Up next on LCFMA16 Graduate Spotlight is the first MA Fashion Retail Management student to be featured, Timilehin Tikolo. LCF News caught up with him to talk about why he chose LCF, his favourite thing about London and what he enjoyed most about studying as a postgraduate.
What did you study before MA Fashion Retail Management?
I studied Information Management and Business at Loughborough University and I came to LCF straight after.
Why did you choose LCF?
I’ve known about LCF for as long as I can remember. It’s a really well known college for fashion globally. The way people think of UCL for sciences, or Oxbridge for politics, is the same way they think of LCF for fashion. So with that in mind, it was the only place I had my mind set on when I decided to study fashion retail.
What was your favourite thing about studying in London?
The dynamism of London is unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been. Its such a cultural melting pot of interesting people and cool things. Studying here has exposed me to a wide spectrum of things I would otherwise never have known of. I’ve also met some super creative people here!
Tell us a bit about your final project and dissertation…
My dissertation was an exploration of the key variables that influence consumer purchase in the Nigerian luxury apparel industry. I essentially studied Nigerian luxury consumer behaviour, and the main reasons why Nigerians purchase luxury goods on such a large scale, in a country with such a huge level of income polarisation and wealth inequality. It was a great topic to study both from a personal and an academic perspective. From an academic standpoint, it had never been studied previously so it was new and insightful, but also from a personal perspective, being Nigerian myself, it allowed me learn a whole lot more about the industry and the people.
What did you like most about your course, and what did you find most challenging?
I particularly liked the fact that I was challenged to learn about so many different markets, companies and market levels. Over the course of the year, I researched and learnt a lot about luxury, premium, high-street and discount retailers in Asia, Europe, America, the UAE and Africa. I know for certain that I have become a lot more aware and clued up about the global fashion industry as a result of my studying this course.
Time management and organisation were probably the most challenging aspects during my time at LCF, there was a lot of work to be done and I also actively interned over the year, which meant I struggled to keep on top of everything I had to do sometimes.
What would be your top three tips for prospective students?
a. Intern if possible – it’ll put you in a much stronger position when you graduate.
b. Always be willing to learn and take yourself out of your comfort zone. You might be really keen on working in the luxury sector after graduating, but learning how other market levels operate is really important.
c. Do your dissertation on a topic that means something to you as well as the industry. It takes up a lot of time and commitment so it’s a lot easier and fun if you study something you have a genuine interest in.
What is your plan for after you finish your MA?
In the long term, I would like to return to Nigeria to establish a department store that hopefully someday will be as big as Selfridges. But for the moment, I’m starting as a Buyer and Merchandiser for franchises in the Middle East, Asia and parts of Europe.