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NANCY MAK SCHOLARSHIP
Nancy Mak Scholarship
About Nancy Mak
Vancouver Fashion Week first encountered Nancy Mak when she brought her young daughter Camille to a model fitting in 2008. Mak immediately got behind the vision of the VFW organization, getting her film producer friend, Lily Hui on the phone. By the time the model fittings were complete that day, Mak had secured staging, lighting and sound equipment for the upcoming show. She also had media connections and that season the Los Angeles Editor of Women's Wear Daily sat in the front row at VFW.
No stranger to the world of clothing and design, young Mak’s family had a sportswear factory in East Vancouver. She went to Art School and developed a dynamic career in fabric sales, design and consulting. “Nancy was an artist, through and through,” says Hui, who knew Mak since they were 4 years old. “From painting and sketching to design, she was constantly expanding.”
“She got involved in so many things, by networking and talking to people,” says Mak’s daughter, Camille Verschooris. “She was a connector of people, always helping others. She pushed people to dream and to make their dreams a reality, through the power of vision and will.”
Nancy loved to travel and attracted friends and connections across the globe. “If you were her friend, you were her friend for life,” says Hui, who accompanied Mak on many travel adventures, attending International fabric forums and massive clothing trade shows.
“She had a fascinating ability to connect with anyone no matter his or her walk of life,” says Mak’s son Julien Verschooris. “During fashion week times, she’d often host a dinner or two at home, and I’d get to meet all sorts of new faces. She loved gathering new people together, cooking and bringing out the ’joie de vivre’ in others.”
He adds, “My mom’s generosity was evident in the time she gave to others, her thoughtful critiques of those who sought her opinion, and her unwavering support of people willing to match her passion.”
Among many achievements, Mak took a stab at costume design for a period piece short film and received a LEO award nomination. “That alone speaks for her talent,” says Hui. Nancy was in the process of building her own streetwear line when she lost her battle with cancer in 2012.
Created in 2014 in honour of the late Nancy Mak by Vancouver Fashion Week’s founder Jamal Abdourahman, the award represents Nancy Mak’s benevolent spirit.
In an effort to continue Nancy’s legacy of creative inspiration and building through connection, the annual grant commits to invest in promising new fashion design talent, providing opportunities to showcase their collections and make vital contacts in major fashion markets worldwide, including New York, Paris, Milan and Tokyo.
This year’s award recipient, Dryden Sereda, will close the show on October 20th at VFW with his SEREDA collection. The recent VCAD graduate showcased his line at Paris Fashion Week on October 1st by virtue of the awards' backing. The young designer says, “The Nancy Mak sponsorship kickstarted my career. I am forever grateful to my teachers and to Jamal for believing in my potential and enabling me to realise my true calling.”
~ November 2022 marks ten years since Nancy’s passing ~
Industry Originator Award
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