Danier Design Challenge: Which Ryerson Student Designer Won?

I love when Canadian retailers bring practical competitions to our fashion design schools. It’s great for everyone involved; the retailer gets a chance to scope out some potential new talent to hire after graduation and the participating students get the opportunity to be judged by industry professionals and an incredible opportunity for national exposure.

This is the second successive year of the Danier Design Challenge with the Ryerson School of Fashion. Over 65 student designers submitted sketches, and the top 10 finalists (Jessica Tep, Stephanie MacNeil, Yvonne Lin, Young Kwon, Sisi Jiang, Robyn Gemzik, Meghan Erin, Andrea Dineen, Melissa Calixte, and Stefanie Ayoub) were invited to create their leather garments which were then placed on for the public to vote for their favourite.

The ten finalists with DANIER CEO Jeffrey Wortsman

“We are excited to see that the second year of our DANIER DESIGN CHALLENGE with Ryerson University’s School of Fashion has once again unveiled such amazing young talent. We hope that this competition will serve as the Canadian public’s first introduction to the next generation of great Canadian designers,” said DANIER CEO, Jeffrey Wortsman.

A group of family, faculty and industry gathered at the school on Thursday, January 13th to find out who won. Having a hard time selecting the top three, the judges decide to split the third prize of $2,000 between Robyn Gemzik from Calgary and Meghan Erin from Edmonton; the second place prize of $3,000 was awarded to $3,000 Ottawa native, Jessica Tep, and the first place honours and $5,000 prize went to Andrea Dineen from London, Ontario. Along with the prize money, Dineen’s design will be produced and sold at select DANIER stores across Canada in the Fall and she has a paid internship at DANIER with their in-house design team.


L-R: DANIER CEO Jeffrey Wortsman, winner Andrea Dineen, and model in the winning design.

“I am extremely honoured to have my work chosen as the winner of this competition; I am thrilled at the thought that my design will be on sale at DANIER this fall and can’t wait to see it being worn on the street,” Andrea Dineen said of her win.

The judges included Robert Ott, Chair, Ryerson’s School of Fashion, DANIER’s Chief Merchandising Officer, Olga Koel, Canadian fashion icon Jeanne Beker, fashion stylist George Antonopoulos and Tiyana Grulovic, Fashion Editor at the Globe and Mail.

Here Andrea Dineen showcases her design:

View more videos from all the finalists here.

About Gail McInnes (320 Articles)
Originally from Glasgow, Scotland, Gail McInnes has made an indelible mark on the Canadian fashion and entertainment scenes; managing and guiding the careers of some of the country's most notable talents, including Lucian Matis, Hilary MacMillan, Stephen Amell (CW's Arrow), Natalie Brown (The Strain), Brad Goreski (E! Fashion Police), and more. Visit for more information or email

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: