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Graduate Spotlight: MA Fashion Entrepreneurship and Innovation student Katherine Gowin


Written by
JDSC
Published date
16 February 2018

LCFMA16 continues with MA Fashion Entrepreneurship and Innovation student Katherine Gowin. The course is designed to help students launch their own fashion businesses or take on entrepreneurial roles within established brands. The course also encourages students to collaborate and think of innovative ways to offer services or improvements to fashion and the supply chain.

Katherine did just that with her Masters’ project. She worked closely with LCF’s Digital Anthropology Lab to explore the Internet of Fashion Things and the implications of smart connected garments, as well as how the issues of privacy and data awareness may be better managed. LCF News recently caught up with Katherine to discuss fashion innovation, the business side of fashion and what she enjoyed most about studying a postgraduate at London College of Fashion.

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American-born student Katherine Gowin of MA Fashion Entrepreneurship and Innovation is next to be featured on LCFMA16 Graduate Spotlight.

Where and what did you study prior to your MA at LCF?

I studied my undergraduate at the University of Missouri, South Carolina. I majored in both Economics and Philosophy with a minor in Art.

What made you want to study an MA Fashion Entrepreneurship and Innovation?

After interning for a designer between my junior and senior years, I decided that I needed to further educate myself on how the industry works before starting a career in fashion. The programme seemed to be the best choice because it focused on the entrepreneurial side of the industry.

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Katherine explored the Internet of Things and the initial implications for the realisation of smart connected garments.

Why did you choose LCF and MA Fashion Entrepreneurship and Innovation?

This specific programme aligned most with my interest to learn more about the business side of the industry, compared to other programmes and other MAs at different universities.

Did you always want to go into the entrepreneurship and innovation side of fashion, or did you consider being a designer etc?

I never considered being a designer specifically, I was always more interested in the business side as that is something that has become more emphasised recently.

Tell us about your final year project?

My final year project was a dissertation focusing on inanimate objects in the digital age, taking a specific focus on clothing and how it could become both smart and connected through emerging technology. I looked at the emerging Internet of Fashion Things and how that concept could be applied to garments.

What other projects have you worked on during your time at LCF?

I worked on a project through the collaborative unit which also explored the Internet of Fashion Things – with a specific focus on connection between objects and data sets. We conceptualised a project where clothing would connect with pollution sensors in London, the sensors would then be able to assess how much pollution you had been exposed to while outside, depending on where you were and how long you were in that area. Subsequently, an algorithm would then determine whether your garments needed washing based on those factors.

What did you find the most interesting and challenging parts of the course?

The most interesting part of the course for me was the cultivation of collaboration and the group work. Group or team based work outside of university allowed me to work with many people from different backgrounds, this helped my ability to collaborate and was one of the most interesting experiences from the course. The most challenging part of the course overall was determining when you had done enough research to back up an idea or project. I always felt like there was more to read, research or compare when developing my ideas – it’s tricky determining whether or not you’ve actually done enough.

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Katherine also looked at how the issues of privacy and data awareness may be better managed.

What advice would you give to anyone considering studying an MA at LCF?

I would say try to put as much into it as you possibly can, because you will absolutely get more out of it that way.

What are your future plans?

My future plans are to relocate to New York City and work in the realm of fashion and technology.