London College of Fashion’s (LCF) MA graduates took centre stage this week, in-line with the opening of London Fashion Week, and showcasing their bold and individual final projects, in a multitude of formats and on a diverse range of themes.
In anticipation of the MA Business and Management Programme, the programme’s 2012-2013 graduates and leaders produced a professional lookbook, which highlighted the varied courses, non-conformist subject areas and approaches adopted by these new LCF graduates. The emphasis is on students challenging the status quo and engaging with disruptive thinking in order to build and capitalise on the existing strengths of the international fashion industries.
Courses featured in the showcase were MA Strategic Fashion Marketing, MA Fashion Retail, MA Design Management for the Fashion Industries and MA Fashion Entrepreneurship. Exploring LCF’s diverse research themes these graduates were sending a message that fashion is a serious business, through topics such as: experiential formats, collaborative futures, developing fashion markets, virtual communications, responsible fashion business and crafting innovation.
The evening began with a brief introduction by Bethan Alexander, Course Director of MA Fashion Retail: “We’ve got 143 MA students from 38 countries, and it’s been a tough job selecting just 18 graduates to represent today.”
Course Director of MA Fashion Entrepreneurship, Chitra Buckley, added: “We’ve isolated six key cutting-edge themes. We felt that in these we saw a lot of innovation and new ideas and it’s been very impressive actually.”
Attendees of the exhibition were then treated to a 15 minute showcase – film interviews with students discussing their dissertations and research projects. Business ideas included: an immersive online virtual shopping experience, a concept for a co-creation label, a strategy for raising awareness around original craftsmanship and an exploration into how digital marketing affects consumers.
Christina Fernandez, a MA Fashion Entrepreneurship graduate, is just one of the graduates who has been lucky enough to receive a job offer following her MA “My project is about women’s bespoke footwear. I did lots of research and developed a business plan for a new company so that this new company can learn from what their competitors are doing.”
The graduates listed some of their course highlights as being: study trips around the world to locations such as China, Paris and Milan, looking behind the scenes at fashion houses, factories and department stores, and working with fellow creatives.
It’s an experience summarised by the former students themselves. MA Fashion Management for the Fashion Industries graduate, Seda Pamuk said: “For me, my highlight was being accepted by LCF.”
Anna Wiese, a graduate of MA Fashion Retail stated: “London College of Fashion has a great reputation and it can make things possible that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.”
MA Fashion Retail graduate, Daniela Olivares Alvarado felt that the teaching at LCF was most important to her: “Being able to ask these extraordinary lectures, teachers, supervisors and all these amazing people from industry, it is only here that this could happen.”
Wendy Malem, Dean of the Graduate School, summed up the experience at LCF perfectly during the Business and Management Programme showcase when she said: “It’s what the students bring that makes LCF such a vibrant community and we try and bring out their individuality through the process of teaching and learning.”
Report by Kelseigh Zammit