Morgan Lankester is a third year fashion communications and promotion student at Nottingham Trent University. Alongside her studies, she’s a course representative who’s passionate about spreading awareness about fashion communications and promotion— a lesser known course that is offered by 17 GFW member universities across the UK. Below, she shares 5 aspects about fashion communications courses that might come as a surprise, if you’re thinking of going down that path or working with a fashion communications student.
1. Being curious, informed and connected is crucial
Fashion Communication is one of the fastest growing fields within the fashion industry. Trends are changing every day, so it is important to stay up to date with colours, catwalks, events and news. You always have to keep one eye open — whether it be reading about social, political or environmental news — you can always find a link back to fashion communication.
It is also a must to have social media presence to follow brands, trends and highlights as they happen in real time. Social media is also a great way to get your work seen through the use of tagging and hashtags, this can be shared on platforms such as online portfolios, Instagram and LinkedIn.
2. Collaboration is key
Although this is a creative course, you don’t need to have a background in art, design or fashion, or have a creative portfolio. Everyone comes from a range of different backgrounds resulting in diverse experience, knowledge, skills and aspirations. Fashion Communication allows you to try out a broad variety of visual outcomes, so you really get to know what you’re good at.
There is always the opportunity to collaborate — collaboration is encouraged! Pairing up with another creative individual is beneficial for you both. It allows you equally to gain portfolio content, you learn from each other’s strengths and it takes less time than doing it by yourself.
3. You will build a diverse skillset
Fashion Communication courses mix design and theory, focusing on the visual communication of brands, products and services across the global fashion and lifestyle industries. We develop visual communication skills across a range of creative media, including photography and styling, art direction and graphics, print and digital design, film, interactive media, 3D and retail design.
We get to explore how brands communicate their key messages across promotional platforms such as branding, advertising, print, digital and social media, visual merchandising, retail environments, events and experimental marketing. On top of all of this we have team working knowledge, career insights and development strategies.
4. It’s not just tutors that have something to teach
Studying fashion communication gives you a chance to get real life industry experience. There are times when you have to work in a group and share ideas and opinions, this helps you to learn team working skills to prepare you for the workforce. Working in a team isn’t always easy, it opens your eyes to the reality of the work place and that you can’t always choose your team mates.
You begin to learn each other’s skills and can use these to benefit a project and learn from each other. There are often guest lectures that take place where they give you an overview of their role and how that got into the position. These talks can give you advice, contacts and knowledge for future employment.
5. You’ll graduate with more than just a degree
Not only do you graduate with a degree, you also leave with a broad skill set, industry experience and a full portfolio. The course sets you up for employment, self-employment or post graduate study. Within every university there is a career support team which helps you build your CV, cover letter and applications for work experience, internships and graduate positions. There is constant support from the experienced tutors who help advice you in the right direction based on their knowledge and career background. These contacts don’t just remain whilst you are at university, but they are contacts for life, whether it be references, friendships or future employers.
Words by Morgan Lankester