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Olivia Meyer receiving the Chairman’s Award at the FSF Live Gala on April 8, 2024.

The Z Suite / In The News

Olivia Meyer is 2024’s Fashion Scholarship Fund Chairman’s Award Winner

By Jessica Binns / 4/12/2024
On April 8, Z Suite member Olivia Meyer was named the 2024 Fashion Scholarship Fund’s Chairman’s Award Winner at the FSF Live Gala at the Glasshouse in New York City. She spoke with Berns Communications editorial director Jessica Binns about the ESG project that earned her the recognition and what gets her excited for the future of fashion. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Congrats on winning the Fashion Scholarship Fund’s Chairman Award. How did you settle on the case study topic that earned you this distinction?
I love thrifting my clothes and shopping secondhand. But when I was approaching this project, the prompt of the case study this year was ESG and how can brands improve initiatives for ESG. The first thing that came to mind was tights because I love wearing them, and research revealed how every year up to 8 billion pairs of tights are thrown away after only being worn a handful of times. That did not surprise me because from my own knowledge of wearing tights my whole life and also growing up a dancer, tights have always been a staple in my wardrobe.
This led me to Sheertex. They’re the No. 1 best-selling tights in the U.S., which I didn’t realize until I researched them, but I have been a longtime customer. They’re a B Corp company, so I really respect their mission.  
The concept for my case study was inspired by something my mom taught me. If she found tights that she liked, she’d buy two pairs and wear one until at least one leg became too holey to wear. Then she would cut the holey leg off, keeping the waistband on the other leg and saving it in the back of her drawer. And then open the second pair and do the same thing; when one of the legs got too snagged, she’d cut that off, and wear two separate legs at a time, two separate waistbands. It’s something that she and I have each done before, so I thought: Why doesn’t a brand do this?
That’s when I decided to pitch this idea with Sheertex. I did a little more research and realized a single-leg tight actually is healthier because it allows more breathability in intimate areas so it lowers the chance of getting a yeast infection. Research recommends not wearing tight garments if you want to avoid yeast infections because synthetic materials don’t allow for much breathability.
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Olivia Meyer receiving the Chairman’s Award at the FSF Live Gala on April 8, 2024.
Plus, a single-leg tight allows Sheertex to include customers with one or two natural legs into their customer base, serving differently abled people.
Is your pitch-idea product actually in the market now or is it going to launch?
That is the big question. I invited the founder and CEO of Sheertex [Katherine Homuth] to attend the pitch session, and she actually did tune in. So we have connected but right now there’s more follow-up needed. It would be great if we could actually make it happen. So who knows?
What is giving you hope about the future of fashion from what you’re seeing with your peers right now?
I think everyone is coming at fashion less from an aesthetic point of view, and more from a “make a difference” point of view. I remember my high school teachers not really taking my interest in fashion very seriously; it was, “oh, that’s just playing with clothes” or “you just like going shopping.” But fashion has always given me so much joy. I think fashion can be a tool and a vehicle for change. So much of the clothing that you wear or the things that you buy says a lot about you and your values. People are starting to realize fashion’s impact on the environment. I was really excited that this year’s pitch competition was about ESG because what if we don’t address fashion’s impact on the environment and think about the way we buy things. Why buy tights with two legs sewn together when you can buy just one leg and buy only what you need? This potentially reduces overconsumption and tries to combat resource depletion but still gives you the same aesthetic look. Or even includes a new customer base underserved by traditional two-leg tights. I’ve been really impressed by how all of my peers are thinking about fashion in these new ways and questioning the standard ways of doing business. 
The Z Suite / In The News
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