Up next on LCFMA16 Graduate Spotlight is MA Strategic Fashion Marketing student Julia Roberts. LCF News caught up with her to talk about why she chose to study here, what she has enjoyed most about her degree and her time in London, as well as her advice for new students.
What did you study before your MA Strategic Fashion Marketing?
I am Canadian and my BA was an interdisciplinary degree with concentrations in International Studies and Psychology, from St Stephen’s University in New Brunswick, Canada.
Why did you choose LCF?
I chose LCF primarily because of its close association with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, and how intentionally the school is in incorporating sustainability initiatives into its curriculum and programming – both at the course level and as throughout the college as a whole. I also feel that Europe in general is further along in its perception and attitude towards the subject, so I wanted to glean what I could from the environment during my studies. As I wasn’t coming from a fashion background, I felt it was important to choose a well-recognised and reputed college, and LCF is one of the best. And also, London– I mean, you can’t go wrong!
What was your favourite thing about studying in London?
Oh, so much! It is a constant source of inspiration and stimulation; Canada is still a baby country compared to the UK so I loved being immersed in the history and architecture and cultural legacy of London. Yet, at the same time is on the cutting edge of so many areas, especially fashion.
Can you tell us a bit about your final project and dissertation…
For my final dissertation I did a traditional research project exploring the role of perceived authenticity in sustainable fashion brands, and how this impacts consumer identity formation.
I interviewed three different consumer groups to gain insight to the consumer’s perspectives on sustainable fashion, identity as it relates to fashion consumption, and perceptions of authenticity, highlighting the importance of awareness, language, and education in making sustainable and mindful fashion more accepted and mainstream.
What did you like most about your course, and what did you find most challenging?
I found that what could be seen as the greatest advantage was also the most challenging – we had the freedom to explore our interests, but at the same time the lack of structure was stretching. There was an international student body, which lent to many different perspectives and input, but the large class size made it easy to find people you relate to and not expand beyond that group, making it harder to bond as a class. It really was about the attitude with which you approached each issue, and whether you chose to adapt or react.
What would be your top three tips for prospective students?
Connect your passions to whatever you are learning in class; make it relevant and applicable in some way.
Take advantage of the people around you who are speaking into your life– you have the opportunity to connect with people at the forefront of their field, professors and industry contacts who have a wealth of knowledge. Shadow them, interview them, intern, make connections and make an impression, you never know how it may impact your path later in life.
Plan plan plan, but be open to letting the plan develop and change; don’t limit your growth because it doesn’t fit your current paradigm.
What is your plan now that you have finished your MA?
I am excited to continue to explore new conceptions of sustainability, transparency, and mindful consumption, and how to communicate that to others– whether this is in the fashion industry, or within an academic capacity.