Fashion isn’t all glamour

November 1, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Andee Jasper, third-year Kwantlen fashion design student, models examples of her work. Photo by: Lucas Meneses-Skoda

Fashion is not all glitter and glamour at Kwantlen. Andee Jasper, a third-year fashion design student, has learned that becoming a fashion designer isn’t as easy as it was fantasizing about.

“Coming into the program was an eye-shocker. It’s marketing… You don’t just make a pretty gown and put it on a model and take a picture and think you’re a designer,” said the 20-year-old Jasper.

“It’s one thing for me to be like, ‘Oh that dress is pretty, lets make it,’ and its another thing for me to be like, ‘How can my target market wear this, and where’s she going to wear it to, and how much is she willing to pay.’”

Kwantlen’s Bachelor of Design, Fashion & Technology program is the only one of its kind in western Canada and has become known as a prominent stepping-stone to get eager students into the industry.

“Kwantlen is known for their niche markets… and that’s why we get jobs and that’s why we start our own businesses,” she said.

Jasper defines a niche market as: “finding a really small market, like a specific target market and selling your clothes to those types of people.”

Throughout the four-year degree program, fashion students acquire the marketing and production that lead to The Show, which is put on by all fourth-year students at the River Rock Casino Resort Theatre and which attracts hundreds of employers in the Vancouver fashion scene.

“Everything we learn goes into fourth year,” Jasper said.

“I think a lot of people who like fashion, its typically what they think, like, ‘Oh its so easy, I can draw and I can sew and make things like pretty things.’ But its like no… reality hits you and you’re like ‘shit.’ You get to do pattern-making and things from all aspects, so its eye-opening that way… the amount of work that goes into producing garments.”

Jasper’s career goal is to start her own clothing line, common to many aspiring fashion designers, but from her experience at Kwantlen, has understood that it won’t happen right out of university.

“I know the amount of work that goes into it… so I’ll slowly build up to it,” she said.

For now, Jasper continues to work hard, spending almost her entire days at the Richmond Campus in the design classrooms or the computer lab, and preparing for her internship next semester.

“It seems like a lot of hard work, and yeah, it’s really tedious sometimes, but you’re still doing what you love.”