Have you ever wanted to know more about your university tutors? We had a chat with one of the Fashion Management lecturers at RGU, Madeleine Marcella-Hood, to get a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse of the innovative course and ask her some of those all important questions about fashion too!
Tell us a little bit about your background:
My background is actually in communication and marketing – I came to RGU in 2005 (that seems like absolutely ages ago!) and studied Corporate Communication. The course has since changed names, but covered aspects such as marketing, press release writing and lots of other subjects which now exist in the Fashion Management course, such as Women in the Media and Postmodern Culture.
When did you start working at RGU? Have you always been a lecturer?
I was initially offered a temporary position at RGU which focused on Customer Relationship Management, and I’ve found myself working at the university ever since! In 2012, I began working in a marketing capacity – I helped with marketing for the Business School which involved promoting the Fashion Management undergraduate and postgraduate course. A couple of years later, I landed my dream job as a Fashion Management lecturer. I have gone on to contribute to many modules such as Fashion Retail and Store Design, Managing in the Creative Industries and the annual Fashion Show!
What do you enjoy most about teaching Fashion Management?
I honestly enjoy teaching all of my subjects – I love working and interacting with the students at every stage of their degree (I get to teach 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th years!). I really enjoy teaching Managing in the Creative Industry with the first years – they have to organise a fashion exhibition and it’s a great way to get to know everyone. The task also requires the students to work alongside Event Management and Public Relations students, so it gets everyone working in teams and collaborating. The module is a motivational way to start the course and it’s always great fun!
I particularly enjoy teaching Fashion Communication because it’s my area of research interest (blogging, social media, etc). Research Methods is also enjoyable, as by this stage, I tend to know the students really well and it’s great to have that one-on-one interaction with them. It’s a tough module as the students have to develop their own research and write their own dissertation, and it’s great to see how much they have changed and progressed throughout their time at RGU.
What advice would you give someone considering studying Fashion Management?
It’s an extremely fun course but you’ve got to be willing to work very hard – every year we receive a lot of hard-working, capable students who end up with excellent results.
I would advise students to be open-minded and be willing to travel in order to get some of the lucrative opportunities within the fashion industry. There are opportunities here in Aberdeen and Scotland, but if you are able to secure a job or work placement further afield, then that’s always great too!
Here’s also something useful to bear in mind – there may be students who are interested in fashion but are not 100% certain that they will end up working within the fashion industry. We have lots of graduates that have gone on to work in many other exciting industries, and it’s because the Fashion Management course offers such great insight into management, marketing, communications, social media and PR. Even if you don’t end up working in fashion, the content, information and skills you learn on this course are incredibly transferable and will give you a strong mix of creative and business skills.
Can you share your best tip for surviving fourth year?
Attend all of your classes – this sounds like a really boring lecturer message to hammer home but honestly, when I was a fourth year student, I went to all my classes – I don’t think I missed a single one! It’s your last year and whether you think so or not, you will miss it. You’ll look back and think about the great memories and friends you’ve made. If you don’t go to class, you’re missing out on so much – make the most of it, learn as much as you can and it will help you when it comes to coursework and assignments. It’s also a smart idea to make the most of the networking opportunities within your class – believe it or not, but the fashion world is very small so it’s always a good idea to keep in contact with all your classmates.
Okay great, thanks Madeleine for letting us know so much about the course. Now, let’s find out more about you! Who is your favourite fashion designer and why?
There are so many designers that I love (Chanel, Vivienne Westwood, etc) and it’s always hard to narrow it down to just one…. I would probably say Charlotte Olympia, as I love accessories and her products are the cutest!
We love her products too! What is your favourite high-street store?
Hmmm… favourite high street store is also a tricky one because I always go to different stores for different things… I’d probably pick Topshop and Zara though. If I could afford it, then I’d shop at Charlotte Olympia – I’m in love with her kitty flats!
If you could pick one, what would be your favourite fashion era?
It would absolutely have to be the sixties! It’s funny isn’t it how we hark back to these eras and see them recreated again and again. I wonder if anyone will ever look back and say “my favourite style era is the noughties” – mahogany fake tan, hair extensions… haha!
We couldn’t agree more! Okay, final question… who would you describe as your Style Icon?
A style icon of mine would definitely be Alexa Chung – I am happiest and most comfortable in black tights, a mini skirt and a cardi, or a thin (and importantly non itchy) jumper dress. I do love skinny jeans and a jumper too though. Oh, and let’s not forget Olivia Palermo – I love her style and her wedding attire was the absolute best!
We’d like to give a huge *thank you* to Madeleine for offering valuable insight to the Fashion Management course at Robert Gordon University. If you feel like this may be the course for you, click here to visit our web page and find out more information.
The Fashion Management Team