What started as one student’s vision to provide a fashion platform to help his friends in university promote their fashion brands has evolved into a celebration of Canada’s emerging youth-driven industry. Set for the last week of March, University Fashion Week brings together emerging and seasoned fashion designers and artists, connecting them with buyers, models, entrepreneurs, investors, business students as well as professionals in entertainment sector; all with the sole opportunity of giving them a collaborative platform to grow and gain exposure. UFW’s focus is getting youths more equipped in cultivating and growing the Canadian fashion landscape. Unique to UFW is its selection of remarkable Creative Directors who work to expand this platform to their respective University communities. Supported by the growing resources and infrastructure of UFW, these emerging leaders work to create something truly encapsulating. Keeping to UFW’s social advocacy initiative, this year’s theme will promote Multiculturalism through fashion, inspired by Harambecouver – Canada’s first Multicultural Parade with a focus on Diversity and Reconciliation. As Canada’s University Fashion Week prepares its launch at UofT, UBC, SFU, this March, meet the new UFW Icons taking this Season to new heights.
DIO WONG, SFUXFW
Hailing from Maple Ridge, Dio’s passion for fashion started at a young age, where he had a natural independent mind for what he wore. At an early stage, he understood how the wardrobe selection of stars affected the buying decisions of what he believed was “cool or not”. Through this inquisitive nature to learn more about the various influences on his decision making, Dio found himself inspired to learn more about the ins and outs of the fashion industry. Although Dio does not call himself a Fashionista, he has developed a strong passion for the business side of the fashion industry and the secrets behind aesthetic beauty in clothing. This passion has led him into the field of communications and business where he is currently pursuing a degree in Business and Communication at Simon Fraser University.
Understanding the world of marketing and advertising would allow him to get into a career that allows him to have a lot more control over his decisions and be at a level where he’s able to influence others to make smarter purchasing decisions. The advocacy component of UFW really inspired Dio to couple his marketing and advertising passion with priority on understanding how incorporating social advocacy as an integrated feature of a Business adds to their prospective brand and long-term success. While Dio is looking to work in the fashion and advertising industry after graduation, leading SFUXFW into the 5th Season and UFW into it’s Canada wide expansion is an accomplishment he hopes can give him the necessary skills he needs to be better equipped to becoming a marketing and advertising professional.
DEJANÉE MIKYLAH BOWLES, UOFTXFW
Having worked on Hillary Clinton’s book tour production in Toronto, Dejanée Mikylah Bowles wanted to immerse herself more into Toronto’s rapidly growing production industry and saw the role of creative director for Canada’s University Fashion Week as a way to advance this. Dejanée is a second-year student at the University of Toronto studying Criminology and Socio-legal studies, Political Science and English with strong aspirations to go into the field of Entertainment Law as both an artist and a lawyer. Dejanée, also known as Dé Mikylah a local Toronto artist and UofT Student, believes that it is very important that Artists as Creators understand and learn the importance of the business and legal aspects of their industry. By immersing herself in UFW, to bring together various stakeholders, she’s able to understand more about what goes on behind the scene. She believes that fashion and the fashion industry should not be restrictive but rather, embraced by all individuals regardless of shape, size, race, sexuality, or any other form. From leading and producing a number of projects, Dejanée has gained the skills and experiences needed to adequately lead and run University Fashion Week for its first annual appearance in Toronto, Ontario. With more universities already rapidly connecting on how they can get involved in University Fashion Week, Dé is ecstatic to lead UFW’s 2018’s East Coast showcase as part of University Fashion Week’s first Canada wide expansion year.
KEN CHI, UBCXFW
Inspired by Kanye West and his ability to build culture through fashion, Ken Chi, also known as Swabski, a UBC undergrad and local rapper who was featured alongside Friyie’s Cxxlaid tour, believes UBC has a remarkable opportunity to build on the culture UFW is spotlighting. With the interest of building UBC’s art and culture scene, Ken wants to lead the change to add opportunity and variety to what the campus already offers. When it comes to multiculturalism, Ken comes from an international background as a Korean American who has lived abroad in Asia, which led him to pursue a degree in Political Science and Chinese Language and Culture. Swabski, his alias, derives from a Japanese word, Wabi-Sabi, which is a phrase that states that beauty is hidden in all facets of life, and he aspires to share personal and social experiences through the arts. Through his various leadership and cross-cultural experiences, Swabski is connecting the dots through his growing music and fashion connections to create a lasting positive effect on social empowerment while challenging the status quo.
***Skynation is a proud partner of Canada’s University Fashion Week.
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