Business Support for SMEs
Small to medium sized businesses can access business support, which may be funded or may be consultancy, from: the Centre for Fashion Enterprise (CFE) for fashion designer business support and growth; the Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF) for sustainability strategies; the Designer-Manufacturer Innovation Support Centre (DISC) for innovative solutions for fashion manufacturing; and the Fashion Digital Studio (FDS) for innovation and digital strategy.
Centre for Fashion Enterprise Programmes
To professionalise and ‘capitalize’ your talent, CFE selects up to 5 “emerging” designers a year for its 2-year Venture Programme who have usually been in business for 4 seasons, 5 designers for its Pioneer Programme who have usually been in business for at least 3 seasons and 20 designers for its Market Entry Programme who have usually been in business for at least 2 seasons.
Commissioned Industry Research
The CFE is widely acknowledged for its market awareness and is increasingly commissioned to undertake new research to inform governmental policy for the sector. Examples include: The UK Designer Fashion Economy in partnership with National Endowment of Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA). A National Designer Manufacturing Initiative Proposal commissioned by the UK Government of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS); Protecting Intellectual Property In The Fashion Industry sponsored by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).
The CFE Agency provides a bespoke fashion design solution service to international fashion and lifestyle companies, offering clients the chance to work with the acclaimed talent of London’s creative and innovative designers. There are also many practitioners and experts in different fields working across LCF who consult on global projects for international brands and tailor consultancy to fit your business needs.
Digital Bureau Services
The Fashion Digital Studio (FDS) offers a range of digital bureau service that makes state of the art equipment available to all designers including those that work with textiles, fashion, theatre and costume, and interiors and installations. These include:
- 3D scanning and CAD
- Digital textile printing
- Rapid prototyping
- Contact Technology Manager Peter Hill
The Designer-Manufacturer Innovation Support Centre (DISC) supports fashion manufacturers and designers to innovate in their business, products and services through giving them access to a team of highly skilled industry experts. Their specialist experience covers the manufacturing industry incorporating factory production, global sourcing, jewellery production and sustainable manufacturing.
- Contact CFE Director Wendy Malem
Enterprise at LCF can offer your business beneficial partnerships, on an international level. Every partnership can be different and can include consultancy, training, new employees or intelligence. One example is talent spotting of graduates from our fashion design & technology, media & communications and business & science schools and preparing them to join your business. When operating this service for a client in China, 4 graduates were selected and had 20 hours Mandarin language tuition before leaving the UK. In addition a LCF professional visited the company 3 times in the first year to mentor the graduates and run training workshops for the design and retail teams. The partnership was further facilitated by a local agent in China.
- Contact IPD Director Dr Lynne Hammond
The Fashion Digital Studio (FDS) is internationally recognised for its innovation and knowledge exchange between the technology and fashion sectors. As an R&D facility it undertakes a range of consultancy and digital strategy activities to advise on and implement new and emerging approaches to innovation. Services include concept development & design, prototyping and digital manufacturing in 2D & 3D, bespoke software development including retail, web and mobile applications, and virtual and augmented reality.
- Contact FDS Director Philip Delamore
International Education Consultancy
The International Educational Consultancy is managed through a specialist unit called the International Partnerships Development (IPD) team at LCF working with overseas governments, European Union organisations, industrial associations and other universities to support the development of global fashion education. The team manages both large and small scale international education/industry projects. The global projects provide insights and shape our knowledge about future challenges and opportunities facing the 21st century fashion industry.
The Fashion Business Resource Studio at London College of Fashion brokers 600 student internships and work placements each year with fashion industry partners all over the world. The needs of the company are matched to the students’ skill and competencies.
- Contact Graduate Employability Officer Adam Watling
The College manages many knowledge transfer projects, several of which are funded by the European Union, which currently relate to sustainability in the fashion industries, high-end fashion manufacturing skills, SME business support, technology transfer and international supply chains. Some of these operate in partnership with other educational institutions across the world and others are funded by government agencies.
Licensing and Sponsorship
The CFE Agency negotiates licensing and sponsorship deals on behalf of designers and innovators. Designers who have been associated with CFE over several seasons can have a significant amount of brand equity, making them an attractive sponsorship proposition for an external company. Long term licensing partners are preferred for a minimum of 2 years.
The Fashion Industry is looking for specific expertise and is sponsoring a London College of Fashion Masters student while still on their course and offering a one year apprenticeship upon graduation which usually develops into a long term relationship or permanent position.
LCF FirstMove at the Fashion Business Resource Studio offers targeted, tailor made recruitment solutions for fashion businesses, accessing London College of Fashion graduates and alumni.
- Contact Graduate Employability Officer Adam Watling
Creative Opportunities is an online jobs board run by UAL’s Student Enterprise & Employability department for students and graduates of the University of the Arts London. Each month 700 employment vacancies are posted, which are viewed by over 60,000 job hunters. Employers can advertise job vacancies and short unpaid work placements on Creative Opportunities free of charge.
- Visit Creative Opportunities and read the FAQs for employers
Short courses and training
Short courses offered in a wide variety of subjects from practical garment technology and pattern cutting skills to fashion management and merchandising. Courses can also be designed to meet your company’s specific training needs and delivered at a time and place to suit you.
Sponsored Industry Projects
Every year London College of Fashion will partner up with several brand leaders and industry partners to deliver industry projects fulfilled by our talented students. These range from a brief for fashion photography from an international cosmetics brand to production ready fashion designs for a major fashion retailer.
- Contact Employability Manager Clare Tristram