Fashion Business Industry - Graduated 2008

In 2009, Eileen Zhang launched Titika Active Couture, her own line of athletic wear for women that in just under six years has grown to include eight Ontario boutique locations and an online sales service. The success of her fashion line is due in part to Zhang’s sleek take on modern active wear, in part to her previous experience as a business owner in China and also to the specialized industry expertise she gained as a student of George Brown College’s Fashion Business Industry two-year diploma program.

A chartered professional accountant beforehand, Zhang sold her business in marketing before moving to Canada to start working on a new dream project in fashion design. “After conducting extensive research, I felt that the program at George Brown offered the most practical knowledge that could be applied to my goals of starting a business.” On the design side, Zhang also learned about hands-on and practical ways of designing the kind of clothing she herself would like to wear. For example “Draping classes taught me more practical ways to design clothing - 3 dimensions as opposed to concept art. It also taught me how to design clothing for active use.”

“The professors helped me out with many suggestions,” says Zhang, “they didn’t ridicule any ideas, but rather helped me build upon them.”

Today, Zhang has taken on a similar kind of mentorship herself: a number of the managers who head up her Ontario boutiques are graduates of the same program.

Eileen’s advice for success

“Keep learning since the industry is always changing. Be open-minded to new suggestions even if you initially disagree. Build your team by finding those that share your passion.”