Project Description

Fashion Business & Creative Arts

// Program Overview

47 Weeks | 20 Hours per week | 20 Students per Class

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.

Admissions Information

// Course Outline

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.


I have always been able to rely on JCI 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.

Tracey Pincott | Stylist

// Instructors

Maneli Nourbaksh
Maneli NourbakshDirector & Industry Liaison
Melanie McIntosh
Melanie McIntoshInstructor of Retailing, Entrepreneurial Skills, and Marketing
Heather Young
Heather YoungInstructor of Elements of Design 2 and The Range
Joan de Raucourt
Joan de RaucourtInstructor of Retail Buying and Fashion Show Production