HBCU Student Winners Announced in First Young, Gifted, and Black Design Challenge

This spring, JCPenney kicked off our first ever Young, Gifted, and Black Design Challenge to provide the tools for success and help develop and strengthen the next generation of leaders at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Here’s how it went…

Following a number of incredible submissions from across the U.S., four winning designs were selected, first and second place from each category – 1) an apparel item or 2) an apparel graphic. The winning designs best reflect the design challenge theme which was to help further promote and inspire a positive outlook on the mental and physical health of JCPenney customers in the Black community.

The two first-place winners will receive $2,000 each and 12 virtual mentoring sessions with some of JCPenney’s expert team to learn all about the aspects of graphic design and merchandise production from textile selection to manufacturing. The two second-place winners will receive six virtual mentoring sessions and $500 each. Join us in congratulating our winners.

Project 1: Fashion Design Winners

Project 2: Graphic Design Winners

“We partnered with HBCU’s because we want to incorporate young Black voices into our Black History Month assortment, to ensure relevancy, and establish a stronger connection with HBCU design students,” said Val Harris, senior vice president, product development & design.

The Young, Gifted, and Black Challenge is just one of the many ways JCPenney is working to educate, hold accountable, and invest in not only our associates, but also our customers and their communities. As we continue to shape a more transparent and intentional Company, we commit to the hiring, development, and advancement of diverse talent.