Luke is a writer, editor, and creative director. He was Executive Editor for Nylon Magazine and Nylon Guys, Editor in Chief of global fashion boutique Aritzia in New York and currently works at Hearst.
What made you want to do the PGCert after studying English and Philosophy at university?
After graduating, I was working in a skateboard and clothing shop, and I read magazines that I obviously liked and I thought 'this would be a really fun thing to get into'.
I was very much destined for a career in academia. I remember being at home on the internet and I really liked the description of the course – it sounded very intensive with no frills. I didn't have any sort of fashion background and I had no experience in the industry or contacts. I thought maybe if I did the course, I'd get some experience.
What are your strongest memories of the course?
Well I didn't live in London and so coming up to London was still a bit of an adventure for me. Being surrounded by these amazing people in my class, I think there were about 12, and every one of them was individual and had their own ideas and their own way of thinking. A lot of them were from all over the world. It sounds clichéd, but it was so brilliant to be around all these stylish and creative types who I hadn't really been around before was very inspiring
What was your next step after course?
I really liked Nylon magazine, which is obviously where I am now, so when it came to do my major project I only ever wanted to do it for Nylon. I remember digging out all these old copies of Nylon trying to design mine in the same way. Doing that supplement for Nylon made me think I'd love to go and intern with them. I helped on a shoot for Wallpaper magazine, and someone put me in touch with an editor at Nylon, who invited me over to do an internship with them. Eventually, I was hired and then I was promoted. All of it happened within a couple of months of leaving LCF.
How did the course prepare you for entering industry?
This is a vocational course and you're actually learning about what life is like in the workplace, what it’s like being an intern at Vogue, for example. But it's also drummed into you that you have to work hard, so it doesn't come as a shock when you get out there. The course is very vocational and you learn that the industry demands a mixture of talent and opportunity. First you have to have the right skills and then be in the right place at the right time and be aware when the opportunity is there.
Did the course help give you that combination of skills and opportunity?
I think the course was a really good catalyst. It's not a hypothetical course, it's very real; people come in and talk to you from magazines that exist and you know their name and you've just read their story and now they're there talking to you. That makes it much more immediate and appropriate. You're in London and you feel like you're part of a hub, you're in a fashion capital.
What would your advice be to anyone applying for the course?
Don't do it half-arsed. If you do it, then take advantage of the opportunities you’re given. Get out there meet the people who are a part of the industry. Take advantage of your location and the teaching, and don't be afraid to ask questions. There will be a lot expected of you, but if you put the work in, then you will be rewarded.