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Our Industry

Group of fashion students standing with Chip and Shannon Wilson.

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'teryxAritzialululemon athleticaMountain Equipment Co-opOrbSugoi, 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

Lisa MaCarthy

Lisa MacCarthy 

Lisa MacCarthy is a graduate of the KPU Fashion Design Degree program with over 15 years of experience in the apparel industry working for large corporations like Gap Inc and lululemon as well as start up fashion brands.  

Lisa has built a career by streamlining business operations to enable teams to build beautiful product. Working in roles from product development to sourcing, cost engineering to design operations, Lisa is passionate about the business side of the fashion industry and is an advocate for growing the BC apparel industry. In her current role as the Founder + Creative Director of All Sorts Creative, Lisa works with a network of talented independent contractors, suppliers and manufacturers to bring her client's vision for a clothing line to life. 

Advisory Committee: Industry Members

Brad McCann

Brad McCann 
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.

Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson 
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. 

Kathy Bolton

Kathy Bolton 
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/colour 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.

Kemp Edwards

Kemp Edwards
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.

Marcus Ewert-Johns

Marcus Ewert-Johns
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. 

Sue Jennings

Sue Jennings
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. 

Tara Zeidler

Tara Zeidler
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.

Tracie Keene

Tracie Keene
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.

Industry Support

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;

Allison Wonderland
Arc’teryx Equipment Inc.
Barbara Duggan
Black Press
Blushing Designs
Cadillac Fairview Corporation Ltd.
Catapult Agencies
Carol Prantner and David Hollands
Charles Chan Kent
Chris Waller
Chloё Angus Design
Christine Vancouver
Christopher Pike Photography
Closet Crows
Coca-Cola Bottling Co.
Devonshire Properties
Diane’s Lingerie
Digital Darlings Creative
Donald Reagh
Eco Fashion Week
Enda B Men & Women
Emma Norris
Envision Financial
Ethical Profiling
Fabricana Imports
Family Business Distributions
Fairchild TV
Glacier Media
Gordon’s Fabrics
Gravity Pope
Hailey Gerrits Designs
Helen Pearce
Helly Hansen
Hills of Kerrisdale
Holt Renfrew

International Fashions
Ivan Sayers
Janice Larsen
Jeff Norris
Jennifer Rainnie Marketing
John Fluevog Boots & Shoes Ltd.
Julie Hobart
Karma Athletics Ltd.
Kendor Fabrics
Kemp Edwards
Kit and Ace
Kwantlen Student Association
Laura Tanner
Lifetime Collective
Little White House
LK Collections
lululemon athletica
lululemon lab
Make Good Agency
Make It Vancouver
Mara Moldonado
Manuel Mendoza
Momentum Magazine
Modern Home Tour
Mountain Equipment Co-op
Mustang Survival Corp.
Nicole Bridger
Nicole Picco
Nocturnal Workshop
Oak and Fort Corp.
Oddball Workshop
Osei Duro
Painted Pink Productions Inc.

Peekaboo Beans
Pfaff Sewing Centre of Vancouver
Play on Trading/Orb
Plum Clothing
Portobello West Market
Pure Magnolia
Quantum Apparel Group Inc.
Raymond Heung
RCG Group
Rewind Consignment
Richmond Centre
Robyn Ross
Rogers Broadcasting Limited
Ron Marchuk
St. Geneve
S Lee
Simon Chang and Phyllis Levine
Snugabell Mom & Baby Gear Ltd.
Social Concierge
Steven Schelling
Strike MVMNT
Sugoi Performance Apparel
Suki’s Salon •Spa • Academy
Tamoda Apparel Inc.
Teeny Weeny Bikini Co.
Télio Fabrics
TJX Canada
Urban Spaces
Vancouver Foundation
Vancouver Magazine
Vertical Design Group
Viktoria Langton
Western Living Magazine
White House
Wing Sang Gallery
Y.P. Heung Foundation