Graduate Diploma Fashion Media Styling alumna Claudia Ke graduated in 2012, before starting MA Fashion Media Production at London College of Fashion and pursuing a career in fashion media and styling. We recently caught up with Claudia to talk about her time at LCF, London and the state of fashion in Asia. Claudia previously worked for Elle and Net-A-Porter in London before becoming digital fashion editor at Vogue China.
Before studying at LCF, you studied German Studies back in Beijing. What made you want to learn Graduate Diploma Fashion Media Styling?
I’ve always wanted to study and work in fashion. But 10 years ago, fashion was still something “new” in China. People would be surprised if you told them you “study fashion”. I did quite a lot of research on the internet about fashion courses and I found LCF. Styling drew my attention instantly. Graduate Diploma sounded perfect to me back then. Because my BA had nothing to do with fashion and I needed to learn something before applying for an MA course.
Was coming to a fashion university in London part of your decision to study at LCF?
Not really. I was pretty sure that I wanted to do the styling course at LCF. London is an amazing city anyway, so studying here was an extra benefit.
After fashion media styling, you studied another postgraduate here, why did you choose MA Fashion Media Production?
I did an internship while studying fashion media styling and found out that my real interest in fashion was digital, social media and editorial. I was planning to do an MA course and did a bit of research again. Fashion media production seemed to be the best option. It allowed me to explore the fashion media world through different platforms. Either you were interested in print or digital, film or editorial, there were always customised classes and workshops to suit your needs.
How did you find life after graduating, what did LCF teach you about the industry, and what did you have to learn yourself?
The styling course opened a door for me to the fashion world and the media production course made me realise what I really love about fashion. I didn’t even know what a mood board was before coming here. By the time I graduated, I could produce a series of images, short films and websites and had a really nice portfolio. Organization skills, teamwork and a can-do attitude were the most precious things I learnt at LCF. My course leaders from both courses were brilliant!
You was a fashion editor at Elle before Vogue China. How does London’s industry differ to Beijing?
I started to intern as soon as I started my styling course. And then I also freelanced for Net-A-Porter and worked at Elle UK. Regarding difference, I ‘d say everything is different! I’m so glad that I joined Vogue China, instead of other fashion media. It seems like that except Vogue China, other publications don’t even know what copyright is. They just use images downloaded from Google. Like I said, fashion industry is still developing in China and all fashion professionals in China still have a lot to learn.
What were the most interesting parts of your time at LCF and London?
Dining with course mates in nearby restaurants was great fun. Except that, shooting and filming in and out of campus, making friends from all over the world, visiting museums, running in Hyde Park and shopping in Harrods. I had so many unforgettable memories in London.
Does China have a fashion media brand that could rival established European and American ones like Vogue, GQ or Elle?
I don’t think so. All leading fashion media in China are, to some degree, working with European and American ones, like Vogue and GQ.