Retail stars of the future from Birmingham City University given a helping hand by Selfridges Birmingham


Talented fashion students from Birmingham City University have ‘taken over’ Selfridges Birmingham for a term as they learn about retail design.

The students were given the unique opportunity to work with the creative and management team at the iconic Birmingham store to complete their module on Visual Communication and Retail Design.

The module over the autumn semester was designed to explore the current shift within retail environments to curate spaces and acknowledge the creators who are shaping the future of retail design.

The students’ task was to create and present a Visual Merchandising strategy based on an innovative concept for Selfridges, and to tap into new ideas and cultural behaviours. They were encouraged to not only put together a development document, but also develop a visualisation of the retail space before pitching to the General Manager of Selfridges Birmingham Adam Hockney, Visual Merchandising Manager Matt Lightfoot and also their course tutor Beth White.

The work, undertaken by around 100 students, was then judged in December in the management suite in Selfridges Birmingham, before the winners were decided.

Beth White Lecturer in Fashion Business and Promotion at BCU said: “The Visual Merchandising module explores the current shift from retail environments to curates spaces and sets out to examine and respond to cultural shifts that are redefining the retail experience. Selfridges is well known for being the vanguard of retail trends and are a very socially aware brand, therefore our collaboration with the Selfridges store in Birmingham was a perfect fit with our module.

“Students were briefed by the Selfridges team and received regular feedback throughout this module. The module culminated in a presentation to Adam Hockney and Matt Lightfoot at the Selfridges department store in Birmingham. The project was a huge success and we will be developing the module working closely again with the Selfridges team for next year.”

Adam Hockney from Selfridges Birmingham added: “At Selfridges we pride ourselves on our creative edge and pioneering fashion forward approach – two things evidently rooted within the ambitions of the team at BCU. In a city housing so much talent, we were confident an exciting partnership could be realised and the fantastic students of BCU delivered on their promise.

“We were overwhelmed at the response and everyone’s dedication to deliver excellence. The presentations were exceptional and confirmed everything I believe in, that Birmingham is not only the place to be, it’s a place to grow and be inspired.”

The work of the students is now being displayed at the university.

Pictured, left to right: Beth White Module Leader and Caroline Raybould Lecturer from BCU, students Charlotte Strange, Georgina Hadfield, Ross McLeish, Rebecca Shipton, Henna Rana, Roisin Probert, alongside VM Manager Matt Lightfoot and Selfridges Birmingham General Manager Adam Hockney .