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Focus on Fashion: the Fundamentals of Fashion Business and Retail

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  • Written byJustine Head
  • Published date 18 April 2023
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Ahead of our Fashion Business and Retail spotlight event, Justine Head, Chief Examiner for Fashion Business and Retail, aims to demystify this suite of qualifications.

The qualifications within the UAL Fashion Business and Retail suite have been designed to equip students with the core knowledge and skills to prepare them to guide and shape the future of the industry. There is sometimes a misunderstanding about what these qualifications are.

The “business of fashion” is a fast-paced, dynamic, and ever-evolving space, where contemporary trends emerge rapidly and consumer needs shift constantly. To stay ahead in this industry, it is important to have a deep understanding of the principles that drive it.

Fashion business and retail students work towards creating a better future landscape for the consumer. Some key components include:

Sustainability: A focus on sustainable practices, including the use of eco-friendly materials, ethical labour practices, and reducing waste. Re-sale and repair platforms and initiatives used to drive consumer engagement. Adopting a circular economy approach, where products are designed to be recycled or repurposed, and waste is minimised.

Diversity and Inclusivity: Celebrating and embracing diversity in all its forms, including race, gender, age, and body type. Considering social and ethical practices and forging inclusivity across the industry.

Technology: As virtual and augmented reality becomes more mainstream, fashion brands are using this technology to enhance the customer experience. Augmented reality developers are responsible for creating augmented reality experiences that allow customers to see how clothes will look on them before making a purchase. Harnessing technology and innovation to create efficient ways of producing and distributing fashion products from conception to end of life.

Transparency: Providing consumers with transparent information about the production and sourcing of fashion products. Innovation through labelling and uses of QR codes to trace a product and its sustainable and ethical journey to the shop floor.

Customer Experience: Focusing on creating a positive and memorable customer experience, both in-store and online. Innovating and engagement with a brand. Social media is a crucial marketing tool for fashion brands, and social media strategists are responsible for designing effective social media campaigns.

Collaboration and Entrepreneurship: Encouraging collaboration across different industries and sectors to drive innovation and creativity. The rise of co-working and co-creation, collaboration across brands is stronger than ever. By bringing together individuals with different skills, experiences, and backgrounds, it is possible to create unique solutions to complex problems.

Entrepreneurship, on the other hand, is essential for driving growth and innovation in the fashion industry. Entrepreneurial individuals often have a strong desire to disrupt traditional business models and bring the latest ideas to the market. They are willing to take risks and pursue opportunities that others may overlook.

By considering these fundamentals, students undertaking our Fashion Business and Retail qualifications can work towards creating a more sustainable, inclusive, and innovative industry that can shape and meet the changing needs of future consumers.

If you are interested in delivering qualifications within our Fashion Business and Retail suite, please join us for a spotlight on Fashion Business and Retail or contact

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