Carole and Jane talk ‘Business and Enterprise’

Leadership Academy

An inspirational evening on how to run a successful and fruitful business in the ever growing fashion industry.

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 Last night’s masterclass was a window to the future for the members of the FAD Leadership Academy as they listened to the experiences of two successful women on their careers in the fashion industry. 

The first guest speaker of the night was Carole Robb,Founder of Ecora homeware and former Design Director at Monsoon “I have been working in the industry for well over 20 years … It’s still hard and still competitive but it’s all about loving what you do and working hard” Carole’s first words to the academy members as she began discussing how working hard and staying focused landed her a job at Monson as Design Director for 16 years and now a successful buyer for sustainable, echo friendly company Ecora. Advising all fashion students to be keen and enthusiastic, Carole went on to stress the necessity of work experience and getting as much as possible to make for a good starting point for setting up your own business. “If you love fashion then go for it – it is a brilliant career”



An accomplished conceptual designer whose inspiration started at the Hackney Scrap store, RCA graduate and renowned international designer Jane Bowler was the second guest speaker of the night

Jane’s hard work and determination have led to a successful fashion business loyal international following that keeps on growing. Talking us through her transition from conceptual artist to successful business owner, Jane’s key tips for the young leaders was to “love what you do” and “welcome the prospect of collaborative work”. When asked how she initially funded her business and got her name out there Jane replied, “Through crowd funding and a good use of social media”


Jane Bowler designs have been seen on the like of Azealia Banks, Lady Gaga and Shingai Shoniwa from the Noisettes and have been featured in Vogue, Hunger and Nylon Magazine.


Shingai Shoniwa from the Noisettes in Nylon Magazine wearing Jane Bowler

This month’s masterclass showed the young leaders of the academy what is involved in having a business in the fashion industry and how plenty of experience is the key to any successful career.

 A special thank you to our lovely guest speakers for being a part of this month’s masterclass.

The Leadership Academy masterclasses were made possible by the support from Youth In Action UK and the City Bridge Trust. 

Youth In Action UK

Youth In Action UK





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