Kieran Gowan Clarke

Fashion Promotion BA (Hons)

"The course has allowed me to venture into many different directions within the fashion industry and see where my strengths and weaknesses lie."

The Course

Overall, I have found the course very interesting and I was able to make of it exactly what I wanted to do in later life. The course has allowed me to venture into many different directions within the fashion industry and see where my strengths and weaknesses lie. It has also taught me a lot about myself such as where my own personal style comes from and how my distinctive style of work is influenced by this.

My main highlight was seeing my research project and other pieces of work being showcased at Graduate Fashion Week. If I was told when starting university that I would have my work being shown at Graduate Fashion Week, I probably would not have believed you, but through constructive feedback from lecturers and other members of staff, my confidence in my craft was boosted resulting in being shown.

As previously mentioned, one of the main skills that studying at the Fashion Institute has taught me is to always have confidence in my own work and if anyone judges it or dismisses it, to keep pushing your creative viewpoint until it is understood. If you don’t try and express yourself freely, you will just bottle up creativity and it’ll just drive you insane. Another skill that developed very quickly was my photography skills, when I first started university I wasn’t very comfortable behind a camera and then I started to find my voice. Once I found my voice, there really was no stopping me – I even shot the graduate booklets for Graduate Fashion Week. Anything is possible if you just start to believe in yourself.

The topic I enjoyed the most was in second year and it focused on creative fashion direction. Through this unit, I found out what I wanted to do with my life. Having the creative freedom to create our own promotional campaigns for a brand, shoot it ourselves, style it, think of a backstory and gather relevant research to back it up; it was just absolutely fascinating.

Student Support

One of the main things I have loved at my time at the Manchester Fashion Institute is the constant level of support and constructive criticism regarding my work; making sure that I found my creative voice.

All of my tutors were great, but there were a few that really stood out for me whilst studying for my degree. Laura Wonfor – for being there for every single student as much as she possibly could be, without her, there would have been a lot of crying 3rd years. Ruth Sanderson – for believing in our ideas in our second year work (even if some of them were a little risqué). Jennifer Richards – for teaching me that it is totally okay to still be a little bit gothic, it is individuality that makes someone stand out in a crowd. And Anthony Bednall – for pushing me in a direction I never thought I would go in regarding my research project and believing in my chosen topic area. From doing my research project, I have had a number of people come up to me and tell me that what I had to say around the area really helped them understand that they don’t necessarily have to fit in to be a part of a community, instead, they have to find those who are like them.


In first year, we had a trip to New York and it was absolutely brilliant. I had always wanted to go, but my family tending to opt for sunny holidays rather than city breaks, so when this opportunity came up I jumped at it. It was really good to visit brands in America and get an insight into how they work. Not only did I learn a lot from it, but also doing it within the first year really allowed those who went to form friendships that will literally last for a lifetime.

After Graduation

After graduation, I am probably going to relax for a few months… Then I’m going into Postgraduate study hopefully in Fashion Art Direction in the Manchester School of Art. I feel that studying at the Manchester Fashion Institute has really allowed me to believe in myself and the support from all the lecturers in my future endeavours will help me through my Masters degree.

Top Tip

Top tip, straight one of my tutor’s mouths at the beginning of Third year, “If you work hard, you have to play hard as well otherwise you will drive yourself to insanity” and trust me, she was 100% correct.