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INTRODUCTION 4. Chair’s Letter 6. Seven Reasons to Study Fashion at Ryerson

PROGRAM 8. Overview 10. Internship

COMPETITIONS 12. McGregor 14. Danier


45 ALUMNI PROFILES 18. DAVID DIXON A leader in contemporary Canadian fashion design, David speaks about his experience with Ryerson Fashion. 22. BRITTANY ECCLES Our talk with the Art Director of ELLE Canada about her path to success and her love for the job. 26. HANNAH SIDER This New York photographer shares her story from behind the lens. 30. MEG SINCLAIR Entrepreneur Meg Sinclair gives us the scoop on running your own business.

OPPORTUNITIES 34. Mass Exodus 36. Exchange Program 38. Holt Renfrew

SENIOR PROJECTS 40. Capstone 42. Collection

EDITORIAL 44. Student Work at Ryerson Fashion

FURTHER EDUCATION 56. MA Program 55. Fashion Research Collection 54. Fashion Zone

16 Inside Cover Textile Design by Amanda McGroarty



CHAIR’S LETTER About the Pages Ahead You have your heart set on fashion! And we’re ready to have you join our graduates who since 1948 have had a huge amount of success in Canada and overseas. I’m proud of the fact we have unique relationships with leading companies, international fashion schools and top design professionals who open a broad range of networking opportunities to our students. You crave to study with the best! You possess the passion and the talent; we provide the environment and support. Our students come from coast to coast and abroad to challenge each other to drive innovation, honour heritage and celebrate diversity.

Ryerson is the place to study fashion! Don’t take my word for it though. In the pages of this book we asked students and alumni to talk about how they’re fulfilling their dreams, revealing new opportunities and making a positive impact on peoples’ lives. Be ready to think differently about fashion. See you soon! Robert Ott Chair, School of Fashion

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The fashion industry used to be bound by those who attended fashion week, and by magazines that reported what these people wore — the internet has changed that. It’s up to individuals to decide and form their own fashion and identity. You can be whatever you want to be —  which is now fashion, in its entirety.  — Kiersten Hay

A Taste of Why Ryerson Fashion is the Place for You THE UNIVERSITY ADVANTAGE Ryerson’s degree programs in fashion offer you an incomparable advantage over diploma or certificate programs, ensuring you stand out among the stiff competition hallmark of the fashion industry.

IT’S ALL ABOUT NETWORKING The School of Fashion allows you to gain publicity while cultivating professional connections vital to any successful career in the world of fashion. Our industry partners continuously expose you to new opportunities.

THE CITY Living in Toronto offers you continual access to established and budding artists and the bustle of culture that bolsters the creative and educational environment.

INTERNATIONAL SCENE In your third year you have the opportunity to apply for exchange programs at leading fashion institutions around the world.

THE SKILLS, THE STAFF, THE SCHOOL Fundamentals are taught through lecture, studio, and lab time, ensuring that hands-on learning remains at the core of the curriculum. Focus on analytical and critical thinking allow you to develop skills enabling innovation in burgeoning areas of fashion.

RYERSON COMMUNITY Ryerson is home to a variety of academic associations and student groups bridging differences across programs, while uniting a diverse array of students. These programs culminate in a broad web of support that contributes to the small-campus vibe and sense of belonging that Ryerson evokes.

STUDENT LEADERSHIP Ryerson University hosts and supports a wide range of student-run productions. Students readily and wholeheartedly seize the initiative and put together fashion shows and events, indicative of the passion and ambition pervasive throughout the student body.

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OVERVIEW Your Next Four Years in a Nutshell Your first year will no doubt be a whirlwind. Both fashion communication and fashion design students take the same courses to build a foundation for the next three years. The curriculum provides an overview of the fashion industry, as well as theories and concepts that look at history, current events and challenges facing the industry. Studio courses teach you


the basics of sewing, pattern drafting, illustration and fundamentals of design and colour. Cultural and fashion events introduce you to the world of networking with industry professionals while guest lecturers speak at many of your classes to give insight and guidance into the working world.

FASHION COMMUNICATION The following years of fashion communication combine business-related courses in marketing and communication with creative, hands-on courses in areas such as photography, product development and ad design. History courses compliment the curriculum while professionally related electives allow you to tailor your degree by taking the courses that interest you most. In third year you have the choice between a typography and graphic production course or the course which plans and executes Mass Exodus. Your fourth year wraps it all up with exploration in emerging media and an independent research/ creative project known as your capstone.

FASHION DESIGN There’s certainly no basics after first year. Fashion design students advance quickly in pattern drafting, draping and grading. You learn industry-standard software such as computer-aided design and manufacturing, product data management as well as Adobe™ programs during courses that build graphic design skills. By fourth year you will have experience with childrenswear, menswear, eveningwear and leather, so you’re ready to bring your own vision to life in your graduating collection.

Menswear by Bjanka Djurik, Photographed by Samantha Tablada; Magazine by Laura O’Neill



INTERNSHIP Gaining Industry Experience Internships give you the opportunity to gain a real world understanding of the fashion industry and work with prominent national and international companies in fashion and related fields. During your internship you cultivate professional relationships that are a resource for


you as you seek employment after graduation. Here at Ryerson Fashion you have access and connections to a wide variety of organizations including major head offices as well as smaller boutiques and businesses in the Toronto area.



Capstone project by Annalie Chernin

FASHION COMMUNICATION, 2014 VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS AT PINK TARTAN I have a lot more responsibility than I did as an intern. After my boss left, I have taken over many of the responsibilities that she was in charge of. It was definitely a jump going from intern to full time employee. You are a lot more accountable for the work you produce. It is a lot of hard work, but so far I am really enjoying what I am doing.

Check Out Annalie’s Interview at



McGREGOR Third Year Product Development Competition With focus on research, development, design and marketing, the McGregor product development competition challenges third year fashion communication students to invent a new line of socks or foot-care products. The top three ranking groups are awarded cash prizes for their work and have the opportunity to pitch their line to the executives at McGregor. Featured here is the Reebok Ree-FORM project. Tasked with creating a technical sock for the Reebok brand, this team developed 3 lines of socks to help promote proper form in different types of runners. The project was also entered in the IFFTI (International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes) student competition and won among entries from across the globe.


Reebok Ree-FORM project by Trista Capitano, Kristina McMullin, Kate O’Reilly and Rachel Walker


DANIER Design Challenge The Danier Design Challenge gives third year fashion design students the opportunity to showcase their creative talent by constructing an original women’s leather garment design. Cash prizes are awarded to winners and the first place contestant has the chance to have his or her design manufactured and featured in Danier’s fall collection. In the past students have also been offered internships with the company after thoroughly impressing the judges.


Left: Jacket by Mitchell Heyens; Right: Jacket by Dimitar Dangov


DAVID DIXON President/ Designer, David Dixon Inc.


You launched the David Dixon label a mere two years after graduation. How did your experience at Ryerson help you get to that point in your career? Images provided by David Dixon, unless otherwise noted

What Ryerson gave me was a great understanding of what I wanted to be — a fashion designer. The lessons of time management, practicing one’s craft and relationship building, were key components outside of the regular curriculum.


While you were in school, you had the opportunity to apprentice with Canadian designer, Alfred Sung. Could you tell us a bit about this experience and how it helped you with your career? [Internship] was an extension of the learning process. I had the opportunity to apprentice with Alfred Sung in my earlier years and I also had placements with smaller design studios to fully understand the differences and similarities of running various design firms.

What was your most memorable experience at the School of Fashion? My most memorable experience at the School of Fashion was really being in a environment of like minded people. We all had the passion to do what we loved to do. There were of course challenging times, but looking back it really was character building. I also learned If you wanted it bad enough, you had to work for it, and be authentic to yourself.

IT REALLY WAS CHARACTER BUILDING. I LEARNED IF YOU WANTED IT BAD ENOUGH, YOU HAD TO WORK FOR IT, AND BE AUTHENTIC TO YOURSELF. We’ve been spoiled to have you as a frequent guest at Mass Exodus, how does it feel to see the emerging talent? Over the years I’ve been delighted to be asked to judge graduating collections and see their visions at Mass Exodus. Each year it brings back memories for me as a student and the feeling of accomplishment at the year-end show. It is such a pleasure to be witness to that of the students and their families to see a summary of four years of work.


Above photo by Jason Hargrove, David Dixon - World MasterCard Fashion Week - March 15, 2012 from

What advice do you have for new fashion students? My advice for emerging designers, really is to form a support group of people who believe in what they do. Fashion is an extremely competitive and expensive business. The understanding of building valuable relationships, based on trust, good design, as well as professionalism are essentials. Egos and entitlement must be left at the door.

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Can you share any tips or advice on how you were able to work your way up the publishing ladder? Images provided by Brittany Eccles

There’s no special secret. It’s really comes down to working hard and being willing to go the extra mile. Publishing often involves tight deadlines and long hours. One of the things I learned early is that the best people don’t need to be asked to work late; they just stay until the job is done.


The other thing I’ll say is that you have to enjoy it. Amidst the stress, you need to find the opportunity to laugh everyday and have fun with your team. That makes all the difference. I laugh with my team every day.

What do you find are the most enjoyable and challenging parts of your job? What I really love is the ability to create something real — images and content that I can share


with the world. I also love the rush of doing the best job I can on a non-negotiable deadline. With social media, we can get almost instant feedback on something like a photo shoot. It is very satisfying when our readers like what they see. The most challenging part of my role is that same deadline. Publishing doesn’t care if you’re sick or ready for a long weekend — the work stops for no one!

What kind of experience or qualities do you look for in someone you’re hiring? There’s really no substitute for hard work and passion. A positive attitude is also important, as is an open mind. I think it’s important to be able to take feedback as well, as none of us are perfect and we’re all still learning. Finally, it’s really important to be collaborative, as the vast majority of our work is teamwork.


We’ve been lucky to have you as a guest speaker in our classes here and I’ve heard you mention that our program really prepared you for the industry. What were your favourite courses? The courses that really had an impact on me were the second-year graphic design classes I took [communication design]. That’s where I really discovered my love of design. I remember applying the skills from that class right away in all my other courses. Those skills helped make my projects feel more polished and professional. The impact they had on me was immediate.

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HANNAH SIDER Professional Photographer


Since growing up between Malawi and Ontario, how important do you think the exposure to other cultures is for an aspiring photographer? Images provided by Hannah Sider

I was born in Malawi and grew up between there and Ontario (mostly Toronto) until I was 14. Growing up in Africa was crazy at times, It was a very colourful and eyeopening experience. I think it helped shape me into a very visual and creative person.


We didn’t watch TV and my sisters and I would spend most of our time going on adventures and exploring outside in nature. Moving around a lot also forces you into new situations where you have to be open, confident and put yourself out there to meet people. This definitely helps with what I do now because I’m constantly meeting new people and I have to make people feel comfortable in front of the camera.

Like many aspiring photographers you kept a blog and dabbled in street style, were there any other jobs or internships that helped you develop your skills? Most of what I learned was just self-taught, lots of trial and error. I would pretend that I knew what I was doing when clients asked but inside I was usually panicking! I moved to NYC in 2012 to assist a photographer that really inspired me. New York, in general, has shaped my career more than anything.

FASHION COMMUNICATION APPEALED TO ME BECAUSE I COULD TRY ALL THESE DIFFERENT THINGS THAT I WAS INTERESTED IN. Why did you choose Ryerson Fashion? I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I finished high school and fashion communication appealed to me because I could try all these different things that I was interested in. It’s been beneficial because it developed my eye for design. It was also great for developing my network — many of my friends I studied with are working in the industry and contact me to shoot jobs for them.


If you could recommend any camera and lens for an aspiring fashion photographer what would it be? I would recommend that you find what works for you. It’s not the camera or the lens that makes the photographer. I’ve taken some of my favourite photos on disposable cameras.

More of Hannah’s Work at



MEG SINCLAIR Owner / Founder, Muttonhead Collective


Muttonhead was originally created for your thesis collection at Ryerson, what made you decide to continue with it after graduating? Above (from left): Paige Greene, Mel Sinclair, Meg Sinclair. Images provided by Muttonhead

I had a lot of positive feedback on it and I was up for the challenge to make it work. It was also something I always wanted to do — own my own business. Although, at the time I wasn’t aware of how challenging it would actually be.


I’m not sure in this industry there is a “typical” day, but can you describe the main aspects of your job now? There are a lot of things involved in the job, many often that no one would see on the outside. From all of the apparel design, to sourcing and fabric selection, sample making, costing, dealing with suppliers, exhibiting at trade shows, photo shoots, showing the collection to buyers, and making it all get produced in the end for our retailers — and everything in between.


There are a lot of hidden jobs, but the good thing is every single day is different and there are always new things that have to get done and new things to learn in order to expand your business.

Do you think your education at Ryerson was important to reaching your goals? Definitely, Ryerson really helped with the production side of it, also on some of the business side. I took a lot of business/ bookkeeping classes, so that helped out a lot as well.

Your sales have expanded worldwide, yet you’ve stayed true to being a Canadian brand, even manufacturing locally. Why is being Canadian significant to you? Manufacturing locally is a huge part of our brand and has been since the beginning. We work with a wide range of factories here in Canada, most of them located in Toronto. Some are very small places and you work very


closely with the people who are sewing your product. This is very important in the design and construction process as it allows us to keep a close eye on everything and make sure the quality is consistent. We also believe in supporting small businesses, just like ours and creating jobs here in Canada.

If you could name one experience, lesson or piece of advice that was vital in leading you to where you are today what would it be? Learn as much as you possibly can. Nothing will prepare you for the real world as an entrepreneur. You will have to make mistakes and learn from them, which is not always a bad thing. Take advantage of your time at Ryerson and learn as much as you can. Marketing and business or accounting classes help a lot too!

Check Out Muttonhead at



MASS EXODUS The Largest Student-Run Fashion Event in the World In 2013 we celebrated our 25th anniversary of Mass Exodus, which named it the largest student-produced fashion event in the world. From concept to production students from third year fashion communication collaborate with other Ryerson students and industry. This remarkable opportunity stands apart from any other on the resumes and portfolios of our students. Comprised of the runway and the exhibit, Mass Exodus highlights examples of the collections of graduating fashion design students and capstone projects from fashion communication students. Attended by an audience of industry professionals and media, this showcase debuts our graduates to the world.

Collection by Bri Foster Photographer: Katya Koroscil; Make-Up: Taylor Andrews; Hair: Mel Bortoluzzi; Models: Katya Burtynsky, Marwa Hamdy, Catrina Chen


BRI FOSTER FASHION DESIGN, 2015 WOMENSWEAR DESIGNER AT LE CHATEAU I like to challenge the limits of what is considered wearable, I often seek out unique fabrics to use in a surprising and unexpected way. For my graduating collection I chose papery looking fabrics to symbolize practicality of use and I incorporated tambour embroidered hands onto the garments, as if they had been doodled on.

Read Bri’s Full Interview at



EXCHANGE International Experience In third year you have the opportunity to participate in an international exchange at a number of leading fashion institutions across the world. The schools that we have chosen to partner with share our values of technological innovation and creativity in design. We offer exchanges to schools in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, New Zealand and The Netherlands.

Photos by Kiersten Hay while on exchange to Amsterdam, Netherlands


KIERSTEN HAY FASHION COMMUNICATION, 2014 EXCHANGE TO AMSTERDAM FASHION INSTITUTE (AMFI) I lead a team to create a download-able iPad version of the magazine. This gave us the opportunity to produce our own photo shoots, videos and articles separate from the original idea. My job was mainly to oversee and guide the entire production, and to work with international contributors to create content.

Check Out Kiersten’s Story at



HOLT RENFREW Proud Canadian Heritage A long-standing partner of the School of Fashion and employer of many of our graduates, Holt Renfrew provides unique opportunities to our students. From field trips and tours of their facilities, to guest speakers and internship positions, this luxury retailer is actively involved in your education. Some of the most esteemed gestures include hosting our annual awards night in their store and the publicity of fourth year garments. It has been a tradition for Holt Renfrew to choose an array of pieces from the graduating collections and display them in their flagship location on Bloor street.


It’s funny, when I looked back at my elementary school yearbook, I said I wanted a career in fashion. Somewhere along the way I forgot that. I think that in some ways I needed to get a bit lost to finally find my way back to a career path that I hope will challenge and motivate me to stay true to my self and my goals.   — Annalie Chernin


CAPSTONE Fashion Communication Senior Project The capstone project is one of the most valuable for preparing you for the industry. Emphasis is placed on research and theory to guide your project from conception to creation. Although independent in execution, with the guidance of your professors and peers you’ll learn to refine your research and


creative component through an iterative process. Featured here is a capstone which explores gender performance and semiotics. It demonstrates how research can be used to guide the creative outcome, which in this case is a set of 3D printed shoes.


Photo by Raez Argulla

(He)els explores the relationship men share with the modern high heel. Under the theoretical guidance of both Semiotics Theory and Gender Performance, this capstone captures the unique essence of a select subject group of six men, exploring their senses of style, individual personalities, and demonstrations of their masculinity through the development of a bespoke high heel. The process of collaboration and co-designing of the heel presents the subject with a platform to explore their gender performance but also an opportunity to confront society’s impressions about men wearing heels.

Camille Blais


COLLECTION Fashion Design Senior Project This senior course in apparel design and product development provides you with an opportunity to research and design in an area of specialization. You utilize your creativity and cultural influences to create innovative solutions that reach beyond traditional forecasts. Self-directed learning encourages you


to synthesize theories, concepts and techniques learned in previous years and to apply this knowledge to the development of your final apparel collection. While most students will produce a five-look capsule collection, featured is a collection in which two students collaborated to create seven menswear looks.

Sketch and Collection by Daniel Finlan and Warren Scott Photographer: Colin Gaudet; Stylist: Bo Large; Make-Up: Joseph Hinds; Model: Jade Charles

THREE-EIGHTS Three-Eighths transforms both classic and contemporary clothing through its use of fabrics. With a focus on outerwear and tops that cater to working professionals, Three-Eighths is inspired by the hard work and dedication of local artisans, mechanics and tailors. Bringing back brick and mortar retailers seems unfamiliar in the present era, but it is precisely this difference that makes Three-Eighths stand out. The brand embraces this workmanship, celebrating well-designed products that have been noticeably absent from this fast-paced, consumerist era. Three-Eighths balances the design relationship between the past and the present for our customers’ daily wardrobe.

Daniel Finlan & Warren Scott @three_eighths



Previous Page:

WOMENSWEAR Stephanie Moscall-Varey Photographer: Carrie Jade Stylist: Ann McCorriston Make-Up: Nikki Wood Hair: Alexandra Mann Model: Murphy Macdonald Current Page:

ART DIRECTION Ruben Cisneros

CAPSTONE Gillian McCullough

LOOKBOOK Fiona Torrens Photographers: Taylah Golden and Mika Orotea Models: Bridget Thelander, Lauren Rice, Sofia Pyette



WOMENSWEAR Olivia Rubens Photographer: Katie Saide Stylist: Dee George Make-Up: Kory Lynn Hair: Ekaterina Pakhlavuni Model: Mila Laschuk


MENSWEAR Clement Chan, Andrea Lee Photographer: Aine Morris Art Director: Michelle Nuamah Model: Zach Richards

CAPSTONE Takara Wong Hair: Sydney Desnoyers Nails: Chau Tran Model: Ana Puric



MASTER OF ARTS Taking Fashion Education to the Next Level The Master of Arts in Fashion program is the first of its kind in Canada, representing the highest form of academic study in the areas of design, communication, history and theory of fashion. Combining professional practice with academic rigour, this program allows you to explore and master a topic of your interest by working closely with faculty and experts. Studio and seminar classes focus on research


methods, fashion theory and a range of specialized electives such as curation and exhibition, virtual design, interactive media, issues in ethics and sustainable fashion, diversity in fashion, and many more. This program is specialized to help you develop your knowledge and experience, and also provides you the footing to pursue your future academic goals.

Maggie Jonk, MA Fashion graduate 2015, examined the tension between art and fashion in her Major Research Project BINOMIA, which referenced the current population of the Arabian Gulf, and the variety of existing social facts found in individuals within this highly multi-national area.

More On the MA Program



FRC The Ryerson Fashion Research Collection Christian Dior once said: “we invent nothing, we always start from something that has come before.” The Ryerson Fashion Research Collection contains several thousand garments, accessories and related artifacts that are available to students by appointment for design research and inspiration or as evidence of how fashion was created and worn. The collection is particularly strong in womenswear


and includes garments and accessories that date back to the early part of the nineteenth century. Contemporary designers in the collection include Giorgio Armani, Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Missoni and Valentino, as well as hat designs by Philip Treacy and Stephen Jones. The collection exists to support learning and the School of Fashion’s objectives of promoting heritage, diversity and innovation.

Red crepe strapless gown with inner corset by Valentino Roma, 1965, donated by Barbara Moon. Photographed on the model Verushka for Vogue, this dress was also chosen as “The Top Ten Looks from the Valentino Archives” by Hamish Bowles.

See the Collection Blog at

Photo by Jazmin Welch, styling by Kate O’Reilly, both (then) third-year fashion communication students



FASHION ZONE Fashion Innovation Starts Here The Fashion Zone at Ryerson University is Canada’s launch pad for fashion-inspired ideas. We advise young start-ups and help them grow their ideas into sustainable businesses. Members work side-by-side with other up-andcoming brands, network within the industry and learn the necessary tools to jump-start


their careers in fashion. In 2015, the Fashion Zone teamed up with Joe Fresh to create The Joe Fresh Centre For Fashion Innovation. The Centre is an initiative of The Joe Fresh Fund, a philanthropic vehicle that provides grants and assistance to emerging Canadian fashion talent.

It’s easy to get involved with the Fashion Zone. With over 25 jobs created last year, you can find an opportunity as an intern or as an associate at the Zone. The best part is you’ll get to experience an exciting new environment where you’ll be surrounded by like-minded individuals.

Check It Out at

Photo provided by the Fashion Zone


"Little Yellow Book"  

This is a recruitment book designed for the School of Fashion at Ryerson University

"Little Yellow Book"  

This is a recruitment book designed for the School of Fashion at Ryerson University