Highlights from the Project Unleash Creative Co-Lab

Having successfully delivered 2 business exchange programmes, We definitely see a lot of possible collaborations between West African creatives and International counterparts and we are encouraged to provide more platforms for creatives to explore these opportunities.

It was 10 weeks of theoretical and collaborative work between creative founders in Nigeria and the MA Fashion Communication students from Conde Nast College of Fashion and Design. The project provided a platform for fashion brands to receive hands-on support in finding solutions to key challenges being faced in their ventures, particularly in branding, PR and social media marketing by Masters students in the UK. In the same vein, the project provided the students with the opportunity to gain practical experience to apply their learnings to international business development.

The project was open to mid-stage African fashion brands who have been in business for  4 years or above and are signed up as part of The Assembly’s Membership Network willing to work as theoretical clients and 10 MA Fashion Communication students in the UK. There were three stages leading up to the project finale, The Research & Practical, The Halfway Presentation and the Pitch Presentation. 

The collaborative project commenced with the project briefing and the introduction session where the designers and students were introduced and briefed about the expectations of the project. The Designers’ brand details and information were provided for the students as a project brief to begin their research into the brand challenges. The designers were assigned post-graduate student(s) who worked with them to design solutions to the challenges they have identified in their business.

At the halfway Presentation, the students practised their presentation skills by sharing the progress update on the project brief they have been working on.  After doing their research on the brands on their problem statements, the students did a presentation in the college which was streamed live with the designers and the project team in attendance about their findings and the strategies they have come up with as possible solutions. This is the stage where they choose one solution out of the three options they have provided to help the brands. After each paired student’s presentation, the designers gave feedback and were impressed with the result of the level of work the students have done.

While the students were reporting to their College tutor, the designers were scheduled for bi-weekly check-ins by the Assembly project team to follow up with the designers and ensure they are no challenges in working with the students and they are updated with the student’s progress and supporting with any information to assist the work of the students.

The Pitch Presentation which was the finale of the project happened live at the college and was attended online by the designers and the project team. The post-graduate students pitched their concept along with their launch-to-market strategy to the designers, the Assembly team, and college tutors. The designers were amazed by the final outcome of the student’s work and were satisfied with the solutions strategy the students provided for their businesses. 

Both the students and the designers were encouraged to have an agreement should the designers intend to use the strategies in their business. We’re hoping to see some amazing collaborations as they continue to work together and bond over shared experiences.


Words by Bukola Olaleye

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