Last week the Fashion Business School took over the Louis Vuitton Series 3 exhibition to host an Executive MBA (Fashion) panel discussion with industry leaders about the position of women in leadership of fashion. We caught up with EMBA student Marlene Naicker to discuss the evening and how the course helps busy international professionals achieve leadership positions in their industry. Marlene is a creative innovation director, founder and brand consultant based in Amsterdam. Prior to starting the EMBA course, she’s had thirteen years worth of experience as an entrepreneur and creative innovator.

Marlene Naicker is creative with an innate luxury aesthetic that studies Executive MBA (Fashion) at LCF.

Marlene Naicker is creative with an innate luxury aesthetic who studies Executive MBA (Fashion) at LCF.

What does your EMBA mean to you, and why did you choose the course?

The present dynamic market landscape has an inherent need to combine both the creative industry with a business perspective – and inspire Creative leaderships roles. The EMBA at London College of Fashion combines these two elements very effectively.

 Why did you choose LCF?

LCF has built a solid, global reputation as a leading training institute in fashion and has always held a strong personal appeal for me.

 What is your role now?

Creative Innovations Director /Consultant with a UK based company merging both fashion, advanced technology and brand psychology solutions for product authentication, product security and brand engagement.

 What do you enjoy about the face-to-face weeks?

The EMBA program brings together an international mix within the cohort; which provides for a robust and fast paced class discussion environment.

The EMBA panel at the Louis Vuitton Series 3 exhibition on The Strand. Left to Right: Professor Frances Corner, Lou Stoppard, Jason Beckley, Ada Zanditon and Hilary Riva OBE

The EMBA panel at the Louis Vuitton Series 3 exhibition on The Strand. Left to Right: Professor Frances Corner, Lou Stoppard, Jason Beckley, Ada Zanditon and Hilary Riva OBE

One of the key questions of the debate was, ‘Only one of the top ten publicly listed fashion brands have female CEOs, why is this?’ Do you think women are underrepresented in the business side of fashion?

Women indeed are under reperesented in key leadership roles, whether this is due to gender bias or not remains to be seen. Going forward in a dynamic market landscape, there will be a need for the fashion industry to evolve and transform its traditional business approaches to meet the demands of a modern, discerning consumer. This provides the perfect opportunity for women leaders to step forward, innovate and lead the way. There has to be an emphasis on creative leadership combined with innovation. Women like Angela Ahrendts have already broken the glass ceiling, sending out a powerful, positive message for future female leaders.