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College student meets London's high fashion

Effie Daves (left), one of the artistic directors, poses with Kaitlyn Smith in the Toni and Guy Academy. - Submitted
Effie Daves (left), one of the artistic directors, poses with Kaitlyn Smith in the Toni and Guy Academy.
— image credit: Submitted

Kaitlyn Smith, a student in the Wild About Hair hairstylist program, recently returned from a two-week practicum at the high-fashion salon of the Toni and Guy Academy on Oxford Street in London, England.

Smith is also a Mount Baker Secondary School student who entered the hairstylist program as an Accelerated Credit Enrolment in Industry Training (ACE IT) student, which allowed her to complete secondary school and take a trades program at a the College of the Rockies and receive both secondary school credits for graduation and post-secondary credits in a provincially recognized trade.

Our College Instructor Gwen Stewart studied in London as well. She is totally amazing and inspirational and this program gave me such a great foundation that I didn’t feel in the least intimidated in London,” Smith said.

“It was a truly unbelievable experience for a small-town girl from Cranbrook and gave me a completely new perspective on hair design,” Smith continued. “Everyone treated me so well and if I could have stayed, I would’ve. The Toni and Guy Academy creates a new ‘collection’ each year based on the high fashion industry along with their instructional duties. I got to apply some of their ideas in styling and cutting and brought home some new techniques to show my classmates.”

Smith is nearly finished the 10-month Wild About Hair program and is planning to take some Business Administration courses at College of the Rockies this fall, as well as applying for an apprenticeship at a local salon. “I’m pursuing every stylist’s dream,” she said. “I eventually want to open my own salon and the Business Administration courses will help me with that part of the enterprise. But my experience in London completely changed my outlook and will inspire me for years to come.”

For more information on the Wild About Hair program call 250-489-8253 or go to: www.cotr.bc.ca/trades

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