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All you need to know about the MA Innovative Fashion Production course

An assortment of machinery and intricately woven fabrics.
  • Written byLondon College of Fashion
  • Published date05 May 2021
An assortment of machinery and intricately woven fabrics.

We spoke with Ella Sharp-Mitchell, course leader of MA Innovative Fashion, for a detailed look at what prospective students can expect through the duration of the course.

Who does the course cater to?

The MA Innovative Fashion Production course enables graduates with a range of skills from design and product development to buying and merchandising to fully understand the impact of their existing knowledge on manufacturing within short lead times. The aim is to give a practical insight into how production impacts all aspects of fashion.  It can help graduates enhance a specialism, for example within a product development team or give a grounding in production for those interested in launching their own brand.  If you want to pursue further study at PhD level, there is also the opportunity to research sourcing, supply chain and sustainability in production as a preparation for an academic career.

Which modules can students expect to study?

Stage 1:

  • Business Models and Fashion Production: Working in teams with a production unit managing the practical process of preparing a physical garment sample before manufacture. Analysing this process in the wider context of the fashion industry.
  • Innovation in Production Technologies: An opportunity for students to research into their own area of interest and compare their findings with how the fashion industry is changing, what is happening now, and ask if current practices will change in the near future, and how.
  • Collaborative Challenge: a College-wide unit where students have the opportunity to work with those on different courses to an industry brief.

Stage 2:

  • Research Proposal: An academic unit where you will learn how to prepare your Masters project from an academic perspective. You can learn about different research methods, theories and devise your own research proposal for Stage 3.
  • Connecting Production to the Consumer: Working in teams create a capsule collection with each member being responsible for the sampling process, including delivering the sample to a set deadline and price point, sourcing materials and components, managing internal and external decision making and manufacturing.

Stage 3:

  • Masters project: This is negotiated with the academic team and can range from a business model to creating a range of garments. Projects can also take the form of a purely digital response to fashion, such as an app or a Product Lifecycle Analysis tool.
What career options are open to prospective students after graduating?

Graduates from the previous fashion production course run by this team are currently working as Production co-ordinators & Production Assistants, these roles lead onto Production Managers.  They are employed primarily in London but work globally with manufacturers in China, Portugal and Italy. Many work across menswear, womenswear and footwear. Others are more entrepreneurial and have launched their own circular business model apps, and collaborate with technical experts and winning business competitions to develop their ideas.

Do you have any personal highlights of the course as its leader?

The collaboration between the students, sharing their knowledge and skills to deliver in real-time samples was great. I also enjoyed working with the professional production unit, Making for Change which is within the college and acts as a safe environment for students to learn about the practicalities of manufacturing as well as fashion's responsibility to society. The diversity of student interests and projects, one size does not fit all and the course specialises in student-focused learning is a highlight too. The course is about the practical delivery of sustainable and technological innovation either in the near or mid future as well as discussing long term changes in digital and physical fashion production.