The Fashion Business & Creative Arts Diploma Program succeeds in helping graduates make their passion their career with a program unlike any other. Covering a wide spectrum of the Fashion industry, this program prepares students for careers in merchandising, buying, sales, design, public relations, advertising/marketing, importing/ exporting, creative direction, illustration, bridal consulting, and much more. Each course within the program consists of interactive lectures, in-class discussions and practical assignments. You’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in hands-on learning with a series of talks from industry leaders, as well as field trips that align your course material. These networking opportunities outside the classroom will help you foster connections with industry experts, giving you a serious edge when it’s time to pursue your career upon graduation.

DIPLOMA PROGRAM LENGTH 47 weeks | 20 hours per week

CLASS SIZE 20 students maximum/class



Let’s start with the big picture. In this course, you’ll gain a fashion foundation by studying the evolution of the industry throughout the 20th century. You’ll learn about the influence of international fashion designers, the product development process and the steps to apparel manufacturing. You’ll also get to explore the fashion lifecycle and learn how to use political and social thinking as a way of predicting fashion trends. The goal is for you to understand how the fashion industry functions—from something as abstract as a design concept, to something as concrete as a retail purchase.  


Ever walk into a store and feel its atmosphere? That’s thanks to fashion merchandising. In this course, we blend visual art with marketing to give you a chance to bring your artistic vision to life in different fashion contexts. You’ll have the opportunity to create and execute window displays within the JCI Fashion Annex, as well as partner with neighbourhood boutiques and nationally recognized retailers . You’ll learn to follow a merchandising plan, taking into consideration factors like windows, lighting, mannequins, signage, driving revenue, branding and logo development. You’ll also design a floor plan layout of your dream store, down to every last detail.  


No matter what your focus is within the industry, being able to identify textiles and suggest how to use them is a valuable skill. In this course, you’ll learn about fiber properties and characteristics, weaves and knits, dyeing methods, printing, finishing, fabric sourcing, and labeling laws. You’ll get to experiment with different fabrics, testing your swatch book to determine what happens if you cut a fabric, burn it, pill it, dye it or stretch it. A highlight of this course is visiting the Maiwa School of Textiles—this interactive field trip gives you the chance to handle different fabrics and learn textile techniques from indigenous cultures around the world.


It’s time to get strategic with your shopping. In this course, we’ll look at the steps followed by retail buyers when planning, selecting and purchasing merchandise for a store. We’ll consider the factors that influence buyers’ decisions, like target markets, demographics, seasons and geography. Using mathematic formulas, you’ll learn how to build a strong and balanced store inventory. Your previous knowledge of trend forecasting will come in handy here—it’s a chance for you to show you can choose relevant merchandise based on trends and upcoming seasons.


The goal of this course is to help you explore, identify and communicate your brand’s message by cultivating a voice for it. You’ll be asked to apply your understanding of marketing to practical business situations throughout the course. For instance, you’ll create and present a one-year marketing plan for an actual fashion business, considering your vision for the brand’s future and how you’re going to get them there. By the end of this course, you’ll be able to execute a wide variety of marketing events, understand the mindset of consumers, and reach your audience through social media platforms.


Here, we delve into the essentials of design: colour, fabric, line and proportion, technical drawing, pattern making and fashion terminology. In our Mac Lab, you’ll learn how to digitally render technical flats—drawings that show garments laid flat with seams, topstitching, hardware and other design elements—that will take on new meaning in Elements of Design II. Design inspiration is abundant outside the classroom, which is why you’ll visit museums like the Vancouver Art Gallery and local fashion industry suppliers.


A continuation of Elements of Design I, this course builds on your initial design experience, giving you the tools to bring your ideas to fruition. You’ll work with your technical flats from the previous course to launch an actual design plan, bringing your garments to life and sharing your plans for sourcing, cost, planning, packaging and distribution with your classmates. You’ll also have additional instruction in pattern making in a ¾ scale. Taking advantage of cutting-edge technology, this course features a tour of the Makerlabs, where you’ll learn about laser cutters and 3D printers.


Retailing is an essential pillar of fashion—the entire industry revolves around consumer needs and wants. In this course, you’ll learn the mathematics of retail buying, the importance of customer service, management techniques and selling methods. We’ll focus on 3 major groups within retail: ecommerce, brick and mortar and catalogue. With each one, we’ll create actual retail operational plans. You’ll also have the opportunity to interview a local fashion business, looking at how they started, how they’ve planned, whom their target market is and what’s contributed to their success over the years.  


Fashion styling course approaches styling in 2 ways: wardrobe styling and fashion styling. For wardrobe, you’ll learn how to select the appropriate outfits for your clients in all situations, whether it’s personal, commercial or editorial. Working with an actual client, you’ll showcase your style by creating 7 days of looks for them. For fashion styling, you’ll work in front of the camera as a fashion stylist on set, styling 2 photo shoots, 1 editorial and 1 commercial, with a fashion photographer and a professional model. It’s the perfect opportunity to build your portfolio before you’ve graduated.   


You can’t look forward without looking back. Here, you’ll learn about the fibers, colors, lengths and silhouettes used in each historical period—starting from 3000 BC, working our way to the 20th century. Both men’s and women’s wear will be discussed, as well as the political and social influences of the time. We’ll have a historical costumer come into class with samples of garments from different fashion eras, and you’ll learn how to make a garment and design a collection based on whatever historical period fascinates you the most. By building a catalogue of these major trends and influences, you’ll be able to reference them throughout your career—it’s a valuable resource that will be essential in helping you predict future fashion trends.


Time to put pencil to paper. In this course, you’ll learn the essentials of drawing fashion illustration. You’ll render an 8-10 heads high fashion figure and explore different creative mediums, such as pencil, charcoal and watercolor paint. You’ll also look at how to sketch different fabrics, textures, folds and pleats. If you can’t draw, don’t panic—you’ll be able to confidently sketch a fashion figure by the end of this course. Fashion illustration is a language that is spoken throughout the industry, regardless of where in the world you are, making it a valuable skill to carry with you upon graduation.


Here, we look beyond the classroom to prepare you for your career in the fashion industry. Initially, we’ll focus on portfolio creation, then you’ll work with your instructor to find your niche and tailor your resume to suit your individual goals. You’ll also learn the invaluable practices of writing cover letters, crafting thank you letters and nailing an interview. We’ll record and review your interview, so you can get feedback before you try your hand at the real thing. It’s an opportunity for you to develop your own style of portfolio presentation, so you can really sell yourself to future employers.


Communication is key, especially in the fashion business world. The goal of this course is for you to learn how to communicate a brand’s message to the public. You’ll create both paper and paperless media kits, and develop social media campaigns and strategies. You’ll also fine-tune your writing skills with opportunities like writing for the JCI Fashion blog, creating your own blog and drafting press releases. One of the highlights of this class is creating your own magazine from scratch using Adobe InDesign. By putting together fashion spreads, you can really showcase your aesthetic and unique editorial vision. The best part? These are all eligible portfolio pieces.


In this course, you’re the boss. You’ll learn how to execute a business plan when starting and operating your own business. We’ll look at the basics of finance, understanding cash flow, income statements, balance sheets, financial projections and ratios. You’ll also get to know more about the people behind the scenes, such as lawyers, accountants, landlords and contractors—these are the people you’ll need to collaborate with. We’ll also take a fieldtrip to Small Business BC to learn more about business operations, which will be a valuable resource for when you want to bring your business venture to life.


Ready for the runway? Working with your instructor, you and your classmates will create and produce a live fashion show in support of a local charity—from start to finish. The goal is to make contacts in the industry, work with retail partners, style looks for the show, source sponsorships, cast models and experience all the behind the scenes action. You’ll get to design or style your own section of the show, and each classmate will have designated roles and responsibilities. As a prerequisite for this course, you’ll be required to participate as fashion show crew for the preceding class.  


Nothing can prepare you for the real world like the experience you’ll get from an industry practicum. The JCI Fashion Director and Industry Liaison, Maneli, will help place you in a role that matches your individual skills, interests and career goals. You’ll have to complete a minimum of 48 hours over a 12-week period in your placement during Term 3. Once your practicum comes to an end, you’ll be evaluated on your performance, and possibly even offered a full-time position. It’s the best first step towards landing a fashion position outside those classroom doors.


To create JCI’s Core Fashion Design Diploma Program, we hired designers from Vancouver’s most innovative fashion brands, including Aritzia, lululemon, Kit and Ace, OAK+FORT and Helly Hansen. We asked these industry leaders what they’re looking for in recent graduates, and incorporated their wants and needs into an efficient 6-month design program.

Every creative individual knows how much you draw inspiration from your surroundings. That’s why we brought in high-profile architects to design our classrooms. Not only do they mimic a design studio, but they’re also meant to enhance individual creativity. The sewing machines and tools you’ll be using are state-of-the-art and our desks are custom-made to ensure you can perform your best without space limitations.

Beyond our newly renovated space, you’ll also get to work with top-of-the-line software and hardware. You’ll get access to a laptop to use during class time, which will have the latest Adobe Suite Software and AccuMark® by Gerber Technologies installed on it. Accumark® by Gerber is the world’s leading design and production software—it’s considered a necessity by many of the best known apparel brands. We brought this technology to you so that upon graduation, you’ll be one step ahead of other fashion school graduates.

To top it all off, as a Core Fashion Design graduate, you’ll take your concepts to the next level by seeing your creations walk the runway in a final fashion show.

The goal of this innovative, practical program is to provide the knowledge and skills to work as a designer with confidence and pride. Students will be able to identify, understand, and use the types of equipment, tools, software, and materials required to complete garment construction. JCI graduates have the ability to stand out as a designer with strong practical and technical skills. After only 6 months of study, students will complete a collection of garments to be featured in a fashion show.

Students entering the Core Fashion Design Diploma program are expected to have an understanding of the Fashion industry. Prerequisite courses are required for admission into this program.

  • Basic Fashion Illustration (female croquis)
  • Elements of Design 1 (creating flats by hand, understanding of design process)
  • Elements of Design 2 (collection development, Adobe Illustrator)
  • Textiles

Please contact us to inquire about how you can meet these prerequisites.

DIPLOMA PROGRAM LENGTH 26 weeks | 24 hours per week

CLASS SIZE 14 students maximum/class


The Review

The Review puts you back into the design mindset, even if you never left. In this fashion academy refresher, we’ll look back at the important topics covered in the prerequisite fashion  courses you took prior to this program.

The Look

The Look is where you’ll learn the industry standards and methods that make up the fashion design process. You’ll explore how research and creative thinking can generate design ideas, and how you can translate that vision into fashion design that actually sells. Through constant analysis of the retail environment, target markets and past and present innovation, you’ll gain a fundamental foundation in this fashion design course. The focus of this fashion course is to understand the practical, economical side of fashion design, while also fostering creativity and a cultivating an aesthetic that is unique to you.

The Range

The Range provides you with the opportunity to realize your vision, starting with a design concept and finishing with a full collection. It’s really your chance to build on the ideas you established in The Look. Throughout it all, you’ll work in a fashion academy setting similar to a design studio. The goal is to create a collection that considers the economic feasibility of your product in today’s market. You’ll explore ideas around technical fabrics, alternative construction techniques, surface finishes/detailing, colour palettes, line plans and printing. Building on your knowledge of supply chain essentials and requirements, you’ll create Technical Packages of your designs. Over the course of 12 weeks, you’ll expand your range and understanding of the design process, so you can move on to constructing your garments in The Make.

The Make

Your fashion college education is what you make of it—literally. A critical part of the program, The Make is your chance to construct actual garments. In Term 1, each lesson will begin with theory, followed by a demonstration. Then, you’ll work individually while the instructor rotates through the class, giving each student sufficient one-on-one time. You’ll be introduced to basic pattern making, garment construction and sewing techniques to help you translate your designs into a fashion career. These lessons will give you an eye for quality, as well as a solid understanding of how a garment is built. In Term 2, you’ll create your final looks utilizing the valuable skills you’ve learned.

The Cut

During The Cut, you’ll learn what it takes to get your collection to market so that it can be sold to consumers. You’ll have the opportunity to showcase your collection in a JCI institute fashion show—a high-energy, public event attended by media, fashion industry personnel, sponsors and your friends and family. You’ll also style a photo shoot of your collection and look at other ways to market your line. This fashion course provides you with legitimate material for your portfolio and teaches you how to communicate your brand’s message to an audience. By the end of it, you’ll be able to sell yourself and the ethos behind your designs.   

Fashion Design School




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. 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

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!

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.



What's Happening