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Ryerson University fashion students will be “on the map” after its million dollar partnership with Canadian fashion line, Joe Fresh.
Joe Fresh is investing $1 million, over four years, into the Joe Fresh Centre with Ryerson University, Canada’s first fashion innovation center which helps students fund and create start-up plans. Up to 21 businesses will work with students to create business designs, clothing lines and market strategies over an 18-month period
“The fashion zone doesn’t have a presence, this will attract investments,” said Ryerson fashion instructor Beverly Bowen.
Fashion students have not received funding to the Ryerson fashion zone compared to Ryerson Digital Media Zone which offers start-ups, office space, mentorship, and potential customers to many business students.
“Being an entrepreneur is the future and if it [Joe Fresh Centre] can happen, I think it would be excellent,” Bowen said. It has the chance to take little companies that are under the radar and put it on the map, Bowen said.
The Joe Fresh Centre will not only be open to Ryerson students, but, students from across Canada, Ryerson Alumni and non-students.
The program will take about 21 students, according to Ryerson Fashion Chair, Robert Ott.
Joe Fresh and the media have not always met eye to eye.
After the Bangladesh factory collapse of 2013, Joe Fresh image was slandered in the media. Will it ruin Ryerson’s image?
“We can’t be naïve, there have been critics of the clothing line but let’s help the school grow and the brand grow. I don’t think it’s a one way partnership,” said Bowen
Joe Fresh founder, Joe Mimran, is stepping down as creative director of the company and joining CBC “Dragons’ Den,” announced last week.
The fashion and the business will intertwine.
Bowen said she works with the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, so it is nice that the fashion side of Ryerson is starting as well.
“I think this is a start. Success attracts success and this investment will be a start for the school of fashion,” Bowen said.