Sunday 20 December 2015

graduate fashion week and fashion scout

If I do a new post, I loose the title links to posts in 2015, so here is a note on the top of an old post.\
It is about a government consultation ending 26th of January 2018
... is the start of a response to the migration advisory committee's request for evidence about the effects of overseas students on the UK. Anyone who has been an international student might want to write-in and say why the colleges with most international students seem to be the ones with the worst student feedback and in the most crowded parts of the UK.

At the moment, the questions themselves are near the bottom

Another explore into fashion subsidy: two events which get in the papers at the same time as London Fashion Week or just before
Funding is from subscribing fashion colleges, with extra sponsorship from London taxpayers alongside Goerge at Asda, Rimmal, and L'Oreal. The group have also been given ear-time by UK Trade and Investment and a select comittee at the House of Commons, who invited them in to give a presentation that was somehow meant to be in aid of the charity. UK Trade and Investment sent a witness to give evidence to a select committee, explaining how they subsidise fashionistas from this world to attempt export. Apparently the scheme often offers to pay bad debts by buyers, so it is a subsidy for the more canny and dodgy buyers in other countries rather than for anyone who pays tax in the UK.

Surprises to taxpayers in London and the UK

  1. One surprise is the name "Fashion Scout", previously used in the phrase "Vauxhall Fashion Scout" to suggest scouting for fashion from anyone, for example taxpayers who's money helps sponsor the show and are scouted in Vauxhall near where I live,  No. The emphasis is on fashion graduates.
  2. Another surprise is that the fashion colleges are so organised in presenting their degree shows to sponsors and journalists, rather than to clothes shops and shoe shops who have trouble getting on the mailing list or a chance to see a degree show. The charity accounts acknowledge two purposes - promoting the students and promoting the colleges - but don't say that students and their employment should be the priority which is silly. If the students do well, the next generation of students will find a course on unistats; there is no need push the name of the college in some vague way. Web sites already say whether a college is vibrant or renowned. That's already too much praise; facts need to say the course syllabus what happens to graduates in this trade were  applicants look for work skills.
  3. The third surprise - or it should be a surprise - is that the Mayor of London subsidises something a bit like a closed shop for a particular kind of graduate designer willing to present a "collection", rather than other taxpayers who might sell more or circulate more money through the economy. Someone with a clothes factory for example, maybe in Bradford or Leicester or Harringay, or some of their customers. No.
  4. "the Ethical Award ... was judged by Pants to Poverty owner Ben Ramsden. Excited by Rosie's work he said; "It's great to see a fresh vibrant perspective on ethical fashion"..  - quote from Gruaduate Fashion Week blog 2013
    This is someone who does not promote a welfare state nor UK production, although he says he has nothing against it.
These are some accounts for Graduate Fashion Week.

The text on the accounts says the same as what's on the web site. It's a trust with trustees from about ten fashion colleges, and some sponsorship. The web site has about three times as many colleges listed. Trustees meet ten times a year and contract-out management to FSI Events Ltd. The purpose is supposedly to get work and PR for some college graduates, but I don't see the fairness in helping some and not others when all have paid the same, nor how it helps get work when there is no system of stalls to sell the clothes, or none that I know of, and no mail-out to niche market shopkeepers that might want to buy something. Or none that I know of, and I sell shoes for a living so I should know. I don't sell dresses or high fashion, so I might be missing something but it looks as though this event concentrates too much on getting press coverage and too little on selling clothes, a fault shared with London Fashion Week.

Fashion students know there are more fashion graduates than fashion jobs

There should be pressure from students to find out what guarantee of help is available on graduation, and how effective it is, because a lot of fashion graduates don't find work. Looking at accounts of what work they find and write-in on questionarres, it's seldon related to fashion courses. Students and potential students need to find a way to stop colleges promoting colleges and start promoting freelance work skills and employment to fashion students. To say "it's very competative", is not what a student should read tutors as saying in reviews of a course. I think a student wants to read reviews of tutors saying "it's impossible for most people to find a paid job with an employer in fashion, but we can show you how to find a hobby and a bit of freelance work with a web site and a stall and a sewing machine and if it takes-off it might lead to a career". That's the realistic statement I think students should report from good courses.

Looking at courses on, and once you are used to using the site's drop down menus, it only takes a few minute to find out that a quarter of graduates from a lot of mainstream courses with "fashion" in the title do not go-on to work or study, with lower figures for University of Derby, University of East London, Bradford College and Wolverhampton University. Any student considering any of those colleges, or the mainstream ones like University of the Arts' London College of Fashion, should reconsider if there's no sensible offer of help to make and sell clothes at the end of the course. A chance to compete to pay to be in an event a bit like ballet display for an invited audience is not the same thing, and college reps sent to organisations like Graduate Fashion Week ought to think what helps their students work freelance rather than what attracts most column inches for an event and maybe helps get a job at M&S for one graduate.

Colleges further north, where workshop space is a bit cheaper, might have a bit more luck and set-up an alternative fashion week aimed at making sales for manufacturer-designers. The format could be more of a market for student and gradate stallholders than a catwalk show, most of the time, and be combined with help for students making their products or finding local workshops to make the products. Some system for funding fabric, thread, machine time, and stall space as part of the college service could help a lot. Stallholders might not want to work every day or give up other low-paid day jobs, but  £12,000 a year salary after graduation is typical for northern colleges like Wolverhampton or Bradford; colleges for teenagers can score £11,000, so a chance to do something independant and maybe earn almost as much on a stall could appeal. Students running stalls might get-over their well-known shyness to attempt any job other than designing; they might become more interested in pattern cutting which is better paid, or something like manufacturing. Whatever they choose, if it's freelance they're more likely to create work for other people as well as leaving the handfull of jobs like M&S buyer open for the hundreds of other people who graduate after fashion courses each year.

The colleges in more expensive areas score little better than colleges at the bottom of the list, with students from some University of the Arts fashion courses only writing £15,000 salary on a typical survey form a year after graduating. I don't know if that goes further in London than £12,000 in Bradford, but neither salary goes far.

If I get-around to looking-up any more unistats data on fashion graduate employment, I'll add it to this list.

Fashion Colleges on the Graduate Fashion Week web site

Followed by a course from that college with "fashion" in the title and link to stats
Then the proportion reporting that they're in work after six months, or the proportion in work or more study, and the average reported salary. The students who don't return the form are more likely, I guess, to be less employed and lower paid.

Bath Spa University - BA (hons) Fashion Design - 70% to 85% - £ unknown
Anglia Ruskin University : Cambridge School of Art - BA (hons) Fashion - 80% to 95% - £14,500
Cambridge School of visual and performing arts - "Fashion Design .. collaboration with Kingston " London"
Kingston University - BA (hons) Fashion -
Leeds College of Art (Leeds College of Art) -
University of the Arts - London College of Fashion
Manchester Metropolitian University - Manchester School of Art BA (hons) Fashion -
Northumbria University in Newcastle -
Northbrook College in Sussex -
Norwich University of the Arts
Nottingham Trent University
- BA (hons) Fashion Design -
Plymouth College of Art
Ravensbourne -
Southampton Solent University -
Sheffield Hallam University -
University for the Creative Arts Epsom and Rochester - BA (hons) Fashion - 95% or 100% - £15,000
University of Brighton, Faculty of Arts -
University of Central Lancashire -
University of Derby - BA (hons) Fashion - 30% or 40% (50% are "other") - £14,500
University of East London -
University of Hertfordshire - BA (hons) Fashion Design -
University of Huddersfield -
University of Leeds - BA (hons) Fashion Design -
University of Northampton -
University of Salford -
University of South Wales -
University of West London -
University of Southampton Winchester College of Art -

There's another group of colleges for the Samsonite International Catwalk Competition, but I don't know where to get employment figures for their graduates
Binus NorthumbriaIN
Shih Chien UniversityTW
B&D MoscowRU
Colegiatura ColombianaCOL
LISAA Mode ParisFR
FAD International AccademyIN
Accademia di Costume e ModaIT
Moteskolen AS Esmod Oslo
Centro Design Mexio

Related posts: - just a paragraph and a link to something about rebalancing the economy, which I can't remember if I've read:
Blog on one page as a feed:

Planb4fashion is a blog by which is a vegan shoe shop

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