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Sophomore Awarded Cohn Grant to Study Fashion Design

Taylor Hayes ’12 has been awarded the 2010 Alex Cohn Explore Grant to pursue her lifelong interest in fashion design. Named in memory of Alex Cohn ’07 and made possible by members of the Kaplan and Cohn families, the Alex Cohn Explore Grant is awarded to a rising junior or senior for an experiential, hands-on program or course of study to explore a passion for a particular topic or activity outside of school. This is the grant’s inaugural year.

Taylor intends to use the grant to attend two summer courses at the School of Fashion Design on Newbury Street, and to produce a small collection of original designs. Sharing her creative vision with the Beaver community is another goal, and to that end she will stage a fashion shoot with a professional photographer and models wearing her collection. The original garments, along with the photos, will be exhibited next fall in the school’s Nancy Lincoln Gallery.

The grant committee, headed by upper school English teacher Matthew Lippman, reviewed several worthy proposals from students with a wide range of interests, and Taylor’s stood out for its clarity of purpose and passion.

Taylor, who has been sketching designs for clothes since she was seven, has already attended summer sewing camps and taken art classes at the Rhode Island School of Design, and hopes to refine her craft with more advanced study this summer. In her proposal she described her evolving and eclectic sense of style: “I love old Hollywood glamour and classic elegance. In my designs, I take small pieces and silhouettes that were popular in different time periods and fuse them together to make a new look. Designers that inspire me are Valentino, Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Carolina Herrera, and Phillip Lim.” She has been the costume designer for the upper school’s winter dramatic production Fashion 47, which centers on a Project Runway-like competition.

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