific area of the panelist’s expertise. The grant winner will have the opportunity to seek advice on aspects of the project including design, marketing, innovation, materials, etc.

9. Is there a timeframe that mentorship sessions need to be scheduled?

Mentorship sessions will need to be completed by the selected winner and each panelist by the end of the 12-month timeframe of the project.

10. How will applications be judged?

A small panel will review all of the applications submitted for the grant and provide a narrowed pool of applicants to all panel members. Panel members will then continue to narrow down a total of 5 applicants who will then be asked to present their proposal in person to panel members. There will only be one applicant selected to receive the grant.

11. How will I know if I am a finalist?

You will be contacted via email using the address provided within the general submission form.

12. What can I use the grant funds for and what is the audit process?

The grant can be used for whatever is needed to progress your presented brand or project forward in a meaningful way. We will be looking for a clear and feasible plan for the use of the funds in your proposal, including key deliverable dates.

13. I know people from the Eugenie team and members of the panel, can I still apply?

Definitely! Please follow the procedure and do not reach out to us directly about your application.