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Toronto-Based Presidents Share Tips For Year Ahead

Learn about their ideas for leadership and fun activities!

Cardinal Academy Fashion Club Presidents

Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts Club Presidents Kaitlyn Martini and Karen Wirmantio share club tips for the next school year. These Toronto-based Presidents have a plan for the year ahead,  from creating fun activities to giving back to the community. 

What is your vision for your FIDM Fashion Club this year?

Kaitlyn: We go to a Catholic school, so we are very directed towards helping the community in our religion classes, and doing drives and fundraisers throughout the year. When we started the FIDM Fashion Club, we were continuously brainstorming ideas to fundraise and donate to our community, whether it was clothing drives or fashion shows. I think when everything opens up, we would like to get a headstart on that. 

Karen: Since Kaitlyn is going to study fashion, we can definitely use her to help us launch our club. We will really benefit from her going into the fashion business. We also want to help in our community by doing more clothing drives or other things that help people in the community.

Tell us about your recent club activities. 

Kaitlyn: Recently, we just did an online fashion show. We promoted it on our council’s Instagram Stories and asked the whole school to send two videos to show off their personal style and outfits. We promoted that constantly, and then put it in iMovie and presented it through Zoom. 

We also did a sustainability workshop, where we went in-depth on fast fashion and the issues surrounding that in the industry. Personally, I think it is important for everyone to learn about that, not just people going into the fashion industry, so we did a presentation video on how they could make sustainable outfits. One of our ideas was Carter Depop, (named for our school), to resell clothes and encourage the idea of donating clothes, reselling, and recycling. 

Karen: We also did a workshop where we talked about different pathways in the industry. I know a lot of people who joined the club wanted to learn more about different jobs in the industry, so we contacted Stephen McDowell, our FIDM Representative, for “The Art of Fashion Illustration” workshop. He was really helpful, and helped us drive our club forward.

How do you create engaging activities for your FIDM Fashion Club?

Kaitlyn: I think the Fashion Club website and FIDM helped us so much to generate ideas. We always looked at what people created in the past, and the website helped me easily navigate and find stuff right away. It also made us grow closer as a school. We didn’t want to make our club members feel intimidated, so we always encouraged them to be open. Stephen McDowell was a really great help with that too. He would always encourage everyone to participate and speak up without feeling afraid of what they have to say. 

Karen: FIDM has been so helpful in giving us resources and helping us push the club forward by giving us ideas and activities for inspiration. It was helpful to look through the different activities that other clubs did, and draw inspiration from what others were doing. If we saw another club doing something that we found interesting, we kind of put our own ideas in and made our own activity. 

Do you have a fashion role model?

Kaitlyn: I think both Karen and I love Bella Hadid. I love her streetwear style, because she puts her own twist on things. There are a lot of designers that I love, like Alexander McQueen. He is a role model to me, because he merged creativity and innovation within his designs. He inspires me most in the industry. 

Karen: I am more into neutral looks, so I like Kaia Jordan Gerber’s streetwear. She has a really nice capsule collection, and wears a lot of jeans. I also like Victoria Beckham, especially her 90s style. She also wears a lot of jeans. I really love jeans and have a bunch of them, so I look to both of them for inspiration. 

How would you describe your personal style?

Kaitlyn: One word I use is innovation, because I think within fashion it is really important to have  innovation and imagination. When I am picking out an outfit, I am trying to step out of my comfort zone and pick something  that I haven’t worn before. I have 8-10 different styles, because I love self-expression through art and your journey through individualism. I don’t look at what is trending; I just look at what is in my closet and how I can make a unique outfit.

Karen: I like sleek and simple looks, so I go for more neutral colors. I try to wear something new to challenge myself. I personally am more on the casual side, so I look for more comfortable clothes and neutral styles. 

Do you have any advice for FIDM Fashion Club Presidents? 

Kaitlyn: Being a leader has made me realize that you have to have really good communication skills, and be as open as possible with your members. Another important thing is to be passionate. At the end of the day, you have to be really passionate and love what you are doing. When you create a community and talk to people or help them out, you also discover new skills. 

Karen: It is really important that you love what you are doing and that you are passionate about it. Since we are all so passionate about the club, it helped our members become more creative in whatever they were doing. We wanted our club members to find inspiration in our activities and push themselves to become creative. 

Visit the FIDM Just for Educators website  to request a representative from FIDM to visit your school to provide a free workshop, on everything from “Designing Inside the Box: Exploring the Innovative Field of Visual Communications” to “The Art of Fashion Illustration” and “Economics of the Apparel Industry.”