Runway Radar: Joel Jhocson's gender-bending KNEW challenges traditional menswear

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      By Jasmin Dhillon

      The KNEW “genderation”. Menswear is traditionally conservative, but no longer with a new gender-bending collection by student designer Joel Jhocson.

      KNEW will be unveiled at 2018 The Show presented by Tamoda Apparel Inc., on April 19 and 20 at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) new purpose-built Wilson School of Design building. The beautiful and innovative $36-million building houses a range of design programs including the fashion-design-and-technology program. Thirty-one other lines by KPU fashion design and technology students will also be showcased.

      For event details, visit or follow @wilsondesignkpu on Instagram.

      Jasmin Dhillon: Describe your collection.

      Joel Jhocson: KNEW is a collection that challenges social norms with womenswear-inspired fluid menswear. It is designed to celebrate and embrace the characteristics which are regarded as typical for women on men.

      JD: Who or what was the inspiration behind your line?

      JJ: I’ve always been inspired to take my experiences and the world around me and translate it into design and creation. As a man, I’ve struggled to follow the rules I was given by society of what I should wear. I want to make this collection to defeat that stereotype. It's a collection that allows men like myself to truly express themselves.

      JD: What have you learned at KPU?

      JJ: I’ve learned that community building is important. Keeping and developing relationships is huge in fashion because it requires working in collaborative environments. I’ve also learned to always be open to anything, and that communication is an important key in design.

      JD: What are your plans after graduation?

      JJ: I would love to work in the Vancouver fashion industry, particularly to learn more about zero-waste fashion design and the possibilities of sustainable fashion in our city. I believe that sustainability is what’s next in design; we are seeing sustainable movements in automobiles, food, architecture, and lifestyle.

      JD: What's the most helpful thing you learned at KPU?

      JJ: The most helpful thing I learned in KPU is the technical aspect of fashion design, because it’s what’s going to set us apart from other designers and schools. People don’t really see this aspect of fashion as much as the prettier side.

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

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