Conestoga news

September 24, 2013 10:13 AM

Canadian design icon visits Conestoga

Commercial designer and well-known philanthropist Simon Chang shared his insights and career advice with Conestoga students at an event held in his honour at the Kitchener Studio Project on September 23.

There to discuss his views on creativity and colour as well as highlights from his career, the Order of Canada recipient told Interior Decorating and Visual Merchandising Arts students to be passionate about anything they choose to do.

"I want students to be more adventurous," said Chang. "I want to encourage them to follow their passion." Simon1.jpg

The president of Simon Chang Concepts, the Montreal-based designer is popular across Canada for his stylish clothing lines. Known for designing flight attendant uniforms for both SkyService and Air Transat, the designer puts out over 300 unique women's clothing pieces yearly.

Chang encouraged students to take advantage of the depth of education and opportunities available at Conestoga.

"Students don't realize that opportunities are everywhere," stated Chang. "It's all in how you take advantage of them."

The designer shared his personal career journey with students, starting with his rise through the ranks at Hudson's Bay Company. He told students that when they choose a career, they should choose one where they love what they are doing.

Simon2.jpg "The key element to having a career is having a good time and to really enjoy what you're doing," said Chang.

We are very fortunate to have Simon Chang speak so intimately with students," said faculty member Margaret Hedges. "This is an inspirational event for our creative and artistic students."

Hedges hoped that the students would draw inspiration from both Chang and the venue itself. The Kitchener Studio Project is the result of an academic partnership between Conestoga, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo. The location provides a unique collaborative space for art, design and digital content creators.

The event was the result of collaboration between several community partners including Bev Bell, Creative Director for Home Hardware's Beauti-Tone Paint and Home Products Division.

Chang wrapped up his talk by encouraging students to never stop learning: "You have to always have a growth pattern. If you stay in one area, you get stale. You're not learning any more."

For more information on Chang’s advice to Conestoga students, visit the Waterloo Region Record.