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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 being 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,
Blog / Events

Things to Know Before Attending a Music Festival

16
06.2017

Keep calm and brace yourselves because the season of music festivals is upon us. Not sure how to prepare? We’ve got you covered with this guide of things to know before attending a music festival this summer!

Forget the Flower Crowns 

It’s been a fun few summers with the popularity of flower crowns, however, it’s time to grow out of this phase and dump those crowns. They were probably only $6.90 from Forever 21 anways! This doesn’t mean you can’t rock another alternative on your head take the risk and dare to be different with your accessories.

 

 

Take a cue from Zendaya who pulled off a tiara headband like a queen. Head chains and headwraps are other creative substitutes to style with your look.

Comfort is Key 

You will be walking a whole lot at a music festival, so packing comfortable shoes is a must. Plan your outfits ahead of time and bring appropriate footwear to avoid blisters or sore feet.

The Nike 5.0 Running Shoes are not just made for you fitness junkies. These multicolored sneakers can be styled with all your favourite festival looks. Converses, Adidas, Toms, low-heel booties, and gladiator sandals are other comfortable choices. Take a look below at some of the functional festival footwear that’s made for dancing and walking!

 

Protect Your Skin

Make sunscreen your best friend this summer because there’s absolutely no hiding from the sun at a music festival. Though wearing halter tops may be fashionable, sunburns are not. We’ve got you covered with IMAGE Skincare products,  which are carried at the John Casablancas Institute Body Spa.

The Prevention+ Image physical barrier sunscreen with built-in UVA/UVB is an SPF booster and provides DNA protection. This product has an SPF factor from 30 to 50 and is available in a matte, hydrating and tinted moisturizer SPF.

“I prefer to use the daily tinted moisturizer because it looks as if you have makeup on your skin. This product also evens out your skin tone and because it has the moisturizer within the SPF product, there’s no need to pack another moisturizer along. It’s a 2 in 1 deal!” — Jenifer Sterling, JCI Body Spa Instructor 

The Essentials 

Carrying a small, chic backpack is the easiest way to carry all your essential products with you at a festival. Use our list to make sure you don’t forget anything!

  1. Wet Wipes/Hand Sanitizer: These will come in handy for sure! The heat may cause your makeup to melt and that’s when wet wipes come to the rescue. Hand sanitizers are also a must have at a festival where the bathroom situations are usually less than ideal. No one wants to end up getting sick so sanitize your hands often!
  2. Cash: Most food trucks at a festival will only take cash so bring enough to get you through the weekend.
  3. Water Bottles: Rather than spending your money on water, bring an empty one and fill it up inside. Most music festivals will provide free water stations for this purpose, so be sure to stay hydrated!
  4. Hats/Sunglasses: The IMAGE Skincare SPF products may be a festival savior, however in the hot summer sun, sunglasses and hats add extra protection for your skin.
  5. Portable Phone Charger: Keeping your phone charged means you will never miss a beat during the festival. Don’t let your battery die in the middle of your favourite band’s set or during that perfect instagrammable moment!

There you have it, the JCI guide to surviving music festivals. Now go out and enjoy yourself this summer!


JOHN CASABLANCAS INSTITUTE

(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,
Blog / Fashion

Summer 2017 Fashion Trends

14
06.2017

With less than two weeks left before the summer solstice hits, we’ll finally be able to soak in the sun wearing the latest fashion trends. Now’s your chance to get ahead of the game and prepare your hottest outfits for the next season.

Here’s the rundown on what you need in your closet this summer:

The Single-Shoulder Cut-Outs 

Don’t worry ladies, off-the-shoulder tops aren’t going anywhere and will remain essential pieces in your summer wardrobe. However, this year try the new feminine and chic one-shoulder phenomenon, or as Harpers Bazaar calls it, “The Cold Shoulder.”

The Robe Coat

Remember when wearing pajamas was a major game-changing fashion trend? High-end designers never fail to surprise us with new styles and this summer you’ll be seeing a lot of celebrities and bloggers rocking a robe with their outfits. The robe trend is a style savior that will definitely make your Monday mornings a whole lot easier.

Sun’s Out, Bra’s Out

The bra trend reveals that fashion really has no rules! Whether you style your bra underneath a sheer top, pair it with high-waisted pants or wear it comfortable and casual like Sofia Richie, this trend is here to stay. Victoria Beckham is another celeb to have hopped on board with this trend.

“Corsetry is something that I’ve been doing since my first collection—it’s very much something that people associate with me,” Beckham said of her bra tops. “I’m evolving it with a feminine take on the bra top.”

Statement Stripes

Dress in bold stripes this summer from head to toe. Check out our favorite striped looks:

Waist-Cinchers

It’s official, the waist-cincher, or corset, will be this seasons hottest street style trend. Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Gigi Hadid have been photographed wearing this waist emphasizing accessory as an everyday look. Imagine what people from the sixteenth century would think!

 

Ruffles, skewed hemline skirts, retro swimsuits, wrap dresses, deconstructed shirts and florals are other fashion trends that you will be able to spot in the upcoming season.

Check out our Summer 2017 Fashion Trends board on Pinterest to view more styles! 


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 / Makeup

Freaky Friday Makeup

09
06.2017

There’s no denying that students and graduates from John Casablancas Institute have a creative and wide imagination. From aliens to zombies, these artistic makeup artists have created the most terrifying and creepy looks.

Take a look for yourself, if you dare.

Samantha St John

It seems as if JCI Makeup graduate Samantha St John celebrates Halloweens almost every day! We are not complaining – with over 25K followers on Instagram, this Canadian beauty influencer is a wildly talented hair, makeup, and special effects artist.

 

 

Keep up with Samantha on her Youtube channel

Emily Crawford 

Recent Makeup graduate Emily Crawford, left a lasting impression at JCI by creating a terrifying “BARAKA” look for her final prosthetic exam.

 Danielle Rudnisky 

Electrical burns, chemical burns, slit throats and severed fingers– our students get the chance to create all these looks in the JCI Makeup Program. Current student Danielle has mastered the art of special effects makeup.

 

Aside from being a makeup artist, Danielle is also a professional photographer. Click here to follow her Instagram page. 

Kimberley Margarita

A JCI Makeup graduate, Canadian beauty influencer, Youtube phenomenon and an Instagram sensation with over 535K followers, Kimberley Margarita is a talented makeup artist who just got placed in the top 20 for the NYX Cosmetics Face Awards! Congrats Kimberley.

Check out her video for the Top 30 NYX Face Awards.

The second challenge for the Face Awards has been revealed and voters will be able to vote for the top 12 from June 16-23. For more information on how you can vote for Kimberley, visit the Face Awards 2017 website.

Keep up with Kimberley Margarita on her Youtube Channel: Colour Creep

Luke Taylor

Luke recently graduated the JCI Makeup Program and finished his final prosthetics exam by creating this creepy alien creature. This image can also be viewed on the JCI Instagram page.

Jennifer Day

Current JCI Makeup student, Jennifer, created this “Drop Dead Gorgeous” corpsing look during an airbrushing class. Check out all those perfect details!

Alexandra Gill

Alexandra graduated the JCI Makeup Artistry program and has continued her passion for bodypainting, as seen on her Instagram account. Here’s a look at two of her recent body painted creations: “Night Shine” and “Psychedelic Chameleon.”

Janelle Montague

Janelle is currently enrolled in the JCI Makeup Program and has been enjoying creating special effects makeup looks. Her latest creation is this frightening zombie!

Follow Janelle on her Youtube channel: Genie Slays

We may be months away from Halloween 2017, but it’s never too late for a little inspiration. JCI Makeup artists aren’t afraid to take risks and show off their dark side with these makeup techniques.


The Makeup Artistry Diploma Program has gained an industry-wide reputation for excellence, giving students an exceptional network of contacts and resources when they enter the marketplace. During the 10-month full-time program, students study everything from glamor 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 Institute 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 theater.

Davneet Dhillon,
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