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26-09-2005
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Winnipeg, Mb, Canada
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Canadian Schools ... for Fashion
Hi, I just signed up here, so I don't know if people have talked about this before or where exactly I would find this information...but I'm planning on attending the International Academy of Design in Toronto, and I was wondering if people had heard good/bad things about it, or if they knew of other fashion design schools in Canada that may be better (or be of equal quality but cheaper). However I will pay to go to the best school if I have to. I'd also be looking for a school that offers a two year degree.
Thanks

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26-09-2005
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Join Date: May 2005
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From my own research, the best schools in Canada appear to be International Academy of Design and George Brown College. If you were in Vancouver, Kwantlen also has a really good reputation but if you can I would go to one of the first two instead.

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26-09-2005
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I've heard the Academy is way overpriced...
I go to Ryerson where they have a degree program (Bachelor of Applied Design), it's the only university level fashion program in canada... it's a 4 year course.

But I've heard George Brown's facilities are better and they're way cheaper... plus it's a two year program.

Of course I think Ryerson is the best, though, in spite of it's shortcomings. It's the only program where you get to produce a full grad collection and it has tons of industry cred.

That said, all Canadian fashion schools are extremely industry oriented. Expect no CSM arty-school stuff... or at least very little. Many of my classmates find ways to produce their wildest ideas somehow, though.

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26-09-2005
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oh yah I completely forgot about Ryerson because of the degree vs diploma thing. Ryerson is a really good school too plus it's a degree so if you plan to work overseas and whatnot it is sometimes easier to get a work visa with a degree (most countries require a bachelor degree, in any discipline, to be eligible for work visas)

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28-09-2005
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Ryerson has a very good program and has forged links with retailers such as Holt Renfrew.

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01-10-2005
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hi, yeah I'd *like* to go to Ryerson but I simply can't spend 4 years. When you were talking about CSM 'arty' school stuff, what exactly did you mean?
Since I've been primarily looking at the International Academy of Design, do you guys know if it has credibility in the fashion world, or anything about their programs where they introduce you to people in the industry?
I was under the impression that with the IAoD, even though I realize it's overpriced, that you were kind of paying for some connections that you got, and that it was a good school. Would you guys say, quality of the school and connections included (not considering money at all), that George Brown is a better school than IAoD?
Thanks again

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01-10-2005
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IAoD turns me off becuase they seem like a commercial college. They've got all sorts of ads everywhere and it just seems like... why are they pushing so hard? I don't know a lot about the kind of accreditation you get but George Brown just seems more legit to me.

All the schools have industry contacts, most of the teachers are from the industry, but getting contacts is really your responsibility, even if the school offers some kinds of partenrships with certain companies.

CSM is an art school, whereas the schools we are talking about are much more industry related. CSM people learn how to draw, talk art theory, and specialize in the more ephemeral aspects of design but unlike the canadian schools they don't learn how to make their garments from scratch, they don't do industry research. Fashion is treated more like a business than an art here. There's fashion illustration courses at Ontario College of Art and Design which would be a little more arty I guess. But they do want you to know what you're doing. You'll never regret acquiring a new skill; it makes you a better designer.

The best thing would be to talk to people who went to the schools you're interested in. Any IAoD alumni around? The fact that I have gone to Ryerson for 4 years and still like the school says enough about what I think of the Toronto schools. No program will please everyone though... I believe that you get out of it what you put in.

Don't dismiss Montreal either. Montreal actually has a bigger industry base than Toronto does, though they have a smaller market. Parasuco, Le Chateau, Las Senza and other major companies operate out of there. La Salle college I've heard is pretty good. Le Chateau hires tons of Ryerson people though. Ryerson is connected with quite a few of the major companies; Sears, the Bay, etc. Montreal is cheaper and more fun too.

Only a few percent of those students who enter first year finish and of those grads only a few will get the plum industry jobs. You really have to be passionate, and work really hard. People think fashion is easy, but you will literally be working your finger to the bone and losing your social life if you want to make your dreams happen. Don't expect a lot of dollars though, starting salaries in the industry are $30 000. That's not a lot considering the cost of living in Toronto.

People like me who are launching their own ventures can expect to live off their losses for a few years. Less than 90% of startups work. I also do freelance work, technical design and illustration, which means I am constantly looking for work and don't have any sort of safety net - feast or famine. You just try to do the best you can. In the creative courses at school there are two kinds of people... those who do it and those who don't. Just do it and don't give up.

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14-11-2005
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La Salle College
Does any one know of the graduate employment rate of fashion design students here? How many people get jobs in canada or overseas?

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14-11-2005
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I did one semester at George Brown ages ago and it was fine. Teachers were nice enough, and definitely knew their material. But with one semester, i don't think I have a fair analysis of the program....

I picked up a few night school courses at Seneca and the teachers who do night school at Seneca admitted they also teach night school at George Brown too (hey, in this city, people need money).

I would advise you to look at the program and evaluate the subject offerings against your personal goals. In the Canadian market, I am not sure there is such a thing as a "prestige" education, in fashion.

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20-12-2005
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IAoD is a for profit school... Here's a great article on the perils of for-profit fashion education.

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26-12-2005
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Vancouver Fashion Schools !
Hi I'm trying to decide on which school to attend. Does anyone have any insight into these schools and which one I should choose ?


Blanche MacDonald
John Casablancas
The Art Institute
La Salle College

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26-12-2005
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Hed Kandi, don't discount Kwantlen, I have heard nothing but positive things about it. The first two you mentioned should be at the bottom of your list from what I have been told by people attending schools in Vancouver

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28-12-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockitgirl
Hed Kandi, don't discount Kwantlen, I have heard nothing but positive things about it. The first two you mentioned should be at the bottom of your list from what I have been told by people attending schools in Vancouver
Really? That's odd. Blache MacDonald was my first choice as I've heard a lot of positive things about it.

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28-12-2005
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Also, has anyone heard anything about the Helen Lefeaux school in Vancouver ?

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28-12-2005
  15
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You have to make your own decisions ultimately. I have no personal experience at any of these schools but am just relaying what I have been told by other people. My advice to anyone looking for a school is to tour the ones you are most interested in before you decide, not every school is for everyone

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