Vancouver Fashion Industry

Vancouver’s days as a city full of boring bankers and uninteresting nine-to-five workers are long gone. The city has become the very definition of cosmopolitan in the past decade, largely thanks to the thriving fashion industry. Vancouver’s fashion scene is growing exponentially. The city’s proud tradition of welcoming diversity is contributing to innovative and ingenious designs people from all over the world absolutely love. Also, the success of Canadian brands like Lululemon is inspiring many young designers.

Vancouver Fashion at a Glance

Vancouver was long a sought-after destination for international fashion brands who wanted to branch out to Canada. Now, rather than international brands, it’s the local brands and designers leading the city’s fashion scene.

Textile manufacturing in the city has historically been a strong industry. Thanks to textile manufacturing, Vancouver has managed to attract big clothing companies like Garden Lion Garment, Dynasty Fashion Wear Manufacturing and Max Clothing Manufacture. Textile manufacturing naturally leads to opportunities in fashion like fashion design, textile engineering and sales. Thanks to big-time clothing manufacturers coming to Vancouver, local designers have gotten a big break.

The Vancouver fashion scene is aiming not just to capture the local audience, but international audiences as well. Clothing brands are now coming up with stylish clothes that also ensure comfort. Lululemon is a big example in this regard.

The Lululemon Effect

Lululemon is one of the biggest activewear brands in the world. This unique Canadian brand has managed to redefine workout outfits for style-minded modern women. The brand is quite popular for designing yoga pants that women can wear to sessions, and then to the café for an outing with friends.

Lululemon’s success, especially in the highly competitive United States (everyone in California now does yoga in Lululemon), has motivated and inspired many an aspiring designer in Canada. Many brands now aim to recreate what Lululemon did with activewear. That is, design comfortable yet highly chic outfits suitable for multiple occasions.

Fashion Jobs

The thriving fashion scene in Vancouver has also given rise to a number of new jobs in the city. While traditional jobs in fashion—like modeling, photography, retailing—are growing thanks to the thriving fashion scene, the industry has also created a host of new jobs.

Who has heard of professional fashion buyers, fashion forecasters, and visual merchandisers? These are all fashion-related jobs in Vancouver that oil the production chain. Fashion has interestingly also helped other struggling industries. For example, print newspapers, which are in decline in Canada as well as in other places, have found a new job for journalists thanks to the fashion industry—fashion journalism.

Fashion Education

As jobs in fashion grow along with the industry, fashion education has also been thriving in the city. A number of institutes and programs have sprung up exclusively dedicated to the study of fashion. These are not just for-profit educational programs without any merit. Vancouver fashion schools like Kwantlen Polytechnic University and the JC institute are not only renowned in Canada, they are also famous in all of North America. Institutions like LaSalle College and the Art Institutes are also pioneering fashion education on this side of the planet.

Two decades ago, Vancouver might not have imagined itself as a fashion destination. However, it certainly is now. The city is a hotspot destination for locals and tourists alike to shop for clothes. The fashion design scene is also thriving in a manner akin to places like New York. Fashion shows are now common events throughout the week. The city is also attracting aspiring entrepreneurs and designers from more rural parts of Canada with high hopes of becoming the next creator of a brand like Lululemon.


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