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Monday 29 June 2015

Fashion students take project live at London conference

Israr Jan-Parker, course leader for BA (Hons) Fashion Management with Marketing, tells us about students on the course taking their live project to London.

Level six BA (Hons) Fashion Management with Marketing students took a big gamble when they took their live project to London, organising a conference at the prestigious Fashion & Textile Museum.

Tackling the highly topical theme of gender neutrality – the audience were exposed to thought provoking questions such including: “What role does the fashion industry play in defining gender?” and “Does the fashion industry have responsibility to provide gender-neutral options for customers who do not wish to be identified as female or male?”

Guests were offered “SSU presents” gift bags.

The guest speakers included:

  • Sam Farmer – CEO of Sam Farmer (gender neutral beauty products). He exposed the beauty industry of over pricing products to appeal to women, even though the ingredients are exactly the same as the men’s products.
  • Jane Kellock , founder & creative director of Unique Style Platform and Katie Atkinson, senior editor of intimates and swim at WGSN – Concurred that the role of both men and women has altered over the years and in a world where “personalisation” is a key marketing focus, gender neutrality cannot be ignored.
  • Joel Adelbayo – founder of Utter Couture, very passionately conveyed how they as a business help to promote designers that have such a gender – neutral appeal but warned us that we as customers must play a proactive role in changing social perception of gender and make it the norm that neutral gender is part of everyday life and society.

Visitors to the conference were from all walks of life and included students from various London institutions; Lucy Martin, writer from GIRLS CLUB magazine; Rachel Macbeth from BRICKS Magazine; professional fashion designers; and various SSU students and staff.

The topic sparked heated debate.

The students involved in the live project were; Tayla Banks, Tedd Gabrillo, Charlotte Lucey and Siobhan Daniels. We also had the pleasure of working with level four students from Solent’s media production programme, who came along to film the event.

As a course leader who was observing and grading the live project, I thought the event was professionally managed and organised. They had paid attention to details, such as dressing the room accordingly, laying out welcome refreshments, the sequence of the speakers flowed very well and each different topic lead nicely to the next speaker.

The conference was well timed and the students welcomed all visitors – networking with them afterwards. It is so difficult to get the calibre of speakers that these girls managed to achieve, and I am immensely proud of them.

They chose to do a live project in order to improve on their employment prospects – these are some of their comments:

Tayla Banks and Tedd Gabrilla felt that they developed many transferable skills:

“During the project, I feel that i learnt skills I can use in any role I go into in the future, as well as in my day to day life. The skills include; communication, problem solving, organisation and working to a deadline… I could go on!”

Tedd Gabrilla:

“Doing both live projects had enabled me to learn and improve very valuable, transferable skills such as people and time management, organisational skills, Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. We all did a bit of everything so we got to apply what we were taught during the course a lot, from doing in-depth research, marketing, to PR, to even budgeting.

“We also had to constantly email and talk to people so I gained contacts like the CEO of TM Lewin, the founder of Utter Couture and Unique Style Platform, the director of visual merchandising at Prada, editors at different magazines, different designers and many more.”

Siobhan Daniels was grateful for the networking opportunities the project presented:

“I have learnt a large amount of skills from both live projects both personally and professionally, that will impact my future employment. I have built a network of contacts that will support myself when in the working world. I highly recommend the live project and the all the hard work will pay off”

Charlotte Lucey found that working with a variety of different stakeholders has improved her time management and team-working skills:

“I have found the live project very insightful and challenging, but it has really benefited my skill set in terms of events management, gaining a wide range of contacts and working to a strict time schedule as part of a team. I was fortunate enough to work with a team that really worked well together to gain the best possible outcome”

To find out more about studying on one of Southampton Solent University’s fashion programmes, please visit our course homepage.