MA Fashion Photography student wins Global Outlook Award

LCF Careers and course leaders at the college have been considering how to help students get creative opportunities abroad, and they’ve come up with an exciting new award. The Global Outlook Award funds students to take their work to a new country and develop a creative project or creative skills beyond borders.

We spoke to LCF MA Fashion Photography student Nirma Madhoo-Chipps, one of the first winners of the award alongside two other photography students, before she heads off to Finland to create something very exciting indeed.

'Antithesis' by Nirma Madhoo-Chipps

‘Antithesis’ by Nirma Madhoo-Chipps, MA Fashion Photography

Nirma told us about the proposal that won her this amazing experience, and what she plans to do with her time abroad…

LCF News: What are you going to do with the support of the award?

Nirma Madhoo-Chipps: For the Global Outlook Award, I proposed to further explore my MA topic of Future Bodies and situating female identity in speculative contexts; digital, technological. The plan is to use the award to shoot scenery in Scandinavia that has a digital aesthetic, and propose these in new ways. This will hopefully be another attempt to push the edges of our aesthetic awareness even further than with the first film I made.

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Industry Panellists Debate the Digital Future

An elite panel of tech and fashion industry specialists gathered at The Hospital Club this week to debate the future of digital retail for the Executive MBA (Fashion) round-table networking event.

From left to right: Danielle Shannon, Geoff Watts, Harpreet Gill, Adam BIddle, Jonathan Chippindale

Chaired by Director of the EMBA Dr Jonathan Gander, the panel discussed the benefits of Big Data, the perfect omnichannel strategy and ‘bricks-and-clicks’ – what brands are the benchmark for the ‘phygital’ approach to in-store experiences?

The panel debated the place of digital retail in the luxury market, with exclusivity and the sensory experience of the luxury product purchase vs. the immediacy that comes from seeing something on a catwalk and having it bought and delivered within a matter of days. Danielle Shannon of Not Just a Label said that scarcity is still aspirational, and their business model is based on products that are not readily available anywhere else, so digital allowing many routes to purchase is not their objective.

It was agreed that an Omnichannel strategy in today’s retail should be integrated into any strategy, and the companies who mix online and offline commerce were the most successful. 56% of John Lewis’s Christmas takings were click and collect, so customers research and buy online yet still go to the store.

The group came to the conclusion that a ‘real’ digital experience through augmented reality is a long way off, but Adam Biddle envisioned a future in which friends gather to compare social media designs for outfits, which they can then download and 3D print in their own houses. They called it the ‘Tupperware Party’ of tomorrow, and called the Tupperware Party concept the original social network!

Panel Members

  • Adam Biddle, Social Media Consultant
  • Jonathan Chippindale, Chief Executive at Holition
  • Harpreet Gill, Sales & Marketing Director (UK) at Leadformance
  • Geoff Watts, CEO at EDITD
  • Danielle Shannon, Digital Strategist at Not Just A Label
  • Pia Stanchina, Industry Manager of Fashion & Luxury at Google

 

 

MA Fashion Retail Management students visit Longchamp flagship store

As one of the multiple industry engagement events planned for the second term, the MA Fashion Retail Management cohort visited Longchamp’s flagship store on Regent’s Street earlier this year.

MA Fashion Retail at Longchamp's flagship store

MA Fashion Retail Management visit Longchamp’s flagship store

The trip was organised to help students to increase their knowledge of retail environment practices and apply it to their future studies. The students met Longchamp’s store manager on a busy Monday morning and took the opportunity to ask questions about the store design and the challenges of running such a large store.

Student Toral Kamlesh Tiwari observed: “The store aims to provide a high-end environment with enjoyable shopping experience to present the brand value and heritage.”

Running more than 237 shops globally and turning over £320 million a year, Longchamp has still managed to maintain the sense of a small, family-run business. And the family understanding of the brand’s history and heritage remains one of the brand’s most distinct features. Visited mainly by tourists, the flagship store displays the classic leather bag on the ground floor, communicating to customers the values of craftsmanship and authenticity.

The retail space exalts the brand’s French origin in an innovative atmosphere, by utilizing multiple digital screens and allocating special artist collaboration lines and seasonal products appropriately.

Student Yun-Ju Chen said: “The store layout is more than admirable. French heritage, innovative store design and product display all tell the brand story. As one of their biggest fans, it was an honour to get involved with the brand. I feel the store is encouraging and inspiring, making the products even more desirable.”

In the Q&A section, the Store Manager discussed product sourcing and manufacture explaining how the brand creates such an effective store experience said that all the products are executed to the same standard and all materials are centrally sourced and controlled.

Words by Yourong Chen & Chiehfang Lin

Could seaweed replace plastics to create eco-friendly fashion?

MA Fashion Futures student Fiona Fung recently found out that she is a finalist in the Kering Award. Set by luxury group Kering, which includes the likes of Stella McCartney, the award asks LCF students to propose new ideas and projects for the future of fashion which build a more sustainable fashion system.

Fiona revealed all about her project which, incredibly, could lead to seaweed being used as replacement for plastics to create eco-friendly luxury fashion.

LCF News: What’s the project that you’ve proposed to Kering?

Fiona Fung: My proposition is research development into kelp and seaweed as a replacement for thermoplastics in Stella McCartney, one that can hopefully work across the system through more than one form. Seaweed is a wondrous plant for its metamorphic structure in different states, and can be sustainably harvested in aquamarine ecosystems.

Fiona Fung, MA Fashion Futures

Fiona Fung, MA Fashion Futures

LCF News: What is it that inspired your research?

FF: I was inspired by three central concepts: synthetic replacement, joining processes outside of sewing, and the tension between the natural and man-made. I looked at images of broken dolls, Marie Lund’s cement artwork Torso, and played around with materials bonded or slabbed on to plastic adhesives. I also did a lot of research on Stella McCartney… through eBay! I wanted to know what was happening to the life cycle of the label’s products after leaving the store. Which types of materials are now being given up by their owners? I started to imagine where and how these items would end up. Maybe there’s a way to improve or replace these materials, whether they become loved for life, passed on to someone else, or let go. Stella has done a lot of innovative development to replace animal products, so since synthetics are key to her design aesthetic, it’s a core group for improvement.

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Fashion Means… Curation

As part of our Fashion Means Business blog series, we wanted to show the diverse range of careers that students studying Fashion Business courses can go on to do.

We caught up with Freelance Fashion Curator Ryan Lanji at our Graduate School Festival to hear about his career path so far and to ask what advice he would give to budding freelancers and curators…

Ryan's work for ‘Creature’s From The Kaleidoscope’ (2013)

Ryan’s work for ‘Creature’s From The Kaleidoscope’ (2013) courtesy of ryanlanji.com

LCF news: What does it take to launch your own freelance career?

Ryan Lanji: It takes a lot of discipline, a lot of focus and passion, and it take tenacity. I think it’s really important for someone who wants to launch their own business to really think about how they can make it sustainable. You don’t want just one big project to come in every now and then, you need your everyday jobs that keep you going.

LCF News: How can a graduate make it?

RL: Graduates need to be very resourceful, they need to understand what they offer their career and their industry. They also need to personally brand themselves, not necessarily in a celebrity exposure way, but allow themselves to be contactable on all different platforms, have their portfolio of work available online and really be ruthless when it comes to getting their project to come to fruition.

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Fashion Politics: An alternative debate

In time for the leaders debate, @LCFLondon and @sustfash joined forces to host our very own #FashionPolitics debate to explore all the ways that creativity and fashion relate to politics.

We asked followers to consider whether they think fashion can drive change and what political change they will be hoping to see in the coming General Election.

The fashion eye view on politics took us from the economy to sustainability, through to issues of identity, and finally to the great fashion statements of our time. Read on for our digested links and discussions from the #FashionPolitics takeover…

Lorraine Smith summed up the breadth of the debate nicely:

The economy, the industry and sustainability

Foremost in people’s minds were the ways in which our fashion industry ties into the politics of workers’ rights and environmental protection and degradation.

The concern with the production of our clothes is especially relevant as Fashion Revolution Day, which focuses on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster, happens this month.

Identity

The connections between fashion and issues surrounding gender, ethnicity and class were raised by some of our debators. Whether it was a call for more diversity in our fashion imagery, or exploring key narratives which show the story of an identity through fashion and the wider political issues it connects with. Read the rest of this entry »

LCF student illustrates for Company Magazine

First year BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration student Holly Farmer has collaborated with Apple and Company Magazine to create a range of trend illustrations for the upcoming season. The awesome part? All of her illustrations were drawn on an iPad. We caught up with Holly to find out how she got involved and how fashion illustration is moving into digital territory…

Illustration by Holly Farmer, Instagram: @Holly.F

Illustration by Holly Farmer, Instagram: @Holly.F

LCF News: Why did you choose London College of Fashion?

One of the main reasons I chose London College of Fashion is because of the amazing opportunities that studying here, and being in the creative capital of London, brings! I have always longed to study in London for its immense cultural and artistic scene. Simply walking through this city you can find fantastic galleries, small and interesting bric-a-brac shops and beautiful gardens – all of which inspire me. London College of Fashion is renowned for excellence and its connection with the creative industry, and is known for producing great entrepreneurs and successful designers. I don’t think I would have received the opportunities that I have so far being anywhere else.

LCF News: How did you find out about the chance to illustrate for Company Magazine?

As I am constantly trying to gain an audience for my work, I am often entering art competitions and sending my work off to magazines and websites in an attempt to be featured. Previously my work has been published on LCF’s Pigeons and Peacocks website. From there my work was passed on to the editor of Company Magazine as an opportunity had arisen for a student to illustrate an upcoming article. I feel extremely honoured that I was chosen to undertake this interesting brief and it has made me realise the importance of getting my work out there – you never know who might come across it!

Illustration by Holly Farmer, Instagram: @Holly.F

Illustration by Holly Farmer, Instagram: @Holly.F

LCF News: What inspires you when you illustrate?

When I illustrate, I like to listen to strange, experimental music and inspire myself with imagery and words. I open out my art books and load my computer full of images that I like so that my working space is surrounded by imagery. I am influenced heavily by poetry and poetic music and sometimes like to incorporate words into my work. I also inspire myself through creating my own poetry and experimenting with new media such as sound and texture. Aside from studio practice, I am also inspired by things I see everyday – graffiti and body art as well as dolls and figurines, graphics in posters and visual advertisements.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fashion Means… Experiential Retail

As part of our Fashion Means Business blog series in celebration of the launch of our Fashion Business School, we are exploring some of the key issues in fashion business.

This time, MA Fashion Retail Management student Timmy Tikolo takes a look at the changing face of retail in Nigeria.

Guest blog: Experiential or Experimental in Nigeria?

Experiential retailing is the ‘it’ word in fashion retail right now. It is everywhere. These days, people talk about entertainment and the need to provide more than just a shop that sells merchandise. Experiential retail is intended to attract shoppers who have increasingly become distracted by social media and e-commerce. It involves the implementation of digital solutions that help deliver great in-store experiences to customers.

MAC store Lagos Nigeria Image credit: AFPRELAXNEWS

MAC store Lagos Nigeria Image credit: AFPRELAXNEWS

Nigeria is a key market in Africa. It is the biggest economy on the continent and is home to over 180m people. Nigeria’s GDP has consistently grown in excess of 6% annually for the last 7 years. In 2014, there were over 15,900 millionaires in Nigeria and the country was home to over 200 High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) with collective wealth of over $30m. Nigeria is currently enjoying a period of societal change and economic growth as a result of its burgeoning middle class. These changes in Nigeria have led a large number of retailers to target the country as a potential new market to locate their businesses. Read the rest of this entry »

Style Young Collective create fashion film as part of Discover Young Hackney Festival

Funded by Hackney Council as part of the Discover Young Hackney Festival, the Style Young Collective created a fashion film and hosted a fashion event and screening at LCF’s Mare Street in February.

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Still from film by the Style Young Collective, managed by LCF Widening Participation

As part of the festival, the Style Young Collective, which includes young people from Hackney, attended workshops in styling, hair and make-up, fashion film making and how to produce your own fashion event.  The workshops were designed and managed by LCF Widening Participation and delivered in collaboration with Hackney resident and LCF tutor and alumna, Carrie Munden.

2Still from film by the Style Young Collective, managed by LCF Widening Participation

Still from film by the Style Young Collective, managed by LCF Widening Participation

The Collective is made up of young people (14+ years old) who attend Saturday workshops and learn how to research, design, construct, style, record and film their own garments. They produced their own event to showcase their work and were also supported with information about potential careers and pathways into the fashion industry.

LCF menswear students collaborate with Adidas

LCF BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Menswear students recently collaborated with Adidas to create two capsule collections as part of their second year project.

LCF News caught up with third year student Patrick Jacobson who set up the collaboration through contacts he gained during his internship with the company last summer…

Michal Mrzyglod, BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Menswear x Adidas. Photographer: Daniel Jaroszek, Model: Daniel Uzdowski @ Rebel Models, Set-designer: Wito Baltuszyc, Make-up and hair artist: Magda Szulc-Witkowski.

Michal Mrzyglod, BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Menswear x Adidas. Photographer: Daniel Jaroszek, Model: Daniel Uzdowski @ Rebel Models, Set-designer: Wito Baltuszyc, Make-up and hair artist: Magda Szulc-Witkowski.

LCF News: Tell us about the collaboration with adidas… 

I came up with the idea for a partnership between LCF and Adidas while I was on my internship with the Running team last summer. To initiate this I organised a collaborative project between my course and the Running department.

I saw a great opportunity for both organisations to mutually benefit from each other. adidas has as many different departments as LCF has courses and they are both future thinkers and innovators of design and technologies so I couldn’t imagine a more perfect partnership between a university and a company. That is my desired goal, to create a long lasting partnership between the whole of Adidas and every course at LCF.

BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Menswear x Adidas

Irene Lin, BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Menswear x Adidas. BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Menswear x Adidas

LCF News: We hear you also have a job lined up at Adidas when you graduate. Congratulations! How did you get it and what will it be?

Yes, Thank you. After my internship I kept in touch with the guys in the Running department, they were an amazing team. They were sponsoring my fabrics for my collection and we were organising this project. They had managed to open a new design position and the head of design asked me to apply. So as of July I will be assistant designer of running apparel.

LCF News: What was your placement at Adidas like and what did you learn?

The internship at Adidas was unlike any I had done before. First of all I actually had responsibility apart from getting coffee and sewing on buttons. I was treated like an actual designer and was respected as part of the team; I had my own design projects and was included in important meetings and fittings where I was encouraged to give my opinions and ideas. At Adidas they realise that even though we are still students we have a lot of potential.

I was able to develop a completely different skill set than I had gained in education and at other internships. Almost everything was done on computers, I was using Illustrator everyday to design and create presentations and I really developed an understanding of how to design something innovative that can actually be made and will sell.

Michal Mrzyglod, BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Menswear x Adidas. Photographer: Daniel Jaroszek, Model: Daniel Uzdowski @ Rebel Models, Set-designer: Wito Baltuszyc, Make-up and hair artist: Magda Szulc-Witkowski.

Michal Mrzyglod, BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Menswear x Adidas. Photographer: Daniel Jaroszek, Model: Daniel Uzdowski @ Rebel Models, Set-designer: Wito Baltuszyc, Make-up and hair artist: Magda Szulc-Witkowski.

LCF News: What inspires you about what you do?

I am mostly inspired by people I see and places I go. I really enjoy just watching and analysing, my inspiration never stays as one individual thing. For example my BA collection was initially inspired by looking at elderly people and how they dress.

Graduate Festival: ‘Essentials of Creative Entrepreneurship’ with Anna Margolis of Startout Steps

Creative entrepreneurs know that there is no perfect handbook to set-up a successful creative enterprise. The best pieces of advice you get come rather from hearing about other entrepreneurs sharing their journey and story. And this is what Anna Margolis of Start-Out steps did to inspire LCF future graduates to jump into the (exciting) journey of starting a creative enterprise at the Graduate School Festival.

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Before starting her first business Anna spent years working in the corporate world as an international lawyer, but she never really fitted in the corporate mind-set. One day she decided to quit her job, trained to become a professional coach and set-up her own coaching business. To kick-start her creative enterprise, Anna got a Start-Up loan to build and test the Start-Out Steps methodology.

Before starting-out: build a solid foundation for your creative enterprise by asking yourself the essential…

Start with the WHY. Why do you want to set-up your own business? Is it a HAVE TO or a WANT TO? What drives you? This may be to wake-up everyday knowing that you’ll spend the day doing something you love; to make a positive impact in the world; to create a work that inspires you; to make our own dream come true and not someone else’s dream. Being clear about the why will help you then define the purpose and value proposition that are the essentials of any successful enterprise. To nail down her vision, Anna created a vision board, a very interesting tool that helps you put your vision down on the paper and define the steps that needs to be taken to achieve it.

Next steps

Once you have the vision clear it’s time to define the product or service you’ll be offering to the world, and write a business plan to bring it to life. In your business plan you’ll have to take in to account the following: values and vision of your enterprise (that we just covered); organisational business structure (are you going to be self-employed, licensing or start a limited company?); money (make a personal budget and a budget for your business); market research and marketing (who are your customers and how are you going to reach them); sales (how much are you going to charge your customers); legal requirements (taxes, end-of-the-year reports etc.).  This can seem a little scary, but hopefully the start-outs methdology will help you go through all these points one by one in order to write a solid business plan.

Finally, here are Anna’s takeaways to LCF aspiring entrepreneurs

  • Be open to other’s ideas and inputs
  • Look for inspiration everywhere
  • Be humble, look for support from others in the areas that you don’t know
  • Don’t let failures stop you. Failures are a great opportunity for learning what works and what doesn’t, and refine your strategy accordingly.

Starting-up your own creative enterprise is a really exciting adventure, take the first step today!

Words by Marie James

 

Fashion Means… Entrepreneurialism

We know what it’s like… you want to set up your own business but you aren’t sure if it is the right path to take, or even where to start! So as part of our Fashion Means Business blog series, we caught up with Start Out Steps Founder Anna Margolis at the Graduate School Festival to find out setting up an enterprise.

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LCF News: So what we all want to know is, what does it take to launch your own business?

Anna Margolis: It takes a lot of inner confidence to build your own work and also a lot of business action planning. So it’s about the combination between the two of those and finding the right balance. But it’s also about getting very clear about the fact that starting a business is not just a 9 to 5, it’s a lifestyle, so it’s about finding a way to integrate all aspects of what that takes into your every day existence.

LCF News: What do you wish you had known when you were starting out?

AM: Where to find help, where to find support, and what resources were available to me.. And also how much harder it is to do it on your own through the pain and expense of personal experience.

LCF News: How can a graduate make it?

AM: Get to know yourself before you embark on any kind of entrepreneurial endeavour. If you are somebody who wants to work for themselves, get clear on what kind of lifestyle you want to have and then get really clear on who you are and what drives you and what you’re working towards before you even get started.

LCF News: What are three words to live by?

AM: Freedom, integrity and abundance.

LCF News: How did you get to where you are today?

AM: Through pushing boundaries, not following what other people told me, not taking no for an answer and persevering.

LCF News: What were your biggest challenges along the way?

AM: Having faith in myself and my own abilities, and being at odds with the world around me when people think that you’re crazy for doing what you’re doing. I suppose one of the biggest challenges is knowing that it always gets better, whatever you’re going through at that moment in time, the pain only lasts so long and on the other side what you really want is so exponentially better than the pain that you’ve been through.

LCF News: What is your top tip for people looking to start their own business?

AM: Know your ‘why’! If you don’t know why you’re doing something  then you could be  going down a blind alley. So know exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing, connect to that passion that drives you and that will carry you through everything that you need to do.