This is my entry for the deZigners competition, sponsored by the Canadian department store Zellers.

It was a competition that we all did in the second semester of third year. There were three categories which you picked from a hat, and three top prizes in each category. Very decent cash prizes too, a tip of the hat to hbc for providing the means to buy this computer which makes possible.

So I picked the Sportek category, for 8-14 year old girls. It’s basically brightly coloured play clothes for kids, but with a sporty sort of look.

The trend director from the Bay came and gave us a presentation about the different trends we could play on for our entries. The first phase was to pick one trend, and do five figure illustrations.

I chose a trend called “Sonic Youth”. It was sort of a retro-cool, bright-80s colours, surfer dude sort of look.

And so I thought… what is retro for an 8-14 year old?

Guess what? I managed to move forward into phase two.

Phase two selected six finalists in each category. Our assignment was to create a 14 piece collection on a presentation board, all technical drawings and colourways and swatches. This presentation board has long disappeared. But I still have some samples of the flats.

This is how I did the swatches: I cut out squares of coloured card, and mounted a swatch to them with a zigzag of brightly coloured machine stitching. Then I double-sided taped the card to the board. Pretty nifty way to tie in with the design details I thought.

I also included this kid on the board to kind of give it a little illustrative flair, y’know? Vector technical drawings can seem so static.

We also had to sew up one outfit, by ourselves, in the lab. No contracting allowed! So here’s the picture of a terrific girl (isn’t she a great model?) in the outfit I made myself.

So I won! It was awesome. I bought a computer. I got to go on BreakfastTelevision on CityTV, I got interviewed and a lot of press. But that wasn’t all.

I got to go to Zellers and see an outfit I designed for sale! I bought some too. I got an outfit for my amazing cousin Zoe out on the west coast (send pictures, Zoe!), and I got an outfit for saving (maybe in a frame or something, I don’t know. Original hangers and hangtags intact!).

I also got a couple shirts for me to wear. Because it fits, and I can’t resist.

All in all it was an amazing experience. Thank you Zellers!