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Reid Hepnar: Vancouver Fashion Designer

18
04.2018

Meet Reid Hepnar… 

Born and raised in Agassiz, B.C, Reid Everett Hepnar knew it was his destiny to work in the fashion industry. Growing up in a small town in the Fraser Valley, a place completely devoid of fashion, Reid’s mother established a small women’s boutique— Reid’s first exposure to fashion.

At the age of seven, Reid spent his summers helping out his mother at her boutique with tasks revolved around steaming clothes, organizing jewellery displays or sorting a closet full of wire hangers.

“You could tell that the small town community appreciated the option of higher-grade trendy apparel. The experience of working at my mother’s boutique as a kid influenced my desire to run my own business.” 

Watching Project Runway throughout high school, a television show for up-and-coming designers to compete for a chance to show their collections at New York Fashion Week, inspired Reid to realize the vastness of the fashion industry in regards to aesthetics and career avenues. It allowed him to understand that there’s always a niche or consumer for what someone creates. Project Runway also inspired Reid’s first illustrations, where he sketched looks that followed the designers’ provided challenges.

“These experiences shaped both myself and my brand, and contributed to me finding my place in the fashion industry.” 

“Lady Gaga, without a doubt, is my absolute biggest inspiration. She is drama and theatrically incarnates and I can’t thank her enough for what she does as a performer and fashion icon. I also live for fashion drag icons like Sasha Velour, Pearl, Violet Chachki, and Detox.”

Reid has always been inspired by those who see fashion as a means of storytelling and performance— creating things greater than just what you might buy in a store. Alexander McQueen, Thierry Mugler, and Phillip Treacy all come to mind when Reid thinks of designers who fit that bill.

“Listening to Tim Gunn, my fashion spirit guide, give constructive and insightful critiques of what designers come up with on Project Runway has always helped me within my own craft. It’s a dream of mine to have my work critiqued by Tim Gunn, so he’s always in the back of my head telling me to make it work.”

Fast forward a couple years after high-school… 

After a co-worker convinced Reid to look into John Casablancas Institute, he took the advice and learned more about the Fashion Business & Creative Arts Program during his visit to JCI.

“I met with some of the most amazing faculty members and saw the learning environment which convinced me that this would be the right place for me to study Fashion. The view of Gastown alone was convincing enough!”  

Upon graduating the Fashion Business & Creative Arts Program, Reid enrolled in the Core Design Program at JCI, a program focusing more on designing and bringing a collection to real-lifesimilar to working in a real fashion design company.

For the past 7 years, Reid has worked for international fast-fashion brand H&M as a sales advisor, sales coach, and department supervisor. Now that he has graduated from JCI with two diplomas in Fashion Business and Fashion Design, he hopes to expand his skills in garment construction and pattern drafting.

“The biggest pro of working in the fashion industry is having creative freedom. This was a key factor for me when deciding on my career. I loved the idea of doodling something when a certain song or character inspired me and being able to turn a quick sketch into something tangible that someone could wear and appreciate.”

The fashion community itself is a diverse and creative environment for strong and unique personalities to work amongst. There is always the potential to travel for work, whether it’s for sourcing manufacturers or debuting runway collections during international fashion events. However, the fashion industry does have its cons which Reid acknowledges as a designer.

“I’d have to say the most significant con of the industry would be the quick turnover rate of trends and brand-relevance the industry is constantly subject to.”

A brand could be immensely popular and profitable one season and become completely irrelevant the next, which is something all designers have to worry about.

Reid intends to remain a Vancouver-based designer and set up an in-home design studio that’ll allow him to create custom pieces for clientele within the international television/film, music, and drag community. Aside from that, he hopes to acquire more experience within the industry working for established brands in design-oriented positions to gain a better understanding of the inner workings of a brand knowledge that can then be applied to his label.

“I would love the opportunity to present a runway collection during one the industry’s many international fashion events not only to showcase my label and gain a greater consumer following but to just bask in a moment where all eyes are on something I created and have it celebrated.”

Reid will be showcasing his Fall/Winter 2018 collection, entitled “LOIS” at the next John Casablancas Institute Fashion Show this summer. “LOIS”, was inspired by the life of Joan Crawford and her legacy in Hollywood, 86 year old American supermodel Carmen Dell’Orefice, and by contemporary drag fashion and culture. Lois, my fictitious muse for the collection, is a has-been Old Hollywood actress long past her prime and in complete denial of her fading significance amongst the Hollywood elite. She’s cutthroat, bitter, quick-witted, and unashamed to use any weapon at her disposal to get what she wants.

“The collection features semi-exaggerated features such as strong shoulders, high collars, and extreme wide-leg trousers and jumpsuits, implementing fabrics such as suiting and outerwear wools, jersey knits, upholstery brocade, and faux suede details. Think luxe, masculine, dramatic, ‘tongue-in-chic’.” 

Keep up with Reid Hepnar on Instagram for more behind the scenes of a fashion designer.


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

Summer 2018 Festival Fashion: What To Expect

12
04.2018

Music festival season is upon us and there’s no summer festival like Coachella. America’s flagship festival, Coachella, is more than just celebrities, music and selfies. Instagram has been taken over by brands advertising “festival fashion,” that we can hardly wait to see what our favourite bloggers will be wearing this year at the biggest music festival in North America.

Los Angeles based fashion brand Revolve is known to have its own hashtag during Coachella season: #REVOLVEFESTIVAL. This retail brand went from hosting two-influencers, Julie Sariñana of Sincerely Jules and Song of Style’s Aimee Song, in a single rented home to now purchasing an entire hotel with over 140 rooms for fashion bloggers and influencers to stay.

Whether it’s Revolve or H&M’s festival looks, there’s no denying that Coachella is every sun-worshipping blogger’s paradise. Over the year’s we’ve witnessed trends including flower crowns, fanny-packs, bralettes, circular sunnies and festival season signature “boho” looks. Although these trends were perfect for Coachella in the past years, it’s time to move on and bring forward new styles.

Here’s what you can expect at Coachella 2018: 

Circle-Shaped Bags

From catwalks to music festivals, the circle-shaped bag is every blogger’s must-have bag. The trending straw circle bags are this seasons favourite and they sure do add a touch of style to any spring look.

Brands such as BalmainMansur Gavriel and Chloé have released their versions of the circle-shaped bag. These minimalistic bags are perfect to take to summer festivals, allowing you to carry all your important essentials in style.

“The biggest shift is the move away from boho to a few things that are more urban, more eclectic, maybe more vintage,” notes WGSN Retail Editor Sidney Morgan-Petro. “But that also reflects the shift in what festivals we’re looking at for inspiration.”

Cat-Eye Sunglasses

The cat-eye sunglasses add a retro update to this year’s festival trends. According to WGSN, “it merges with the 1990s Kurt Cobain look that has been popular at summer music festivals such as FYF Fest in LA.” Although we love our circular and aviator sunglasses, we’re ready to take on this new cat-eye trend that screams summer chic.

Even Gigi Hadid is on board with this trend. It’s official, we must own these sunnies.

Sporty Waist-packs

The fanny pack just got a whole lot better and we are obsessed with the new sporty look to it. We’ve seen it on the catwalks and street style, there’s no escaping the return of fanny packs! The youthful sporty waist-pack is a must-have for the festival season. High-fashion labels including KenzoGucci and Louis Vuitton have brought the fanny-pack back to life and it’s been Vogue-approved.

Western Boots and Belts

Western boots and belts have become staple items to wear at summer festivals. The Western belt trend has been modified with coin detailing and can be worn with dresses, skirts, and denim shorts. Wink Gal offers an amazing selection of these belts!

Yes, beauty is a pain, however, if you’re spending a weekend dancing and walking, then you’ll definitely want to invest in a pair of fashionable yet comfortable shoes to wear. Western booties with a small heel make for the perfect pair of shoes to wear to festivals. And remember to wear shoes that you’re not afraid to get a little dirty.

Bucket hats, print dresses, mini metal round sunglasses, layered pendant choker necklaces, wide-leg pants and off-the-shoulder blouses are all trends that you will see at Coachella this year. Now the only question left to ask is, will Kylie Jenner, queen of wigs and all things fashion, be at Coachella this year? We can’t wait to see what celebrities and bloggers will be wearing to the biggest music festival of the year.

John Casablancas Institute Fashion Business & Creative Arts graduate Emma Leger will also be at Coachella this weekend. Keep up with her Instagram stories for behind the scenes and live action from Coachella!


 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 / Body Spa / Fashion / Hair / Makeup

How to Edit Your Photos with a Smartphone

10
04.2018

Not all bloggers with thousands of followers use online editing programs to edit their images, most people get away with the apps on their phones. If you’re ready to up your Instagram game and take your images to the next level, then get your phones ready and follow along.

How to take Insta-Worthy Images: 

First things first, stay clear of cameras within apps. Chances are the resolution isn’t as good as your phone’s camera, after all, you can always import pictures into the app you choose to edit with. Don’t forget to focus! This is very important to acknowledge because you could be one click away from either a really clear image, or stuck with a low-quality image. The way to focus your photo is to tap on the screen of your camera to where you want the main focus to be on.

Always remember to take as many pictures as you can from multiple angles. This way you have a variety of images to choose from when editing. Always shoot in natural light and turn off that flash!

The Must-Have Apps on your Phone and How to Edit:
AfterLight

The AfterLight app offers many filters and adjustment tools for you to brighten and sharpen your image before posting to Instagram. This app is also available in a second version, AfterLight 2, for $3.99.

This all-in-one photo editing app allows you to get creative with your photos by blending multiple images together, adding powerful effects and overlays, and customizing filters. Get started with importing an image from your camera roll and follow the icons listed to edit from left to right.

Click here for tutorials on how to edit your photos with Afterlight

A Color Story

A Color Story is every blogger’s design kit. With over 100 filters, 40+ effects and 20+ tools, this app allows you to enhance your images and the colours, from bright whites to rich colours.

Click here for tutorials on how to edit your photos with A Color Story

FaceTune

FaceTune is equivalent to Photoshop. This app is perfect to use for editing portrait images as it offers smoothing tools, to make your skin look smooth and clearer than ever, re-shaping tools, and tons of filters. You can use your finger to paint on effects including whitening/brightening an image, detailing, de-focusing, and more. The detail tool can be used to sharpen your eyes, lips, or even piercings to allow them to stand out more in your image.

Need to get rid a pimple? No worries, FaceTune’s patching tool removes all blemishes from your image, including pimples, wrinkles or even hair that might be in the way. (Tip: always use the patching tool before smoothing skin.)

Click here for tutorials on how to edit your photos with FaceTune

Snapseed

Snapseed is a free app that is known for its healing tool. If you have an image with a lot going on in the background that you’d like to get rid of, the healing app does just that. Drag your finger across the screen just like a magic eraser to get rid of unwanted details in your image.

Snapseed allows you to adjust your image exactly how you’d like with the touch of your finger! Your finger is equivalent to a paintbrush, allowing you to scroll your finger up for brightness. The icon ‘Tune Image’ offers contrast and saturation details to your image. With the right amount of filter and tuning done to your image, you will notice the quality going from 0-100, real quick.

Click here for tutorials on how to edit photos with Snapseed.

VSCO

VSCO is a free app used by many bloggers to theme their images in order for their Instagram feed to look cohesive. This all-in-one editing and photo sharing app has many filters for you to choose from.

Click here for tutorials on how to edit photos with VSCO

What are your favourite editing apps? Let us know!


JCI has earned its internationally renowned reputation by taking a personalized approach to education.

Throughout each program of study, creativity and passion are celebrated to ensure that every student maximizes their potential and reaches their goals. Our small class sizes also reflect our commitment to quality education and fostering individual growth.

JCI not only focuses on providing the most cutting-edge and relevant training available, but it also takes your postgraduate success to heart. Program Directors and Industry Liaisons are on staff to assist your transition from initial concept to securing your dream job.

Our local and international connections give you unparalleled access to makeup, fashion, hair and spa opportunities, and we fully recognize that our reputation is defined by our graduates’ success. We’re searching for students that share our vision and will bring their unique style, commitment and drive to the table

Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Fashion / Features

Agatha Collant by JCI Fashion Graduate Letícia Maciel Gonçalves

27
03.2018

Letícia Maciel Gonçalves was born and raised in Campinas, Brazil, a city nearby Sao Paulo. Letícia moved to Vancouver in 2017 to study Fashion Business & Creative Arts at John Casablancas Institute.

After years of thinking that fashion was just a hobby, Letícia was ready to change that. She wanted to create a professional business involving her two passions: fashion and dance. In 2017 she enrolled at JCI to learn more about the fashion industry in order to start her brand: Agatha.

“My dancewear brand was the reason I wanted to study at JCI. I knew the Fashion Program would be the key to my growth in the industry, as well as my brands. I fell in love with JCI’s Program Outline and the structure of the course.” 

Letícia participated in ballet classes in 2014 and noticed the lack of clothing options in the dance industry. There had been limited options for brands and the quality of clothing. That was the moment Letícia became inspired to create a dancewear clothing line that would provide a comfortable fit, high-tech fabrics and a lot of stylish options.

The name Agatha came to Letícia’s mind as she began planning her brand. She wanted a name for her brand that would develop a strong sense of femininity.

“A girl that inspire others and is genuinely herself— that’s Agatha.”

Letícia is the founder and creative director of Agatha, while her mother Roberta Maciel is the co-founder and the lawyer of the brand. As of now, they are working on launching the e-commerce side of the business, which will be available worldwide very soon. Letícia designs the ideas for her brand and has a team of seamstresses who bring the garments to life.

“My mother Roberta Maciel has always encouraged me to follow my gut and supported me with every decision.” 

The latest collection for Agatha Collant includes options for womenswear and kidswear. The collection is timeless and the leotards are flexible.

“My dancewear tights can be worn from a yoga class to a lunch date in the city!” 

During her time at John Casablancas Institute, Letícia has learned that if you act professionally in the industry and are genuinely a good person, doors will always open for you. Networking is something Letícia would highly recommend to anyone interested in working in the fashion industry. It’s important to build connections, especially when starting your own business.

“If you want to create your own business one day then you have to go in with a strong mindset and take the risk to do what you truly love.”

Besides attending ballet classes twice a week and working as a creative director for Agatha Collant, Letícia enjoys yoga and high-intensity workouts.

“For me, beauty is not strictly about what clothes you wear, instead it also has to do with your mind and soul.” 

Follow Agatha Collant 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

Phased by LJ at Vancouver Fashion Week F/W 2018

26
03.2018

John Casablancas Institute Core Design graduate Lyndsey Jackson showcased her latest collection for her brand, Phased by LJ, at Vancouver Fashion Week’s Fall/Winter 2018 show. It was Lyndsey’s first-ever showing at VFW and she definitely left her mark on the runway.

Born and raised in North Vancouver, Lyndsey has always been inspired by fashion and art. After living in Berlin, Germany in 2013, her mind opened up to the excitement of arts and creativity.

Image via Getty Images

“I achieved a Business Degree, but my heart was set on doing something more technical and with my hands.” 

From working in sales at a software company to becoming a fashion designer, Lyndsey took a leap of faith in her decision to follow her dreams. Although she had experience in the business and marketing side of fashion, Lyndsey wanted to take a dive into the technical part of the industry where she would learn all about design.

“I love Yohji Yamamoto— his aesthetic, style and mantra. I’m also inspired by the edginess in Alexander Wang’s collections. A lot of my inspiration comes from fashion and culture seen in music videos.”

Image via Getty Images

Falling in love with the fashion studio at John Casablancas Institute was one of the reasons Lyndsey decided to enrol in the Core Fashion Design Program. Knowing that it was a 6-month program focused strictly on design, Lyndsey knew she had to enrol at JCI with the goal of leaving with a marketable collection.

“I really learned to respect the creative process. It was frustrating at times, but as a designer, you’re probably not learning anything outside of the box if everything’s made easy.”

After graduating the Core Design Program, Lyndsey started working as a full-time stylist at Holt Renfrew and is the team lead for the H Project— Holt Renfrew’s speciality department which partners with organizations around the world that are socially responsible for the way products are created and by whom they are created, what materials are used, and how each organization gives back.

Image via Getty Images

Aside from working at Holt Renfrew, Lyndsey is working as a designer and taking on as many projects and contracts that come her way to developing her design skills.

“If you put your mind to something and set the right goals, there is so much that you can accomplish. I am super impressed with how much I have learned since I started at JCI. Exactly one year later I was already showing a collection of eight looks at Vancouver Fashion Week!”

Lyndsey’s brand Phased by LJ aims to provide adventurous and experimental women with new perspectives and a raw, unassuming sense of beauty. The brand is feminine with a sense of edge.

Image via Getty Images

“I’m always inspired by music, Japanese aesthetics and attitude.” 

The F/W18 collection for Vancouver Fashion Week was mainly inspired by electronic music and 90s aesthetics. A lot of layering pieces, tartan prints and asymmetrical details were seen in this collection. Lyndsey used knitwear and stretch materials in her collection but in unassuming ways. She enjoys the idea of turning knitwear into something edgy that can be dressed up but also comfortable to wear.

“I like the idea of something being a little off about a garment because in life nothing is ever perfect, you have to learn to appreciate the chaos— it adds character.” 

Image via Getty Images

After an incredible fashion show at VFW, Lyndsey was grateful for the opportunity to showcase her designs at the show. She had the chance to collaborate with her boyfriend who helped bring the visuals for the show together and the 90s inspired house music with a modern spin that played while the models walked down the runway.

“Phased by LJ will definitely keep the energy from VFW going. I’m beginning to work on inspirations and plans for my next collection and hopefully this Fall I’ll be able to make a trip to Japan!” 

Although Fashion Design is Lyndsey’s main focus, she also enjoys traveling, finding new music and socializing. She will continue working at Holt Renfrew as it is great exposure to contemporary and designer products.

“I love learning from various brands on how they market themselves in such a competitive industry. The fabrics and craftsmanship that goes into these pieces are amazing. It’s great to learn about how some of the top-of-line garments are made and analyzing the details on them. I enjoy being working in high fashion.” 

With her love for design and culture, Lyndsey hopes to get hired as a stylist or designer for music videos one day. As of now, she will continue to work on developing her brand, while working as a stylist and team lead at Holt Renfrew.


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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