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Kate Murphy wins BA (Hons) Fashion PR and Communication x ScienceMagic.Inc Award

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  • Written byJ Tilley
  • Published date 05 September 2021
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Øst by Kate Murphy - BA (Hons) PR and Communication 2021
"This award provides a unique opportunity for five of our students to present their final year communication campaigns to industry practitioners. The students not only benefit from their expert feedback, but it also provides the course with a platform to demonstrate the professional skills that our graduating students are equipped with, to industry." - Sophia Plessas, Course Leader BA (Hons) Fashion PR and Communications

LCF Class of 2021 BA (Hons) Public Relations and Communication students presented their final year communication campaigns to Science Magic Inc, as part of a long standing industry collaboration. Kate Murphy was crowned winner of the industry challenge, We caught up with her to find out more about her winning presentation and her time at LCF.

Congratulations! Tell us about the project – what were you required to do?

Thank you! For my final major project I chose independent Scandinavian womenswear brand Øst London to create a 12-month communications campaign for. This began with an extensive research file, which detailed all aspects of the brand and sector, including target audience, competitors, sector trends, and current messaging audits. I then took this a step further to research possible directions I could take the brand, and after identifying Øst’s main issues and opportunities in relation to the current environment, I narrowed my ideas down to 6 key tactics which would be introduced throughout the 12 months.

Finally, I selected one of the tactics to develop and realise, bringing the idea to life and presenting it to my tutors and peers as the final stage of the project.

SMI described your submission as showcasing ‘a well-researched and thorough understanding of the target audience, as well as strong, creative ideas and attention to detail.’ So tell us, what was your award-winning idea?

My tactic I carried through to develop and present to SMI was Øst Vintage, which entailed introducing a curated vintage collection into Øst’s Shoreditch store, comprising of colourful and authentic Scandinavian pieces, as a way to promote the brand’s sustainability efforts by offering customers a more circular way of shopping with them. This will also take advantage of Øst’s prime store location near Brick Lane, opening them up to a wider range of customers as well as making them more relevant to their targeted younger creative audience.

To launch this initiative, Øst will host a sustainable launch party in collaboration with London-based Climate Change zine, Its Freezing in LA. The event aims to bring to life the current colourful Scandinavian trend, creating a sustainable Scandi dreamworld for the guests to enjoy and share with their followers.

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Øst by Kate Murphy - BA (Hons) PR and Communication 2021
What did you find the most interesting/challenging parts? How was it working with SMI?

Throughout the project I was working part-time with the brand in their store and helping to grow their social media presence. Sometimes it was quite a challenge to be so immersed in the brand with no break, however the process made me see sides to the brand I wouldn’t normally have seen, and I developed a strong relationship with the owners. When I joined Øst back in the summer of 2020 they had less than 9k followers on Instagram, and they’re now growing rapidly with nearly 30k and some great influencer relationships. It was tricky to keep up with all their very current and exciting advances throughout the project, but so exciting and rewarding to see at the same time.

Working with SMI was a dream come true. It was nerve-wracking at first to be pitching my ideas to people in the industry, but hearing their positive feedback was so reassuring and gave me confidence in the skills I’ve learned throughout my degree.

How did you find the process? Did you have to adapt to new ways of working i.e hybrid working?

I adapted surprisingly well to working mainly online throughout lockdowns over the last year. It meant I could dedicate more time than usual to my work, and I feel like my personal style has developed so much during the time which has given me a stronger sense of identity and more confidence in my work. However, I really missed interacting with my course mates in-person!

What are your hopes for your time after LCF? Do you have any particular course highlights?

My time at LCF has flown by! I’ve loved meeting so many interesting people, and I’ve made some lifelong friends, which is definitely a highlight for me. I’m also so grateful for my tutors for being so supportive and lovely throughout my degree. In terms of my hopes for the future, I’m pursuing my dream of making the fashion industry a more positive and sustainable place, as well as my love for Scandinavian fashion, by moving to Copenhagen to work with Copenhagen Fashion Week for a while, after that I hope to return to London and keep striving for change in the industry, as we have a long way to go yet towards making fashion sustainable.

"At ScienceMagic.Inc we are passionate about championing future talent, and are delighted to continue our partnership with London of College Fashion again this year on the Award. The five shortlisted candidates' presentations were strategic, creative and demonstrated a true understanding of PR and Communications, particularly when navigating the changes the industry has experienced over the past 18 months. The quality of work was truly impressive and all students showcased great skill when presenting their final projects. We wish all of them the best as they graduate and are excited to see what the future holds for them." - ScienceMagic.Inc