2019 Career Networking Event

On Thursday, October 3rd, The School of Fashion hosted our annual Career Networking event with industry-leading companies! Thank you to our long list of exhibiting companies, including Hudson’s Bay Company, Nordstrom, Footlocker, SEPHORA, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sanctuary Day Spas , TJX The Ten Spot, and Elmwood Spa. The event was open to all our #SenecaFashion students who spent the afternoon engaging with company representatives and handing out their business cards and resumes to prospective employers. We are #SenecaProud of our career ready students!

Not a baa-d look

“There are great interdisciplinary opportunities between our classes to build an emotional connection between fashion and agriculture. I mean, fashion comes from agriculture. It’s a resource.”

June 13, 2019

 

When Kirsti Clarida, a Veterinary Technician professor, and Philip Sparks, a Fashion Arts professor, met last year through Seneca’s faculty development program, they knew they had to work together.

“Within 10 minutes, we looked at each other and we were like, ‘Oh my God.’ I have sheep and he needs fleece — it’s a no-brainer,” Clarida said. “The sheep we have at King Campus, they absolutely need to be shorn. They get hot and they can’t regulate their body temperature.”

The collaboration between Clarida and Sparks resulted in a sheep shearing project that saw more than 100 students from both of their programs pass through the barns at King Campus recently, learning about the process of shearing wool and turning it into yarn and clothes.

“There are great interdisciplinary opportunities between our classes to build an emotional connection between fashion and agriculture,” Sparks said. “I mean, fashion comes from agriculture. It’s a resource. The sheep fleece at King was being discarded or donated and yet, in the fashion program, we were purchasing it.”

A total of 14 sheep were shorn by Don Metherall, a Canadian champion shearer formerly ranked top 20 in the world.

sheep shearing
Students watch a demonstration of a sheep hammock, used to trim the animal’s hooves or perform exams without holding it.
sheep shearing
The collaboration between Veterinary Technician and Fashion Arts programs saw more than 100 students pass through the barns at King Campus recently.
david agnew with lamb
Seneca President David Agnew holds a baby lamb while learning more about the sheep shearing project from Professor Kirsti Clarida.

Wool processing: fleece to fabric

During the sheep shearing project, students learned about how fabric is made from fleece. A member of the Upper Canada Fibreshed, the Fashion Arts class took some raw wool back to their textile lab and studied the process of cleaning, carding, felting/spinning. The fibre will be processed by Wool 4 Ewe, and the yarn will be used in the program’s knitwear and textile classes as well as felting and weaving projects.

Wool is a sustainable fibre that is biodegradable, breathable and highly versatile. It is also unique in its ability to felt. This is when wool fibre is subject to a mixture of moisture, heat, soap and friction. The moisture heat and soap open up the scales on the fibre surface and friction causes the fibres to latch onto one another, almost like Velcro.

raw wool
Raw or grease wool: wool taken from the sheep that has not yet been cleaned or processed.
yarn
Yarn: roving that has been stretched and twisted or spun.
roving
Roving: wool that has been cleaned and carded or combed, usually used to spin woollen yarn.
cloth
Cloth: yarns that have been woven, organized at 90 degrees to one another.

Sheep shearing with a champion

Sheep at Seneca’s King Campus are shorn once a year, typically during the spring. As part of the sheep shearing project, a total of 14 sheep were in good hands with Don Metherall, a Canadian champion shearer formerly ranked top 20 in the world. He has been shearing for almost two decades, shearing about 28,000 sheep each year.

don metherall
Don Metherall is a Canadian champion shearer. Each sheep is sheared in a matter of seconds, with each fleece being removed from the sheep in one piece.
shehep shearing
Professor Kirsti Clarida and Professor Philip Sparks sort through a freshly shorn fleece before putting it into a bag.
don metherall
Don Metherall talks to Professor Philip Sparks about shearing a black sheep.
sheep shearing
A young lamb kneels to drink milk from the mother sheep after she was shorn by Don Metherall at King Campus.

MARILYN BROOKS: BEHIND THE SEAMS by Dale Peers

The Seneca Fashion annual Fashion Resource Centre exhibition (May 6th to 17th) celebrates the career of Canadian fashion icon Marilyn Brooks.

Marilyn Brooks, always an innovator, opened her lifestyle boutique the Unicorn in 1967.  The funky neighbourhoods of The Village and then Yorkville were the “Happening places” in Toronto in the Sixties.  Her choice of locations was definitely prescient and would include trendy Queen St, alongside Holt Renfew on Bloor St. West and in upscale Yorkville on Cumberland Ave.

Throughout her 40+ years in the fashion business, Marilyn has been a staunch and passionate supporter of the Canadian fashion industry. Her vision, tenacity and positive spirit are unmatched in an industry that can be, shall we say, challenging!

In Marilyn Brooks: Behind the Seams, successful designer, artist, businesswoman, and now author, records not only the history of her brand but in her truly generous way shares the stories of the many people she has worked and collaborated with throughout her 40+ years in the fashion industry.  She shares her “Marilyn Maxims” – some of the lessons she has learned and the excellent advice she can provide to graduates and newly minted members entering the fashion foray.

One of the first Canadian fashion designers with a vertically integrated business model, Marilyn was a designer, manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer.  Marilyn and her team did it all.  Her entrepreneurial spirit, artistic flair and bravery were key to her succeeding not only in her stores but in the contributions she made in shaping the fashion landscape in Canada and Toronto from the 1960s through to the 2000s.

Marilyn has been a pioneer in the fashion world and without her foresight and dedication to her craft, contemporary fashion designers might never have had international spotlights trained on them and the City of Toronto.  In 1977 Marilyn invited a group of Toronto based designers including Lori Brooks, Shirley Cheatley, Wayne Clarke, Hugh Garber, Elen Henderson, Edie Johne, Linda Lundstrom and Pat McDonagh to her home to discuss the establishment of an organization which could help them all.  In 1978 TOD – Toronto Ontario Designers was officially launched with the first of many fashion shows, this premiere one held at St. Lawrence Centre.  TOD later evolved into Designers Ontario and then the Fashion Designers Council of Canada and then to the Fashion Design Council of Canada.

She has been a mentor to many young members of the fashion industry and a long time supporter of many charitable organizations.  We are especially grateful at Seneca College for the support she has provided to our students, our programs and especially our Fashion Resource Centre.  From 1976 to 1983 Marilyn was a member of Seneca’s Fashion Merchandising Program Advisory Committee providing invaluable information and opinions that would contribute to courses preparing the next generation of fashion retailers.

A testament to her generosity are the many accolades and awards she has received.  These include The Woolmark Award for Design Excellence, the “Night of Stars” award in 1994 from Fashion Group International, the Order of Ontario presented by the Honorable Hilary M. Weston, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario in 2000, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in recognition of her contributions and achievements in fashion in 2012.  Parkinson’s, Fashion Cares (in support of AIDS), Unicef, Big Brothers, and Cabbage Youth Centre are just a few of the many charitable organizations Marilyn has helped support through fundraising activities.

Marilyn is also a talented artist.  Not only as a designer of fashion and original prints but in acrylics and other mediums.  She has had a number of showings of her paintings and continues to be inspired by the beauty of her home in Lake Rousseau.

Our exhibition will take visitors through Marilyn’s 40+ fashion career with some of her early garments from the Unicorn to speciality t-shirts with original print designs to the work she did with corporations and celebrities and, of course, to the many loyal clients who shopped in her different locations.

It is thanks to Marilyn and these customers that we have these garments to present not only to our visitors in May but for the students in Seneca’s Fashion programs to study and learn from.

One of Marilyn’s Maxims (to be found at the end of each chapter in her book) captures not only good advice but a sentiment that sums up much of what Marilyn has done:

“Mentor, share, inspire, encourage, stimulate up and comers whenever you can with encouragement.  They will make the world a better place.”

If you would like to read more about Marilyn or find her book please visit: http://www.marilynbrooks.com

 

School of Fashion Career Networking Night 2018

On Monday, October 1st Seneca’s School of Fashion welcomed 25 companies to the Great Hall. The event was an opportunity for companies and our students to network and learn more about each other. Career opportunities and paths were of special interest to our students and they had the chance to speak with the most knowledgeable of representatives from companies such as Nordstrom, RW & Co, Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart, Clinique, Holt Renfrew, Footlocker, Elmwood Spa, Rexall, The Ten Spot, HBC & Saks, Sanctuary Day Spa, NYX and more!

 

Alumni Spotlight: Krizia Testani

 

Krizia TestaniFull name: Krizia Testani

Program: Fashion Studies

Grad Year: 2013

Current Position: CRM/E-Retail Media Assistant at CHANEL

What is your favourite Seneca memory?

There have been so many amazing Seneca memories! My favourite part of the program was having the opportunity to work on several creative projects utilizing different mediums. I found this experience very rewarding and fulfilling.

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

Be explorative! The Fashion Studies program is a wonderful opportunity to explore different avenues within the fashion industry. From Sustainable Fashion to Concepts & Design to Colour & Trend Forecasting, each course provides a great insight into an area of fashion that you might want to further discover. Find your passion!

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

My Seneca education has played a significant role in my current career. The fashion experience gained from the program provided me with the knowledge to better understand the fashion industry. The Colour & Trend Forecasting and Concepts & Design courses both took a deeper dive into the behaviours of consumers and the fashion industry which have proved fundamental and beneficial to my current career.

What is it in your day to day tasks that you enjoy the most?

My day-to-day tasks vary between my primary function areas which include: Customer Relationship Management, E-Retail, Digital and Media. Each function of my role has its own unique attributes which make every day very interesting and exciting! My favourite task is working with CHANEL Global contacts on upcoming product launches and ensuring the launches run smoothly on our e-retailer websites.

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

Seneca provided ample opportunity for me to learn more about myself! The Fashion Studies program was a wonderful learning experience for me to explore the different career paths within the fashion/retail industry and ultimately find a career that best aligned with me.