Inspired by Nelson’s Creative Culture
Alanah Jones has found her niche in the fashion world and as she settles into the excitement of the industry, the School of the Arts alumna can trace her success to the educational foundation provided in the heart of Nelson.
A product developer and designer for Vancouver-based Noble Motives Collective, Jones is part of a core team that tailors their efforts around fashion, fit and function. Noble Motives Collective features original and familiar brands for their retail stores Caposhie and Peau De Loup.
“I came out of the Textiles Program with an innate understanding of fabric and textiles which has really given me an edge in the industry,” says Jones, who graduated in 2011.
Jones grew up in Timmins, Ontario with parents who encouraged creativity. Though she was admittedly not a fashion maven in high school, Jones says she felt a spark for the future when her family spent a summer living in Nelson when she was 17. With a summer job in the bustling downtown, she discovered a community that was supportive of her creativity.
“I quickly realized that this is a place I wanted to be and KSA branched out of the environment I wanted to live in,” she says.
Mentored by veteran industry-proven instructors, Textiles Program puts an emphasis on developing skills and a high level of proficiency within a diverse range of techniques. Students have the opportunity to engage in many areas of study, including weaving, felting, dying, screen printing and pattern drafting.
After graduating from Selkirk College, Jones decided to spend a couple more years in post-secondary to deepen her background. With a wealth of transfer options available to School of the Arts alumni, she chose the University of the Fraser Valley where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts.
While in university, Jones built on the hands-on skills developed at School of the Arts to get a solid jump on her career. Together with her classmate, Jones started Eightyninety Apparel which was a global online fashion brand dedicated to independent women born in the 1980s and 1990s. In total the partnership produced three collections of original clothing with 15 pieces each that were featured online and in pop-up shops around Vancouver. The process taught Jones plenty about developing a brand, sales and overseas mass production.
With several balls in the air, Jones also started an internship and eventual employment with Naked underwear, a Vancouver-based company that specialized in fashion essentials for men. Working for the start-up—which was eventually purchased by a New York company—again furthered her industry education.
“I have always brought it back to my education at KSA,” says Jones. “The reason Naked hired me is that I could identify fibres from a touch, I understood the difference between a knit and a woven. If I didn’t have the foundation of fabric, and everything I learned at KSA… I would be hooped.”
School of the Arts is my foundation. You can throw anything in realm of this industry at me, if I don’t understand it at first I can get quickly get it because of my educational background. It’s more than just the skill set, it gave me the confidence.