Fashion Techniques and Design Diploma - Graduated 2011

An early career working in graphic design for advertising gave Joao Paulo Guedes a head start on the creative side of designing menswear looks. It was the technical know-how to put them together—and to make a career out of it—that he was looking for when he came to George Brown College’s Fashion Techniques and Design program in 2011.

“I never knew how to sew until a couple of months before I enrolled at George Brown,” says the Brazilian expat, who threw himself into the work of learning how to draft patterns and put pieces together. “There was one pattern drafting teacher, Marsha Jorgensen, who gave more homework and challenged the class more. Some people didn’t take the class because they knew it would be hard—but I wanted to be challenged and be able to draft patterns well.”

That lean-in attitude paid off. By the end of the second semester, he’d started to master the skills he was seeking. “One time in class, I was being a bit cheeky and challenged my drafting teacher. She said in good fun: ‘Why don’t you teach the class?’ So I did! It was fun because we were all still learning.”

A year and a global placement internship at a contemporary fashion company in India later, Guedes began working in quality assurance at Canada Goose. In his free time, he’s been working on launching a self-titled line of menswear. With three seasonal collections and a few Toronto Mens’ Fashion Week showings under his belt, he’s nearly ready for takeoff.

Joao’s advice for success
Take as many opportunities as you can. Apply for events, awards and shows. I was able to be in the Global Edge program and go to India, but also was shortlisted as 1 of 5 new menswear designers to showcase at the first Toronto Men’s Fashion Week. I actually won the Emerging Menswear Designer Award that year! That wouldn’t’t have happened if I didn’t apply for the opportunity in the first place.