For the first time ever, Ryerson’s student-run fashion show, Mass Exodus, will be offering an e-commerce platform through its app where attendees can purchase clothing, accessories and books produced by the fourth-year fashion design and fashion communication students.
Robert Ott, chair of the school of fashion, said the idea stemmed from previous years when students’ designs were not for sale and he had to decline offers from interested buyers.
This year’s show will take place on Apr. 1, 2015, at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. Ott said this show will be unique because the app will allow fashion students, who pay for garment materials out-of-pocket, to put that money back in their wallets.
“What we want to do is re-empower designers,” Ott said. “They should be able to stage a fashion event at any time but at the same time, there has to be an opportunity for people to buy their goods, right then and there.”
Around 30 of the 140 students participating in Mass Exodus will be selling their products through the app.
The show’s producer Cathy Nguyen said the Mass Exodus app will be free for iOS and Android platforms. The app will offer news, social media integration, the online marketplace, and some surprise elements that are expected to be revealed closer to the show.
As in previous years, the show will be divided into two parts: a midday show featuring the work of all fourth-year fashion students, followed by an evening “short show” of select designs curated by a fashion professional who is yet to be revealed.
Nguyen cannot confirm whether or not app users will be able to buy garments from both shows.
“Many materials and fabrics are handmade, hand embroidered and hand-dyed, showing the talent of our fourth-year design students,” said Katie Knoll, head of the content coordination committee. “The pieces show a very high level of craftsmanship and creativity. There’s a huge variety—everything from sportswear to wedding dresses, from political statements to barely there lingerie. The children modelling the kids wear will most likely steal the show, as they always do, but there will be many contemporary pieces you will want to rip off the models and add to your own closet.”
Mass Exodus, which calls itself the largest student-run production in the world, has been a Ryerson production since 1988 and takes place once a year. Tickets for this year’s Mass Exodus will go on sale mid-February. Prices will be released shortly.
An earlier version of this article implied that all students would be selling their garments through the app. This has since been corrected.