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Jason Pillay: JCI Fashion Graduate and Stylist

10
08.2017

Born in Edmonton, Alberta and raised in Vancouver, BC, Jason Pillay is a fashion stylist who also works in the film industry and manages a small dance group.

“I always loved seeing what people wore at red carpet events, fashion and award shows. Even watching music videos, I was intrigued by the creative direction.”

Jason enrolled at John Casablancas Institute for the Fashion Business and Creative Arts Program in 2014 to further educate his knowledge in fashion and seek opportunities in the industry.

“I always had an interest in fashion and knew JCI would be the right place for me.”

Before beginning his journey with JCI, Jason took empowerment and personal growth courses at workshops to experiment what career path he wanted to take. Enrolling at JCI helped Jason narrow down his options and he knew exactly what direction he wanted to take in the fashion industry—styling.

At first, Jason didn’t know exactly what a “stylist” was— but he knew he enjoyed putting outfits together, shopping and helping his friends and family select clothes for their wardrobe.

“I had a captivating experience at JCI. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, but definitely a memorable year. I knew going into the program it would be very tough as I had many commitments before and during the duration of the program, but I was certain the timing was right.”

While Jason was studying Fashion at JCI, he was also working two part-time jobs, managing a dance group, building a career and maintaining a social life. During the program, he also completed a twelve-week internship.

“I had a great time with all my courses in the program at JCI. My classmates turned into a family and all the teachers became personal mentors. The great thing about the program is that it covers the diversity of careers in the fashion industry.”

After graduating in 2015, Jason continued to focus on his personal growth and gained more experience in the industry. He launched his career as a stylist and worked hard to create his own brand.

“The highlight of that year, (2015), was being able to attend New York Fashion Week where I was able to see all the magic that goes on from behind the scenes!”

Jason has been inspired by watching people around him grow and achieve what they want. Hearing successful fashion icons of major designer brands share their stories and journey has been inspirational to the stylist.

“My family and friends are everyday inspirations.”

From attending New York Fashion Week to presenting his very own show at Eco Fashion Week in both Vancouver and Seattle, Jason has had a number of prize moments throughout his career. His favorite styling project thus far has been working on an actor for the Fox series, “Empire.” Most recently, he has also been styling a high profile international celebrity client.

“The best part of working in the fashion industry include: being able to express yourself, meet people, travel and have a variety of careers options.”

Jason acknowledges that there are a lot of different areas to work in as a stylist. The first tip he would give to students aspiring to get into this career path is to figure out your niche. Secondly, begin to network as much as you can because it is important to meet people and stay relevant.

“Nothing comes easy and you will hear the word “no” from time to time, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. You have to work hard in order to go a long way to your career.”

When Jason isn’t working on styling projects, you can find him spending time alone for self-therapy, hanging out with his friends and family, planning new projects and traveling. He recently got back from a vacation from Central America which was followed by a trip to Los Angeles.

“I have plenty of projects that will be revealed in the future. I am hoping to go to London in September and the rest of what goes on in my life can be viewed from my  social media outlets!”

Keep up with Jason on Social Media:

Instagram     Website     Facebook     Twitter


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 / Fashion / Features

JCI Fashion Graduate and Knitwear Designer, Sally Sandusky

03
08.2017

Born in Cardston, Alberta, Sally Sandusky dreamed of working in the fashion industry for as long as she could remember. Her dreams became reality when she hopped on a plane with her two suitcases and enrolled in the John Casablancas Institute Fashion Business and Arts Program in 2011.

After graduating the Fashion Program, Sally volunteered at many fashion events, including Vancouver Fashion Week and Eco Fashion Week, and soon pursued her goal of designing knitwear for her line: Omeme.

How was your experience at John Casablancas Institute? 

I always dreamed of working in the fashion industry. At first, I began a career in Health Services in Alberta, and in my spare time, I learned to knit, which became a hobby. It wasn’t until 2011 when I discovered JCI and knew I had to enroll in the Fashion Program. It was a tough year because I found myself facing money and personal growth troubles.

My favorite quote throughout the program was: “Obstacles are what you see when you take your eye off the goal.” 

The instructors at JCI supported and encouraged me a lot, which gave me the strength to overcome any problems. I still consider them my mentors.

What did you do after graduating from the JCI Fashion Program? 

After graduating JCI, I began to pursue my dream of designing knitwear and volunteered at as many fashion events I could. I had a strong work ethic at Vancouver fashion events which helped open a lot of doors for me. I was able to design and showcase my first ever knitwear line at Eco Fashion Week.

It’s important to ask for what you want— whether that’s a career opportunity or internship. When an opportunity arises, seek for it. 

Who are your inspirations in the fashion industry? 

To this day, I remember the first time I watched the Dior Fall/Winter 2011/12 Fashion show— it was complete magic to me. The details in the show from hair and makeup to the music really inspired me. I’m also a big fan of Murad Zuhair, D-squared, and Tom Ford

What inspired you to become a knitwear designer? 

I learned to knit just over ten years ago. I had a vision of a scarf and asked my mom, who is an exceptional knitter, if she could knit it for me. Instead of knitting me that scarf, she taught me how to create my first stitch and knit on my own. It was both exciting and scary at first, but when I created my first sweater, I knew I could get the hang of knitting.

It wasn’t until attending JCI that my pursuit of becoming a knitwear designer became real. I have my instructors at JCI to thank for that as they encouraged me every step of the way.

What has been your prize moment throughout your career? 

There have been many moments that I will cherish throughout my career. Some of those moments include designing for my JCI graduation fashion show and also seeing my designs come down a runway for the first time. I’ve also had my designs published in a magazine and have been approached by a photographer for British Vogue. These are all prize moments that allow me to take a step back and realize how grateful I am.

JCI gave me the opportunity to be part of Vancouver Fashion Week. 

What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers? 

If you are truly passionate about getting into the fashion industry, then be prepared to take risks in order to work towards your dreams. Be open to opportunities that come your way and be brave enough to open your own opportunities. And remember to be kind and respectful to everyone you come across in the industry.

Each step throughout my career has prepared me for the next step forward. 

When Sally isn’t knitting away and preparing for her next collection, she is passionate about writing, film, and photography. Currently, Sally is studying film making personally with a film director and hopes to be able to collaborate with film projects in the future. She has also applied to study film in Toronto.

Omeme will be releasing a Menswear Sweater Collection for Fall 2017.

Keep up with Sally 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 / Fashion / Features

Meet Lillea Goian: JCI Graduate and Designer

14
07.2017

From a young age, Lillea Goian always knew she wanted to leave her mark in the fashion industry.  After moving to Vancouver to attend JCI straight out of high school, Lillea had already graduated from both the Fashion Business and Creative Arts and Core Design Programs shortly after her 19th birthday. She has been featured in Elle Canada, and her designs have been spotted on Canadian musician Peaches as well as American actor and singer, Noah Cyrus.

“The programs at JCI really helped me figure out exactly who I wanted to be in this world and I’m very grateful for the experiences and valuable information gained from both courses.”

Born and raised in North Vancouver, Nelson B.C, and Malaysia, Lillea began the Fashion Business and Creative Art Program at JCI knowing that she wanted her own clothing label one day.

“Founder of Vetements and the creative director for Balenciaga, Denma Gvasalia, is a huge inspiration for me. His silhouettes and odd concepts really inspire me.”

Lillea was first asked to showcase “Lillzkillz,” (initially her Instagram handle), at Vancouver Fashion Week in September 2016. This collection consisted of vintage reworks, featured original art created by friends, and was all styled in the month leading up to the show.

From that moment onward, she fell in love with clothing construction and began dreaming of selling her pieces at VFILES in New York.

“I’d love to promote my work more in Europe and Japan and be able to see more fashion enthusiasts wearing my pieces over the next years.”

Though she had already shown at VFW, Lillea felt as if she had more to learn about design and the technical world of garment manufacturing. This solidified the decision to enroll once again at JCI for the Core Fashion Design Program in July 2016.

“Seeing that the program was only 6 months long, I knew I wanted to gain a far more hands on experience. I also picked up full-time hours at a vintage store and began creating garments on my own time as well as selling my pieces online.”

Lillea does both vintage reworks, “Lillzkillz,” and created an extension line: “Profanity by Lillzkillz.” This second line was inspired by the word itself and how it is frowned upon by the general public.

“My clothing represents something that a lot of people see as being odd or difficult to understand, which relates well to the term “profanity.” I’m also known for the phrase “what the f*ck is she doing” which I feel ties in with profanity.”

One of Lillea’s prize moments was having American actress and singer, Noah Cyrus, wear a Profanity hoodie. The singer’s stylist found Lillea through Instagram and she was later spotted at a press conference wearing Lillea’s designs.

“80s punk and Vivienne Westwood’s creations around that time inspired me because of the rebellious ways and I felt as if I could relate since my creations rebel against society. I like to include a bit of androgyny in my creations and my garments are not gender specific.”

So far, the biggest obstacle has been building her own company from the ground up. Lillea has kept busy managing all aspects of her business since graduation.

“Establishing a business as a one woman show is a struggle and a learning experience—I’m really lucky to have supportive people in my life who want to see me succeed.

Lillea would suggest people to think outside the box, work hard and not give themselves any boundaries. Fashion is about individuality and doing things your own way.

“It’s important to push yourself and work hard, it’s the only way you’ll see improvements.”

As of now, Lillea is building her network within the industry while working on her clothing labels. When she’s not working, she enjoys leaving the city for adventures and can be caught watching crime documentaries or listening to podcasts.

Keep up with Lillea/Lillzkillz on Instagram

Follow PROFANITY on Instagram 

Shop Lillzkillz online


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 / Fashion / Features

Sarah Koss X JCI Fashion Graduate and Nordstrom Business Analyst

23
06.2017

At the age of 18, Sarah Koss left her home in Seattle, Washington to study Fashion at John Casablancas Institute.

“I love fashion and wanted the opportunity to live abroad, which JCI was able to give me.”

While studying the Fashion Business and Arts Program at JCI, Sarah received internships at Horton Berner and Moulé. Once graduating JCI, Sarah began her journey at Nordstrom as Men’s Clothing and Furnishings Manager in January 2012.

In 2013 she began to move her way up in the company and became Studio Manager for a year, then got promoted to Personal Styling Manager. As Personal Styling Manager, Sarah was responsible for managing large teams in developing and executing high-level business plans.

In 2015 Sarah was appointed as Nordstrom’s Styling Sales Manager where she taught selling through organized classes and worked with over 800 sales representatives. Recently, the JCI Fashion graduate got promoted to Business Analyst for the Nordstrom Technology team.

“I love managing people and helping teams build out a structure for new roles and launches. My immediate goal is to be a project manager and who knows where life will take me from there!”

 

How did you get involved in the fashion industry?  

While I was a student at JCI, I had my own fashion blog, Twitter account, and other social media accounts. When I was near graduating the fashion program, I tweeted a Nordstrom store manager about current opportunities and he replied telling me to call him the next day to discuss employment. The rest is history!

During school, I interned with Horton Berner Fashion Group, one of Canada’s leading Fashion Showrooms. I also scored an internship at Moulé which I loved. I would tell every JCI student to apply for an internship while you’re in school. This is the best way to get your foot in the fashion scene, build connections and get real life experience.

“The Fashion Director at JCI at the time, Nicola MacEwen, really pushed for me in my internships and got me interviews. She was an important person in my development and professional career—I’m very thankful for her.”

Tell us about your Nordstrom journey.

I’ve had many different positions within Nordstrom. From managing the men’s and women’s departments to Personal Styling and most recently I was the Sales and Styling Manager. As a Sales and Styling Manager I was responsible for new hire training, the personal styling team, elevated sales programs, teaching and educating on tools and store systems.

“I love that the fashion industry is always changing and evolving. No two days are the same and I’m always learning something.”

I just got promoted to a corporate position as a business analyst for a technology team. My goals are to be in the program management team and this is the perfect next step to get me onto that path.

What do you do when you aren’t working?

I just bought a house and we got chickens! That’s really fun and time-consuming. I’m also a big sister for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization which is very rewarding. My hobbies include hiking, playing tennis and traveling.

“People describe me as an outgoing, eager and go-getter type of person.”

What are some challenges you’ve come across in the industry?

I believe that the challenges are more around specific education. With the market flooded by people who love fashion, the JCI program gives you a great crash course on all things fashion and allows you to find your true passion. If you want to get into business or something more specific, additional schooling and specialized degrees are helpful.

What advice do you have for aspiring fashion students?

Volunteer a lot— whether it’s a fashion show, sample sale or store opening, you will build a lot of connections by keeping your mind open and putting yourself out there. What really helped me is not worrying so much about a specific job when I graduated, but more on the company I wanted to work with. 7 years later and I’m still with Nordstrom!

“I get inspired by people who think out of the box. I love when people can truly be themselves and express who they are from what they wear. It’s all about empowering each other.”

Picture via Sarah Koss’s Instagram 


Love fashion and want to make it your career? JCI Institute Vancouver’s Fashion Business & Creative Arts Diploma Program provide 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 / Features

How to Theme your Instagram Feed

22
06.2017

Remember when people used Instagram almost exclusively to showcase their food and late night selfies? This billion dollar app has now grown into a successful tool for blogging and building a digital portfolio. Not only is it efficient and easy to use, Instagram allows you to create, share and promote content to attract and gain followers.

Before we get into the guide on how to begin a theme for your Instagram feed, check out these examples edited through the popular app VSCO:

 

VSCO is widely used in the social media industry and allows you to filter images to look cohesive on your feed. The app is free to use, but also allows you to purchase additional options if the esthetic you’re after is not included.

What is an Instagram Theme?

Instagram themes are all about consistency. Whether you decide to keep all your pictures bright and clean or dark and moody, having your photos follow a similar colour story is a great way to keep your feed visually appealing. Editing each picture in the same way creates uniformity, even when a variety of content is being shared.

Not everyone chooses to follow a theme for their Instagram. However, if you’re a blogger or want to get noticed, it’s best to begin a theme on your page so followers can recognize photos as yours. This doesn’t mean you have to scratch your current account and start all over— once you begin a theme, it will eventually overtake the old pictures.

The Must-Have Apps

Begin planning the layout for your Instagram theme by using apps such as UNUM, Planoly and Preview. These apps allow you to test out your theme by moving pictures around on a mock feed before publishing them to Instagram.

Stick with the same filter and think about every post before you publish it. The color and feel of your latest Instagram post should match with the previous posts – once you have this down you’re on the road to a theme! Other apps to use for editing are:

Find Your Muse 

Not sure what type of theme to begin? Luckily there are a ton of bloggers and influencers who have unique and creative themes to turn to for inspiration. Here are a few of our favourite Instagrammers who know how to maintain a visually appealing theme:

Lauren Conrad / @laurenconrad 

The warm and fuzzy theme:

Aimee Song / @songofstyle

The fashion blogger’s creative theme:

Mery Seng / @happilygrey 

The greyish hue feed

Jillian Harris / @jillian.harris

The white boarder and clean theme

Crafting an Instagram feed is not hard! It’s quite simple once you get the hang of the filter choices and become consistent with your posts. Remember to be picky with what you share! As much as you love that selfie, if it doesn’t fit your theme, don’t post it.

Check out Pinterest for more Instagram theme inspiration.


(JCI) is widely recognized as the industry leader in providing job-ready training and has been setting the standard for artistry and innovation for over 30 years.

Established in Vancouver since 1978, JCI continues to stand behind top professionals in the areas of fashionmake up, hair and esthetics. With note-worthy careers as award-winning makeup artists, international fashion stylists, skilled spa technicians and cutting edge hairstylists, graduates of JCI continue to shine.

Supportive and positive learning practices provide students with the most beneficial educational experience.

Our faculty is comprised of leading industry professionals and guest instructors from various aspects of their respective fields. Our instructors and graduates continue to win awards and gain recognition for their work and contributions to their industries. Just 1 block down from the Waterfront Station, JCI sits surrounded by cafes, design studios, art galleries and photographers’ studios – the perfect place for students to absorb creativity and find constant inspiration.

 

Davneet Dhillon,
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