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Bare Knitwear Designer and JCI Fashion Graduate: Kelsey Adair

28
11.2017

“As early as high school I knew I wanted to run my own apparel business.” 

Kelsey Adair, born and raised in North Vancouver, BC, graduated John Casablancas Institute in 2010 with a diploma in Fashion Business & Creative Arts. She is the founder of women’s clothing brand, Bare Knitwear.

Q: Why did you choose to enroll at John Casablancas Institute for Fashion? 

“I was attracted to the variety of courses and disciplines JCI offered. I was looking for a school where I could get a well-rounded knowledge of the industry and I found that at JCI.”

After graduating the JCI Fashion Program, Kelsey enrolled in classes at BCIT for Small Business Management and Social Media Marketing, while launching her own brand: Bare Knitwear.

Q: What inspired you to design woman’s knitwear? 

“I knew I wanted to run my own apparel business, however I didn’t know it would be knitwear. I was inspired by the idea and the challenge of developing a brand and growing a business.”

Kelsey began working as an accessories buyer in 2011 for a small business and was re-inspired of buying from a range of independent brands. She knew the basics of knitting and crocheting which allowed her to create a small collection of scarves.

“From 2012 to 2014, I educated myself on options to produce in small quantities and continued to develop my vision for the brand, as I also gained more experience in wholesale.”

In 2014, Kelsey aligned with a production company in Peru who met her small production volume and worked well with her brand values of ethical manufacturing and sustainable sourcing.

Kelsey flew to Peru to learn how production and development worked, the challenges of ordering raw materials and how hard it was to produce as a small brand with little buying power and budget.

“I decided the only way I was going to learn and create a business model was to just start. With the little money I had in my tax-free savings account, I bought my first order: 172 beanies and scarves. That was the beginning of Bare Knitwear.”

Q: Who are your biggest fashion influencers/inspirations? 

“I find inspiration in many different designers each day, however my biggest inspiration is the way the industry is shifting as a whole at this exact moment.”

“Each year, consumers are demanding more transparency from brands. They are educated on where their products are coming from and where they are putting their dollar. Less focus is being placed on consumerism and fast fashion trends and more focus is being placed on lean closets and intentional wardrobes.

“A major shift is happening and I am inspired to be a part of it.”

The current Fall 2017 Bare Knitwear collection, The Classics Collection, is available for purchase. This collection was a result of the past three seasons in business for Bare Knitwear.

“We took a lot of feedback from our previous season to create a streamlined collection of elevated basics. We tweaked existing styles and introduced new styles that would add comfort, ease, and versatility to our client’s wardrobe.”

Q: What does the next collection have in store for Bare Knitwear? 

“I’m currently working on three small capsule collections that will launch in July 2018. A Transition Collection for pre-Fall, a Winter Novelty Collection, and an online Exclusive Holiday piece.”

We are excited to be adding more Pima cotton to the line for those pieces intended for year-round wear.”

Q: What has been your prized moment throughout your career so far?

“This past season Bare Knitwear was selected to participate in Holt Renfrew’s H-Project. The H-Project is a department in Holt Renfrew that is created to recognize and celebrate brands that are inspiring sustainable fashion and social good. This year the brands were exclusively Canadian and Bare Knitwear is currently on the shelves of five Holt Renfrew stores across Canada.”

Kelsey and her team at Bare Knitwear are currently working on launching their first ever Spring 2019 collection and hope to expand their US wholesale market.

Bare Knitwear is also working on projects with their team in Peru, that will not only help share their brand story but also highlight the artisans behind their work.

Even while working full time and running Bare Knitwear, Kelsey still manages to get out and have fun on her off hours. She enjoys road cycling and snowboarding and uses them as forms of meditation, often after a busy week.

“Having hobbies outside of work is so important to clear your mind, turn off and have some fun. That’s when your best ideas come!” 

Q: Lastly, is there any advice you can give to upcoming fashion designers? 

“Be patient and keep focused on the end goal. Through all the ups and downs it’s important not to get discouraged and affected by the downs. Stay focused on the long-term goal.”

“Your business model, strategy, and cash flow will always be the most important part of your brand. Having a really tight grasp on the backend of your business will help carry you along. Allow yourself time to find your niche and develop your business model and brand. Don’t worry about what the other guys are doing and stay true to your vision.”

Shop Bare Knitwear

Follow Bare Knitwear on Instagram 


Love fashion and want to make it your career? JCI Institute Vancouver’s Fashion Business & Creative Arts Diploma Program provides students with a comprehensive overview of the fashion industry, combining creative and business elements. This diverse approach gives our fashion school grads a distinct advantage both in knowledge and skill. Prepare for many jobs in the fashion industry, including becoming a fashion buyer, fashion stylist, or for work in fashion merchandising. If becoming a fashion designer is more your speed, choose our Core Fashion Program. This course at our fashion design institute will give you all the skills you need to be a fashion designer. Choose between our fashion programs to find the best fit for you!

Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Events / Fashion

2017 Holiday Party Attire

22
11.2017

It’s that time of year again where holiday party invites begin flooding your inbox and the panic to find that perfect party outfit sets in. Seasonal parties often require a certain dress code, and we’ve got you covered with holiday cocktail dresses, suits and accessories to wear on your fancy night out.

First things first, what type of holiday party are you attending? Scroll below to find your party theme along with your outfit inspiration.

Holiday Office Party Looks: 

Finding an outfit to wear to your annual Christmas work party can be difficult. Never wear anything too revealing or too tacky— it’s best to leave that ugly Christmas sweater of yours at home, as well as that see-through blouse.

Here are a few Holiday inspired outfits to wear that you won’t regret: 

For more looks, visit our Pinterst

For the Men: 

Last but not least, let’s talk fashion, men. Sure it’s easy to throw on a suit and tie, but accessorizing is a must.

DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Looks: 

Prepare to get creative and festive! Here are a few do-it-yourself ugly sweaters for you to show off at your Christmas party:

Pajama Christmas Party Looks: 

If you’re that friend that goes “extra” to all parties, then you’ll definitely want to scroll through these cozy pajama party looks:

 

For more holiday outfit inspiration, follow John Casablancas Institute on Pinterest


JCI has gained an industry-wide reputation for excellence, giving students an exceptional network of contacts and resources when they enter into the marketplace. During the 10-month full-time program, students study everything from glamour and special occasion makeup to special effects makeup and prosthetics application techniques. With classes limited to 16 students, individualized attention and encouragement foster each student’s personal  and professional growth potential.

John Casablancas is the pioneer of prosthetic lab techniques and face casting in Western Canada. This advanced level of training affords our graduates amazing opportunities and a significant advantage for a career in film, TV or theatre.

Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Fashion / Features

Instagram Blogging Tips from Fashion Graduate Emma Leger

15
11.2017

Meet Vancouver born and raised Instagram influencer and blogger, Emma Rose Leger. With a love for fashion and creativity blossoming at a young age, Emma knew that she wanted to step out of her comfort zone and dare to be different.

“When I found out about John Casablancas Institute, it was fate!” 

When looking into local Fashion programs, Emma took a tour at JCI, which made her decision about post-secondary education an easy one.

After graduating the Fashion Business & Creative Arts Program, Emma has spent countless hours volunteering in the Fashion Industry, working in retail, and has kept busy managing her blog, West Coast Kinda Girl, while building her personal portfolio on Instagram.

“There are many career goals I have in mind for myself. To name a few… I plan to continue to build my fashion blog and social media presence. I hope to one day create my own clothing or beauty brand.” 

This year, Emma attended New York Fashion Week and had the opportunity to collaborate with companies such as Australian company Sabo Skirt. The traveling has not stopped there!

“This past month I attended the Vogue CFDA Fashion Fund in Los Angeles. I was in a room surrounded by everyone I have looked up to, including the one and only Anna Wintour. It was a surreal night that I will always remember.” 

Instagram Tips and Tricks

Q: How did you first get into blogging? 

It all started at John Casablancas Institute! I had a social media class, (taught by the social media guru Erin Sousa). We were required to submit a blog post every week for the class and I fell in love with that course! I began to publish posts on WCKG ever since.

Q: What is your biggest piece of advice to how a blogger can get noticed on Instagram?

My biggest tip would be to create quality over quantity content. It’s important to put your best work forward as much as you can, rather than posting average content daily.

Q: Top hashtags to use on Instagram? 

Hashtags are very important, even though they are always changing. Here are the top fashion hashtags I currently use:

#fashionblogger #whatiwore #vancouverblogger #LAblogger #NYCblogger #losangelesfashion #westcoastfashion #newyorkfashion #westcoastblogger #styleblogger #lookoftheday #ootd #ootdmagazine #whowhatwear #fashiondaily #fashionista #outfitpost

Q: Snapchat or Instagram Live? Which outlet should an upcoming Instagram blogger use more often? 

Instagram Live! I personally believe that Instagram is more professional and an intimate platform to connect with your followers because everything is accessible in one app. Instagram is my largest platform, I don’t use Snapchat very often.

Q: What do you think is the best strategy that worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog?

I think the best way to gain traffic is to write about relevant topics, trends, tips and tricks to help your readers. It’s always good to take feedback and questions from your readers! Another good way is to be consistent with the content you put forward.

Q: Who has impacted you most in blogging?

I get inspiration from a lot of fellow bloggers! It’s so important to network and grow with other bloggers around you.

Q: What has been the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?

The most challenging moment about blogging was when I first started. Not many people around me were doing it and not everyone understood how it could be a career.

I know a lot of girls around me who have started blogging and it’s more ‘the norm’ now, but a lot of people I meet still ask “what do you do for a living” and when I answer with “I have a fashion blog!” they don’t always take me seriously or fully understand right away.

Q: How active are you on your blog and what makes your blog different from others?

I try to be as active as possible, but I am a huge believer in quality over quantity. So I will only post something that I am proud of! I think my blog reflects me and my personality very well, I always try to stay as true to myself as possible.

Q: A lot of people think that blogging is an easy way to make money online. Do you have some tips for those people who are interested in making money from their blog?

Blogging is definitely not easy, let me tell you that! We aren’t just a quick Instagram photo posted on social media. We are photographers, location scouts, makeup artists, models, hair stylists, fashion stylists, editors, writers and the list could go on.

We are our own bosses and we do all the work! If you continue to willingly take on all of those roles for yourself, the money will come eventually.

Keep up with Emma:

Instagram     Website


Love fashion and want to make it your career? JCI Institute Vancouver’s Fashion Business & Creative Arts Diploma Program provides students with a comprehensive overview of the fashion industry, combining creative and business elements. This diverse approach gives our fashion school grads a distinct advantage both in knowledge and skill. Prepare for many jobs in the fashion industry, including becoming a fashion buyer, fashion stylist, or for work in fashion merchandising. If becoming a fashion designer is more your speed, choose our Core Fashion Program. This course at our fashion design institute will give you all the skills you need to be a fashion designer. Choose between our fashion programs to find the best fit for you!

 

Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Events / Fashion

The Winter 2017 Survival Guide

13
11.2017

It may not officially be winter yet but when the snow begins to fall and the weather starts to get colder, that’s when we Vancouverites (and Game of Thrones fans…) know, winter is coming.

Here’s your survival guide to make it through this winter and ways to stay warm when the temperature drops drastically.

Layer up before leaving the house:

Tis the season to wear every item of warm clothing that you own. Bundling up without looking like a snowman isn’t easy, but don’t let the cold weather stop you from going outdoors!

Invest in a warm coat to wear with your knit sweaters and oversized cardigans. If you’re wearing thick layers on top, try to wear slimmer pieces underneath to help balance your outfit out.

For example: 

For more winter clothing hacks, try wearing a pair of tights underneath your pleated skirts or loose-fitted pants, double-up your socks and invest in tech-savy gloves that still allow you to use your smartphone!

DIY Winter Slippers and Mittens:

Don’t retire that old knit sweater of yours from last season, instead turn it into a pair of slippers or mittens.

Click here to view the tutorial. 

Click here to view the tutorial. 

Get an ice scraper… now:

Don’t allow yourself to wait until last minute to buy an ice scraper for your car! This is a must-have for winter if you own a vehicle. You might want to get yourself an extra pair of gloves while you’re at it!

HACK: Mix 2/3 of vinegar and 1/3 of water into an empty spray bottle and spray onto your windows. This will allow the ice to melt within seconds!

Heated Blankets:

This season, heated blankets are in trend. Starting at just $20, you can get yourself a fleece electric heated blanket from stores, including Walmart. Netflix and chill? More like Netflix and stay warm during this cold season.

Need to get warm quicker in the mornings? You can also wrap yourself in these blankets while driving!

Winter Beauty Products:

 “Skin needs more TLC during the fall because the transition from humid to cold weather can be extremely drying,” says celebrity facialist, Joanna Vargas. “Dry skin is so fragile, and you have to do more to protect your lipid layer.” 

Visit our Pinterest for more winter survival tips and tricks. 


 

Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Events / Fashion

Lillea Goian Takes Tokyo Fashion Week

25
10.2017

Tokyo Fashion Week is Japan’s largest fashion event that showcases new ready-to-wear looks on the runway and takes street-fashion to another level.

From Vancouver Fashion Week to Tokyo Fashion Week, Lillea’s clothing line Profanity has been lighting up the runways this season. Her Spring/Summer ’18 collection is street-style inspired and includes eye-catching, vibrant designs.

“My experience in Tokyo is something I can never recreate. It was completely perfect. I met some absolutely amazing people, everyone in Japan is very polite and lovely. I had the opportunity to shoot with Dolls Kill which was so cool!” 

Lillea, a John Casablancas Institute Fashion Business and Arts and Core Design graduate, has come a long way in the Fashion Industry. In the past year alone, she has won the Nancy Mak Award at VFW, been caught in the spotlight when teen celebrity Noah Cyrus performed on stage while wearing a Profanity hoodie and, most recently, shown her latest collection at Tokyo Fashion Week!

“I feel as if JCI has 99.5% shaped who I am today. When I first started the Fashion Business and Arts Program at the age of 17, I didn’t know where I wanted to go in the future. I learned so much throughout the years at JCI, as I was developing Lillzkillz. Every class in the program instilled all of the main fashion industry importance that I needed to learn to help me find my way here, and for that I am grateful!”

This JCI graduate was also featured in Vogue Magazine for ‘Best Street Style from Tokyo Fashion Week ’18,’ as well as NYLON Magazine. We have no doubt that Lillea will continue surprising us with her punk-fashion and creative designs.

“I was featured in Vogue and NYLON, and I got to showcase my designs on the runway. It was everything I could ask for and more. Best trip ever? I vote yes!” 

See more images from Profanity at Tokyo Fashion Week:

Shop Profanity

Keep up with Lillzkillz


Love fashion and want to make it your career? JCI Institute Vancouver’s Fashion Business & Creative Arts Diploma Program provides students with a comprehensive overview of the fashion industry, combining creative and business elements. This diverse approach gives our fashion school grads a distinct advantage both in knowledge and skill. Prepare for many jobs in the fashion industry, including becoming a fashion buyer, fashion stylist, or for work in fashion merchandising. If becoming a fashion designer is more your speed, choose our Core Fashion Program. This course at our fashion design institute will give you all the skills you need to be a fashion designer. Choose between our fashion programs to find the best fit for you!

 

Davneet Dhillon,
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