Introducing URBN Graphic Design Academy

ASAS | 10 October 2023

Contact: Tara Blake, National Director of Marketing & Communications
After-School All-Stars
Phone: 213-335-6741
Email: [email protected] 


URBN and After-School All-Stars
Launch Graphic Design Academy for Underrepresented Students 

LOS ANGELES (Oct. 10, 2023) — Urban Outfitters, Inc. (URBN), a leading lifestyle products and services company comprised of global consumer brands including Anthropologie, Free People, Urban Outfitters, and Nuuly, has partnered with After-School All-Stars (ASAS), a national nonprofit and leading provider of enrichment programs, to deliver an innovative, hands-on educational program for middle school students. The program, called the URBN Graphic Design Academy, introduces students to career paths and key principles of graphic design and digital marketing. At the completion of the seven-week course, five of the students’ garment designs will be manufactured and made available for purchase online.

In its partnership with ASAS, URBN will invest a total of $250,000 across two years to fund the Graphic Design Academy and support other youth initiatives that align with their mission to foster creativity and opportunity in the next generation.

“We are passionate about working with young creators,” said Erin Mulcahy, URBN’s Shared Services Creative Director. “The Graphic Design Academy is a unique opportunity to teach students valuable creative and business skills that will serve them well into the future. We are proud our employees are able to work with the ASAS students, expose them to creative career paths, and have a great time doing it. We’re excited to continue to grow this relationship in the future.”

Students will be introduced to concepts like “the 4 Ps of marketing” and “the 5 principles of layout design” as they create a logo, lay out a magazine cover, and ultimately design a garment. They’ll learn how to develop their ideas in Figma, a collaborative design tool used by graphic designers across thousands of companies.

Graphic Design Academy’s robust curriculum goes beyond technical skills and invites students to self-reflect on questions like, “What matters to me?” and “What do I stand for?” Each of the 14 lessons also features a “career connections” segment that introduces students to relevant jobs in the industry: graphic designer, special effects artist and animator, art director, web designer, and more.

“One of the things that makes this program so exciting—and effective—is the low student to mentor ratio,” says Vanessa Waserman, Senior Vice President of Development at ASAS. “Plus, the curriculum our team has developed provides engaging, hands-on learning experiences that will ensure participants get the full benefit of working alongside our partners at URBN.” 

Graphic Design Academy’s first cohort will run through mid-November and span four ASAS chapters: New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia & Camden, and Washington, DC. There are plans to launch a total of three cohorts over the next two years, bringing the program to ASAS chapters across the U.S.

Urban Outfitters, Inc. (URBN) is a portfolio of global consumer brands comprised of Anthropologie, BHLDN, Free People, FP Movement, Terrain, Urban Outfitters, Nuuly, and Menus & Venues. URBN Leads with Creativity… and since 1970, URBN has inspired customers through a creative and entrepreneurial approach to products, services and experiences. To learn more, visit

After-School All-Stars (ASAS) provides free, comprehensive after-school and summer programs that keep students safe and help them succeed in school and life. ASAS is one of the country’s largest nonprofit organizations working to close the opportunity gap for low-income youth by providing year-round, free programs and support services for students and their families.

Founded by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1992, ASAS programs are provided at 725+ schools and other community sites in 78 cities across the country. Our programs reach more than 140,000 students (K-12) living in communities experiencing high poverty. 92% of ASAS students are youth of color and 90% qualify for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program. Visit to learn more.