When it comes to the fashion industry—especially when working in the realm of fashion design and brand building—the hardest part is getting in, and getting started. Transitioning from school into the “real” world is hardly an easy feat, with the final year school operating as a unique time to build relationships, make connections and get ready for the next fashion phase. Enter Joe’s Blackbook and its yearly scholarship competition.

A fashion-focused consulting firm based in New York, Los Angeles and London, Joe’s Blackbook connects brands, creative talent and manufacturing, using its large network of businesses, designers and industry knowledge to help some of the biggest names around the world grow in, and finesse the fashion space. In the same spirit, Joe’s Blackbook’s yearly design scholarship competition aims to connect established industry figures with fashion design students entering their senior year—showcasing the next generation of American creative talent.

A prize of $10,000 is awarded to a womenswear and menswear finalist to support their final year at university—but the real world connections to established designers and brands are priceless. While having help for the final year of design education is an unrivaled opportunity, interfacing with the judges—past partners have included Scott Sternberg, John Elliott, Common Projects’ Peter Poopat, Robert Geller, Bruce Pask, Patrik Ervell, and Public School’s Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne—have opened up internship and employment opportunities for the next big names in American fashion.

In partnership with Joe’s Blackbook, we’re tapping four major menswear designers—Robert Geller, Patrik Ervell, Siki Im and Tim Coppens—to open up their personal design archives to the public. With proceeds going straight to the scholarship, it’s a unique opportunity to both shop and support some of the biggest and soon-to-be-brightest names in U.S. fashion design. In the spirit of scholarship, we’re also asking the four designers to give their thoughts on transitioning into the fashion industry, how they’ve grown their businesses and what advice they may have for the next generation of creatives.

Scope the selections below and study up on these designers’ firsthand advice and follow along with Joe's Blackbook and the Scholarship on Instagram.

Tags: new-york, robert-geller, tim-coppens, siki-im, patrik-ervell