Redefining​ Design Debut at Fashion Art Toronto (FAT) 2019​

Redefining Design is an annual gala fashion show for our School of Fashion, Fashion Arts students’ graduating collections. The collections include menswear, womenswear, genderless, ready-to-wear and avant-garde. Redefining Design empowers student designers to explore different techniques, textile fabrication and sustainability, while maintaining excellence in design, innovation, creativity, and craftsmanship. This year marks the first time that the School of Fashion has presented at Fashion Art Toronto.

The evening of April 25th commenced with 42 Fashion Arts students taking the stage for two back to back shows. This year our Redefining Design Awards were selected by more than 39 industry judges who selected the top 3 students/collections based on innovativeness, craftsmanship, cohesiveness and the potential for the fashion industry.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Photography by George Pimentel

Sustainability Award: Outstanding implementation of sustainability principles in the designer collection

Winners: Arielle Justine and Jordan Tabalbag



Innovation Award: Innovative use of design elements

Winners: Sharic Bui and (P.Q.) Qiang Peng



Up-and-coming Designer Award: Designer showing potential for success in the Canadian fashion industry

Winner: Tia Mc Quaid


Best Composition Award: Through the use of colour and textiles

Winner: Kristen Mckoy


Fashion Excellence Award: Technical excellence

Winner: David Ezomoh


G & S Dyes Award: Best original textile design work

Winner: Gabi Hur


INLAND Award Most market ready: Market ready (point of differentiation/added value)

Winner: Saarah Hosein


Best in Show, Telio and Fashion Studio 7 Award: Best work of all, most media-ready collection

Winner: Arya Ertekin


Photography by George Pimentel

Alumni Spotlight: Kate E. Kim, Esthetician and Owner of NAKEDFACE Skincare

Full name: Kate E. Kimthumbnail_Screen Shot 2019-03-26 at 9.25.56 AM.png

Program: Esthetician

Grad Year: 2011

Current Position: Founder at NAKEDFACE Skincare

What is your favourite Seneca memory?

Working at Evolutions Spa and watching the snow fall from building D!

If you could give one piece of advice to a student completing the same program as you, what would it be?

Catch the opportunity where it falls! Once you gain experience, then go ahead and make an adventure of your career.

“You will like your client before they like you” – this means they feel if you care your client will like you no matter what. As estheticians, we provide service and it is all about the experience for the client. If you are confident and friendly people will trust you no matter how good you are.

How has your career evolved?

I always dreamed about launching a product line which was clean and natural yet premium quality. While I was working in the spa at Seneca, I researched in my spare time and started my company, NAKEDFACE Skincare.

How did your Seneca program help you get to where you are now/your current career?

The owner at the first job I got hired for knew my professor! They also knew that Seneca offers a great, well-structured program that covers a lot of knowledge around business management. I am happy to get ongoing support and networking opportunities from professors event 8 years after graduating from the program!

Do you have any other thoughts or memories you would like to share?

I gained a lot of great memories with my teachers and classmates. The best part about the program is the practical class where we worked on one other to practice facials, makeup, and nails. I mean, who doesn’t love being pampered! This experiential learning aspect allowed us to test the latest skincare and makeup products from the Colleges very own, Evolutions spa. This is one of the many things I miss!

Inspired Spaces an eventful experience Four programs, seven industry partners showcased!


The tabletops were glamorous and the venue decked out. But the recent production of Inspired Spaces — Seneca’s annual tabletop competition — was more than just beautiful tables.

“It has evolved into a huge production that creates a real-life learning experience for all of our students,” said Professor John MacBride, Program Coordinator, Event Management – Event & Exhibit Design.

The event, which saw collaboration from four academic programs and seven industry partners, drew more than 200 industry professionals from across Canada to the new Centre for Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (CITE) at Newnham Campus on March 27.

“The involvement of the other academic areas elevated the sophistication of the event. It was the best turnout we’ve ever had,” MacBride said. “It takes all of us to pull off an event like this and our industry partners helped put it on the national stage.”

Those partners included Event Rental Group for rentals and Presidential Gourmet for catering. The Butler Did It provided professional service staff and OneWest Events helped sponsor the bar. The International Live Events Association Toronto chapter co-produced the event and  FMAV provided additional equipment and television support. The event was part of CSE Live, a national event conference produced by Canadian Special Events, which provided marketing, promotion, and registration.

Seneca Alumni provided financial support.


Inspired 2
From left: Professor John Switzer joins on tambourine with Independent Music Production performers Jon Satov, Erica Knox and Benji Crane at Inspired Spaces.
In addition to showcasing outstanding tabletop designs from 20 of MacBride’s students, Inspired Spaces treated guests to live musical performances by six students from the Independent Music Production and Independent Songwriting & Performance programs.

“We were asked to provide background entertainment, but the event provided incredible potentials for the students,” said Professor John Switzer, Program Co-ordinator, Independent Music Production. “They were excited by how official the event was and by the positive response from professional event planners who approached them for future opportunities.”

Behind the scenes, about 20 students from the Event & Media Production program handled technical production, content development and event planning for Inspired Spaces, everything from lighting to audio and video systems.

“We were there to up the game, so to speak, and to provide a better user experience,” said Professor Tim Abbott, Program Coordinator, Event & Media Production.

In turn, Abbott said the students benefited from cross-disciplinary experiential learning that is crucial to their work.

“Something always goes wrong at events, and the better prepared you are, the more you are able to calmly react,” he said. “It’s not real until the audience is there and people only know we are there if something goes wrong.”

Inspired 3
Brendan Pilgrim of the Event Management – Event & Exhibit Design program shows off his tabletop design at Inspired Spaces.
While this year’s Inspired Spaces handed out top three awards to Sakina Li (gold), Riley Wilson (silver) and Han Vo (bronze), the event was a win for all.

Brendan Pilgrim, who made up his mind to come to Seneca after watching Inspired Spaces on YouTube three years ago, received two jobs from industry professionals who attended the event.

“I met with three décor houses and they all gave me great feedback about my unique taste and storytelling,” he said. “Now I’m booked!”

From setting up and booking catering to inspecting rental delivery and tearing everything down after the event, Pilgrim said the hands-on approach of working with other students and industry partners exposed him to the life of an event designer and planner.

“It’s not just the creative aspect, it’s also business planning,” Pilgrim said. “It’s a true reality of what the event industry is all about.”


Congratulations to everyone involved!

Want more? Check out our photo gallery of the 2019 Inspired Spaces.

Fashion Business Management Students Impress Industry Judges with Innovative Marketing Strategy at FIELD 2019

Congratulations to the winning team of the 2019 FIELD Project! Thank you to our client and sponsor RW&Co., a division of Reitmans Canada for their involvement and generous support.

FIELD (Fashion Industry Educational Exchange and Leadership Development)

Each year, graduating students from Seneca’s Fashion Business Management Advanced diploma program partner with a client in the fashion industry to assist with a real-life business opportunity. FIELD is a capstone project where students work in teams to apply their knowledge gained in their 3 years to develop creative solutions for the ‘client’ and present their strategy at to a panel of judges at an industry event. A winning team is selected. We are #SenecaProud of all of our students! #SenecaFashion #FashionBusinessManagement

_N2A8476The winning team with RW & Co. leadership team (left-right) Lora Tisi, Ninoshka D’Souza, Natalie Chung, Marina Borges de Souza, Christina Masschelein, Jean-François Fortin, 

_N2A8486The winning team with certificates (left-right): Christina Masschelein, Ninoshka D’Souza, Natalie Chung, Marina Borges de Souza

Judges (left-right): Alain Lessard (RW&CO.), Renee Tulk (Reprise Digital), Jean-François Fortin (RW&CO.), Kristy Laing (Saks Off Fifth), Marina Strauss (Globe and Mail)
FIELD Group Photo
FIELD Group Team Photo – our 18/19 third-year Fashion Business Management Class



Seneca hosts first symposium on sustainable fashion

Seneca’s School of Fashion recently joined the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Canada, a global network of postsecondary institutions. This week, in celebration of this membership, the school hosted a three-day Transforming Our World series at Newnham Campus. Events included a symposium, an exhibition showcasing student, alumni and faculty works, and the school’s fourth annual clothing swap that is part of its textile diversion initiative.

Ontario’s Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, who opened the symposium, applauded the school’s “important milestone” as deserving of recognition.

“It’s time for our collective consciousness to take hold,” she said.

In addition to Dowdeswell’s many accomplishments on the environmental sustainability front — she was the first woman to head the United Nations (UN) Environment Program — the lieutenant-governor is known for making her own clothes. She still gets up at 6 a.m. on Saturday mornings to sew.

“The fashion industry touches everyone on this earth … and you can make a difference,” she said to the students in attendance.

The School of Fashion has in recent years taken a leadership role in sustainable fashion education in Canada and posed the important question: What can we do?

Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell

The symposium was the first at Seneca dedicated to sustainable fashion. It highlighted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as identified by the UN in its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.

The Transforming Our World symposium focused on the importance of responsible consumption and production.

Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell opened the Transforming Our World symposium about sustainable fashion at Newnham Campus on Monday.

Sustainable Fashion 1The Transforming Our World exhibition showcased garments made with materials such as cork, handmade macramé and weaving, deadstock, upcycled denim and natural dyes.

“The UN goals are tangible,” said Professor Sabine Weber from the School of Fashion. “We have a global agenda to tackle climate change, and we have to ask ourselves how we as educators can work with our industry to help.”

From educating consumers to make responsible purchases and supporting companies that take social, environmental and economic aspects equally into consideration, Weber believes everyone has a role to play.

“Not everything is perfect, but it’s important that our decisions move us in the right direction,” she said.

In the words of a Fashion Arts grad, it’s the future.

For her graduation collection last year, Shiva Hashemi created five upcycled garments by bringing deadstock fabric and second-hand clothing back to life. She produced everything locally with locally found resources. The collection, which won the Sustainability Award for outstanding implementation of sustainability principles, was featured as part of the Transforming Our World exhibition.

“Sustainable fashion is not just branding or a marketing campaign,” Hashemi said. “It’s not a trend. It’s the future. You have to bring that into your life, as a person who cares about the environment and who is compassionate about the next generation and the planet we are living on.”

ShivaFashion Arts grad Shiva Hashemi’s graduation collection won the Sustainability Award last year. Her garments were featured as part of this week’s Transforming Our World exhibition at Newnham Campus.
A few years ago, in her home country of Iran, Hashemi made a series of handbags using organic natural fabrics. It was the designer’s first collection and at the time, she didn’t know much about the practice of sustainability.“I didn’t actually learn about sustainability until I came to Seneca,” she said. “I used to think that sustainable fashion was not practical and no one would buy my designs because it would be too expensive, but I was inspired by my professor and decided that’s the way I want to design.”

Not only has Hashemi sold 600 of her handbags, she now works at Greta Constantine, the Canadian luxury label in Toronto whose 2019 fall collection featured old fabrics from past collections.

“There’s definitely a focus on zero waste in the industry and that’s why I love Seneca’s approach to sustainability. The curriculum has a strong sustainable thread incorporated throughout the program and it’s very helpful for students to have an understanding of the issues,” she said.

“As a fashion designer, the combination of colours, the proportions and the esthetics of design are important, but they don’t have to compromise the planet and the people. I believe that in order to live a fuller, meaningful life, one doesn’t have to sacrifice the beauty and comfort of their clothing — if the designer has done his or her job well.”

Want more? Check out our photo gallery of the Transforming Our World symposium.