ST. JOHN’S, NL –
The power of social media has never been more evident to Lance Bowers than now.
An Instagram post shows one of College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) students working with the most successful Korean girl group in the world, Blackpink.
Bowers, a Textile & Apparel Design student at CNA, says he is excited to be working with the K-pop group after receiving a request from a stylist with YG Entertainment who works exclusively with Blackpink.
“(They asked) to borrow some of my designs for one of their upcoming photo shoots,” he said. “They were able to review my available designs and requested that items be sent from my unreleased line that was shown in a fashion show during Pride Week in St. John’s, NL at Velvet Night Club and Lounge. Items were sent and I am excited to see the result.”
One of his masks was also featured in a music video with the American punk rap group SosMula called “What's my name?
". Bowers said he prides himself on creating one-of-a-kind pieces.
“I work with things that people often throw away; I repurpose discarded clothing and textiles by transforming them into something new. My designs are meant to speak to those who crave a unique experience of wearing something that no one else can have since all of my items are absolute one of ones. I'd describe the energy/style of my designs as post-apocalyptical punk-esk.”
Originally from Middle Arm, NL, Bowers says he began to see his love for fashion in a new light during the pandemic lockdowns.
“I started taking sewing more seriously during the beginning of the pandemic and took inspiration from the feeling of chaos that was around at the time. It was around this time that I decided to enroll into the Textile & Apparel Design program,” noting that his love for fashion goes back to his grade school days.
“I had a small printing business towards the end of high school where I specialized in printing on T-shirts and sweaters, and in 2017 my grandmother gave me a sewing machine as a gag gift for Christmas and I haven't looked back since – NewfoundThrifts was born!”
Armed with a sewing machine and some ideas, Bowers started selling his creations.
“I started sewing in my bedroom and making local sales and before I knew it, I had national and international sales thanks to social media marketing. I make streetwear, such as jeans, jogging pants, shorts, sweaters, t-shirts, backpacks and a variety of bags, and masks,” adding that he does most of his small business advertising on Instagram.
' inventory can be viewed on Instagram where I do most of my business. Viewers also get a chance to watch videos that I’ve made of myself creating some of my most interesting products.”
Currently living in St. John’s, NL, he says he would encourage others to consider CNA.
“I do encourage others to take Textile & Apparel Design if they have an interest in growing their skill or learning new skills. This program has been one of the best experiences!
“My time at CNA has given me time to appreciate how much I've learned in the past year and it's true when they say time does fly when you're having fun,” he said. “My instructors have been nothing short of amazing and they really do embody the spirit of what they teach. It’s been inspiring to be around instructors who love what they do and want to share that experience with the student.”
He says he has big plans for the future.
“I’m in my second year and I'm excited to see what the program has to offer me,” he said. “My plans remain unchanged, and I continue to strive to evolve and establish myself within the fashion industry with the goal of participating in New York Fashion Week at some point in my career.”
The fashion artist has some words of wisdom for those looking to get started.
“I am grateful for all of the opportunities that I have been given recently to showcase NewfoundThrifts, and I want to encourage others to believe in themselves enough to try,” he said. “My advice is to believe that you have something to offer, and others will see it too.”
For more information about Textile & Apparel Design and other CNA programs, visit www.cna.nl.ca
College of the North Atlantic