Q&A with Annie Qu: Fashion Design Program Valedictorian

After graduating with a double major in Economics and Psychology, Annie Qu worked in accounting for two years before she decided on a change of career and enrolled in Fashion Design at Toronto Film School. Annie was on the Presidents and Honours List throughout her studies and now has been named the 2017 Fashion Design program Valedictorian. Her work was selected as a finalist for the Art of Fashion Must Have Summer Dress Competition. She is currently interning with renowned Canadian designer Greta Constantine, and Grayes. She passes on this message as program valedictorian: “You have survived the past 18 months. Sleep, revive, and then go out there and chase your dream because you now have a new skill set that you didn’t have 18 months ago. I wish you all the best of luck and end up happy with what you do!” insights into this exciting industry and I will always be grateful for this inspiring experience.”


Please tell us a little bit about yourself. How old are you? Where are you from? What are you passionate about?

I was born in China. My family moved to Calgary, Alberta when I was twelve. Before Toronto Film School, I attended the University of Toronto for Economics and Psychology, and I worked in accounting after my graduation. I was doing well in my field, but I felt that I needed a career that stimulates my interest and creativity. I have always loved fashion. After much consideration, I quit my accounting job and decided to steer my career towards a different path.


What brought you to Toronto Film School?

When it came to choosing the right school, one factor that was very important to me was time. Toronto Film School offers a fast-track 18-months program that allowed me to graduate early and start working in the industry as soon as possible. Also, it was a big advantage to have teachers who work in the fashion industry. They bring in practical experiences and relevant connections.


Why did you choose the Fashion Design Diploma at Toronto Film School?

I chose Fashion Design because it is my childhood dream. I wanted to be a fashion designer since I was five years old. I love how clothes can transform a person, and I want to create beautiful things with my own hands.



Why do you think you were chosen as the valedictorian for your program?

I am very honoured to be chosen as the Fashion Design Valedictorian. I see a lot of talent around the school, and we all have a shared passion for creativity. I think my positive attitude and eagerness to learn are what made the difference.


If you offered one piece of advice to an incoming student, what would that be?

To incoming students, my advice is to know yourself and what you like, and once you set your eyes on the path, work hard towards it. There will always be stressful times. It is important to stay positive and determined.



What is one of the most important things you have learned/experienced at Toronto Film School?

One of the most important things I have learned at Toronto Film School is how dynamic a career in fashion is. It is not just about making a pretty dress. It is a combination of trend analysis, market research, fabric selection and testing, creativity, precision, quality, presentation, and time management. I was surprised by the variety of contributing factors to a collection. It made me appreciate fashion in a new view.


What kept you motivated?

I am motivated by my love for design. Instead of treating the school projects as assignments, I always treat them as opportunities for me to create something new and exciting.


What are your plans after graduation?

My post-graduation plan is to gain more experience in the fashion industry. I am currently working for Greta Constantine. It is a great opportunity to put my knowledge from school into practice. I would like to continuously perfect my pattern drafting skills so I can turn my visions into reality.


What made Toronto Film School and your experience here special?

What made my experience at Toronto Film School special is the people. I had a wonderful class with very supportive classmates. The students in our program are very diverse, and yet we are all united by the same passion for fashion. The teachers are very encouraging and engaging. They don’t mind helping students beyond the classrooms.


If someone asked you to describe Toronto Film School to them, what would you say?

Toronto Film School is a school of dreams. It is not glamour. It is the nitty-gritty behind the amazing creations. It is a school of passionate and hardworking people taught by other passionate and hardworking people.