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After working in retail from the age of 14, Alice made the move from Suffolk to London in 2012 to study BA (Hons) Fashion Management (now BSc Fashion Management) at London College of Fashion. After doing her placement year in digital marketing within luxury fashion, she graduated with First Class in 2016. She has since worked in digital production and content for luxury brand Anya Hindmarch and high-street retailer Warehouse. Having honed her skills and interest in digital content, she has now returned to work at LCF managing the website.
Tell us about life since graduating
Life since LCF has felt like a whirlwind! As I enjoyed working in luxury so much during my placement year (we’ll talk more about this later), that was my sole focus when graduating. I got my job at Anya Hindmarch working in their e-commerce team, where I had the chance to learn about all the different digital channels; this is where I found my interest in coding and content management.
However, I wanted to work in a bigger team and have a greater focus on digital content, so I decided to move into high-street and worked in digital production for Warehouse, managing their website content, including big features and campaigns. I loved this so much as I was working directly with developers and graphic designers in a big team; I also got the opportunity to train new staff and teach them about code and digital production for the first time.
You’re now working at LCF. What’s it like being back?
It’s so strange coming back to uni as staff, but amazing at the same time. My role here is really different from what I have done previously, as I’m now working on content in an academic environment. I am virtually a one-woman team, but I love the freedom this gives me. It’s great to be back at the organisation that helped me achieve my career goals — in a way, I feel like I’ve come home. I love working with the course leaders, I even get to work with some of my old lecturers.
Creating web content that celebrates the amazing work that is produced here feels like a privilege. I can’t wait to really get stuck in a grow LCF’s online content, particularly with the move to Stratford on the horizon, its an exciting time.
Let’s go back to your student years now. Why did you choose to study at LCF?
I always wanted to work in fashion, as a little girl I wanted to be a designer, but my sewing skills meant I needed to find a new direction. I worked in retail throughout my teenage years and loved the commercial side of fashion.
When I saw the Fashion Management course at LCF, it felt like the obvious choice for me — it covered so many disciplines within the business side of the industry that it gave me time to decide on my final career path.
The placement year was a massive draw, as I knew industry experience was key to stand out after graduating.
Tell us a bit more about your experience undertaking the Diploma in Professional Studies. Did it impact your career in any way?
I was really lucky to be given the opportunity to do the Diploma in Professional Studies placement year as part of my degree, as without it, I think I would have found it hard to choose a career path. I worked for a tiny luxury brand called Caroline Charles – who has been making clothes for the royal family for years! Their small team meant I was given full reign over their digital channels across the website, email and social media. This was an amazing experience and taught me so much about what I wanted and didn’t want to do when I graduated.
What did you enjoy the most about studying Fashion Management?
As I’ve said, the placement year was a great opportunity, challenging but very rewarding.
However, I think writing my dissertation was actually a highlight for me — it was fantastic to focus on an area I was interested in and to really delve deep into the academic research side of fashion business.
I focused on Instagram’s impact in creating a brand identity for start-ups, which sounds so out of date now! This just shows how fast the fashion industry moves, and I noticed the changing digital landscape even during writing my dissertation. My supervisor James Clarke was amazing too, he was so supportive, and really got me to challenge myself. I never thought I would be able to produce compelling data using Excel but I did it!
Best piece of advice you received from a lecturer during your time at LCF?
When prepping for placement year, I remember Sally Bain (Placement Co-Ordinator at LCF) telling us all how important networking and industry contacts are, and she was so right! Fashion is a small industry and if you make a good impression people will remember you and support you. I’m really pleased to have a close group of friends in the industry who I can go to for advice and support.
And what advice would you give to potential students who would like to enrol on this course?
I would say keep an open mind, I think a lot of students go in a with a fixed idea of what they want to do and this can limit them in their degree and career. The best thing about Fashion Management is that the possibilities are endless, so use it to your advantage.
When I started I wanted to work in marketing for a luxury brand, and I now work in digital for a university and couldn’t be happier. Also, remember it’s only fashion, you are bound to make mistakes along the way and that’s ok — we all have to learn!