After returning from a well-deserved summer break, BA (Hons) Fashion Branding and Communication students were thrown straight into an exciting 10-week long collaborative project with Style Birmingham.
Fashion, Branding and Communication student
Real industry experience
We were given an amazing opportunity to create online content for Style Birmingham which is well known magazine among brummies. First, we were introduced to the brief which required that we as a team would organise photo shoots, generate unique and engaging stories, and design the layout for Style Birmingham online platform where the best work would be actually published. We focused on creativity, original thinking and relevance to the market.
Mike Raven, creative director of Style Birmingham, explained to the class why he enjoys working with the next generation of creatives:
"We took the project on with students because it’s important to champion local talent and give understanding and opportunities to those coming through the creative ladder. A huge amount of students believe you can only succeed in the creative industries if you’re in London, but that just simply isn’t true."
Who's doing what?
The project was a fantastic way to learn about the job roles in the fashion magazine industry. We had to divide job roles such as Art Director, Fashion Director and Content Editor amongst the group and pitch our ideas. The Fashion Directors, for example, created some amazing shoots varying from looking at musical influences on fashion, oversized suits as a trend, club culture in Birmingham - to name just a few.
The Art Director’s role was exciting and challenging at the same time as it brings everything together and makes sure it look suitable for the Style Birmingham webpage, playing around the layout and design, and making sure everything has a professional finish.
My part in the project
My role was a content editor and I had an opportunity to try out writing in three different styles of copy - a review, trend piece and an interview section. I practised communication skills in order to pull off a good interview or to write an excellent product review. One of the big lessons I learnt about this role was that generating the story ideas is equally as important as how well you write them.
Some winning examples of my peers work on this project included a review of the art exhibition ‘Within and Without, Body Image and Self’ - presented at the BMAG by Agne Ivanauskaite, and a round-up of five useful books on mindfulness by Chloe Williams.
This module offered a great scope for developing and building on skills we have learnt so far. We finally got to see how theory meets practice and receiving positive feedback from industry experts felt amazing. As a student I appreciate having the opportunity to begin my professional journey whilst at university.
Unforgettable and valuable experience
All students involved gained the immeasurable value of being a team player, and the most notable success of this project was that everyone produced something that he or she can be proud of. We had a taste of what it would be like being immersed in real projects in the industry, was an incredible experience. With my future aspiration being to write for a magazine, this experience of stepping into the shoes of content editor was very valuable. It definitely reinforced my wish to pursue this as a career.