Senior Lecturer (Fashion Buying & Merchandising)
As a Senior Lecturer for Fashion Business at the Manchester Fashion Institute I draw on a range of both academic and industry experience to inform my teaching.
I studied design at the University of Westminster followed by a Masters degree at the Royal College of Art – with a high level of design collaboration, working closely with textile, knit and print designers on a range of projects with international labels and designers.
On graduating from the RCA I worked initially in Germany, working on a range of womenswear collections; following my return to the UK I joined a global design consultancy and started working with UK labels, which I continued to do for a range of companies. Following many years working as a Design Director with fabric developers, print design houses, mills and UK retailers I made the decision to move into academia and to put my knowledge of the industry to a different use.
Having completed my PGCE in post compulsory education at Brighton University whilst teaching on the International programme at Sussex College, I moved to Manchester and began my lecturing work at MMU.
Key areas of interest
As a former product developer and designer I aim to give our business students a clear picture of the product journey and an understanding of the importance of the decisions made throughout production: from buying decisions through to process and sourcing choices, not purely from a financial viewpoint, but also from a sustainable design stance.
Having worked closely with supply chains and production facilities and seen the issues that are facing the industry such as rising consumption rates; low recycling rates and mixed levels of ethical business practice: I am keen for our students to explore future options for a more ethical, efficient and sustainable way forward. This includes new technological advances such as AI, VR AR and digitization of supply.
The constantly shifting fashion landscape requires a holistic approach and a focus on how to move forward in a less destructive way.
Academic and professional qualifications
With future fashion industry innovation and development opportunities rooted in the digitisation of global supply, AI, VR and AR capabilities will play a crucial role in the future of our industry.
As these Immersive Technologies grow in importance to global companies such as Li & Fung, Nike, Adidas, Burberry, Gucci, Zara & DHL as well as smaller brands and labels such as Rachel Minkoff, the obvious step for students in the Manchester Fashion Institute is the exploration, development and application of these tools. Areas of my research include:
- Virtual product development within the context of global supply chains
- Potential impact of digitisation on ethical, transparent and sustainable practice
- Opportunities for exploring more responsible global sourcing
- Consumer-facing retail technologies – virtual fit technologies/ enhancing consumer experience in store setting & online
- Marketing tools: use of AR to personalise online shopping experiences & heighten consumer interaction levels.
- Development of new pedagogical approaches to immersive technologies in HE including immersive workshops and application of creative 3D technologies
In 2019 I presented at Tech Fests at both MMU and Sheffield Hallam University and look forward to further discussion around Immersive Tech set in the teaching space at GLAD conference in December 2019.