Name: Vanessa Recine
Title: Co-Founder & Producer
Enterprise: Wearers Festival
Field of study: Fashion Marketing
Diploma obtained in 2011: 2011
Vanessa Recine is a great example of perseverance and talent. Her experience at LaSalle College and her vision of the world have led her to become an expert on the London fashion scene and we are proud to count her among our remarkable graduates!
Vanessa Recine is a curator, producer, and editor based in the United Kingdom. Her current research focuses on the practice of exhibiting fashion, revealing how the language of visual merchandising is echoed in curatorial display conventions.
What position do you hold and what are your main responsibilities?
I am Co-Founder and Producer of Wearers Festival, a London-based non-profit organization that celebrates and explores people’s relationships with their clothes and how that is intrinsically linked to culture and identity.
My main role includes communicating with internal and external stakeholders, co-curating the event program, and delivering all aspects of demanding project briefs in tight deadlines, including project management, operations, logistics, health & safety.
Could you describe your career path?
My curiosity for the fashion industry began when I pursued a degree in Fashion Marketing at LaSalle College followed by a BFA in Art History at Concordia University. This later led me to work in contemporary art galleries and at some of the biggest fashion retail brands in the world as a visual merchandiser.
With the interest of fusing my appetite for art, culture, and fashion, I continued my studies at London College of Fashion in the MA Fashion Curation course, where I learned how to develop my curatorial voice. During a period when the entire fashion system is being questioned, the rise of circular fashion and garment repair comes as no surprise. The profound ecological impact has caused a ripple effect on society’s perception of consumption, which made it clear to me what I had and needed to say as a curator and citizen of the world. Together with my business partner, we decided to launch a permanent multidisciplinary art festival based in London called Wearers Festival.
What is your fondest memory of your days at LaSalle College?
My fondest memory was developing the fashion show from creation to execution with my fellow classmates. It was such a great learning experience to work on a high intensity event together.
What was your favorite subject in the curriculum? Do you use what you learned now in your career?
My favorite subjects were the fashion history and fibers and textiles classes. They taught me a lot about garment construction and trend cycles on a global scale, which I still apply when I write curatorial proposals for fashion exhibitions or write for academic journals.
Could you describe the general impression you had when you started at LaSalle College?
I was thrilled to embark on this journey of learning about an industry I was and am still so passionate about. It also enabled me to find out the subjects I excelled in which would later shape my trajectory in this field.
What surprised you the most when you entered the job market?
The importance of networking. I can’t stress this enough! Opportunities will flow to you if you just put yourself out there.
What advice would you give to a student currently enrolled in the same program that you completed?
Focus on cultivating what you are good at and where your interests lie because that is where the gold is. I think because the Montréal fashion scene is so small, it makes it that much more competitive and for that reason, you need to find your niche and what you bring to the table. Everyone is good at something, but what are YOU good at? Volunteer and work on a passion project that makes you stand out and WOWs your interviewer.
What are the essential qualities required to succeed in your field?
Tenacity, curiosity, and patience. There will be many ups and downs and critics, so make sure to develop thicker skin. Be firm about what you believe in, be curious enough to develop additional specialist skills to stand out from the rest and be patient with your journey.
Do you have something to add that could inspire the next generation?
Do not listen to what other people say if your gut is telling you to do it. Do it. If you fail, it’s not only a lesson learned, but also a life experience that can propel you forward into making your next business or venture a success.
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