KPU students to showcase designs at Montreal Fashion Week

Fri, Nov 29, 2013

Metro Vancouver, B.C. – Three of KPU’s “breakthrough” designers will get to see their designs on the runway at Montreal Fashion Week this February.

Fashion students Angela Huang, Capri Philip and Nicole Boyer are three of 25 talented post-secondary designers selected to manufacture the designs they submitted to Télio’s 2014 Canada’s Breakthrough Designers competition. This year, hundreds of sketches from across the country tailored to the theme of “textures” were submitted to the North American textile giant. The finalists’ creations will be made with materials provided by Télio, then modelled down the runway in Montreal to compete for one of five scholarships sponsored by the company.

“It’s a great opportunity for exposure,” says Huang, a third-year student in the fashion design and technology program at KPU Richmond. “I’m excited to meet all of the finalists from across the country at Montreal Fashion Week.”

The students received their fabrics Nov. 7, all of which are black, white or shades of grey. The theme of the competition is meant to encourage students to innovate a design that lights up the runway through texture, despite being devoid of significant colour.

"I was inspired by the static television screen you see when watching a black and white film. Static is unclear, but full of details and textures," says Huang, who plans on pursuing a career in high-end women’s wear once her studies are complete.

Since the competition opened Canada-wide in 2009 – participation was originally restricted to fashion schools in Quebec – KPU has had 10 students selected as finalists since 2010, with at least one chosen every year. In 2011, KPU fashion alumnus Earl Mabaquio won the competition’s top prize; last year, KPU’s Melissa Tsui placed third in the country, and took home a $2,500 scholarship.

“The teachers here at KPU create a very supportive atmosphere to be creative, and encourage us to always think outside the box,” says Philip, a third-year student.

“This competition gives finalists a chance to bond and share ideas and cultures during tours, dinners, receptions and, of course, during and after the show. This allows students and their instructors the chance to network and develop invaluable connections,” says Michael Pope, a fashion design instructor at KPU. “The freedom from the bottom line allows these young designers the opportunity to shine. Collectively the apparel industry and schools with fashion programs owe Télio a huge thank-you for the foresight of enabling young designers to flourish.”

The 25 finalists are selected by a five-person panel of industry experts, designers and journalists. Each participating post-secondary institution may submit up to seven sketches by second- or third-year students enrolled in fashion programs.

Télio is a leading import, export and distribution textile company based in North America. The company brings together 23 fashion design schools from across Canada with “Canada’s Breakthrough Designers,” which gives 25 students the opportunity to present their garments on the Montreal Fashion Week runway, and allows them to compete for five scholarships totalling $15,000. Scholarships are awarded to five finalists who demonstrate “outstanding creativity, best technical skills, and respect of the theme.”

For more information about KPU’s fashion programs, visit:

KPU has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 18,000 students annually have a choice from over 145 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations. Learn more at


Caption: Third-year fashion student Angela Huang works with her Télio fabric in one of KPU Richmond's design facilities.

For more information about KPU, contact:

Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist
Tel: 604.599.2883