Fashion Student Spotlight: Mackenzie Trimble's NEVADA•KAI made for tots after gender-neutral lifestyle

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      By Justine So

      Mackenzie Trimble was inspired by her high school textiles teacher to pursue a career in the field of fashion design. In Grade 9, Trimble discovered her talent for design and her passion for fashion began to grow. Always challenging herself, Trimble began to build her portfolio that same year.

      Following her high school graduation, she applied to Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Wilson School of Design and has spent the last four years learning the art of fashion design and preparing to create her final line, NEVADA•KAI, a gender-neutral children’s wear collection.

      NEVADA•KAI will be unveiled at 2016 The Show: The Final Cut, presented by Tamoda Apparel Inc., on April 6 and 7 at the Imperial Vancouver (319 Main Street). Thirty-five other lines by Kwantlen Polytechnic University fashion design and technology students will also be showcased.

      All five shows have now sold out. For event details, visit, or follow @kpu_fashion on Twitter and @kputheshow on Instagram.

      Justine So: Describe your collection.

      Mackenzie Trimble: My collection is for children ages two through six. I decided to focus my line toward gender neutrality because there aren’t very many options available for families choosing to raise their children with a gender-neutral lifestyle. I want to provide clothing options for children that are non-defining and won’t contribute to the gender stereotyping children learn at such a young age.

      The clothing combines aspects of femininity and masculinity, and focuses largely on durability, longevity, and comfort. I want my line to inspire young minds and fill children with the courage and confidence to be anything they want to be.

      JS: What was the inspiration behind your line?

      MT: The inspiration for my collection came from a young girl I met while doing an internship at Peekaboo Beans last year. I found out that she really did not like the sparkles and bows you see on many girls’ clothes and preferred to shop in the boys’ section. This led me to begin researching more on the growing demand for gender-neutral children’s clothing, which sparked the idea for my collection.

      JS: Can you tell me about your creative process?

      MT: My creative process starts with brainstorming multiple ideas. After this, I start to research and narrow my scope. Following my research, there will usually be a particular idea that will stand out and inspire me more than the others. With this idea, I found the gaps and looked for ways I can cater to the needs of my target market.

      Next, many sketches are drawn, then narrowed down to the perfect collection. Once this mix is chosen, I get to start pattern-drafting and making my creations into tangible garments. It is the most satisfying feeling to know that something I’ve sketched out in my notebook has come to life and gets the opportunity to walk down a runway as big as 2016 The Show’s.

      JS: What have you learned at KPU?

      MT: KPU has taught me how to turn an idea into a reality. Through the last four years of this intensive program, I’ve also learned on a personal level how resilient and determined I can be. I am now confident and ready to take my many skills into the industry and show the world what I am capable of.

      JS: What are your plans after graduation?

      MT: After graduation I hope to find a job in pattern-drafting or technical design within Vancouver. I really enjoy drafting on the computer and by hand, as well as the challenges that come with designing technical apparel.

      JS: What aspect of design are you most passionate about?

      MT: I’ve really found my passion in pattern-drafting. Before coming to KPU, I had no experience in it but I quickly fell in love with the process of turning a sketch and body measurements into a garment that contours and moves with the body.

      Justine So is a final-year fashion design and technology student at KPU’s Wilson School of Design.

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