Michael Barker

Personal Website
"Don’t be afraid to take risks. Often the main person holding you back from doing something is yourself, only you can truly decide what your future holds."
About my career

My first job was at Vivienne Westwood as Website Content Administrator. I wanted to stay in Manchester after graduating so was fortunate to be recommended by a friend for the role.  I was quickly promoted to Website Content Manager and was responsible for product photography and listings for the website along with email marketing campaigns.

I’m now Chief Brand Officer at Garment Quarter and GarmentQuarter.com - An independent, multi-brand designer store and website stocking Alexander McQueen, Balmain, Versace, Vivienne Westwood, Moschino, Giuseppe Zanotti and other brands.

I set this company up with two others in 2010 and my role has evolved from Marketing Manager to CBO.  My key roles are heading up the online content team, brand management, graphic design, and marketing and PR. My most recent responsibility will be head of design for our own clothing and accessories line.

My top tip for students is…

Don’t be afraid to take risks.  Often the main person holding you back from doing something is yourself, only you can truly decide what your future holds.  Take yourself out of your comfort zone and put yourself in situations that you would usually shy away from.  In the fashion industry everyone knows everyone so always be the best version of yourself and be respectful to those you meet as you don’t know where someone may end up and they may be the person who stands in the way at your next job.  Have fun and do something you enjoy, you want to wake up wanting to go to work not dread it.

What skills gained at university have you used most in your career so far?

I learnt to be resourceful and original.  To be successful you have to be different and do something people want, well - you have to think outside the box.  There is so much competition out there and you have to set yourself apart from the crowd.  Being at Manchester Met I learnt the importance of building a strong team, nurturing each other’s skills whilst showcasing your individual talent.

Why I love Manchester Met

The people, the city, the experience shaped me into the person I am today.