Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Design

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Selina Cockell

 

Fashion Marketing – Level 4 

Can you tell us a little bit about your background before coming to study here?

I’m originally from London. I wanted to go to Leeds because I wanted a new experience, I didn’t want to go to university at home. Prior to coming to Leeds I went to the Fashion Retail Academy which is a specialised fashion college. I decided to take up fashion marketing because it’s something that I’ve always been interested in. I wanted to pursue it and I did some internships over the summer which made me realise it was something I wanted to do.

Why did you decide to study Fashion Marketing at the School of Design?

I wanted to come to Leeds because the community looked really good and the nightlife and social aspects where also really good. It’s a really good university as well and for what I wanted to do it just met my needs.

I liked the fact that it was academic but that it was also based around fashion. I liked how it looked at all areas of fashion, so not just fashion but the history of art, patterns and culture. There was also good range of modules rather than just fashion modules and I liked the optional modules as well. In first year I took a colour module which was really interesting.

What have you enjoyed most about the course?

I’ve enjoyed the interaction with the tutors. They are really helpful, if I ever have a problem or I’m struggling with my work I can go to them and I like the support that I get. I really like the modules as well and that there is the option to do a year in industry.

I took the Year in Industry last year. Originally I wasn’t going to do it but as I went to the lectures I was convinced I should do it which I’m very grateful of. I’m so glad I did it because I feel like I gain a lot of experience and matured from it.

What kind of things are you doing at the moment in your final year of study?

There’s the dissertation, our final major project and then an optional module. It’s a lot of research at the moment. In our final major project we have to create a business or a product that meets a gap in the market. I’ve decided to base mine around PR which is what I did on my year in industry. It’s great because I can use my first-hand experience for it.

How are you finding doing a dissertation?

It’s tough but I’m enjoying it and we do get a lot of support with it. It’s quite a shock coming back from industry to do a dissertation because we haven’t done something that academic for a while but I’m enjoying it.

How does your final year of study compare to first and second year?

In first and second year I feel that we worked closer with lecturers whereas in final year it’s all independent which is quite a jump. It’s definitely manageable and there’s a lot of support which is good.

 

Year in Industry experience

Where did you go for your Year in Industry placements?

I did one in London with Starworks Group which is a PR agency and I did another one in New York with Alexander Wang which is a big fashion house. Both of them were in PR.

How did you secure your placements?

I actually found contacts through their Linkedin and their websites. I just emailed them and got an interview and it went from there.

What kind of roles did you do on your placements?

With both of them it was mainly product placements, sending out samples, receiving samples back and making sure we received enough coverage. With Starworks Group I gained a lot of individual projects, so I was in charge of pitching ideas to clients for future coverage. As I was there for a long time they gained my trust and I was given more responsibility. At Alexander Wang it was more celebrity focused. I was sending out outfits and gowns to celebrities for red carpet events and also dealing with the fashion shows.

What was the most enjoyable part of your placements?

Definitely doing fashion week at both of them, especially in New York because I hadn’t been to New York Fashion Week before. It was amazing to see how it works, especially for a designer like Alexander Wang who is famous for his shows. It was really valuable experience.

What were your responsibilities at New York Fashion Week?

I was in charge of sending out all the outfits for celebrities which had to be approved by the designer. I would put together the outfits and he would approve it before I would send it out. I was also in charge of making sure all VIP guests were walked in correctly and seated before the show started.

What did you learn from your internships?

I really learnt how PR teams work within the business and how everyone relies on each other within different departments. It’s not just your own department, you have to rely on design as well as production and sales, really it was all one team.

How has your experience changed how you work in your final year of study?

It’s definitely hard coming back after a year doing placements but I have matured a lot through my experience. It’s easier to manage my time now because I was working nine until six every day so it’s definitely improved my time management skills. It’s also improved how I work as well. I was so busy when I was interning that it’s made me want to be really proactive and busy this year. It’s also taught me how the industry actually works because before I didn’t really know how it worked. We learnt about it in lectures but it was nice to experience it and I can apply it to my work now.

Do you now have more of an idea of where you might want to go when you graduate?

I definitely know that I want to go into PR and I think I want to go back to New York to work. It’s definitely given me direction and motivated me to do well this year so that I can go back into the world of industry.

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