Earlier this year we caught up with MSc International Fashion Management [now MSc Strategic Fashion Management] students Chana Baram and Heather Portbury to find out how their trip to China went. They won the Global Outlook Award – an award funded by the money raised from the annual LCF Fashion Matters Gala. We spoke to Chana who recently graduated, and Heather who is in her third year, this time to find out how their award has benefited them.
Heather: I chose LCF… because it was the best place to do fashion – it was the business angle of the course that particularly stood out for me and the idea that the course would equip me for the world of work. I would describe it to people as a business degree that is focused on global fashion retail.
Chana: I chose LCF… because I knew I wanted to do a fashion business course – originally I thought I wanted to be a fashion buyer. Because of this ambition I wanted to study at what was in my opinion, the best fashion university in the UK, so LCF was my first and only choice.
Heather: At the moment… I’m in my third year and I am currently learning about strategic business models and theories, and how these can be evidenced in the context of fashion business. I am also doing personal research surrounding sustainable and ethical supply chain management.
Chana: I have already graduated but… my final project was a buying/merchandising project for the lingerie and loungewear market. We were split into different roles with half the groups acting as retailers and the other half as manufacturers. The project culminated in a negotiation between one retailer group and one merchandising group, who met and had to negotiate for the best prices and styles to complete a collection.
Heather: When applying for the scholarship… we were doing a research project about how to translate a British brand to the Chinese market. The idea of the award was for us to use all the secondary research we had done for the project and to get the chance to actually conduct primary research in China. In the application we had to propose what we would do if we got the opportunity to go to China and how would we tackle the research once we were out there – it had to be a detailed plan which considered costs and timings.
Chana: Everyone in my year was given the opportunity to apply for the award… We had to fill out an application focusing on China and asking about a research topic we were particularly interested in and would like to pursue, given the opportunity. Myself and Heather were chosen as the successful candidates based on our written applications and we then had to liaise with Adam from the Careers Team at LCF, to work out the best way to use the award.
Heather: Fashion Matters… for me because it is something that affects everybody, intentionally or unintentionally. It is not only a way of art and self expression but it also is a highly profitable and exciting industry to be a part of. Fashion has significant influence on consumer thinking.
Chana: Fashion Matters… because of social media platforms like Instagram fashion has become much more intrinsic in people’s every day lives and much more democratic – something everyone is interested in and not just the elite. With this popularity I think that fashion companies have the opportunity to make an impact on society and confront ongoing issues in the fashion industry, such as raising the importance of ethics in supply chains and promoting sustainability.
Heather: If it wasn’t for my award… I wouldn’t be as culturally aware as I am now. This award has helped me to confirm my career route – it made me realise how much more can be done in fashion in terms of sustainability and ethical efforts. It’s made me think of the future of fashion and how I personally can make change by applying my research to the industry.
Chana: If it wasn’t for my award… I would have completely misunderstood the Chinese retail market and its growing impact on global fashion.
Heather: After I finish uni… I want to see how sustainable efforts can be put into fashion businesses in a profitable way.
Chana: Since finishing uni… I have been working for Kantar Worldpanel on their fashion team, analysing data and presenting it to our retail clients.