CapU, What Are You Wearing?

Meet Jane Ince, Communications Instructor

Mayumi Izumi (she/her) // Columnist

Before majoring in communications at Capilano University, I studied fashion design at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Toronto and fashion merchandising at VCC (Vancouver Community College). Fashion was my first love.   Now, I am on a mission to find out what the CapU community is wearing, what influences the fashion trends on campus and discover who the people are behind the great OOTDs (outfits of the day).    

JANE INCE – Co-Chair School of Communications (she/her)

This month features Jane Ince, the Co-chair of the School of Communications, an instructor at the university since 2017 and winner of the 2021 Teaching Excellence Awards.  A few weeks ago, she wore a great outfit that I was compelled to ask about.

Jane was dressed in a white oversized t-shirt that she bought at The Limited in the Netherlands. Her polka-dotted wide-legged slacks were made by Black and White from California, complemented by a pair of black leather shoes with a sensible heel from Zig Zag Fashions in North Vancouver’s Edgemont Village.

When I asked her what her fashion inspiration was, she said, “I like classic styles, straight lines and not a lot of flounce. If I had to pick a designer who offers timeless style, I would say Chanel. Comfort is important too!”

Jane attended high school at Burnaby Central and went straight to UBC (the University of British Columbia) after she graduated. There she took the Arts One program and when asked she exclaimed, “That was the best decision I ever made in my education. I would recommend this first year course to anyone! History, English and Philosophy bundled together and studied through reading the classics (ancient and modern). That was a fabulous base for future learning.”

During the 1980s, when Jane was in post-secondary school, Farrah Fawcett hair (the bigger the better), skinny jeans, denim jackets, concert t-shirts, neon colours, and Converse high tops were all the rage. The leading movies at that time were Top Gun, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Breakfast Club. Additionally, Madonna was shocking audiences with her song, “Like a Virgin” and dressed in the iconic wedding dress belted with ‘boy toy’ written on it.

It was a time when chauvinism was the norm.  Jane said she chose UBC over SFU (Simon Fraser University) and CapU because, “My dad was always full of advice. I knew I wanted to work in business. I could not define my future beyond that, but I wanted to be a leader in any industry I chose. In the 1980s, misogyny and “working in a man’s world” was alive and thriving. My dad suggested I go to the big school to get the big name on my resume. At that time, he wasn’t wrong.”

Jane went on to open her own business and has been in the Public Relations industry for over 20 years.  She transitioned into PR after working in hotel operations, restaurants and pubs.  Jane got her start at The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino when the owner of the hotel asked her to do their PR. Although she had never done it before, she agreed. Synchronicity was at work.

When asked what it’s like to own her own business, she confided that, “It can be lonely, so my best recommendation for anyone working for themselves is to find peers in similar roles. Then you can bounce around ideas and strategies with someone who will understand your stressors.” Jane said that for the next five years, she would love to keep doing her work as an Instructor and a Co-Chair in the School of Communication. Her love for her profession shows.  

In 2021, Jane won the Teaching for Excellence Award.  When she discovered she had won, she modestly believed I wrangled up the students and convinced them to vote for her.  With a smile on her face, Jane described her win. “I am incredibly proud of this distinction. It was a wonderful surprise. I am the poster person for “Imposter Syndrome”.  In my head, everyone around me is 5 minutes away from realizing I am not that good at my job, and not really very smart at all. So, I was sure there was a mistake… the students simply checked the wrong box on a form.”

For aspiring practitioners, Jane advises,” If you want to work in PR, read! Read everything. Stay current on news, pop culture, trends and general information. To do that, you need to read news, social media, magazines, classics, current literature, everything! Then, deconstruct what you read. Why did the writer select certain words? Did the writer communicate the message they wanted to share? Analyze and critique written work to see if it did what it was meant to do.”

For many, with their career success, a shift in fashion is seen in their closet – but not for Jane. She confesses that her style has not changed much over the years.  She did, however, get rid of the shoulder pads.

If you would like to learn more about Jane Ince, follow her on Twitter @jince (she is a self-professed Twitter addict) and her LinkedIn profile, Jane Ince.

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