Meet the students showing at Van Fashion Week

Jenna Cotton – Victoria, 29 years old


Jenna Cotton


Twenty-nine year old Jenna is from Victoria, BC. “Being able to show my work in a serious venue like Vancouver Fashion Week is a major item on my bucket list, so I am really excited and grateful for the opportunity,” says Jenna. After exploring creative writing, business, science and nursing, Jenna learned that her abilities needed an artistic outlet. She is now focused on fashion and is committed to refining her skills as fashion designer.


  • Theme for Fashion Week Show: Future meet past, black and white meets colour, and hard meets soft.
  • Design inspiration: I like pleasing subtleties. Not too shocking, but not too mainstream either. Looks that reflect the soft and hard dualities of life appeal to me.
  • Dream job: I love the idea of collaboration, and would like to start out by working for a designer I really admire.
  • Fashion Designers she admires: Haiden Ackerman: I appreciate the classic flow and apparent simplicity to his intricately draped and tailored pieces. Hussein Chalayan: He creates awe inspiring designs that have a surreal quality.
  • Why LaSalle in Vancouver: I did a lot of research and found that LaSalle had a good reputation for fashion. At first I thought of going to their Montreal location but when I learned they also had a Vancouver campus, I thought it made more financial sense to study here in BC.
  • Vancouver Pros and Cons: Victoria is slower and smaller and as my home town it will always have my heart. But I love the cityscape situated against the mountains. And I like that the big city offers more opportunity to meet new friends and make good connections for my future.



Sonya Jang – Ottawa, 26 years old


Sonya Jang


Twenty-six year old Sonya is from Ottawa. She started designing as a teen, because she couldn’t find what she wanted to wear in Ottawa stores. “I was a bit of a tom-boy but I was always into clothes and wanted to wear things that reflected who I was. I love the way fashion is a form of communication. What we wear is a reflection of our mood, and how we want people to perceive us. Whether it’s right or wrong, we do tend to judge people by their appearance.”


  • Theme for Fashion Week Show: My show is inspired by “The Kiss” painted by Gustav Klimt in 1907. I am inspired by his colours and the balance between masculine and feminine.
  • Design inspiration: I like the juxtaposition between structure and softer more organic forms.
  • Dream job: I want to have my own store and brand, maybe in Vancouver. It is important to me to keep the work local, and be involved in a hands-on way for as long as possible.
  • Fashion Designers she admires: Toni Maticevski – he makes wearable works of art. I love the way he mixes draping with a more tailored look. I also enjoy Galliano’s rock and roll edge.
  • Why LaSalle in Vancouver: Since I’m from Ottawa, I applied to LaSalle in Montreal because I knew about their reputation for fashion design. I was accepted there, but I had lived in Vancouver in the past, and once I found out I was able to transfer to Vancouver I decided to go for it.
  • Vancouver Pros and Cons: I love the mild weather and what a young and vibrant city it is. However, it can be hard to meet people and get to know them.

Jesper Annerstedt – Sweden, 20 years old


Jesper Annerstedt


Twenty year old Jesper grew up in a small town near Gothenburg, Sweden. He can’t remember a time when he wasn’t drawing and sketching. Drawing princesses as a child quickly turned to drawing dresses and clothing, although he didn’t think of fashion as a career initially.  “I kind of happened upon fashion in high school. I was thinking of graphic design or 3D animation, but there were no programs in those fields at my school, so my guidance councillor suggested the fashion program, and of course I loved it right away!”


  • Theme for Fashion Week Show: I was inspired by traditional religious garments and symbols, and also contrasting opposites, such as hard/soft, black/white, life/death etc.
  • Design inspiration: I find many ways to be inspired. It could start with a doodle that sparks an idea. I could be inspired by graffiti or a poster. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of a woman on the street and imagine an entirely different outfit than the one she is actually wearing.
  • Dream job: Working as a fashion illustrator for a major label like Alexander McQueen, Chanel, or Thierry Mugler.
  • Fashion Designers he admires: Alexander McQueen – he was always so innovative, and of course Sarah Burton. Their shows can be shocking, but in a classy way. McQueen pushed boundaries and so does Burton, but their style is still very wearable.
  • Why LaSalle in Vancouver: My fashion design teacher in high school first suggested LaSalle and Vancouver. Then an education counsellor in Sweden also suggested it, and since I wanted to travel and have an adventure I decided to come here.
  • Vancouver Pros and Cons: I don’t like all the rain. But I do like being in a city environment while at the same time being surrounded by nature. I love the views of the ocean and mountains, and the people are friendly and welcoming.

Carolina Rojas – Columbia, 17 years old


Carolina Rojas


Seventeen year old Carolina is from Bogota, Colombia, and started sketching fashion when she was just twelve. “My grandmother really loved sewing and embroidery, and growing up around her and seeing her interest in it, really planted a seed in me,” explains Carolina. When packing for Vancouver, Carolina made sure to include squares of Colombia’s colourful hand sewn fabrics, which she plans to use in her show at Fashion Week.


  • Theme for Fashion Week Show: My theme and inspiration is mainly the juxtaposition between structure and softness.
  • Design inspiration: I love the juxtaposition of flowing draping paired with structure and formality. I also like incorporating bright punches of colour against a plain background.
  • Dream job: Having my own store and label in Bogota.
  • Fashion Designers she admires: Elie Saab – his draping is incredible! And Colombian designer Silvia Tcherassi – I love how she combines delicateness and strength.
  • Why LaSalle in Vancouver: I knew that LaSalle had a good reputation for fashion design, and when I talked to the admissions person at LaSalle in Bogota, she suggested Vancouver. I liked the idea of exploring a new culture and improving my English skills, so here I am.
  • Vancouver Pros and Cons: I hate all the rainy days, but I love what an international city it is, and how so many different cultures live side-by-side.




Posted by Assignment Fashion

Designer and founder of Assignment Fashion.