fashion magazine
Stellar Fashion Students

Wondering what rising design talent is sure to be a force in the near future? Look no future than the eight students featured here. Not only are they talented fashion students, but each took on, and successfully completed, the Vancouver Fashion eZine student incentive sale at their school. They have proven their ability to develop a plan to handle the difficult business side of fashion - selling a product - while still working full time at their regular studies. Kudos to them all!!! They have earned not only an online bio, but this article will be included in our next print collectible due for release in September 2011.

In alphabetical order, the successful students are:

Aileen Twa (UFV) Aileen Twa is a first year Fashion Design student studying at The University of the Fraser Valley. Her love of fashion and costuming began at a very young age and her passion for design has been developing over many years. As a young child, she perused the bridal and fashion magazines before she could even read and began drawing and adapting what she loved. She delighted in watching movies and was drawn to their costumes and props. While her love of design can be seen in her intricate illustrations, she is gradually seeing them come alive in fabric. Having been home schooled until grade twelve, Twa was able to focus on her passion for art and was afforded the time to dream, create, envision, draw and develop her ideas. Once she entered the public school system for her final year of high school, she was able to further explore other aspects of design and advance her skills in fashion drafting and construction. For years, her family volunteered as a pioneer family in costume at historic Fort Edmonton and Aileen was mentored by the head costumer. Fashion school has allowed Aileen to find confidence in her abilities and further develop her talents. She sees herself closer to achieving her dreams and one day hopes to see her own designs on the catwalk or the big screen.

Anika Yuzak (VCC) Anika Yuzak is an artist/designer based in Vancouver. She is currently studying Fashion Arts at Vancouver Community College. Her graduate collection explores print design and sustainable textiles through the use of patchwork detailing and colourful sun-bleached organic fabrics. Anika earned her Bachelor's degree from Emily Carr University in 2004 and went on to exhibit her video and photography works locally and internationally. This past year she had the opportunity to intern with Plenty Clothing and RoseHip Hats. She is excited to start her career in Vancouver amongst such a vibrant and growing fashion scene. For more information you can visit her website at or email anikayuzak@gmail.

Jill Smolkin (Art Institute) Designing and being creative has been a part of Jill Smolkin from as early as she can remember. Approaching life in a creative way has given her a sense of gratitude and purpose. Life has not always been easy and it is definitely a journey. Going back to school at 40 has its challenges but Smolkin is finally following her dreams. If it wasn't for her family, she wouldn't have the strength to go her own way and is most grateful for them. She shares, "Be grateful for who you are and celebrate it! We shouldn't stop being fashionable just because we are over a size 12." Celebrating their curves and women looking for beautiful, well-made clothing designed specifically to compliment their curves is the focus of Smolkin's designs. Currently in her final year, the Art Institute has given her the skills and knowledge to make Smolkin's dreams a reality!

London Alexander (VCC) London Alexander is known by his peers as the quiet guy; more times than once has he surprised those around him with his modest creative ambition. At 16 years of age, London bought his first sewing machine, shocking his parents while telling them of his dreams to design. That is where it all began for this 21 year old small town resident. With a part time job, part time school, as well as being a full time business owner, his vision is on a clear path to reality with his recent launch of LRMA Clothing. His love of fashion, support from friends and family and, of course, dedicated hard work all contributed to the unfolding of London's dream. London is currently enrolled at Vancouver Community College where he will receive his fashion design certificate. Not only does he enjoy meeting others in the fashion industry to share his passion with - classmates, teachers, business owners, etc - but he is also eager to learn and better his skills of fashion design.The fall/winter 2011 collection of LRMA Clothing will be in stores this fall. Buyers will find a mixture of contemporary and casual men's garments, all of which are unique to London's modish intuition.

Nathan Graalman (Blanche Macdonald) Nathan Graalman grew up in Red Deer, Alberta, where he lived for 19 years of his life, training himself in many forms of Art and design. With great encouragement from family and friends he moved to Vancouver in the summer of 2010 to focus on his dream of a career in Fashion Design. Currently studying at Blanche Macdonald, Graalman is in the thick of what he loves and is more than excited to keep learning after school! Working on perfection of his minimalist design aesthetic, he hopes to stand out in the crowd of extravagance by discovering new techniques in functional and detail design. Leaning towards a rugged equestrian style, he is especially interested in becoming a menswear designer. His design icons include Rag & Bone, Louis Vuitton, and Native Son.

Kate Cameron (Blanche Macdonald) Originally enrolled in interior design at BCIT, Kate Cameron began in the paint industry working as an interior design consultant for Benjamin Moore. Her position extended into management, human resources and events coordinator. The Fashion Merchandising program at Blanche Macdonald opened her eyes to public relations, the perfect industry to utilize her experience and passion for design, business, event planning and the fashion industry. Being a fashion publicist is more than attending fashion shows and working with incredible clients. It involves hard work, long hours, non-stop phone calls and last minute crisis management, yet Cameron is excited to dive. She is currently looking for internships and working on her blog . Cameron shares, "Although I sometimes wish I had started in this industry earlier on, I know the path I have taken has only given me more experience and more confidence in the direction I'm now going. In some ways I have always been going towards public relations, and I couldn't feel more ready and more excited to prove myself." Kate Cameron looks forward to the experiences waiting for her in Vancouver.

Samantha Proche (UFV) Samantha Proche is a 20 year old fashion design student at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) in Abbottsford. She was born in Toronto, Ontario, and currently lives in Langley, British Columbia. In high-school Proche majored in intensive fine arts. At H. D. Stafford Secondary she earned the highest GPA in Senior Dance/Choreography Intensive as well as Senior Film and Television. Proche graduated in 2009 with honours at Langley Secondary School. That fall she entered UFV as a General Studies student. While at the school she began to do illustrations of fashion figures. The fashion program, which involves drawing, designing and sewing, captured her interest. So in the fall 2010, Proche became a full time fashion design student. Proche's designs are mostly classic, timeless pieces inspired by the 50's and 60's. Her garments are very feminine with soft tones and a simple elegance which is always in style. Her favourite fashion icons include Audrey Hepburn, Sandra Dee and Marilyn Monroe. Proche will graduate from UFV in Spring 2012 with a Diploma in Fashion Design.

Sheen Michniewski (UFV) Sheen Michniewski started developing design skills when young. She went on to become the head designer for school plays in Sherwood Park, Alberta. She researched, designed and sewed a wide range of costumes for plays such as Wizard of Oz, Picnic and Cinderella. Each play required garments with specific details and a myriad of fabrics. Moving from designing costumes to doing custom sewing was a natural progression. Sewing graduation and bridesmaid dresses honed Michniewski's skills. For dancers she created and digitized traditional Celtic embroidery designs. Wanting to further develop her skills, Michniewski enrolled in the fashion program of The University of the Fraser Valley. She will graduate next year, but plans to also earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an extended fashion minor at UFV. Michniewski's collection was shown at the graduates' annual fashion show in April 2011. Her sense of humour, love of unique fabrics and creativity is strongly demonstrated in her collection, which emphasizes the natural curves of women.