Cathy Hackl Virtual Fashion Design Endowment2023-07-27T12:45:19-04:00

Cathy Hackl Virtual Fashion Design Endowment

FIU CARTA and renowned tech futurist alumna, Cathy Hackl, launch a one of a kind Virtual Fashion Design Endowed Scholarship

The endowment gift is among the first in the world focused on the future of fashion and luxury in the age of artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and spatial computing in higher education.

Join in supporting the Cathy Hackl Virtual Fashion Design Endowment, empowering talented CARTA students for generations to come.

For more information or to make a gift, contact Oliver Ionita, Senior Director of Development at 305-348-0045 or

FIU and acclaimed tech futurist and FIU alumna Cathy Hackl ‘04 have partnered to forge a first of its kind scholarship fund to support students interested in emerging technologies such as AI and extended reality (XR) and its intersection with fashion design. The Cathy Hackl Virtual Fashion Design Endowment within FIU’s College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) will help students prepare for careers in the burgeoning world of virtual fashion design as a new emerging space with countless opportunities to explore what can done within virtual worlds in the era of spatial computing. Brands like Nike, Louis Vuitton, and Clinique, and cities like Orlando have trusted Hackl to guide them on their virtual strategies.

Cathy, known in tech circles as the “Godmother of the Metaverse,” graduated from FIU with two master’s degrees in mass communication and international studies. She has worked with tech giants such as Amazon Web Services, as well as startups like Magic Leap. She was included in Vogue Business’ inaugural Vogue Business 100 Innovators List and was recently named as one of the Ad Age’s Leading Women 2023 for being a “metaverse architect, building virtual experiences for clients to all for new kinds of consumer engagement.” She leads as the Chief Futurist at Journey, working with the world’s top brands such as Walmart, Nike, and Louis Vuitton on strategic foresight and virtual world, gaming, and emerging tech strategies. In addition, she has been featured in media such as 60 Minutes, CNBC’s Squawk Box, Good Morning America, CNN, Fox Business, Wall’s Street Journal, GQ, and Time.

She hopes that the scholarship can help more students prepare for the future of fashion and luxury. Recent research indicates that the global virtual fashion industry is estimated to reach $4.8 billion by the year 2031, according to firm Allied Market Research.

Cathy Headshot 2023