Professor Ian King

Professor of Aesthetics and Management

London College of Fashion


King works at London College of Fashion and the University of the Arts London because he passionately believes that his approach to aesthetics and management is consistent with several strands of research interests that presently exist and are flourishing.

He is also keen to work with colleagues here in developing a distinctive approach to management types of education that draw from the best of practice, but is brave and confident enough to develop its own distinctive and innovative style.

In terms of his own background, originally he was a failed actor and in realising his own limitations he turned to the more secure route of theatre and tour management. He was fortunate  to work with many international acts ranging from: the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Granada TV to Tina Turner, Elton John and Michael Jackson. He then turned to an academic career and joined the University of Essex.

In addition, he is also the general editor of a peer-reviewed, International, A4 full colour academic journal entitled 'Aesthesis' which explores the potential of art and aesthetics for management and organizational life. Furthermore, he is involved in a number of funded international research projects and is presently involved in applications for others across several countries.

In addition, he has successfully supervised a number of PhD students, many of whom are now distributed across the world. He has been visiting professor at a number of Universities in Canada, France, Greece, Germany, Russia and the USA. He is also an appointed censor to the Danish Government on the potential of arts and creativity for management education.

Research interests

Aesthetics, art, the body, continental philosophy, epistemology, phenomenology, theatre studies.

Research statement

My research emerges from my long-term interest (and interpretation) of Aesthetics and its relationship to the body. For me, how we engage in the world relates to ‘being’. Being-in-the-world is based within a phenomenological (and in part pragmatist) tradition that asserts that as we are all active people we normally employ our senses (sight, touch, smell, taste and sound) to interpret (and act) in the world. This realisation for me is fundamental to the development of our knowing. Thus, my position challenges certain traditional ontological and epistemological assumptions that our bodies are not merely vehicles to transport our minds; but in fact act in conjunction with it, in making sense of who, how and why we do the things that we do. 

I have employed fine art and clothing to realize the potential of this understanding in a range of contexts (including organizational life). My most recent contributions has explored Aesthetics in organizational life and concurrently employed fashion and clothing to ‘de-familiarise’ the potential of a ‘four’ dimensional engagement in realising expression and style.


Current students & thesis titles

Emile Denichaud, "An investigation and exploration of the narrative {internal and external including sens  aesthetic taste and affected by the environment} created by the relationship that Japanese fashionistas, fashion icons, trendsetters and designers have with fashion."

Berthe Fortin, Ritual Created Around the Crafting of Costume.

Jennifer Hayton, "How have the archive materials and costume objects in the Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection Theatre Archives (CSM M) and Stage Costume Special Collection (SCSC) influenced current costume practices?"

Hee Sun Lee, Sustainable Design Management: Strategy as Practice in High-end Designer Fashion SMEs in the UK.

Lisa Mann, Can new and innovative models of retail encourage more young fashion designers to experiment with marketing their products directly to consumers?

Ilaria Martello, Space, body, costume: a re-framing of costume as a spatial and temporal dynamic in contemporary ballet.

Anna Papadoula, Fashion collections in museums: The embodied minds hidden in the dresses.

Renata Santos Beman, Presenting the blind consumer: an investigation of the meaning of fashion clothing involvement in the absence of vision.

Joanna Simpson, Hidden creative communities involved in the fashion catwalk show.

Catherine Smith, Disability, identity, fashion & clothing choice for women with mobility impairments.

Completed students & thesis titles

Anthony Kent: An interdisciplinary approach to the conceptualization of retail environments

Selected research outputs