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First year students take their fashion exhibition online

Dr Madeleine Marcella-Hood
Each year, teams of first year students from the School of Creative and Cultural Business design and organise a fashion exhibition event. Dr Madeleine Marcella-Hood, lecturer and Head of Year 1 BA (Hons) Fashion Management, discusses how the students turned their cancelled event into a valuable learning experience.

Each year, teams of first year students from across the School of Creative and Cultural Business at RGU work together to design and organise a fashion exhibition event as part of the module Managing in the Creative Industries. This live project is designed to introduce the students to the basic principles of management but in a creative context. This year’s project theme was around up-and-coming fashion destinations, where students had to choose a non-traditional fashion destination to research and showcase.

We welcomed our first cohort of BA (Hons) Digital Marketing students to the module and they worked alongside Fashion Management, Events Management and International Tourism Management students to design the creative showcase. The 12 teams, who were made up of a mix of individuals from across the four courses, were each given £10 to spend on a garment from a local charity shop. The event has taken place for over eight years now and (whilst the theme has varied) the charity shop element helps keep a continuous aspect of sustainable fashion and retail, whilst also raising awareness of local charities.

Unfortunately, we had to cancel the event as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lock down. Although this was both necessary and disappointing for the students, who had been working so hard towards their event, it actually turned out to be a valuable learning experience. Indeed, the University’s closure was rather aptly timed, the announcement coming only a couple of days after our lecture on risk management, where we discussed this as a potential threat. In the context of this module, these exceptional circumstances required the students to adapt very quickly as they continued to work together virtually in their teams.

Luckily, we were able to move to a digital submission relatively easily and this meant that the students could still present their ideas and submit their exhibition visuals virtually. The standard of work was incredibly high this year and it’s such a shame that we weren’t able to see the students’ ideas brought to life at the event, which was due to take place in April.

The students chose a range of exciting destinations and spent time researching the fashion influences and industries that exist within these cities. They all produced excellent original imagery containing their charity shop garments - they were all very organised and had organised photoshoots early on in the semester. The students submitted digital pitches, presenting an argument for why the city they chose is a fashion destination. They also submitted individual reports reflecting on their experiences of working in teams, applying core management theories and making recommendations based on the lessons they have learned.   

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