who in 2012 observed that a group of unaware participants wearing a white lab coat labelled as a “doctor’s coat” significantly outperformed participants wearing a “painter’s coat” on tasks measuring attention and focus. They concluded that the symbolic meaning of clothes and the physical act of wearing them could profoundly affect the wearer’s thinking, feeling and behaving. In doing so, they laid the foundation of the novel discipline of fashion psychology.
Around the same time, London College of Fashion launched the first Masters course of Applied Psychology in Fashion on the premise that fashion is ultimately about people. It involves designers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers, who make decisions and solve problems using perception, creativity and social interaction. The course challenges the common understanding that fashion psychology is an interpretation of what our clothes say about us. It equips students to make a positive difference in a global multi-trillion dollar industry, that employs millions of people worldwide and ultimately involves us all.
As the 2017 graduates of this course, Judith Achumba-Wöllenstein, Susan E. Jean and Pak Lun Chiu have taken matters into their own hands by applying the science of psychology to fashion in an easily digestible and inspiring format. This new resource is now available to industry professionals interested in realising the full potential of this age-old, yet rapidly changing industry.