Elihu Salazar Espinosa
Elihu is an MSc Applied Psychology in Fashion student, and studies part-time while living in France as a Design Manager. Here he tells us about his experience of the course so far and what the challenges and highlights have been.
What were you doing before you applied for this course?
Before I applied for this course I was working in Shanghai as a Design Manager of footwear and accessories for a local brand and then in a new job in France as Design Manager of footwear and accessories for a French brand.
Why did you choose to study this course?
I have always thought that fashion and psychology were closely related. I don't think you can offer a good product to your client if you don't understand their needs or their consumption habits. As well, fashion is about creating desire and you can't do that if you don't understand how to trigger emotions. When I discovered that London College of Fashion was offering course I found it very interesting and wondered why it had not been created before.
Has it been what you expected so far?
I have really learned a lot my first year and I can't wait to continue with my studies. There are so many fields in fashion psychology that I didn't even think about before I started the course. I have been working in fashion for 16 years and I can see many many ways in which this course could be applied.
What has been the highlight so far?
So far, for me, it has been the psychological aspect of the course. Acquiring this knowledge is very important for me in my career and hopefully for my professional future. I had the fashion experience but not a real understanding of the psychological side.
And what have been the challenges?
The challenges have been to learn quickly about a scientific point of view. Lots of my classmates had studied psychology as their bachelor degree so they had a lot of advantage. I had to read a lot and try to catch up as fast as possible. It's been a challenge but a pleasant and rewarding one.
What are the LCF staff like?
People are very professional and nice, I have learned a lot from each one of them. They have been a great guide and support in my learning and understanding of psychological theories and bases. I really admire and appreciate the work of all the different lecturers of the course, each one with their own previous experiences and knowledge to guide and move you forward.
What is the balance of theoretical and practical work on the course?
For me it has been a nice balance, and it was nice to be able to apply what we had been learning during our lessons to our assignments and to be encouraged to do further research and deeper our understanding of the concepts and theories that we were taught. Every time I had some doubts or questions the staff was there to help. I think that for people with no experience in fashion it was a bit more difficult to really apply the psychology to more industry-related cases but it was nice to collaborate with them and learn as well from their different points of view.
What do you hope to get out of the course?
Well, I have been a designer for some time now and my aim with my studies is to be able to bring something new to my career and apply that to open a new future for me.
Where do you see yourself in five year’s time?
I would like to have my own company. In five year's time I will be 39 and I think it would be a great time to create a network and start working more in a psychological aspect of Fashion. I would love to be a freelancer of both design and consumer behaviour or trend analysis. But as a fashion professional, I would always keep the door open for an interesting company and position. All I want is to be able to do something that I enjoy and that I feel passionate about.