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Each year, students in Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Fashion Design & Production Diploma program participate in an activity that uses fashion to give back to the community. This year, the class chose to design and donate suites to Dress for Success Vancouver (DFS), an organization that provides professional attire, career services, and skills development for women entering or rejoining the workforce.
“It might not be the part of the industry that gets the media attention, but the fashion industry is filled with examples of generosity,” said Andrea Korens, program coordinator, VCC Fashion. “We feel it is important to cultivate a sense of community-mindedness in our students.”
Using the skills they developed in their first 10 months at VCC, students designed, drafted, and constructed a four-piece business look specifically for a client of the charity.
The suits feature fabrics donated by Our Social Fabric and local businesses like Arcteryx, Plum Clothing, Jason Matlo, and Nicole Bridger. Both looks include a tailored jacket, dress pants, and a blouse. The designs feature materials like a navy crepe and a brown pinstripe, and wardrobe additions of a vest and a casual turtleneck.
This project is the final in a series completed during VCC’s first-year fashion cycle courses in which students experience a fast-paced production process including design, drafting, construction, marketing, and sales.
VCC Fashion’s partnership with DFS also highlights the organization’s longstanding service to the VCC student population. DFS has provided approximately 480 VCC students and graduates with job interview outfits since 2012.
“Dress for Success’ ability to assist recent graduates on their job hunt is a service we offer that often goes under the radar,” said Jennifer Halinda, executive director, Dress for Success Vancouver. “Working with VCC Fashion allows us to highlight this demographic, and those from VCC that we have assisted in their careers. The two beautifully designed suits were happily received by our client, Aerin Hack [pictured].”
“We are amazed by our students’ ability to create professional suits in their first year of studies,” said Korens. “For them, it’s a great feeling to be supported by generous industry donations, and then pay it forward.”
Want to use your fashion flair to benefit the community? Learn more about fashion diplomas and certificates at VCC.