DSquared2 retail store
And that’s a wrap. Our final London College of Fashion course is finally over. Yesterday we had our last Trend Reporting class, which was an interactive course that involved a lot of excursions to art museums, fashion companies and luxury department and flagship stores. In just five days we visited three museums and five fashion firms. The fashion firms were definitely the most valuable experience we had, since we got to meet successful business people who are currently working in the fashion industry.
Our very first stop was Not Just A Label, which is a company that helps high-end fashion brands network at no cost. They’ve worked with over 18,000 brands that have amazing high quality designs.
Then we got to visit a PR company called Iroquois PR. From the moment we walked into this studio we were greeted with the utmost hospitality. They offered each and every one of us a cup of tea, coffee or water, and not to mention, they had the cutest and friendliest dog that we got to play with the entire time. The company works with mainly quirky vintage-inspired brands. Their showroom consisted of so many bold and fun colors and prints, like fruit-printed shoes, sequined dresses and neon bathing suits.
On the third day we visited Mode Information, which is a trend forecasting company that was filled to the brim with trend books and magazines of all kinds. These books were insanely expensive and went anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000, so getting the chance to look through future trend forecasts before anyone else was extremely cool. At the very end they even let us choose from their bookshelf of past forecast magazines to take home.
On our very last day we got to visit two different fashion firms, Jas M.B. and Elaine Hooley Design. Jas M.B. is a luxury handbags company that designs high quality unisex and versatile leather goods. We got to see a preview of their new collection, which had really cool holographic elements. Melanie, the company’s seller, was such an engaging and charismatic speaker, and she even handed each of us all of their 2015 range plans and her business card enclosed in a tiny leather pouch.
Elaine Hooley Design is a fashion design consultancies company that designs women’s clothing for high street brands. They have a very strong, quirky and whimsical brand image that has a lot of fun prints and vibrant colors. Once I walked into the studio I immediately thought of Anthropologie. Kevin, the studio manager was so full of knowledge and had such a personable character. What I admired most about this company was that they didn’t look up to mainstream trend forecasting websites or books, like WGSN, for inspiration. Instead, they had their own unique process and were able to develop an entire collection from anything, like a pair of shoes or vintage plates.
Within these two weeks I had the chance to gain real world knowledge first-hand. It was absolutely like nothing I’ve experienced at Drexel before. Yes, I may get to listen to people like these at guest lectures in the URBN Center, but actually getting to visit their studio and see and feel their work in person is a whole other experience.