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Stefan migrated from Georgetown, Guyana aged 8 to Canada and was raised in Toronto where he now lives. He came to London to study BA Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding at London College of Fashion, graduating in 2019. He hopes to pursue a career in e-commerce visual merchandising, or store/retail design planning for the luxury market.
Why did you choose to study at LCF?
I wanted to study at LCF because when I think about global fashion capitals, London is the first that comes to mind. Its such a cultural hub with a diverse group of students from all corners of the globe.
LCF also boasts a successful and extensive alumni network which I found very appealing.
Did you always know you wanted to pursue a career in fashion?
I didn't necessarily know, however, I was the most creative sibling in the bunch. I've always enjoyed art and design from a very early age. My interest in fashion was peaked after landing my first retail job at Tommy Hilfiger when I was 18.
You studied BA Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding, why did you choose this course in particular?
I wanted a degree that had a proportional blend of both fashion business and creative design. This degree gave me the opportunity to produce relevant design proposals by first understanding key branding, business and commercial models.
What did you enjoy most about the course?
I really enjoyed my placement year. It took me out of my comfort zone and challenged me in a multitude of ways. This might sound a little cliché but the 13 months I spent in Northern Ireland has forever changed my life.
What topic did you pick for your final project?
My thesis was focused around fashion film. I examined whether: Fashion Film as medium is successful in emotionally connecting to Millennial customers to encourage retail purchasing? I chose this topic as I constantly find myself enticed by engaging commercials and campaigns put out by my favourite brands. I found the research process fairly straight forward. It was important to ensure that my research methods appropriately aligned with my objectives in order to retrieve the relevant data.
What was the best piece of advice you got from a lecturer during your time at LCF?
'Let go and have fun' - a lot of times I found myself not taking risks or being too safe with my design outcomes.
When I decided to let go of my apprehensions and started having fun, my briefs became less overwhelming and I found myself enjoying the experimentation process.
Since you've finished your course, what have you been working on?
Since finishing my degree I have been working on my online portfolio and CV. I've been doing my best to network across the fashion industry in both London and Toronto and keeping my eyes and ears open to new and exciting opportunities.
For you, what's the best thing about your profession?
I think the best part of visual merchandising is the excitement that comes with a new window installation or floor layout. Every day is different. There's always something new, and enticing going on within the retail environment.
What are your plans for the next few years?
My professional plans for the next few years include diving into new and emerging areas within visual merchandising such as e-commerce and web product placement. I'd also like to gain more international experience with brands across the globe, including both Asia and Europe.
What advice would you give to potential students would would like to enrol on BA Visual Merchandising and Branding?
The advice I would give is to have fun and THINK BIG! Avoid placing personal boundaries on your designs. Yes, its true, we all have a certain design aesthetic, however, think outside the box and be conceptual.
I would also say to get out of your comfort zone and do something that scares you; I genuinely believe that this is when you learn the most about yourself and your capabilities.