"It's so important now that we lead creatives into places where they can really make a change." (Creative Review, 2017)
Here to disrupt mainstream spaces & inspire a creative revolution; within Birmingham & beyond.
L A N D S C A P E
The average human attention span is now calculated at just 8 seconds, making it more difficult for marketers to capture the attention of their audiences (Business2Community, 2017). In an era where phygital reality has shifted the world in transformative directions, marketing has changed forever; driven by a visual-first generation where creative marketing & visual story-telling is being pushed to the forefront.
C O N T E X T
'#GirlGang: The Revolution Will be Televised' is a dissertation study into the experience of black-British girlhood and a feminist collective art movement. Exploring notions of identity, inclusivity and diversity led to the development of 'Block Pxrty' - a final major project outlining the concept which provides a platform for young creatives to showcase their craft to a wider audience; collaborating within alternative spaces, seeking to reshape society.
M O T I V A T I O N S
Through a heightened sense of social & political context, final year projects have been distinctly shaped by such factors; where culture & experience is also precedent to inform the direction of idea generation.
Motivated by culture & community, demonstrated through strong wanderlust desires; seeking creative inspiration and personal encounters with people & places through navigation of The World.
U N I Q U E A D V A N T A G E
50% Right-Brain (Creative) | 50% Left-Brain (Analytic/ Logic). Psychometric studies show I have a perfect balance between creative & analytical approach, the necessary ingredients to match career aspirations in creative marketing.
A thinker and doer - theoretical study readily matched with a breadth of industry experience; including 6 months international experience in NYC as a Creative Services intern.
Social Media is a fundamental aspect of life for young women. It should be utilised to spread positivity not create negative self-perception
How can we end the cycle of girls ageing prematurely, the rise of youth mental health issues and the pressure for perfection within society?
A solution tailored to generation-Z’s preferences; Selfiesteem presents itself in the form of a fun and engaging mobile app. The pocket-friendly confidant educates and informs its users about stigmatised topics such as mental health, the portrayal of women in the media and self-love. The content is visually stimulating and made relatable for this demographic through the use of slang and colloquialisms. Concentrating on current affairs and online culture, the app introduces positive role models that are considered relevant and on-trend, helping to impede the idolisation of impossibly augmented features like those of Kylie Jenner and the Kardashian clan, who reign over 410million Instagram followers alone. Selfiesteem is a safe space in which its users can help themselves to overcome issues they are currently facing and as a voice of realism to help prevent the feelings of negative self-perception as a result of using social media in the future.
Following the exploration of the positive effects of online influencers on sales within my dissertation and the negative affects of online influencers on consumers within my final major project, I have developed a passion for social media, PR and influencer marketing strategies and seek to build a career within this sector.
Birmingham´s unique retail and dining experience, fusing on-trend, locally-sourced products and inspiring conversations within a pioneering community space.
Downtime aims to provide a unique shopping and dining experience that appeals to aesthetically switched-on customers (our ‘guests’). They seek out well-designed product but also have a social conscience and thrive on meeting like-minded others. Launching in Autumn 2019, Downtime will target the design conscious Creative Class who live and work in Birmingham. Research indicates these Millennials and Gen X creatives are particularly prevalent in Birmingham (3-4% higher compared with the national average according to the 2011 census).
Working with a total investment pool of approximately £80,000 (a combination of government start-up loans, seed money and a small Kickstarter fund) Downtime is projected to realise a modest profit in the second year of trading. This rises to £171,000 at the end of the third year. Downtime’s core revenue streams will be a cafe-style food and drink offering alongside an own-brand and labelled homeware selection, this sector is projected to grow by 14% over the next five years (Mintel, 2016). It is felt that having a people centric focus in the current social and economic climate will both differentiate Downtime from the competition and make the business proposition successful.
Unlike other retail concept spaces, Downtime will focus on suppliers, artisans and designers from the West Midlands, to create a genuine sense of active support for the community. In this curated experience, discrete hosts will ensure guests leave with the feeling that they are part of something truly special, where the emphasis is not on profit, but on authenticity and a shared set of values. With great food, great music and amazing lifestyle products distributed over three floors, Downtime’s location at the Custard Factory in Digbeth is the perfect base from which to attract creative Millennials and Generation X, and all those who are design-conscious.
Founder Heather became fully immersed in the Final Major Project, applying her imagination when creating and designing every aspect of 'Downtime'. Collaborating with multi-disciplined students, Heather project managed meticulously to fully realise the concept. She now seeks employment within visual communication to pursue her interest in store design and creative marketing.
“If you are not using your voice and wearing your beliefs on your sleeve, are you participating in the vital and viral movement?”
My dissertation focused on Lady Diana and whether she was and still is classed as a Fashion Icon. To provide an outcome to this question, thorough extensive research using both primary and secondary methods were carried out concentrating on Lady Diana's fashion, style and personal life. From this it was evident that Lady Diana made a huge impact on the fashion industry, the Royal family and the world. She was not afraid to have a voice and wanted to make a change and that is why she was admired by people around the world.
The idea and concept for my final major project was heavily influenced by the research and findings from my dissertation. It was clear Lady Diana made a huge impact globally and wanted her views, opinions and voice to be heard. From this, I wanted to produce a concept allowing other generations and people from all walks of life to have a chance to have their voice heard.
Generation Z and Millennials are the two main consumer tribes that want their voice to be heard with 60% of Gen Z and 39% of Millennials wanting to have an impact on the world (WGSN 2016). Focusing on these consumer groups, the concept #AsDesignedByMe was created.
The concept focuses on the process where brands and consumers work together to create better ideas, products and services in a happy medium. Brands still steer product innovation but customers have a seat at the head of the table. Identifying a gap in the market for consumer and brand collaborations, the concept will be a design led concept promoting consumer/ brand relationships where a chosen group of consumers produce designs for a 10 piece collection for ASOS’ own range. This offers an innovative experience focusing on allowing consumers feel a part of the business.
Fast fashion is not cheap: somebody, somewhere is paying the real price.
The price of clothing has declined over the past decades, which has seen a rapid growth in fast fashion sales and is continuing to grow. Through the years the cost of cheap fashion has had devastating impacts on peoples lives and the environment.
In 1974 the Multi- fibre agreement was settled as an international trade agreement in textiles and apparel industry. This limited the EU and US markets from importing excessive amounts from developing countries, until 1995 when that agreement was lifted. As a result the markets were immediately opened up to exports from developing and lesser developing countries such as India, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia and Sri Lanka, which offered a competitive price and quality rate and followed in an increased demand for cheaper manufacturing. Brands that originated from the more economically developed countries expected to maximize their profits as significantly as possible, which subsequently lead to exploitation and neglect of workers. Forced and child labour, unsafe working conditions, ignoring human rights and health and safety are just a few examples of the mistreatment that is still happening today.
Rana Plaza stood an eight story commercial building that collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 24th April 2013 killing 1,134 workers. Research suggests that the infrastructure of the building was developed for housing or commercial purposes, large-scale clothing production were not supported so consequently lead to extremely unsafe working conditions. Brands that are found on the British High Street such as H&M, Mango, Primark and Gap were identified as producing garments in the factory Rana Plaza and have since donated $21.5 million to the Rana Plaza Donor trust fund as compensation.
The Millennial consumer tribe is the biggest driver in fashion consumption, their priorities include price and style and aren’t willing to compromise easily on either. Millennial consumers are also ethically motivated and are willing to avoid brands that are not practising ethically, this type of consumer is what the future holds according to WGSN. The future consumer in 2018 has been predicated to be one who is consciously motivated and expect sustainable and ethical standards always.
Irresponsibly Responsible was developed to give consumers control over their purchasing power, this new online brand uses only sustainable and ethical practises to produce dresses that are inspired by trends. The brand ensures consumers prioritises are never compromised, they believe that companies should take responsibility of their own actions and not only be concerned with the bottom line. Their unique personality gives the brand an energetic spirit to a subject that is often concerned uninteresting, Irresponsibly Responsible feels very passionate about the issues that surround the fashion industry but also want to meet the primary needs of their consumers by educating and inspiring always for change.
IR believes that nobody should have to die for fashion.
“Gender has always been a fact, immutable. What we now know, is that it is more fluid, complex and mysterious”
“Hyper-masculinity is something that’s put upon us as children, gender roles that we do not choose, that’s forced upon us. It’s a time when cars, wrestling, sports, among other activities are encouraged. It’s during this time that young men start believing what society has brainwashed us to think is masculine.”
The dissertation documented investigates how the gender fluid trend is currently affecting the fashion and beauty industry and how significant a part it will play in the future of retail. It seeks to shed light on the way in which typical ‘black and white’ views on gender are perhaps becoming outdated and unrelateable to current generations. It is made clear throughout, that gen z accept gender to be more fluid in comparison to older generations and are, consequently, leading the way towards looser gender rules. Chapter 3 focuses on gender fluidity within the beauty industry and highlights how the movement may have prompted a male beauty trend. This movement towards un-gendered beauty has opened up the world of cosmetics to a wider audience, creating an opportunity in the market for male specific products.
The final major project presented consists of a business and marketing plan for a new concept, The Man Cave: a beauty and grooming hub within Selfridges which offers a selection of existing leading brands in the male beauty and personal care market. As the male beauty market continues to grow, TMC aims to meets the needs of this new beauty-conscious male consumer who may feel intimidated in a female orientated sector by providing a safe, male only environment.
"Inspiration, Interaction, Excitement and Socialization."
Snap, Shop, Chat. Get immerse with SneakPeek to posses a seamless mobile shopping experience in everywhere and anytime.
After three years of degree study, I had learnt a lot of knowledge and gained different kinds of experience in my degree. All these skills and techniques that I learnt, helped a lot during my final major project. In my research, the innovative mindset allowed me to discover the needs of online marketplace and mobile commerce. This initiate the inspiration for my Perspective Dissertation and Competition title, which is to explore the connection between online marketplace and social networking platform that adapt to consumer in Malaysia fashion market. Throughout the final major project, all the skills I equipped during my degrees (for example: conduct primary and secondary research, key drivers, consumer research, data analysis, marketing plan, marketing mix and finance plan) allowed me to produce an innovative and professional outcome.
SneakPeek is a mobile marketplace that aim to create new mobile shopping experience and increase the fashion scene in Malaysia. The m-commerce had become an emerging market trend in Malaysia. However, the online service level, cyber security, quality and quantity of fashion store on the Malaysia online market are still falling behind the trend. The mission of SneakPeek is to solve all these problems and provide a different kind experience for Malaysian. SneakPeek is targeting to enter the market as an exaltation quality fashion mobile marketplace in Malaysia during the early 2018. SneakPeek creates innovative idea which integrate the augmented reality technology with the fashion marketplace. SneakPeek assurance to deliver high quality service platform that include fashion marketplace, social platform, fashion guide information and AR fitting room. It is to contrive a new shopping experience to the consumer. By introducing the creative concept, it will become a pioneer player enter the market.
SneakPeek will be present in an interesting, quirky yet fashionable visual quality app content to attract the target consumer (Generation Z). As Gen Z born to be a digital user who love online and mobile shopping, therefore the concept of SneakPeek will be easily adapt into their behavior. To ensure SneakPeek enter the market successfully, it will apply the online marketing strategy and planned a year advertising timeline. As Malaysia is a multi-culture and rich traditions country, SneakPeek will be advertising through different cultural festival. Through these marketing strategies, it will raise brand awareness in the society. Furthermore, to develop a good visual identity of SneakPeek, collaboration had been done with two graphic designers to create branding visual, mock-up app and packaging effects to ensure SneakPeek will produce an unique and excitement brand identity in the market.
The menswear market has grown 4.1% in 2015 and has projected growth of 22.5% by 2020. This expansion coincides with the anticipated growth in the male population over the age of 40 by 10.6% by 2020 in the UK.
Pretty Green x Barberology. A multi-functional space the pop up store aims to create a environment where the male consumer can enjoy fashion and grooming.
During 3rd year studies I decided to focus on Men and the Menswear industry. My Dissertation titled “Denied Elders; Are men over 40 being ignored by the fashion industry” explored the fashion industries attitude towards generation X and Baby boomers. The Dissertation also focused on the attitudes of this consumer towards the fashion industry. Findings suggested that there is a disconnection between the consumer and the industry. Primary research suggested there is a desire amongst consumers to embrace a diverse and inclusive industry to embrace a diverse and inclusive industry.
The findings from my dissertation helped formulate my final major project. By exploring inclusivity and inclusion of the older male consumer who may be less interested or confident and creating an engaging environment. Primary research conducted during my FMP found that consumers would be interested in a store that offered multi functionality. From this research I devised the Pretty Green x Barberology travelling pop up store.
The Pretty Green x Barberology travelling pop up store brings two well established brands together to offer consumers a better retail experience. Pretty Green x Barberology aims to encourage male consumers to enjoy their shopping experience by offering a multifunctional space in which they are free to choose what kind of service they want to use. The pop up store is able to function as both a retail and social space. By promoting local craft beer suppliers and local musicians the pop up store is able to create a welcoming inclusive environment, bringing people together and making the whole shopping experience more enjoyable for the male consumer. The website enables consumers are to find hidden gems within their local areas as well as bringing them on the journey with the pop up store around the country. Creating a multisensory environment allows the consumer to create better memories making them more likely to visit again. The pop up store will run two, Six months cycles visiting each city in different seasons so product offerings will be completely different. The Pretty Green x Barberology pop up store is aimed directly at the male consumer targeting primarily Older Millennials and Generation X. This consumer at is currently not being targeted correctly and are being left in limbo by many retailers who are primarily focused on Generation I and younger Millennials. The targeted consumer has a higher level of disposable income, has a growing interest in fashion and grooming and is keen to support local business. The Pretty Green x Barberology pop up store is tailor made for this type of consumer as it offers them a space where they are able to do all of these things as well as be in a social environment.
“This hyper-individual generation who are constructing their identity in fashion and make-up outside of their traditional gender buckets." - WGSN
Generation Z is living in a time of global unrest. How does this reflect in what they need as consumers? Trust in large corporations is no longer granted, and brands have to work harder to connect with this demographic. This unique consumer, despite growing up in turbulent times, is tolerant and accepting with strong ethical values. This generation are digital natives; they have never known a world without the Internet, smartphones and social media. It is easier than ever to spread your values and become an activist online and gain large followings for doing so. Brands need to mirror this and be authentic and transparent to reach this consumer, promoting their own ethical stance to connect with Generation Z in a way that’s bigger than just selling to them.
This research is embodied by LBRT cosmetics, a new beauty concept launching online. LBRT is gender fluid, using male and female models and marketed with neither gender in mind. It is manufactured completely cruelty free and eco friendly, reflecting the consumers’ attitude towards these issues. The brand aims to abolish the stereotypes in the beauty industry, no retouching, no unrealistic imagery, and everyone is welcome. The brand will be vocal about their strong values and build a relationship with their consumer as well as communicating their fashion forward brand identity and products.
“My practice is based on style not disposable fashion, I would totally embrace and use a service like this.”
Harris Elliott, Stylist and Creative Director
Ross McLeish is a freelance stylist and founder of A is for Archive, a physical platform which specialises in the hiring of designer archived pieces for the use of stylists and celebrities.
His styling career started in August 2015, since then he has been lucky enough to have worked with clients such as, Kasabian, Gorillaz, Kswiss, Fred Perry, G-star Raw and Vans to name a few. His editorial portfolio can be viewed via the bottom video located on the right hand side.
His latest business venture, AIFA, born from his constant personal wardrobe sourcing at fashion shoots offers a service no one in Europe is yet to offer. A is for Archive was created to give an alternative hiring process for stylist and celebrities. This exclusive consumer base will have the opportunity to source rare and bespoke pieces from past designer collections, going against the conventional PR Agency hiring process, in which consumers hire current and future stock for clients.
With tens of high end and exclusive brands at the finger tips of the consumer at its London based showroom, these once stored away garments have the opportunity to be celebrated and used for what were intended to be used for, to be worn.
In collaboration with Mon Du Travail, a 20 minute documentary was filmed to give the audience an in-depth insight into the Archive, how it works, the brands it stocks and the consumer it targets. This short film can be found in the top right hand corner.
Entitled Catalogue, the portrait video showcases the rare and bespoke pieces the Archive has to offer. Front shots of the garment are captured in controlled studio conditions, with the Archive stocking 20 brands with over 80 pieces in storage it has a wide array of selection that is sure too meet the demand of any stylist.