From a young age, Lillea Goian always knew she wanted to leave her mark in the fashion industry. After moving to Vancouver to attend JCI straight out of high school, Lillea had already graduated from both the Fashion Business and Creative Arts and Core Design Programs shortly after her 19th birthday. She has been featured in Elle Canada, and her designs have been spotted on Canadian musician Peaches as well as American actor and singer, Noah Cyrus.
“THE PROGRAMS AT JCI REALLY HELPED ME FIGURE OUT EXACTLY WHO I WANTED TO BE IN THIS WORLD AND I’M VERY GRATEFUL FOR THE EXPERIENCES AND VALUABLE INFORMATION GAINED FROM BOTH COURSES.”
Born and raised in North Vancouver, Nelson B.C, and Malaysia, Lillea began the Fashion Business and Creative Art Program at JCI knowing that she wanted her own clothing label one day.
“FOUNDER OF VETEMENTS AND THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR FOR BALENCIAGA, DENMA GVASALIA, IS A HUGE INSPIRATION FOR ME. HIS SILHOUETTES AND ODD CONCEPTS REALLY INSPIRE ME.”
Lillea was first asked to showcase “Lillzkillz,” (initially her Instagram handle), at Vancouver Fashion Week in September 2016. This collection consisted of vintage reworks, featured original art created by friends, and was all styled in the month leading up to the show.
From that moment onward, she fell in love with clothing construction and began dreaming of selling her pieces at VFILES in New York.
“I’D LOVE TO PROMOTE MY WORK MORE IN EUROPE AND JAPAN AND BE ABLE TO SEE MORE FASHION ENTHUSIASTS WEARING MY PIECES OVER THE NEXT YEARS.”
Though she had already shown at VFW, Lillea felt as if she had more to learn about design and the technical world of garment manufacturing. This solidified the decision to enroll once again at JCI for the Core Fashion Design Program in July 2016.
“SEEING THAT THE PROGRAM WAS ONLY 6 MONTHS LONG, I KNEW I WANTED TO GAIN A FAR MORE HANDS ON EXPERIENCE. I ALSO PICKED UP FULL-TIME HOURS AT A VINTAGE STORE AND BEGAN CREATING GARMENTS ON MY OWN TIME AS WELL AS SELLING MY PIECES ONLINE.”
Lillea does both vintage reworks, “Lillzkillz,” and created an extension line: “Profanity by Lillzkillz.” This second line was inspired by the word itself and how it is frowned upon by the general public.
“MY CLOTHING REPRESENTS SOMETHING THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE SEE AS BEING ODD OR DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND, WHICH RELATES WELL TO THE TERM “PROFANITY.” I’M ALSO KNOWN FOR THE PHRASE “WHAT THE F*CK IS SHE DOING” WHICH I FEEL TIES IN WITH PROFANITY.”
One of Lillea’s prize moments was having American actress and singer, Noah Cyrus, wear a Profanity hoodie. The singer’s stylist found Lillea through Instagram and she was later spotted at a press conference wearing Lillea’s designs.
“80S PUNK AND VIVIENNE WESTWOOD’S CREATIONS AROUND THAT TIME INSPIRED ME BECAUSE OF THE REBELLIOUS WAYS AND I FELT AS IF I COULD RELATE SINCE MY CREATIONS REBEL AGAINST SOCIETY. I LIKE TO INCLUDE A BIT OF ANDROGYNY IN MY CREATIONS AND MY GARMENTS ARE NOT GENDER SPECIFIC.”
So far, the biggest obstacle has been building her own company from the ground up. Lillea has kept busy managing all aspects of her business since graduation.
“ESTABLISHING A BUSINESS AS A ONE WOMAN SHOW IS A STRUGGLE AND A LEARNING EXPERIENCE—I’M REALLY LUCKY TO HAVE SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE IN MY LIFE WHO WANT TO SEE ME SUCCEED.
Lillea would suggest people to think outside the box, work hard and not give themselves any boundaries. Fashion is about individuality and doing things your own way.
“IT’S IMPORTANT TO PUSH YOURSELF AND WORK HARD, IT’S THE ONLY WAY YOU’LL SEE IMPROVEMENTS.”
As of now, Lillea is building her network within the industry while working on her clothing labels. When she’s not working, she enjoys leaving the city for adventures and can be caught watching crime documentaries or listening to podcasts.
KEEP UP WITH LILLEA/LILLZKILLZ ON INSTAGRAM
FOLLOW PROFANITY ON INSTAGRAM
SHOP LILLZKILLZ ONLINE
Article was written for John Casablancas Institute Blog