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Chantelle Hastick walked home with one of the biggest cheques of her life last week.
Hastick, the winner of the Danier Design Challenge, was awarded $5,000 and an oversized novelty cheque that she awkwardly carried all the way to her apartment at Queen Street and Spadina Avenue
“My friend was like, ‘What are you doing? You just won $5,000, pay to take the bus,’” says Hastick.
Hastick says she wants to use her winnings in way that will improve her skills and help her hone the craft of luxury fashion design.
The Danier Design Challenge is a contest put on in partnership with Ryerson University, and held exclusively for third-year fashion design students. Students who wanted to participate in the challenge had to submit a sketch of a leather jacket they designed.
The top three who placed in the competition were announced on Jan. 15.
In addition to earning a cash prize, Hastick will have her jacket, titled “Straight,” included in the Danier Fall 2014 collection. It will be available for purchase in select stores.
Hastick says she loves the prize of having her jacket produced. “It’s my absolute dream to have people purchase something I designed and wear it.”
Andrea Dineen also had her jacket sold in Danier stores when she won the competition in 2011. She says winning the challenge was an accomplishment she was proud to put on her resume.
Dineen has dreamt of owning and designing her own clothing label since she was a 16-year-old. After winning the competition, she accepted an internship offer in the design department at Danier. She says that experience taught her about quality control, how to work with vendors and advanced her ability in design.
Since graduating, Dineen now works at a bridal boutique where she is a stylist and assists with merchandising. She also recently launched her own clothing line, making the dream she once had become reality.
Hastick says participating in the competition taught her that she could become a luxury fashion designer if she set her mind to it.
“Right now it’s like a dream. I’m still a student and I have this idea in my mind that, yeah, I want to be a designer. But you don’t think that it can actually happen to you.”
Hastick says she struggles with self-doubt, but having her design place first gave her affirmation on her abilities. “I worked really hard,” she says, “and it shows that hard work pays off.”