Wilson School of Design Offers the Best Fashion Education in Canada, According to Business of Fashion Magazine

The acclaimed publication recognizes the school for offering one of the “top undergraduate programmes” across the world

(Kristen Frier)

The Wilson School of Design at KPU was recently featured in Business of Fashion magazine’s guide to the top fashion schools around the world, and was even named the “best overall” fashion school in Canada.

In addition to being one of only two Canadian schools acknowledged in the guide, the Wilson School also earned badges for being the “best in learning experience” as well as the “best in long term value.”

“The fact that [Business of Fashion] recognized our school as notable is a great honour,” says Ami Edgmon, a graduate of Wilson School’s class of Spring 2019. 

Since its founding in 2007, the magazine has become a staple resource in fashion and design education around the world. Edgmon cites the publication as “one of the most important tools” she used in her fashion marketing program.

A challenge that the Wilson School faces over “more globalized” schools like Ryerson in Toronto is that, here, it’s comparatively hard to “infiltrate the fashion industry” and to “find allies that share the same perspective,” according to Edgmon. However, she believes that this challenge is offset by a “well-connected staff” and the “many opportunities” they offer students.

Edgmon also says that the program offered her hands-on experiences such as meeting the owners of established Vancouver fashion companies like Vancity Original and Hunter and Hare, and even working on window display curation in Yaletown. 

“Even if I went to any other schools in Vancouver, I don’t think I would have the same level of hands-on experience,” she says. “You leave the program feeling like you actually know what to expect from the industry, not just theoretically, because of all the hands on experience working with actual people in the industry.”

She explains that the Wilson school “really tries to educate [students] about sustainability, buying slow, and buying local,” to offset the environmental harm of globalized fast-fashion trends. 

“It isn’t just about supporting the economy. Usually local manufacturing practices are less harmful to the environment,” she says. “I had whole classes on sustainability alone.”

In an email to The Runner, the Wilson School of Design’s interim Dean, Andhra Goundrey, attributes the institution’s success and reputation to “close connections with industry,” as well as its “curriculum relevance, focus on experiential learning, practicum placements, fully engaged advisory committees, and international exchange opportunities.”

Goundrey believes that the Wilson School’s advantage over other Canadian design institutions comes from its “unique blend of programming,” which includes four undergraduate degrees: Fashion and Technology, Product Design, Interior Design, and Graphic Design for Marketing. Other programs include a Fashion Marketing Diploma that can bridge into a BBA, as well as a one-year certificate in Foundations in Design and a post-baccalaureate in Technical Apparel.

She is also proud of the school’s new building, featuring spaces that “are set up to encourage collaboration, creativity, and innovation.”

“We are so proud of our team here,” Goundrey writes. “From students, alumni, faculty, and staff, we are all working together to make an impact in the world by making people’s lives better through innovative design solutions.”

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