FASHION SCHOOL INSTRUCTORS
Director & Industry Liaison
Maneli is the Fashion Program Director and Career Liaison at JCI. Having lived in both North America and Europe, she understands the fashion industry through a global lens. In London, Maneli worked in a high-pressure, high fashion position at Alexander McQueen. Here in Vancouver, she was a womenswear designer at the innovative lululemon lab. Her experience in the industry is vast—she’s held titles such as Business Development Executive, Print Designer, Illustrator and Fashion Editor, and she’s worked in costuming, branding and consulting. Now, on top of her role at JCI, Maneli is also the Creative Director of the label, Aiki District.
Maneli’s creative pursuits at home and abroad have shaped her perspective on the industry. Specifically, education has played a pivotal role in her success. With a Bachelor’s Degree from UBC in Sociology and Political Science, Maneli understands societal and economic trends. This diverse, knowledgeable approach gives her a particular edge when it comes to researching and forecasting fashion trends. Her extensive network connections also ensure that she understands what it takes for students to be marketable—locally and globally.
Maneli is here to help you find your focus within the industry. Once you’ve found what speaks to you, she’ll take those extra steps to help you land a fashion career that lets you live your passion.
Instructor of Retailing, Entrepreneurial Skills, and Marketing
With a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Merchandising and Communication from Ryerson Polytechnic University, Melanie is the owner of her own retail consulting company. Helping clients develop their own retail identity, she is well versed in many areas of the fashion industry, including event coordination, marketing, branding and retail operations. Prior to consulting, she spent several years in the fashion retail sector, allowing her to build contacts and develop her natural skills in training others.
Instructor of Elements of Design and The Range
Heather Young was born into a family of makers. Her grandmother was a seamstress for Modernize Tailors in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Her mother sewed her dresses and taught her rug hooking at an early age. She is the founder of The Craft Lab and has an extensive background in clothing & textile design spanning more than twenty years. In fact she can’t remember a time when she was not in love with textiles. After working for her uncle’s Aero Garments, she completed a fashion design degree from LaSalle College in Montreal and returned to her native Vancouver to begin the clothing line Dust. She designed and sold the woman’s line to stores in New York, Montreal, Tokyo and Vancouver. Design collaborations include contemporary dance, film, theater companies and boutiques. In 2013 Heather completed a Masters of Fashion and Textiles from the Glasgow School of Art specializing in textile design using natural dyes. Her interests lie in sustainability and fashion, design process and building community through making. She has been teaching textiles for over a decade.
Joan de Raucourt
Instructor of Retail Buying and Fashion Show Production
Joan has been involved in the fashion and modeling industries for over 25 years. Joan has worked as a model, fashion show coordinator and stylist throughout Canada and was involved in the buying, retailing and merchandising of Stephane de Raucourt shoes for 15 years. Joan has recently graduated from the prestigious Sheffield School of Interior Design in New York City and runs a part-time interior design consulting business.
Jeremy van Nieuwkerk
Instructor of Portfolio
Creative human, father and resident of East Van. Passionate about presentation design. Image maker, craftsman and artist. Always learning. Living simple and striving towards a lower impact existence for the future of our planet.
Instructor of Elements of Design, Illustration, Textiles, and The Look
Jennifer Gagne is a freelance apparel designer and developer working with a variety of brands based in the UK, United States and Canada and specializes in Intimates, Performance Apparel, Outerwear and Swimwear design. Over the past 10 years, Jennifer has gathered an array of skills to compliment her apparel design background including project management, logistics, sourcing, product development and sales + marketing. Her roster includes: lululemon athletica and the lululemon lab, Aritzia, Erin Templeton, Kit + Ace, Urban Outfitters, Naked Underwear, Elita Intimates, Cotton Inc., WGSN and Girlfriend Collective. She leads an active lifestyle surfing, skiing, running and motorbiking around Vancouver.
Instructor of Visual Display
Instructor of The Cut
Instructor of The Make
Julia grew up on Vancouver Island, where she developed an interest in sewing and creating garments at an early age. Her creative spirit drove her to Vancouver, where she graduated from Kwantlen Polytechnic with a BA in Fashion Design and Technology. With a keen interest in Scandinavian design, Julia then moved to Finland in 2007. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Fashion Design from Aalto University, and worked for clothing companies in both Helsinki and London as a pattern drafter, production assistant, and women’s wear designer. In 2014, missing the beauty of the west coast, she returned to Canada. Julia holds over 10 years of local and international industry experience, specializing in women’s fashion, pattern making, garment construction and communication. Her personal work explores simple and organic approaches to clothing, with an emphasis on process driven design, sculpted silhouettes and innovative construction techniques.
Stephane de Raucourt, John Fluevog “I have maintained a business relationship with John Casablancas Institute for the past 15 years and continue to rely on their expertise and professionalism from hiring fashion graduates to models.”
Brian Hill, Aritzia “I have hired JC graduates and found them to be qualified and well prepared to perform their jobs. I would not hesitate to hire a JC grad again.”
Tracey Pincott, Stylist “I have always been able to rely on JC fashion students to assist in various aspects of my fashion show productions. They are very professional, committed and prepared. They are always a pleasure to work with.”
Michelle Esteras “Words could not express my gratitude towards my exceptional instructors who have become my mentors and molded me to become successful. The Fashion Arts program led me to explore my strengths and build up my weaknesses as well as value and character. It is not-at-all a glamorous industry, yet, it is one of the most rewarding. It requires passion, determination, hard work and that extra mile of effort. After graduating, JC staff went all the way with me with full support and faith in what I can achieve. It definitely is an institute that trains you to become the best and part of the real world of the fashion industry. I am blessed to be part of this Institute.”
Samantha Rose Balleza “JC Institute prepared me with the tools and knowledge to further my career in the fashion industry. The assignments and hands-on activities gave me the opportunity to show my creative side of styling and illustration, something I didn’t know I had in me.”
Angelica Martensson “My year at JC Institute was amazing. I learned so much about the fashion industry and I’ve grown as a person. I moved to Vancouver from Sweden not knowing anyone or what to expect from the program. From my first day until the end, people have treated me so well, and they’ve made me feel welcome. It’s been a great experience, and I’m going back to Europe with lots of memories.”
Bonnie Chung “I must say, this program was more intense than I had imagined, but at the same time, this program taught me so much! This course was not just about fashion, but it’s also about teamwork, time management, handling stress & pressure and how to strive towards reaching your goals. Current information and events on the fashion industry, and various job postings helped me keep in touch with what’s going on around me! Out of all schools that I’ve attended, I had the most fun, and felt the most successful at JCI. Thank you to all the teachers and staff, you guys are amazing!”
Confirmed graduate placements: 2015 – 93% 2014 – 80% 2013 – 95% 2012 – 92%
See your dream job with Holt Renfrew, Aritzia, LuluLemon or jetting off to NYC or Hong Kong? JCI Fashion grads are unstoppable. Check out some grad profiles and picture yourself in the scene.
Sima Kumar Renowned International Celebrity Fashion Stylist
Styled for huge superstars such as: Brad Pitt, Elton John, Sean Connery, Nelly Furtado, Sarah McLachlan and Kylie Minogue.
Nominated for 4 MTV Awards for her work on music videos for No Doubt, Jennifer Lopez, Incubus and POD.
Fashion, commercial and print editorial work includes styling for Christian Dior, YSL, the Grammy Awards, Paris Fashion Week and GQ magazine just to name a few!
Canada can still draw her back to style for projects like Canada’s Next Top Model and Bachelor Canada.
Michelle Esteras International Visual Merchandiser
Started her career as designer for Moba Moga, then got hired as Visual Merchandiser for GAP and H&M.
Moved to Dubai as Head of Merchandising for H&M.
Moved back to Canada as Manager of Visual Merchandising for BCBG Western Canada.
Now International Visual Manager for Australian based Company, Ever New, overseeing stores in 11 Countries. WOW..talk about success!
Fala Chien Fashion Designer
Started her own women’s wear line “Play with Fala”.
“Play with Fala” has been featured in New York Fashion Week, Vancouver Fashion Week Flare Magazine, and Elle Magazine.
Her line is currently sold in Canada, USA and Taiwan and at her online store shop.playwithfala.com
Lauren DesLauriers This top student landed an amazing job as Manager of Store Operations and Fashion Buyer for exclusive South Granville boutique: Libertine with buying trips to New York and Paris twice per year.
Recently moved to London, England to pursue an international opportunity as the Retail Development Manager for Westly Richards where she can live out her European Dream and career at the same time!
Julia Chan As the top Student Achievement Award winner, Julia landed her dream job in Marketing for Artizia.
As she continued to shoot for the stars she took her career to Hong Kong where she currently works as a Fashion Marketing and Advertising Executive for one of the top global Men’s lifestyle websites: “Hypebeast”.
Her career now has her gallivanting the globe to the fashion scenes in Florence, Milan, Tokyo, Seoul, Las Vegas and LA for trade shows and fashion weeks.
Rimpy Sahota Top Student Award winner, Rimpy started her fashion career as an intern with Gucci.
After graduation, Rimpy accepted a position as a Designer and Buyer for Dynamite and Garage Clothing in Montreal.
Returning back to Vancouver Rimpy snagged the awesome position as Buyer for LuLulemon.
Rimpy now has her own line of clothing (formal wear) and just completed her first trunk show. Rimpy has current JCI Fashion students interning with her! www.rimpysahota.com
Veronica Guan Only a few months after graduation, Veronica launched her own collection, “Veegy”. The collection was presented in two JCI fashion shows, and was recently featured in BC Fashion Week. Veronica used every project at JCI as a tool to design her collection and perfect her business plan. “Veegy” can be found at national retailer, The Bay as well as several stores in Hong Kong.
Kiran Khaira After graduating, Kiran was hired as the special events coordinator for The Bay Downtown. Her dedication paid off and a few years later she was promoted to special events manager. She organizes everything for fashion shows including international apparel brands to product launches for large-scale cosmetics companies.
Katrina Wright With passion in her heart and a diploma in hand, Katrina graduated from JCI prepared and focused on success. With previous retail experience in tow, she was offered a position at a designer boutique in Yaletown, Atomic Model. In addition to running this shop she also dealt with purchase orders and shipments. Loving both management and buying, Katrina then took a position with another retailer doing just that until she landed her dream job with Blubird, a luxury boutique on Alberni street in Vancouver. As a buyer and assistant manager, she travels as far as New York to find the newest and hottest collections. We’re so proud of Katrina’s accomplishments and can’t wait for her next buy to arrive at Blubird!!
Mario Miotti Mario was born in Canada, and has lived in Italy, Australia and the U.S.A. After training at JCI, he moved to Montreal for 2 years to further his career and knowledge in the industry. He is currently based in Toronto and New York, where he is an accomplished fashion and beauty photographer. Mario has established his own niche in being able to merge large luxury items with lifestyle and fashion.
He has photographed in numerous locations around Europe and North America. His magazine clients include, Lou Lou, Pure, Clin D’Oeil, Mariage Quebec, Argyle, Lush, More, Sharp, Audi. His campaigns for established designers include: Andy the Anh, Rafinalla, Mackage, Soia &Kyo, and Zeugari. Commercial clients include: L’Oreal, Feria, Richard Booth, Cotton Ginny, Moods Salon & Salon Daniel. Celebrity clients include: Inga Cadranel, Ben Mulroney, The Canadian Tenors, Leah Miller, Erin Karpluck, and Brendan Fraser.
In 2009, Mario was nominated for 3 National Magazine awards, and in 2010, he was awarded the Fashion/Beauty Applied Arts Award. Today, Mario continues to work on projects that inspire creativity and further his passion.
Pauline Chand Right after graduating, Pauline landed her first job as Assistant Stylist to the legendary Sima Kumar, a JCI grad and celebrity stylist. Pauline’s first styling job was a commercial for Britney Spears. Some of Pauline’s other projects have been with Vancouver Fashion, and GQ Magazine.