Catherine Fuller, the course leader for Fashion Contour at London College of Fashion, has announced her retirement after nearly 40 years in the intimate apparel business.
Joint course leader Nicola Johnson will take on the role full time from next month, while Catherine will continue teaching part time until the end of the current academic year, Lingerie Insight can reveal.
Commenting on her decision, Fuller said: “London College of Fashion has been a part of my life since my student days in the mid 70’s. The job of Contour Course Leader has been, quite simply, my dream job.
“I am leaving behind a fantastic team that are as passionate about teaching as I am, and we are all so proud of all our graduates, who are now working around the world, not just in the UK.”
Fuller studied Womenswear at LCF during the late 1970’s and became hooked on Contour after falling in love with a piece of Chantilly lace in her second year.
After graduation, she worked for the Wallis Fashion Group in its production department before applying for a job in lingerie design.
“One day saw my dream job advertised, working as a production manager for lingerie designer Julia and her husband Charles Grahame,” she said. “Whilst I was working with Julia I also got involved in designing lingerie again.”
Fuller moved to California in the early 80’s, where she worked as a freelance designer for Victoria’s Secret, Nordstrom and Macy’s.
She eventually became a buyer for Macy’s and continued to work for the retailer for four years when she returned to London, before being tempted back into the world of lingerie.
“I worked as a brand manager for Layal before starting my own brand, Outrageous Fortune, which I sold in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and the USA, where Victoria’s Secret were my biggest customers,” said Fuller.
It was during her time at Layal that her LCF course tutor, Alex Roll, asked her to deliver some lectures.
Fuller later joined a short-course team at the university and became deputy business manager and Study Abroad course director at LCF.
She took on the role of Fashion Contour course leader in April 2013.
Reflecting on her role, she said: “Since starting the course our applications have quadrupled and our student numbers have doubled, and year on year student attainment and employability have improved.
“I would like to thank all our industry partners who have either worked with us on projects, donated fabrics or offered our students placements, and graduates jobs. Their support has been fantastic and I can’t thank them enough.
“I will be working on my MA Dissertation on Learning and Teaching in Art, Design and Communication, and possibly writing a book!”