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LCF students collaborate with Agency ELEVEN to explore global PR narratives during Covid-19 and beyond

Laptops on the grass
  • Written byAnnika Loebig
  • Published date 28 July 2021
Laptops on the grass
Work by BA Fashion PR and Communications students for Agency ELEVEN

Earlier this year, despite the challenges of remote collaboration during Covid-19, students from BA (Hons) Fashion Public Relations and Communication worked with Agency ELEVEN to capture the voice and essence of the London-based Digital Marketing and PR company in preparation for their global AW21 Digital Press Day in April.

With the help of filmmaking duo Joseph Delaney and Matt King, 16 students produced 3 videos addressing ELEVEN's ethos, its global community and its fashion and tech aspect. The participating students also had the chance to attend lectures about the shifting role of fashion PR and the impact Covid-19 has had on the agency.

We spoke to students Ella Vinell and Divya Samant about the project and how they were able to overcome the challenges of working together remotely.

Team Agency: Laura Klimaszewska, Ella Vinell, Anna Morelli, India Rosso, Federico Lepori & David Laufdal.

Hi Ella! What was it like working with Agency ELEVEN in this project? 

We all really enjoyed working on this project with Agency ELEVEN, not only because they represent emerging and relevant brands but also because they are much like a brand themselves. They have a clear brand DNA, and their approach to PR feels contemporary and creative, which is inspiring.

Collaborating remotely is in a lot of ways more challenging than working together in real life. It’s hard to schedule meetings when you are in different time zones, it’s impossible to avoid internet struggles and creating footage isn’t easy when you can’t meet up. However, we were all eager to participate in this project together and as our group is very international, we saw this as an opportunity to use personal footage from our own countries and incorporate that in the video.

Divya, could you tell us more about how you used remote collaboration to your benefit? 

With the help of another student collaborator, we created an original score, which featured a voiceover from a manuscript I wrote as inspiration for the final concept. The idea of collaborating remotely played a big role in our concept. A major theme in our film from the beginning was Nam June Paik's work. His work exploring the digital world fed well into our exploration of a new digital age, and alludes to a cyclical, yet evolving understanding of the digital sphere.

A clear reference to this is the repeated imagery of a modernised version of his ‘TV Garden’ we digitally rendered. In our digital rendering, supposed to be a modernised allusion to his piece, rather than television sets, it shows MacBooks in a green grassy backdrop. Collaborating remotely in and of itself became a strength, as it was a fundamental theme of our film, and it gave us a new way of working and adapting.

Team Fashion: Divya Samant, Jon Lenz, Kathleen Zhang & Maria Papakleanthous.

What challenges were you and your team able to overcome and learn from?

Two people in our group unfortunately had to leave the project due to the heavy workload, and we were all working in different time zones which made the creative process quite tough. We edited the specifics of the concept of our film many times throughout the process, and it finally ended up attempting to encapsulate the way fashion and creatives' work and careers changed in a COVID-19 ravished world.

Another major obstacle we faced was technical issues. Under a time-crunch, we had to allocate work quickly and definitively. Our teammate Jon played a huge role in the execution of the video, as he used YouTube and online resources to learn film editing and refining from scratch, to execute the editing and refining the final outcome.

One of the most significant lessons we learned as a group was the importance of adapting, and creating solutions for issues as they arise, rather than following a set-in-stone pre-prepared plan to the T. Creative resolutions and unconventional approaches were two skills that we quickly realised the importance of.

One of the main takeaways for us as a group was the importance of adaptability and bouncing back from something like an out-of-control circumstance such as technical difficulty of physical distance, and how to be an out-of-the-box thinker and solution oriented. I'm sure these skills will only accrue in value with the evolution of the current fashion industry.

Team Mood: Alisha Harrison, Anna Viazikova, Diana Stanimirova Teneva, Julia Rozanska, Justine Baylis & Jordann Sewell with music production by Gabe Bodinetz.

Ella, what did you enjoy most about the project? 

Having the opportunity to work with an agency like Agency ELEVEN was incredibly enlightening. As students, working with industry but having the support of a classroom is not only a fun exercise but an invaluable experience.

One of the most enjoyable parts of this collaboration was the brainstorming and concept creating stage. It was such a great experience understanding fashion, what it means, and the role it plays from everyone's different perspectives. We had an intimate insight into how an agency functions, and it was an amazingly valuable learning experience.

Projects facilitated by the University, like this collaboration with Agency ELEVEN, are such a great opportunity to showcase what we've learned at LCF and bring a new perspective to the table.

What has been your highlight from the collaboration?

Since we worked on this project very intensely and put a lot of time and effort into it, we were very proud of ourselves when we saw the final product for the first time. We also felt very honoured when hearing the feedback from Agency ELEVEN and the other people guiding us throughout this project — hearing them enjoying the work that we created is a feeling hard to beat!