Alumni profile: Alisha Schick

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Image credit: Suka Clothing Facebook Page

From teenage misfit to Fashion Designer, Alisha has played an important role in the growth of Edmonton’s Fashion Industry. As a 2001 Fashion Design graduate from MC College Edmonton, she is the Owner and Creative Director of Suka Clothing, and a Fashion Instructor at MC College. Since graduating, she has also:

• Showcased in The Park Show in Edmonton and Calgary
• Showcased at Western Canada Fashion Week
• Been featured in Fashion Magazine, Avenue Edmonton, Georgie Magazine and Alberta Venture to name a few.
• Competed in the 2012 Mercedes Benz start up competition
• Done illustration and styling for local publications.

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“Being an instructor has challenged my design beliefs and refined my skills and abilities as a designer. I learn as much from my students as they do from me” (via Fashion Magazine). As an Instructor, she has mentored Designers as such: Nicole Campre, Sid Neigum and Jessilyn Poole (Eve and Enoch) to name a few.

 
She became interested in fashion in High School. “In sewing class, I was with a bunch of misfits…girls that were kind of the rebel type. One of them was going to hair school at MC College and pushed me to sign up for the fashion program” she says. “Fashion for me was a complete accident…I had initially wanted to be a physiotherapist” Alisha continues (Via InTouch News).

 


Alisha’s career in Fashion started when she completed her internship in Toronto. “I interned with Marcus Fraser, a local business owner whose brand came out of Toronto…he was a real person to talk to because he was from Edmonton and his company started very grass roots” says Alisha. In 2007, she launched Suka Clothing. The garments are designed by Alisha and made in Edmonton, and can be purchased online (sukaclothing.co) or in-stores (Bamboo Ballroom).

 
What is your brand about?
“Inspired by our Alter Ego. Suka Clothing is a lifestyle brand with a strong understanding for music, subcultures and high fashion. The brand offers comfortable, detail orientated design with a focus on wearability. Bold, street inspired looks are balanced with feminine silhouettes and simplicity.”


What has been the biggest eye opener since graduating?
“This industry is tough, it takes a lot of hard work…be prepared for heartache and disappointment, it’s the most important step in success…You can never measure your success with anyone else…you have to DO YOU and build on that every time.”


What advice would you give to MC College students and to aspiring fashion designers?
“Leave your ego at the door…Be yourself, be real, don’t give up, accept challenges and…you got to give a shit! There is no half ass in fashion…and be humble because you will never know everything there is to know.”

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Struggles only Fashion Design Students will understand:

1). Fashion week is more exciting than Christmas.

2). People constantly asking you to make clothes for them

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3). The feeling you get when someone asks you where you got your dress/skirt/pants from and you respond with: “I made it”.

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4). Finding pieces of thread everywhere. Food. Bed. Car. Literally….everywhere.

5). This meme of what people think of you:

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6). Always critiquing stranger’s and friend’s clothes (pattern making skills, seams, fabric).

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7). When you get “Judy’s” measurements wrong…

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8). When people ask you, “so you’re going to be on Project Runway?”

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9). you have a love/hate relationship with seam rippers

10). It’s the end of the world when the bobbin runs out.

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11). Your hands, arms and clothing always have pencil/paint/charcoal/pen smudges on it

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12).Gunning it on the sewing machine like you’re driving a Lamborghini

13). Always window shopping but never buying because you can always make it yourself!

14). You are a pro at making mood boards

Alumni Profile: Jessilyn Poole

eveandenoch_2_newJessilyn Poole is a graduate from MC College Edmonton’s Fashion Design program. Fresh out of school and driven by her dedication for “carefully curated” clothing pieces, she founded EVE + ENOCH in 2011.From clean lines to flirty silhouettes, she describes the contemporary clothing line as “very wearable and comfortable. It’s trendy, but… will last and transition into several seasons”. eve and enochAs a Canadian Fashion Designer, she is an advocate of shopping local, “I want to create clothing in my city because…people have become disconnected in retail…if you put a face behind it, you can make them realize what they’re buying and make more conscious decisions” she says.

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From sewing with a needle and thread at 5 years old to mastering the sewing machine at 7, her career in Fashion started at a young age. “I’ve always dreamed about design for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I lived in a world of scissors and construction paper. Later, I played with fabric to create clothing” says Jessilyn. After designing and constructing her High School graduation dress, Jessilyn decided to make her dream career as a Fashion Designer a reality, and enroll in a Fashion program. MC College Edmonton was the right place for her as it offered everything that she was looking for: internship opportunities, clothing line and collection development, fashion marketing, and more.

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We asked her: what was your favorite part of the course?
The New Designers Fashion Show. “It was cool to be able to show friends and family what I had designed and created. This part was helpful in showing me what fashion shows looks like and what is needed to organize one”.

As a designer and entrepreneur, her biggest eye opener was the amount of blood, sweat and tears that was put into starting a clothing line: from business loans and sourcing local materials to creating an e-commerce website. Her advice to current and prospective MC College fashion students is to be ready to live, “eat” and breathe fashion, “Be sure you’re ready to dedicate all your time. Take a little time each day…to clear your head, and get inspired and get new ideas outside of your routine”.

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Today, EVE + ENOCH is available online (eveandenoch.com) and at Bamboo Ballroom. Jessilyn’s goal is to sell her designs in retail stores across Canada and expand her production studio.

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