In June 2020, we held a Graduation Exhibition to showcase the final portfolio work of our VCAD grads, and Laela Blanchet, the Fashion Program Coordinator at VCAD Vancouver campus, gave us some deep insight into the fashion landscape in Vancouver.
“COVID-19 has changed the fashion industry for the better,” says Laela. “It’s really a great time to be in fashion design.”
Historically, many companies that are in the fashion business would have turned to off-shore production facilities that can provide more cost-friendly alternatives in fabric production. However, with the advent of COVID-19, many of these companies can no longer rely on international sources for their products and have instead turned to local designers and production companies to manufacture their clothes for consumers.
Before the province entered a “lockdown”, fashion industry professionals may have only had one or two contacts in leather or knit machines. Sometimes, a person would have to travel across the Lower Mainland in order to complete a specific task: that meant it was limited in terms of what could be done locally. Now, everything is local. There is more demand for local producers of fashion goods.
“Within the last few months, several new clothing production factories have opened just because of the dire need for them,” says Laela.
Lastly, there is also the authenticity factor. Five or 10 years ago, few people cared about where a piece of clothing was made. However, now, there’s a whole market that supports and advocates for local business and requires their goods to be “made in Canada” or “made in BC”. The majority of consumers have become intuitively aware of where things are produced, and many of them choose to purchase and follow individual fashion designers, in order to better support local artists and identify with their artistic visions.
All of this said, it’s a great time for individuals and artists to enter the fashion industry, because not only is there the demand for production workers and designers, but there are also plenty of opportunities to find your own niche in the fashion industry.
Want to learn more about VCAD’s Fashion Design programs and how you can get started in this thriving industry? Fill out the REQUEST INFO form on this page.