Students make Smirnoff finals

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By Chieu Luu Luong

Three Ryerson fashion students are one step away from getting international exposure—all they have to do is win a competition against some of Canada’s top fashion design students.

Fourth-year students Tracy Newcombe, Heather Goodchild and Somphone Sikhumuong are finalists in the Canadian portion of the Smirnoff Fashion Awards 2000, a yearly international competition.

If one of them wins the Canadian final, which takes place in Toronto at the end of May, she will represent Canada in the fall at the international final.

The competition, open to third and fourth-year fashion students, has several phases. More than 500 students from across the country submitted sketches of their designs based on liberation, this year’s theme. The sketches were judged by a panel of Canada’s leading fashion designers, who narrowed the field down to 15 finalists. They will transform their sketches into actual outfits for the Canadian final. Those outfits are supposed to be completed by mid-April, Sikhumuong said.

Of the finalists, two are from B.C., four from Ontario and nine are from Montreal.
Sikhumuong was surprised to learn she had made it this far.

“I only spent one day working on my sketches,” she said.

She’s also excited at the chance of going to the international final. “There isn’t much of a market here in Canada,” Sikhumuong said. “This is a great chance to get international exposure.”

The winner of the international competition will also receive $25,000 and admission to the Central St. Martin’s School of Fashion in London, England, one of the world’s top fashion schools.


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