Though it’s no surprise that the designers behind Bird on a Wire Creation’s latest stock hail from Vancouver—championing local markers is an important part of the Main Street boutique’s m.o.—their academic backgrounds may come as a surprise to some.
And by academic backgrounds, we mean these peeps are still in school. In fact, the two recently introduced tote bags are the products of six continuing-studies students currently enrolled in Vancouver Community College’s new fashion-design and production diploma program.
They’re the first locally designed items to be presented to the public as part of the postsecondary institution’s new Colure label.
Speaking to the Straight at Bird on a Wire, VCC’s fashion program coordinator Andrea Korens explains that the courses are meant to offer students hands-on experience in the fashion production process.
Both the Oh-So tote ($60), which is adorned with gold, swirling patterns, and the Sling bag ($80), with its grey felt construction and chevron detailing, were designed and produced collaboratively by students during the first six weeks of the program.
“We found that students work so much better in context,” notes Korens. “So, for example, why is it important to learn the costing of this product? When they actually see how it impacts the retail sales of the product, it’s like learning through experience. It becomes so much more real and they retain it so much better.”
Six bags—three of each style—are now available at Bird on a Wire (2535 Main Street). All proceeds will go toward VCC’s Sally Hudson scholarship, which is awarded to outstanding pupils in the school’s fashion programs.
Students in the fashion-design and production program will also craft T-shirts, blouses, and dresses in subsequent courses. These will be sold as part of the Colure label either online or at local boutiques.
“I think, for the shops, it’s great,” says Korens, “because all of a sudden they have this introduction to this next generation of young designers who are going to be entering the marketplace.”