London College of Fashion (LCF) is a constituent college of the University of the Arts London based in London, UK. It offers undergraduate, postgraduate, short courses, study abroad courses and business-training in fashion, make-up, beauty-therapy and lifestyle industries. It is the only college in Britain to specialise in fashion education, research and consultancy. Its patron is Sophie, Countess of Wessex. The current head of college is Frances Corner.
The origins of the London College of Fashion are in three early London trade schools for women: the Shoreditch Technical Institute Girls School, founded in 1906; the Barrett Street Trade School, founded in 1915; and the Clapham Trade School, founded in 1927. All were set up by the technical education board of the London County Council to train skilled labour for trades including dressmaking, millinery, embroidery, women's tailoring and hairdressing; to these, furriery and men's tailoring were later added. Graduates of the schools found work either in the garment factories of the East End, or in the skilled dressmaking and fashion shops of the West End of London.
After the Second World War the minimum school leaving age was 15; junior level courses at the colleges were scrapped. Barrett Street Trade School became Barrett Street Technical College, and the Shoreditch and Clapham schools were merged to form Shoreditch College for the Garment Trades. Both had the status of technical colleges, and began to take male students also. In 1967 the two colleges were merged to form the London College for the Garment Trades. This was renamed London College of Fashion in 1974.
In 1986 the London College of Fashion became part of the London Institute, which was formed by the Inner London Education Authority to bring together seven London art, design, fashion and media schools. The London Institute became a legal entity in 1988, could award taught degrees from 1993, was granted University status in 2003 and was renamed University of the Arts London in 2004.
In August 2000 Cordwainers College, a specialist school for leather-working, shoemaking and saddlery, was merged with the London College of Fashion. It was founded in Bethnal Green in 1887 as the Leather Trade School. The name was changed to Cordwainers Technical College in about 1914, and then to Cordwainers College in 1991. .
The main college building is in John Prince's Street, just north of Oxford Circus. Other campuses are in Lime Grove in west London, and, in east London, Mare Street, which was formerly home to the Lady Eleanor Holles School before it relocated to Hampton, Curtain Road (Old Street) and Golden Lane (Old Street).
The London College of Fashion is a constituent college of the University of the Arts London, with Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London College of Communication and Wimbledon College of Art.
- Jimmy Choo, shoe designer
- Tom Ford, fashion designer
- Ben Kirchhoff, fashion designer
- Roland Mouret, fashion designer
- Richard Nicoll, fashion designer
- Alexandra Shulman, editor of British Vogue
- Donatella Versace, fashion designer
- Peter York, British author and interior designer
Alumni of the college include:
- Jimmy Choo, shoe designer
- Driss Jettou, former prime minister of Morocco
- William Tempest, fashion designer