Introduction to the Fashion Business for Fashion Visual Merchandising & Branding introduce you to your course and its subject specialism as well as to effective learning and studentship at undergraduate level. It will orientate you to the practices and knowledge-base needed to understand your discipline and help you to develop your skills for independent & collaborative learning, reflection and your own self development. Students come from many diverse educational backgrounds and a part of this unit will enable to reflect on your own background and how that shapes the way you approach your course.
Principles of Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding introduces you to 2D and 3D design processes by exploring creative vision through drawing and appropriate media applications. You will be encouraged to explore, investigate and analyse a variety of subject matter, in order to facilitate the development of your design ideas through visualisation techniques and product installation. Basic techniques are explored and developed through a variety of creative applications relevant to visual retail environments. Through this unit you will begin to understand the relationship between design research, design development and product installation, and you will have a coherent framework for future 2D and 3D visual retail concept development.
Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies introduces you to key concepts and ways of thinking about fashion and its context in society and culture. You will attend lectures, seminars and workshops, and do a significant amount of reading of academic texts in order to complete a formal academic essay for assessment. Completion of this unit will allow you to make an informed choice of subject for study in the second year Cultural and Historical Studies unit.
The customer experience of the physical brand environment from concept to completion is the focus of the Fashion Branding For the Physical Environment unit. You will explore how fashion businesses build brand identity, brand image and brand personality in the retail space. Connections between brand essence, visual brand identity and product presentation in relation to sustainable retail spaces and the consumer shopping journey will be made. This unit will be brand theory based with practical studio work included.
London College of Fashion, UAL (LCF) is a leader in fashion design, media and business education. We have been nurturing creative talent for over a century, offering courses in all things fashion. We encourage students to examine the past and challenge the present. To have inventive, assertive ideas that challenge social and political agendas. We give students the skills, opportunities – and above all, the freedom – to put those ideas into practice. By leading the way in fashion design, business, and the media, we influence culture, economics and our society. This unit will provide you with a solid understanding of LCF’ core values and how they connect to your practice. As part of this unit you will explore diversity, social responsibility and sustainability, themes which you will then apply to a selected project. At this stage the emphasis is on how you apply your thinking across these important themes to your practice. Your thinking is more important than a finished piece of work at this point. Fashion can change lives. Through teaching, specialist research, and collaborative work, this unit will get you thinking differently. We want you to use fashion to examine the past, build a sustainable future and improve the way we live. That’s why we call this unit ‘Better Lives’.
The Fashion Branding for the Digital Environment unit will develop your understanding of integrated digital environments and the customer experience. The structure, development and use of digital media and platforms for product promotion and retail aspects of the brand will be explored in depth. The digital and online brand experience from concept to completion will be investigated. Connections between brand essence, visual brand identity and product presentation in relation to the online shopping journey will be made.
You will be able to study a Cultural and Historical Studies unit of your choice that will broaden or deepen your learning of areas relating to your interests in your chosen field. You will have the opportunity to participate in lectures, seminars and workshops with students from other courses within your School, and will read relevant academic texts and complete a formal academic essay for assessment.
The Consumer Insight for Visual Brand Communications unit will introduce you to concepts of consumer behaviour and psychology through the investigation of how global consumers respond to a branded fashion retail environment. You will develop your understanding of what motivates consumers to shop and how fashion psychographics influence consumer identity and behaviour. You will introduce applied research methods to help you to practically investigate how consumers respond to aspects of branded retail environments and explore the relationship between brand communication and the consumer. The rise of online retailing has challenged traditional selling platforms and transformed the visual communication landscape and the role of the visual merchandiser. The virtual shopping representation, blended with the physical store experience requires new digital context branding strategies. You will apply your consumer insight to the theoretical relationship between fashion branding and marketing communications in the physical retail and digital media space to generate creative and engaging brand solutions.
The Brand Development: Fashion Store Design unit broadens your design, visualisation and presentation skills which will enable you to expand on the key understanding of creative branding and visual merchandising in a professional context from concept to completion and installation. You will be encouraged to link freehand drawing skills and industry standard software packages at a larger scale to the branded environment and explore industry practice to generate creative solutions for commercial spaces. The relationship between design research, and design development in computer-generated contexts is fundamental to this unit and will provide you with a coherent framework for future two and three-dimensional concept development. Advanced techniques are explored and developed through a variety of creative applications whilst also evaluating commercial constraints on visual retail planning.
The Work Experience Based Learning unit gives you the opportunity to apply your subject knowledge in a work-based context. This could be a work placement or internship, a live industry consultancy or a simulated industry project within the fashion industry. You will undertake an industry scoping exercise to identify suitable opportunities for your work based learning experience and deliver a reflective account of this and assess your performance against appropriate professional criteria.
Diploma in Professional Studies (optional professional placement year)
The Diploma in Professional Studies (the Diploma) is a University of the Arts London Award for a period of professional placement of at least 30 weeks duration. The placement is undertaken after successful completion of stage 2 of the four-year Bachelor’s degree or a five-year integrated Master’s degree. The 30 weeks must be completed in full.
The Diploma in Professional Studies aims to:
- develop an appreciation of the culture and practice of the work place;
- put course content and study into perspective;
- develop transferable skills;enhance students' opportunities for career or academic progression.
There is flexibility to combine a placement in industry either in the United Kingdom or overseas (of at least 20 weeks) with a period of studying abroad (of at least 10 weeks). It is recommended that the placement in industry be with one organisation for a minimum of 30 weeks (if you are not undertaking a period of studying abroad) to benefit fully from your placement experience. In exceptional circumstances more than one placement in industry can occur to meet the minimum requirements for the award of the Diploma. During the placement, your academic studies continue through the compilation of a written report and reflection, which focuses on the opportunities and challenges relating to the professional placement. This not only continues the development of your study skills but also allows the ongoing development of your research, analytical and evaluative skills.
The Futures and Innovation unit will look at current issues affecting the fashion industry in general and visual merchandising and branding in particular. You will explore various trend indicators that are likely to point to important influencing factors in the future. The specific content of the unit will evolve as the fashion industry changes, but will focus on trends in design, materials and the retailing landscape. Scenario planning and futures forecasting will be investigated.
You will also undertake the Fashion Visual Merchandising and Branding Strategy unit. This gives you the opportunity to develop your understanding of corporate strategy and business models, which will enable you to analyse fashion strategies at both corporate and business levels. You will also learn how to formulate strategic plans for businesses in different contexts, such as online and international markets. You can choose a specialist direction that reflects your career aspirations.
Throughout the final year you will do your Final Major Project. This gives you the opportunity to develop your project proposal from your initial idea, and negotiate your final project brief within the general area of visual merchandising and branding with your supervisor. This will reflect your particular interests and your future career aspirations, and the final outcome of your project will be a considerable body of work. This will be communicated to a relevant audience via an appropriate medium as the culmination of your project.
Showing your work
All students are advised to set up a profile on portfolio.arts.ac.uk, UAL’s new portfolio platform, which can be done at any point during your time at LCF and will last for up to 12 months after graduation. This platform is often used to source student work for promotional use on the website, social media and for print and can be a great way of getting your work seen. You may also be asked to have a portfolio profile for the selection process when it comes to degree shows.