In keeping with our polytechnic mandate, the Wilson School of Design's Fashion Design & Technology program is focused on providing enriched learning opportunities and relevant industry experiences, offered in a supportive and challenging learning environment. This ensures our graduates are positioned for success in their careers. Establishing itself as leader in fashion education, the program is constantly evolving in alignment with industry through a rigorous academic course of study.
Many of our graduates work across the globe in the fashion industry, but with over 300 apparel companies in the lower mainland, the local BC fashion industry offers our students and grads many choices. Many global industry leaders are based locally, with vibrant companies such as Arc'teryx, Aritzia, lululemon athletica, mac&jac, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Orb, Sugoi, Kensie, Fidelity Design House, and Westcomb, who often hire our graduates.
Program Advisory Committee
Our Advisory Committee plays an essential role in maintaining the relevance of our degree program. Apparel industry leaders provide the perspective needed to ensure our graduates are well prepared to contribute to this creative, technical and innovative industry. In conjunction with faculty, administration, and students, the role of the Advisory Committee is to help enrich the Fashion Design & Technology program. With an ongoing voice given to our local industry leaders through our Advisory Committee, our program is able to respond quickly to changes in the marketplace and continually adapt our programming to reflect current industry needs and standards. This philosophy also applies to the technology and resources we train our students to use. We have an outstanding reputation for providing state-of-the-art industry equipment, so that when students from our program graduate, they are skilled in using the most current technology, making them work-ready. This work-readiness brings our grads to the front of the line when applying for industry positions.
Advisory Committee: Chair
Janice Larsen - Consultant
Janice Larsen is a Textile and Apparel Consultant with over 40 years’ experience in the industry. Her positions as director of product development activities, sizing & fit, buying, sourcing and as a college textiles instructor give her a well-rounded perspective on the needs of the trade as it applies to the education of the next generation of industry leaders. Janice has worked for global brands such as lululemon, Arc’teryx, Marks & Spencer, and Gymboree. She is currently consulting for Outdoor Research (Seattle) and Beehive Clothing (Salt Lake City).
Advisory Committee: Industry Members
Founder, Platform Product Solutions
Brad is a vision-driven entrepreneur with a 28-year history in the apparel industry. Guiding and teaching skiing in Whistler in the late 1980’s, Brad saw a new and exciting sport emerging on the hills. Brad founded the pioneering snowboarding apparel brand, Concept Snowboard Clothing in 1989, building the brand into a global market-leader. In 2003, Brad launched Platform Product Solutions, a full-service design and development company specializing in performance apparel solutions for snow sports, cycling, outdoor, running, training, yoga, football, fishing, hunting, climbing, industrial, medical, law enforcement, and military. Platform works with a diverse group of global clients ranging from the world's leading brands and retailers to emerging brands of the future.
President, Dish & DUER Performance Denim
Gary Lenett has been working in denim for over 25 years, creating jeans for the best known names in the business including Levi Strauss. With an intuitive understanding of styles and washes, Gary’s inspirations came from solving the problems people faced when deciding what to wear. He launched Dish & DUER in 2013 for the people who wanted to do more in their day without having to change their clothes, by offering stylish, natural-fibre rich technical clothing. The gamble paid off, as Dish & DUER went on to raise over $550,000 USD on Kickstarter, be sold in MEC and REI, and open its flagship store in May 2016. Visit it online at:http://www.dishandduer.com
Seconded Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia
Jennifer Johnson is currently an Adjunct Professor working with the teacher candidates in the Bachelor of Education program at UBC in Home Economics Education. Jennifer is seconded from the Surrey School District where she had been teaching since 2001 and has been the department head, helping teacher and Summer School Vice Principal. Jennifer teaches courses in Assessment and Evaluation, Curriculum and Instruction and Inquiry to the Home Economics teacher candidates and hopes to encourage them to teach young people in our schools the love of textiles that she and many of the teacher candidates share.
Founder – Threshold Design Studio
Kathy Bolton has been involved in the garment industry for over 25 years. After graduating with a Design Diploma, she started her career in the outerwear industry in Winnipeg. She has worked for several Canadian companies including many years at Far West Industries. She mastered her skills as a technical pattern maker/grader, Goretex specialist, and manager. In 2002 she became an entrepreneur with her own CAD business, Dimensions In Measure. She worked with various clients across Western Canada as a pattern technician, designer, CAD trainer and consultant. In 2008 she relocated to Vancouver and contracted for the Sympli label and then transitioned to Senior Designer with successful company growth over 10 years. In 2018 she decided to focus her energies back to her own business, Threshold Design Studio. Her expertise covers trend/color forecasting, sourcing, creative techniques, product development/design, fit analysis and consulting. She teaches classes in creative pattern manipulation and is working towards creating her own label.
President - Ethical Profiling Ltd.
Kemp Edwards is the president of Ethical Profiling Ltd., a Canadian based company who consults, designs, produces and sources high performance, ethical, sustainable products for the corporate sector. Ethical profiling works directly with domestic and international suppliers and manufacturers to ensure social and environmental compliancy and to create ways to minimize environmental impact through innovative product design and production methods. Beyond his work with Ethical Profiling, Kemp owns and manages Fugen Design Inc. and is a partner in Once Was Wolf. He speaks regularly on topics of Corporate Social Responsibility, Ethical Sourcing and Ecopreneurism.
Chair, BC Alliance for Manufacturing
Marcus is the Chair of the BC Alliance for Manufacturing, a coalition of 18 industry groups to coordinate policy and programs for BC’s manufacturing industry. The Alliance recently completed a labour market study on the province’s large apparel industry and is incubating a provincial apparel association. Marcus also currently serves as a Vice-President with Stork Craft Manufacturing, one of the world’s largest infant and juvenile furniture companies. Most recently, he was Regional Vice-President for Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, Canada’s oldest and largest trade and industry association. From 2007 to 2013, Marcus was an Assistant Deputy Minister and Executive Director for International Relations and Business Development with British Columbia’s provincial economic development and trade ministry growing investment in the province by $7 billion and helping more than 500 companies export their products. Prior to the provincial government, Marcus spent a decade as a Trade Commissioner with Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade serving in a number of roles for business development and organizational transformation, including assignments in Korea and Australia. Before entering public service, Marcus worked in the private sector with Proctor & Gamble and AT&T Solutions.
Home economics Teacher, Burnaby school district
Sue Jennings has been teaching Home Economics since graduating from UBC in 1998. She has developed and taught the Sewing and Textiles courses for high school students at Burnaby South Secondary for the last ten years. Out of personal interest and for professional development, Sue continues to take a variety of courses to expand and enrich her textiles knowledge and sewing experience. This has helped to provide her students with current information on post-secondary education options and career opportunities in the fashion industry.
Manager, Fit and Pattern Engineering, Arc’teryx Equipment
Tara Findlay is a graduate of RMIT, Bachelor of Arts Fashion. She worked in patterning and development roles in the Australian fashion industry for a number of years before moving to Canada. She spent two years pattern cutting for theatre, expanding her drafting skills to encompass a diversity of body and product types. She joined Arc’teryx in 2004. During her time with the brand, she’s created blocks and patterns for products, managed pattern teams, explored product compliance, and implemented findings from global fit studies. She currently oversees brand fit, develops internal pattern training programs and coordinates student practicums.
Senior Designer Fully Fashion and Accessories, Kit and Ace
Hailing from Vancouver, Tara Zeidler is a graduate of Kwantlen’s Fashion and Technology program. She is a highly experienced designer and development team manager, working for a number of brands in Vancouver. She is passionate about the Vancouver Fashion industry, and loves opportunities to meet, mentor, share and collaborate with like minded professionals. She is currently working as a Senior Designer at Kit and Ace, focusing on Fully Fashion and Accessories.
Design Director, Orb Clothing
As a graduate from the Bachelor of Design, Fashion and Technology program at KPU, Tracie started as a Design Assistant for Kensie in Vancouver before relocating to Columbus, Ohio where she worked as a Knits Designer for Abercrombie & Fitch’s Ruehl Women’s line. She subsequently moved into a Senior Design role for both A&F Women’s and Kid’s. While still in Columbus, she was recruited to La Senza as a Senior Designer overseeing the loungewear and casual lingerie divisions for 4 years. After over 8 years in the States, she has recently moved back to Vancouver and is currently the Design Director at Orb Clothing – leading the design of Orb Women’s, Orb Athletic and private label programs.
We are so fortunate to have so many industry partners who collaborate with the Wilson School of Design each year by hosting student internships, developing industry projects, and hiring our graduates. We are truly grateful for their time, commitment to learning, and ongoing dedication to new fashion design talent. The following are only a few of the many we work with;