River Island: Innovating Product Photography

River Island industry project work by Priten Patel
Priten Patel

Priten Patel

River Island industry project work by Neil Bedford
Neil Bedford

Neil Bedford

Innovating in product photography.

London College of Fashion has enjoyed a close partnership with UK retailer River Island. River Island is the only high street brand to have their own in-house design studio and many of their employees are LCF graduates. In this first of two recent projects, the brand was able to access some of the freshest fashion photographers in the UK to create original artwork that featured River Island products. 

Last year, River Island were redesigning their headquarters in Acton, West London, and invited undergraduate and post graduate students at LCF to create interesting photographic works to decorate the building, as large scale installations.

The only stipulation was that there must be some product used, but it was left to the students to decide how, and how much of the product would feature.

This resulted in highly abstract work, more fine-art based than traditional fashion photography. These provocative, non-standard fashion shots changed River Island’s perceptions of how product can be explored and the images are permanently located in the headquarters, as inspiration to the workforce.

This project was the first in a bigger and longer term relationship between LCF and River Island, and more recently, River Island briefed BA (Hons) Fashion Photography students to provide large scale images for a series of warehouse sized stores, the last of which opened in September 2011 at the new Westfield Centre in Stratford adjacent to the Olympic site.

I am delighted with the work that the students have produced proving that fashion photography can push the boundaries of the genre. The work is powerful and thought provoking as well as beautiful and original. It has been wonderful to work with River Island on such a prestigious project and look forward to seeing the work hanging in their spectacular new store in Westfield, Stratford City."

Edward Barber, then Course Director, BA (Hons) Fashion Photography