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For more than 20 years, Mass Exodus, known as the largest student-run fashion show in North America, has showcased the work of graduating fashion students for industry experts, media and the general public. Although participation is optional for fourth-year fashion design and communication students, most apply to exhibit their capstone projects because the high-profile event provides excellent promotional opportunities and is widely considered a rite of passage.

This year, Mass Exodus featured a Ryerson Fashion Week and for the first time the main event was held off campus. Moving it to Daniels Spectrum, an arts centre in the nearby Regent Park neighbourhood, was significant, says Fashion Professor Henry Navarro, who teaches fashion promotion and oversees Mass Exodus.

“It demonstrated the School of Fashion and Ryerson University’s commitment to contributing to the cultural life of its surrounding communities,” says Navarro.

“Making changes also keeps the event interesting,” says Daniel Drak, Fashion ’13, who co-teaches Fashion Promotion with Navarro. “That’s especially true for our audiences who come year over year.”

Here are some of the creative minds who helped to change things up at the April 8 event.

As creative director of Mass Exodus, third-year Fashion Communication student Nadia Ebrahim had many responsibilities. She wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s learning how to do her dream job before she even graduates.

Ebrahim was responsible for ensuring thematic and brand consistency across all production and promotional components. She worked alongside School of Performance students and event sponsor and audiovisual firm FMAV, on the technical and staging perspectives. She also oversaw the social media committee and helped to co-ordinate a short promotional video.

Students, she says, handled everything from developing the video concept to hiring videographer Kevin Wu (fourth-year Radio and Television Arts student). The music on the runway was a major part of the event, organized by DJ Jordan Segal, another Ryerson student.

“It’s great to work with so many people and bring our strengths together to create something special,” Ebrahim says.

When Fashion Design student Amanda Odorico needed inspiration for her capstone collection – loose-fitting athletic wear that can be worn before, during and after workouts – she looked to her hometown of Vancouver. “My collection is inspired by the waves of the west coast. There is a lot of black, white, grey and blue in my looks,” she says.

Odorico’s designs were influenced by the waves’ constant movement; in fact, she can likely relate to their perpetual motion. During a year of continual deadlines, Fashion Design students develop time-management skills while researching their target markets, sketching and sewing their garments and creating professional lookbooks or photos for their collections. In mid-March, the work was submitted for grading and students presented their


We asked two grads about their Mass Exodus


Owns the Alan Auctor label, based in London, England.

Role at Mass Exodus

What did you learn?
“How to work with different teams and departments, the importance of deadlines, and how to compromise.”

How did it affect your career?
“The aesthetic of Alan Auctor in its current form is a natural development of my work at school. The same elements of the fantastical mixed with sports and premium casual wear elements are still there, but refined and market ready.”

Stacey McKenzie coaches a model for Mass Exodus.
Fashion student Bronwyn Seier's “Made Not Born” collection.
“The Many Muses” collection by Eloïse Ptito-Echeverria.
Vanessa Rose Gallelli preps her collection “Abbraccio.”

22 Ryerson University Magazine / Summer 2017