Student designers make a splash

Lines of clothing headed by Queen’s students pursuing careers in fashion design alongside their degrees seem to be rising in numbers.

A perfect example is Ohneka, a fashion line started by Madison Tyrell and her mother.

Tyrell, BFA ’17, has always loved the potential in altering second-hand clothing and, alongside her mom, has turned her hobby of altering thrift store finds into a line of denim wear that has quickly expanded.

Now the duo makes t-shirts, sweaters, hats and more, in addition to their signature denim jackets and cut-off shorts.

Though Tyrell is a Queen’s student, Ohneka remains based out of British Columbia, an obstacle to the line’s turnover.

“It is really hard because I’m from Vancouver, so we can really get the majority of our clothing done whenever I’m home,” Tyrell said.

“It is difficult in the way that we can’t really be constantly producing clothes while I’m away.”

But Tyrell’s field of study provides constant inspiration for her work on Ohneka while in Kingston.

“We just started print-making … a couple weeks ago and it’s my jam. I have all these things to print, I’m like, ‘I can put this on everything,’” said Tyrell.

Although it’s frustrated the process of production somewhat, relocating to Queen’s has had its benefits.

“The fact that I have my friends now supporting us and wanting to wear our clothes around campus — we had our first pop-up sale at Queen’s officially just this … frosh week — [is] awesome,” Tyrell said.

“It’s been really cool to see things we’ve made pop up around campus.”

The biggest impact, Tyrell said, has come from the weather.

“I’d say the weather has been the biggest influencer in the way that I can create a completely different line for the weather in the winter here because people need things like hats and warmer jackets … at home, it’s much warmer you know on the west coast, so it’s not that necessary,” she said.

“So it’s definitely affected the range of what we’re making. Just having a different demand for a separate sort of product with the weather I’d say.”

Hoping to find as much success as Ohneka has had in Kingston is the newly formed Local Goods Ltd.

Founded by Adrian Caldarola in the early months of this term, Local Goods Ltd. is a line of street wear seeking to integrate itself into the Queen’s community.

“Being around Queen’s and in this community, you would understand the kind of people that I want wearing my clothes,” said Caldarola, ArtSci ’17.

Caldarola claims his work with Local Goods Ltd. and his passion for Queen’s students as the ideal demographic for his brand has helped him integrate himself more into the Queen’s community.

“I feel like it’s definitely made it a lot better in terms of, I feel like I’m branching out more than I would have before,” Caldarola said.

He hopes Local Goods Ltd. will ultimately benefit the community as a whole, beyond just providing students with nice t-shirts.

“I kind of want it to be a local brand and branch out from there, so I’m trying to do things with local music, get some musicians from Queen’s University, we’re going to start doing blogs and stuff like that to get their name out there as well,” Caldarola said.

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.