Meet the Staff
Bianca Foley, Buying and Merchandising Tutor.
"I have a BA (hons) in Human Geography from Queen Mary's college University of London. After years of working on the shopfloor on Saturdays and in holidays, my first head office role was as an allocator at BHS progressing from an allocator at BHS, to Planner at Duty Free Shoppers to Merchandise and logistics Director at Kurt Geiger for 9 years.
Completing an MBO, expanding internationally in Italy and France and launching the first e-commerce site at Kurt Geiger was exciting!"
David Shepherd, Chief Operating Officer for Trading, Arcadia.
David has a strong focus on growing the group's e-commerce and international business. He was previously Managing Director of Topman, and has spent his career working in fashion retail with Arcadia. David is also a trustee of the Fashion and Textile Children's Trust.
David Walmsley, Director, M&S.com at Marks and Spencer.
David has worked across retail, publishing, advertising and financial services. His previous roles include Director of eCommerce at Dixon Stores Group, Head of Web Selling and Customer Services at John Lewis, Head of Marketing at Xbridge and Head of eDevelopment at Yell.
Debbie Taylor, L4 Buying & Merchandising Tutor.
Debbie joined Selfridges as a graduate trainee where she spent 2 years working across all levels of head office before finding her true vocation in Fashion Buying. Over a career spanning 20 years she travelled the world in pursuit of new brands and concepts, working with some of the world’s most famous designers and attending the RTW shows. She has worked across Accessories, Ladies Contemporary and Designer and childrenswear. Her specialities are Brand Buying and Trend development. In 2000 she was awarded the Drapers Record Fashion Buyer of the year and in 2015 the FRA Teacher of the Year Award.
Denise Francis-Brown, Visual Merchandising Tutor.
"I studied a BA Honours Degree in Textile & Fashion. I knew Visual Merchandising was for me so I then went on to complete a City & Guilds in Display & Presentation; the Course content included Display, Design and Prop Making. Looking back now, I feel students from the VM short course have an opportunity to learn so much more than I did with the facilities we have at the FRA. I have always loved fashion and working in retail has given me the opportunity to combine my passion of styling and displaying merchandise.There are no words that can describe the great job satisfaction you get when a consumer buys the merchandise that you have displayed. I've worked on so many different projects from opening a new store and shop fitting, providing visual support at head office for the new collections and for events such as management meetings and press. During my career I have worked for Peter Jones, Wallis and Jigsaw. I always tell my students no question is a silly question and to use my knowledge to understand the industry. Regarding working in the industry, always remember to display merchandise so consumers can see the product that you are selling."