Yunchi is a MA Fashion Retail Management alumna who gained a role at Zara when the company came to visit LCF, and now works in Spain for the high street retailer.
Could you introduce yourself, your current role and company that you work for?
My name is Yunchi Ting and I am from Taiwan. I am the Product Manager for Zara at Inditex Headquarters in Spain.
When did you graduate from LCF and what have been the highlights of your career so far?
I graduated from LCF in 2014. Before I went to LCF, I was brand executive at Juicy Couture and marketing specialist at H2O Plus, so I have experience in both the apparel and cosmetics fields. Inditex came to recruit at LCF whilst I was studying my MA. I went through the recruitment process. I was selected and I have been working for Inditex HQ in Spain since then!
Why did you choose to study FRM at LCF?
I graduated with a degree in law but my first job was in fashion. After a few years of working in the fashion industry, I wanted to develop my skills and broaden my knowledge in retail. MA Fashion Retail Management offered everything I was looking for, so I applied.
What was the best thing about your course?
I attended three amazing study tours: John Smedley factory tour, Mulberry factory tour and Chanel embroidery factory Maison LeSage tour. These tours were very insightful. We got the first-hand experience on how factories manufacture and distribute “fashion”.
What was most challenging about your course?
The libraries at UAL are the greatest and have all the information one needs. I often felt I didn’t have enough time to read through all the information. Time management was my biggest challenge.
What skills did you learn on your course that you are using in your work?
At LCF, all the students came from different countries. It was a really diverse environment. Language and cultural background made communication with each other challenging. Group assignments and presentations were a large part of the learning process. How to make group decisions and reach conclusions or solutions without having any conflict was very important. I think my communication skills have improved tremendously after LCF. It helped me so much not only at work but also in everyday life.
What was inspiring about studying in London?
London is one of the best fashion capitals, and the retail industry in the UK is mature for both physical stores and online shops. This is why I think London is the perfect place to study Fashion and Retail. In London, you have easy access to designer brands, contemporary brands, or mass market brands from all over the world. There are several world class department stores and flagship stores to observe how these brands interact with customers through visual merchandising, floor displays or exceptional customer services to fulfill the consumer needs. I set a goal to visit different shops once a week; it can be Selfridges, Topshop at Oxford Circus, new pop-up store in Covent Garden or small boutique in Brick lane etc. This activity helped me to learn the variety and innovation of fashion retail.
How did your course / LCF equip you for your current role?
First, Fashion Retail Management definitely provided me with an enhanced knowledge of retail which helped me understand the industry. Second, I met a lot of friends from different countries. After graduation, some stayed in UK and some went back to their countries. Thanks to technology, we are still in touch with each other. We are able to share the industrial information internationally.
Tell us about an average day in your role at Zara?
As one of the Product Managers at Zara, we review the new collection and provide feedback to the design team, based on the market needs, in my case Taiwan. We select the suitable styles for the market and ensure all the stores have sufficient stock to achieve their sales goals. Reaching our sales goal is the most important thing for us.
What’s next for you and your career in fashion?
Fashion is not only about material things. Fashion is a part of our culture, economy and environment. I believe a good fashion brand leader should not only sell products to the customers, they should be responsible for our society and environment. Therefore, sustainability is what I want to focus on next.