How Queen's Fashion Industry Network is bringing fashion to campus

Club focuses on providing Queen's with fashion education

Dresses from the fashion exhibit and the Royal Ontario Museum.
Credit: 
Supplied by Jane Bradshaw, taken by Abby Stewart

When Queen’s student and model Jane Bradshaw brought Queen’s Fashion Industry Network (QFIN) to campus a year ago with Avery Johnstone, they wanted to introduce a club that would compensate for the lack of fashion programming at Queen’s.

The one-year-old, student-run club works to help students learn how they can get involved with design, modeling, experience with InDesign and all things fashion-related.

“Essentially, we want to connect students from Queen’s with the global fashion industry and give them opportunities to learn about [the] career paths of the various jobs out there as well as create a network, because with fashion, it is all about who you know,” Bradshaw told The Journal.

Working as a model full-time from the ages of 15 to 18 in Toronto and Milan, Bradshaw’s interest in fashion began at a young age. From this early experience, Bradshaw developed a foundation of valuable connections with members of the fashion industry, an advantage that allows for unique networking experiences for members of the Queen’s club.

QFIN hosts monthly socials and events for its members, sporting its own Facebook page to announce weekly updates on what’s currently going on in the greater industry. Additionally, the executive committee will alert members of relevant job opportunities and let them in on advantages like exclusive sales for tickets to Toronto Fashion Week.

Most recently, the club took 50 of its members to Toronto to gain exposure to the city’s take on the industry. QFIN visited the Bata Shoe Museum and the Royal Ontario Museum fashion exhibit, were later given an office tour of Holt Renfrew, access to a networking session with George Brown College focused on their fashion program and finally, a meeting with 20 professionals in the industry.

Speaking with The Journal, Bradshaw explained the club’s current focus is to working with complement fashion clubs on campus including Project Red and Vogue. According to Bradshaw, QFIN differs from these groups in its heavy focus on teaching its members the skills they need to work in the industry.

“We really want to give opportunities to students of all faculties to teach them great skills that they need to have, like software skills, InDesign skills and then to expand to people in engineering so they can learn that there are opportunities in fashion with textiles and design,” Bradshaw said.

Since Queen’s doesn’t have a specified fashion program, Bradshaw hopes QFIN will show high school students considering Queen’s the opportunities there are on campus to get involved in fashion and learn about it.

“Next year, we are starting a mentorship program where we’re taking people from the industry and pairing them with our members so that they can have a mentor in the industry,” Bradshaw said of her future plans for the club. “For the executive we are planning big events, but it does take time to do sponsorship and get speakers. It’s a lot of planning and logistics.”

Thanks to Bradshaw’s work along with Johnstone, QFIN provides Queen’s campus with the opportunity for students to get involved with all things fashion and gain an introductory foundation of what it’s like to work in the industry.

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Corrections

The article has been updated to reflect that QFIN was started by Jane Bradshaw and Avery Johnstone.

The Journal regrets the error.

The photo credit has been updated to reflect that it's the property of Abby Stewart.

The Journal regrets the error.

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