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London College of Fashion joins our 'Innovation Cities' forum at Here East

Above: View from public realm of the new 'East Bank' cultural and creative district in Stratford, east London - with the V&A East on left and the new campus for the London College of Fashion (UAL) next door. The BBC music studios and Sadler's Wells buildings are partly hidden by trees (Image courtesy of Allies and Morrison, master-planners for the Stratford Waterfront and architects for the LCF / UAL new building)

Future Cities Forum will welcome Linda Roberts, Director of Graduate Futures, Business & Innovation at the London College of Fashion to its 'Innovation Cities' forum this September at Here East. Also joining the forum will be Matthew Drinkwater, Head of The Fashion Innovation Agency at the London College of Fashion. The London College of Fashion has campuses on the Queen Elizabeth Park at Stratford and at Lime Grove, Shepherd's Bush.

Linda has gained a wide ranging knowledge of the fashion business from many years of experience in fashion retailing, marketing and product development, working for international brands including Jaeger, The Woolmark Company and Tencel, prior to joining University of the Arts London, London College of Fashion. Linda is responsible for the College’s enterprise and innovation activities through the Centre for Fashion Enterprise, the Fashion Innovation Agency, and strategic partnership projects. It is a wide ranging brief that draws on Linda's fashion industry expertise and business acumen. Within this role Linda is SRO for a number of innovation projects, including the Fashion Technology Emerging Futures project, which provides structured business support programmes for early stage fashion SMEs, with a particular focus on the way that technology is enabling the transformation of the fashion industry.

Matthew is a world-renowned expert in emerging technologies and their application to the creative industries. A specialist in immersive technologies (XR/MR/AR/VR), he and his team are building pathways for a truly digitized world. Named as a ‘fashion-tech trailblazer’ by Draper’s and a ‘pioneer and a visionary’ by Wired, Matthew has delivered ground-breaking experiences and a range of projects that have captured the imagination of both the fashion and technology industries, including what Forbes described as ‘the first example of truly beautiful wearable tech’. He was also named as a "Digital World's Influencer" by Stylus for 2020.

The Fashion Innovation Agency at London College of Fashion uses emerging technologies to disrupt existing practices in the fashion and retail industries. Its remit is to demonstrate how these technologies can change the way that fashion brands and retailers make, show and sell their collections. It states:

'With our extensive network within both fashion and technology, we are closing the gap between these industries and accelerating the pace of change. We create projects that continue to inspire and spark imagination by showing what is truly possible when two industries combine.

'As part of the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London (UAL), we are on a mission to rewire the industry and build truly digital designer businesses – both for UAL students and the wider industry.'

London College of Fashion is moving to a new campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, as part of a new development for London known as East Bank, the UK’s newest cultural quarter for innovation, creativity and learning at the heart of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London.

The College says:

'East Bank is a unique collaboration that is bringing the arts, learning and creativity together in one place for the local community and everyone who visits, lives and works in east London.

'We’ll be creating this campus alongside new sites for other world leading organisations including Sadler’s Wells, V&A and BBC as well as Loughborough University and UCL. We want to increase opportunities for collaboration and to build a different community focused on fashion but with lots of influences from our new neighbours and from the local area.

The move is more than just a building, and we are working already with local, national and international partners to bring benefits to our current students, staff and alumni, focusing on four major priorities:

  • Delivering excellent fashion education for all who choose it.

  • Encouraging enterprise and incubation to support our students, alumni and the wider fashion economy.

  • Driving impactful research to effect change and innovation.

  • Building better lives, for a sustainable and socially conscious future.

'We’re not saying goodbye to our historic roots, with our Lime Grove campus developing into a centre of excellence to house all our UAL pre-degree courses building a vibrant community in west London.'


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