Since graduating from MA Fashion Entrepreneurship and Innovation in 2016, California-raised, London-based alumnus Eshaan Dhingra has been making his mark as one of London’s young and defining voices shaping the future of fashion, emerging brands and stores openings. Eshaan has made his way up to Junior Buyer at LN-CC and consulted for brands, projects and new stores, including the experimental concept store 50m that launched this year in the heart of Belgravia. The new store is a project by Something & Son, Founders of Makerversity at Somerset House, Farm:shop in Dalston and a group that have worked with the likes of Tate Modern, V&A Museum, Manchester International Festival, Milan Design Week, the Wellcome Collection and Istanbul Design Biennial.
London College of Fashion alumni Ryan Lo, Laundry Service and Bethany Williams are some of the alumni stocked at 50m. The experimental concept aims to tackle London’s sky-high rents that price many designers and creatives out of the capital, helping to create a commercial community of emerging designers and creatives. The store has opened in the new Eccleston Yards development near Victoria Station, which is also where we held our MA18 Womenswear show back in February. We talked to Eshaan to find out more about his role at LN-CC, consulting for 50m and what designers you need to keep an eye peeled for at the moment.
Can you tell me a little bit about your background and what you’ve been up to since graduation?
I am originally from California and moved to London to pursue my MA in Fashion Entrepreneurship and Innovation in 2015. Previous to moving to London, I did not work in the industry at all but knew I wanted to be a part of it. Since graduating in 2016, I have been working at LN-CC, initially as a Store Stylist, moving my way up to Assistant Buyer and now Junior Buyer. I also have done consulting work for a startup concept store, 50m.
Buyer at LN-CC, what’s your role and a normal day like?
At LN-CC I am currently a Junior Buyer for our Core and Conscious brands. On a normal day, I am managing my brand’s performances, deliveries and researching new brands to possibly bring into the business. If a brand is not performing I am focusing on in-season swaps and ways to improve the sell through. If a brand is performing I am focusing on re-orders and analysing budgets for next season to increase the buy. Working within a tight-knit team I am able to work on strategies to grow the business as a whole, whether that includes editorials, social media pushes, or even planning events.
AW or SS?
I would say AW because there typically are more categories to dive into. Though with the weather being so unpredictable these days, more brands are treating SS similarly to AW by creating winter silhouettes and categories in lighter fabrics, which can also be very interesting.
What is 50m and why should people be interested?
50m is a new concept store opening in Belgravia which works as a combination of a retail space and co-working space for emerging designers, providing them with a central London location to showcase their collections. Not only is a retail space but it provides its members with mentor ship in the fields of business, marketing, production, sustainability and PR. There is also a rotating series of speakers and events which the members can benefit from to help grow their businesses. People should be interested in 50m because it is an innovative concept in the industry which is aiming to provide designers with something that is missing in the market.
You’ve been working as a Creative Consultant ahead of the launch. What has been your involvement in the company?
Initially, I was involved in working with the team to set up the entire operation, from store design, brand selection, and concept finalisation. I joined their team as a Creative Consultant when it was just an idea working on the Creative Direction of the concept – we have come a long way since the beginning with the entire concept and initial launch members.
Who is the most interesting person, creative or brand in the industry right now…
I would have to say one of my close friends, Bianca Saunders – she was recently selected as NewGen’s “Ones to Watch” and had her first presentation at LFWM in June of this year. Her collection focuses on exploring black masculinity in today’s society and breaks down the traditional barriers of what it means to be a black male in today’s environment.
How has MA Fashion Entrepreneurship and Innovation benefited your daily life?
By joining the programme at LCF, I have truly been able to explore the area of the industry that interests me most. Specifically, with my dissertation, I was able to land my current job at LN-CC, a pioneering retailer and online destination. With the support of my course leader, Chitra Buckley, and peers at LCF in my programme, I was pushed to do better whilst studying and in my daily life.
From working with experimental stores to leading online destinations, where do you see retail in 10 years time?
I still believe that retail will be focused on full circle experience in 10 years time. Having to utilise the in-store experience in conjunction with a seamless online experience, not one or the other. Shopping will continue to be about convenience as well as experience. Connecting with your customers will always be a top priority.
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