Whistle stop industry tour: inspiring the next generation of fashion professionals
This year, LCF Graduate Futures provided additional support to LCF Insight students using a framework of ‘Learn, Develop and Practice’. For the ‘Practice’ emphasis, Graduate Futures and Fashion District teamed up to host an industry site tour in East London that offered students the chance to connect with fashion businesses and entrepreneurs. With London College of Fashion’s upcoming move to Stratford, the Industry Tour introduced students to some of the hotspots for fashion activity that surround their future campus.
The Insights programme is part of University of the Arts London’s (UAL) outreach incentives, which offers young people access to UAL colleges for creative activities and pre-university advice and guidance. Students who enrol within UAL are then supported through various departments to enhance their educational experience and to encourage attainment.
The whistle stop industry tour equipped UAL Insights students with an understanding of the different opportunities available to them within the fashion industry. The tour kicked off at The Trampery Fish Island Village, a 6-acre campus of studios and facilities specifically created for fashion designers and start-up businesses. The students visited sustainable fashion brands, SABINNA and Petit Pli, who introduced members of their teams and described the stories behind their businesses.
Fashion District led the way through the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to arrive at The Lab E20. Co-designed by Christopher Raeburn, The Lab E20 is East Village’s new flagship for experiential retail, cultural exhibition and creative workspace, with a focus on positive fashion and sustainable living.
The Insight students were welcomed with drinks and light snacks courtesy of local café, Signorelli, before making their way to The Lab’s designated screening area for a panel discussion with influential fashion professionals. Speakers included Bianca Foley, blogger and Co-host of Sustainably Influenced, Ngoni Chikwenengere, Founder of We Are KIN, and Shope Delano, brand strategist and Founder of Kind Regards.
The panellists talked about their career journeys, offering hints and tips learned along the way, whilst also reflecting on struggles during the pandemic. Developing skills in adaptability, resilience and positive thinking were central to the discussion, with many of the students freely interacting with the panel on these key messages.
To finish off the tour, the group had the opportunity to browse Fashion Open Studio’s latest cultural exhibition, Showcase With A Difference, that featured 10 designers with a focus on product and purpose, including LCF alum Joao Maraschin.
Fashion District looks forward to working with LCF Graduate Futures in the future and hopes to support students to forge valuable connections with the creative industries in East London.
Tamara Henrikson – Fashion District Project Co-ordinator
Tuhina Mitra – Graduate Futures Career Consultant
Panel Host – Helen Lax – Fashion District Director