Second Chance Clarity

By Charelle Evelyn on September 23 2013


(Above PHOTO CREDIT Johnny Se)


If you’re going to make mistakes, do it with someone else’s money. That’s one of the lessons Jordanna Hardy had to learn the hard way. The 22-year-old Prince George native isn’t walking into the fashion scene with her eyes sewed shut. While she says it’s “every young designer’s dream to have their name on a label,” Hardy – who goes by Jordanna Leah, professionally – is content to scrape her knees under someone else’s name first. Hardy wasn’t ready to strike out on her own as a 19 year old living in Vancouver to attend the Blanche Mac- Donald Centre. She spent her money irresponsibly.

She couldn’t pay her rent. She started to pick up more shifts at work instead of going to class. With just three months and one course left, Hardy left school and came back to Prince George, tail tucked between her legs. Instead of making a name for herself, she became a statistic. “It was a feeling of failure, of letting myself down and letting my family down,” said Hardy, recalling that turbulent July 2011.

She said the most-heartbreaking moment was having to sign the papers officially withdrawing from school. “I called my sister afterwards – she cried, I cried. It was really tough.” But Hardy wasn’t packing away her education and going to back to making the cosplay costumes that got her started down the fashion path in high school. After working for her family business for a year, she re-enrolled in Blanche MacDonald last May, having to start from the beginning of the oneyear intensive course all over again. “I was so determined and so focused,” said Hardy. “School was my No. 1 priority. I mostly gave up having a social life for the year.” That focus led to a 90 per cent average and a killer graduation collection that has her phone ringing.

Her garments have already been featured in photoshoots across Canada and across the pond. Even before she graduated she was offered a spot on a film crew doing costume design for the short film Reaperville, which premieres in Vancouver in late September. The fashion world is Hardy’s oyster right now. Whether she does more costume design, learns the business side of design by interning with other designers or picks up and moves to the arts and culture Mecca of Montreal, she’s going to find her pearl.



Journalist, west coast native, music lover. Made in Canada.

A2013Norm Coyne