Professional Pipelines: Microsoft x LCF


When I was graduating from college in 2010, I thought about taking time off and studying fashion overseas in Europe. Safety and fear got in the way, but I wouldnn't change anything. At the time, I wanted to move to London and attend LCF (London College of Fashion) to take classes on trend, the History of Fashion and basically learn the context I thought I didn't have but needed to be successful in the industry! So, of course I was excited when I read that Microsoft has partnered with the London College of Fashion on a new cross-disciplinary course in fashion education!

Microsoft and LCF are collaborating on a short term program call the “Future of Fashion Incubator” where students studying across the school’s media, design and business departments can work together to come up with creative solutions addressing current industry and consumer needs. The program will take place over the course of a semester and will allow students to explore a range of Microsoft technologies, such as artificial intelligence and mixed reality, before choosing one area of study to concentrate on.

Through my career transitions from banking, fashion and tech, and supply chain management I understand the importance of interdisciplinary study and recognize the need for inherent and acquired diversity to drive innovation. Focusing on dynamic career paths is an important aspect of career planning if you want to have a competitive advantage in the next phase of your career since professional pipe-lining can occasionally funnel homogeneous talent into one space. The idea of Microsoft and LCF creating a mash-up that allows students to see how their creative interest can play a role in the tech space is genius and really speaks to the heart of why I created "GiFT".

Professional pipelines, or relationships universities and corporations maintain for their mutual benefit help students focus on developing a desired skillset but can limit our ability to consider using those skills in a disruptive way. “You can’t be, what you can’t see”, so while these branded relationships are a direct line of sight to future career opportunities for students, this can also drive students to approach postgraduate career decisions with a lens of limited awareness. Under the status quo, your chosen area of study or profession can feel like it’s a predetermined path, , but innovation is inevitable when students disrupt these pipelines and marry their skills with their passion. To learn more about the Future of Fashion Incubator, check out this story in WWD.