by Rebecca Day
BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion
As part of second year Fashion Business and Promotion, there is an Industry Placement and Self Promotion module in which you need to complete a minimum of two weeks work experience within the industry.
At first I felt that I hadn’t yet found a part of the industry I was certain I wanted to experience first-hand and was really concerned about entering a placement that I wouldn’t enjoy. I connected with a lot of people on LinkedIn and emailed a lot of companies, but found that I wasn’t getting replies or they were taking a while to reply. I did find it was worth sending follow up emails or even phoning, because it would be so much more efficient.
The process was challenging but a good learning curve, and eventually I ended up securing my placement through Instagram. I found Lizzie King through Carnaby Streets Instagram stories where I saw her working on a window for a GQ event.
I then followed her page and had a look at all of the work that she does and found it completely fascinating. I actually sent her a message, expressing my interest in her work, the module I was doing it for and what things I could potentially bring to the experience. I got an enthusiastic reply asking if we could meet for tea in London. This was completely out of my comfort zone, but it was such an I N C R E D I B L E experience.
I did a ‘different’ kind of placement. I worked my two weeks with London based multi-disciplinary artist Lizzie King. She has previously been commissioned by brands such as Lazy Oaf, Dr. Martens, ASOS and Nike and her work promotes these brands in a very creative and colourful way. This placement allowed me to see a completely different side to event and brand promotion, and this was through window displays.
The jobs I did on my placement included an opticians window display, a window update on Carnaby street and a large commission for multiple windows at the old Truman Brewery for a tech job event on Brick Lane. All of these jobs were really different and that’s something I loved about my placement, every day was so unique. Lizzie was able to show me all the different sides to her job and it was a really interesting career to explore, from the communication with clients, to pricing up jobs and materials, to the physical side of the job.
When creating the window displays, some had props that we created such as cardboard cut-out shelves with glasses and others were created purely by drawing straight onto the reverse side of the window with POSCA paint pens. Seeing the end product of these windows really showed the effectiveness of this sort of promotion and for me it brought together both the business side and the creative side, and the skills and knowledge I obtained throughout my two weeks were invaluable.
I loved being able to use my creative side again but using it alongside business was a whole new concept to me and I found it really inspiring. Living for two weeks in London and working in all different areas really showed me a whole new side to London and exploring and experiencing all the different areas that, as a tourist, you wouldn’t necessarily explore. I found so many hidden gems.
I absolutely loved my placement and it has really opened my eyes to all of the different jobs out there. This module allows you to experience it first hand and whether you like your placement or it’s not really your cup of tea, it gives you such a good insight into the industry and the connections you make can be so important. I also found that pushing myself and stepping out of my comfort zone did wonders for me and my confidence.