They are as different as day and night but two grads from Kwantlen Polytechnic University both share a passion for fashion and are willing to work hard for their futures.
Joanne Hu, 28, of Port Coquitlam, and Nicole Guzzo, 21, of Coquitlam, are set to leave the school books behind for a career in fashion. Hu, who studied Studio Arts and Japanese at UBC before deciding on a career in fashion merchandising, is currently looking for a position with local apparel companies while Guzzo is setting out on her own to market her rock 'n' roll-inspired fashions for men.
This Tuesday, April 3, the two will be among 32 fashion and technology students who will be showcasing their work at The Show at the River Rock Show Theatre in Richmond (details available at kwantlen.ca/theshow).
They have prepared for this day for months, designing and sewing their own creations, which will be showed off on the catwalk at three performances: 1, 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.
"I'm looking forward to it," said Hu, who will be presenting three stylish waterproof or water-repellant jackets suitable for girls aged three to six. The jackets are all made by hand with custom details, such as "minky" lining and one-of-a-kind prints.
"These are for active girls who love the outdoors," said Hu, describing the adorable jackets with sleeves that can be let down to allow for growth.
Born in Taiwan, Hu inherited artistic genes: Her dad is an interior designer and her mother is a self-taught seamstress. But it was her sister, also a Kwantlen fashion grad who is now a pattern-maker, who inspired her to take the four-year-degree program. Hu has some fashion cred of her own, having been featured in Flare magazine for her designs and winning gold at the Skills Canada competition in 2011.
Guzzo, meanwhile, stands out as an independent and creative thinker who has pushed fashion boundaries since she sported her first pair of ripped tights when she was 12 years old.
"Maybe I was a bit young for that," jokes the Centennial grad, whose Deviant line of 1980s-inspired leather jacket and pant outfits for men are sure to garner some interest at The SHOW. Her work has already been featured in videos, on Shaw Express and on several websites. Guzzo's goal is to develop a line for stores catering to more avant garde tastes.
She said she was always inspired to custom-design her own clothes because she was an identical twin who wanted to be different. But it was her mom who encouraged her to do what she loves. "I love pushing boundaries," said Guzzo said, and her hand-tailored fashions are about making a statement.
Her business is Nicole Guzzo Designs and more information can be found about her at www.modelmayhem.com/2091978.