Retailers everywhere are using EDITED to discover information on a local and global scale. It’s crucial that our students have access.
Since its inception, London College of Fashion has maintained its reputation as one of the most prestigious fashion schools in the world partially thanks to its ability to consistently give fashion brands and retailers exactly what they need: smart, forward-thinking graduates who are, among many things, exceptionally industry-relevant.
So it makes sense that in 2014, when it decided that part of maintaining that relevance meant bringing data and analytics into the classroom, its first move was to consult the people who know best.
“We chose EDITED because we’d spoken to those in the professional world, where they hold it in very high esteem and so many businesses use it as an essential tool. We felt it was crucial to give the students a competitive edge in the professional field. We knew an understanding of EDITED would set them apart from their competitors.”
Hannah Middleton, Lecturer in Fashion, Product Development and Buying at London College of Fashion
“LCF chose EDITED because we recognized that it was the best in the field for what we wanted to achieve.” – James Clark, Senior Lecturer and Subject Leader in Product Management at London College of Fashion, UAL
And it has. Today, students at LCF are balancing their creative talents with data analytics, tackling real-world challenges with real-world tools inside the classroom. They’re using real-time data to critically assess the same questions and answer them just as innovatively major brands and retailers around the world.
Coursework At the Speed of Retail
“EDITED allows us to relate our teaching in real-time rather than relying on case studies which, by their very nature, are out of date because fashion moves so fast these days.”
James Clark, Senior Lecturer and Subject Leader in Product Management at London College of Fashion, UAL
“EDITED has changed the way I teach in that, from a very practical perspective, you build time into classroom sessions to allow students to explore the data and the software,” says James. “We’ve also changed the way that we assess students to bring a real-life business application within our assessments to ensure students not only have the academic knowledge when they leave us, but they also have industry skills too.”
Industry skills fit in where the industry is headed, not where it’s been. A good example? Comp shops.
In an era where data enables buyers and merchandisers at the world’s leading retailers to comp shop in real time, with greater depth and accuracy, LCF is keeping pace. In addition to visiting stores, LCF students can now analyze the market with data to sharpen their understanding of the industry.
“We’ve done comparative shops with a level of detail that we just wouldn’t have been able to do had we just been hitting the streets and going into stores.”
“With EDITED, we could see things over time and get a level of detail you can’t get going into stores once or twice over your term,” says Christine Chaloner, MSc International Fashion Management.
“We’ve been able to extend our analysis over the course of a year, which has been really helpful because you can make inclusions and you can compare financial data in a way that you just couldn’t if you were wandering around [London shopping district] Oxford Circus.”
“I used EDITED on a project where we compared retailers with each other and I found it helpful to see how those retailers were strong in some fields and how they could improve in others,” says LCF student Kenth Jacob Möller, MSc International Fashion Management.
That enhanced perception does more than allow students to develop their critical analysis skills, it helps dispel the insecurity of decision making based on instinct. Something that has plagued even veteran retailers for generations.
“EDITED is very useful to me as a student because it helps me understand the diversity and complexity of being competitive in the fashion market.”
Kenth Jacob Möller, MSc International Fashion Management
“When working in buying and merchandising some of the information is very much based on assumptions and estimations. And without supporting data, the students find making those decisions very awkward and very tricky,” says lecturer Hannah. “Having EDITED at their fingertips gives them the tools to make the right buying and merchandising decisions. And to be able to support the decisions they do make.”
A global perspective inside the classroom
“We live in a global society. EDITED provides real-world insight to students by the very nature that it’s international. It’s important for students to have access to EDITED in their studies because it gives good, global insight to the fashion industry,” says James.
“We are centered in London and it would be very easy to presume that what we see in London is replicated around the world. EDITED is a good way of presenting data to show that isn’t the case.”
And that data does more than just shake off center-of-the-universe bias. It brings to life the entire world of fashion retail to students at LCF; instilling in them the global-first mentality demanded by today’s best retailers.
“With EDITED, students work in a blended way, merging different sources together to come up with a more robust answer that’s justified in a much more numerical way.”
– James Clark, Senior Lecturer and Subject Leader in Product Management at London College of Fashion, UAL
“EDITED gives students a bigger picture and insight into what’s going on here and what’s also going on from a global perspective. It also gives them an insight into different markets, different customers, different interpretations of fashion trends and products at different levels of the market,” says Hannah.
Bringing the theory to life
“EDITED has been really helpful in the sense that we’ve been able to see what we’ve been studying in our classes applied in a real-world context.”
Christine Chaloner, MSc International Fashion Management
“EDITED has given us data to analyze and things to look at so that we think about stock turn and sell-through and all these terms that we would learn about, but actually see it in real-time, happening with retailers we recognize,” says Christine. “It’s been really helpful getting things out of the classroom and into real life.”
For instructors and students at LCF, EDITED provides a living, breathing link between concept and actuality. It illustrates how textbook concepts step off the page and into the structure of the business. It helps lessons click faster, giving them more time to fully explore the concepts and investigate how they work.
“EDITED has deepened the students’ understanding of the fashion industry because it has enabled students to ask questions of the data,” says James.
“So for example, in a business that is trading predominantly off-price within an on-price market environment, they can interrogate and ask themselves why. Is it because the collection has been rejected? Is it because of oversupply? Or is it simply competitive pressures? It’s a very good 3D tool to interrogate data and understand the true meaning of numbers,” says James.
“Understanding how EDITED works is crucial for our students to have a competitive edge.”
Hannah Middleton, Lecturer in Fashion Product Development and Buying, London College of Fashion, UAL
The results have been clear, students with a stronger knowledge of the industry’s most fundamental concepts. And as more brands and retailers adopt data-supported trading strategies, they’ll look for new hires capable of refining and expanding those strategies. And LCF students will be positioned perfectly to fill those roles.
“EDITED makes students more competitive on the job market because it broadens their knowledge of the industry itself, and also gives them the benefit of analytics which cut and slice information depending on what you need to look at,” James says.
“It’s important to blend the creativity of fashion with the structure and process of business. By merging the two together, we produce very well rounded fashion business professionals.”