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New BA at Condé Nast College of Fashion and Design to combine best of academic and vocational

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By Sponsor

Dec 13, 2021

Schools

Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design in London is launching a new BA Honours programme in Fashion Communication and Industry Practice promising a unique blend of academic and vocational teaching and learning. The two year degree course has been refreshed to ensure it keeps pace with the fast-evolving world of fashion.

Harriet Posner is Director of Undergraduate Programmes at the College and has been in charge of the revamp. “When the original BA was launched in 2016 the focus was very much on the rise of digital, the question of whether print media would survive, as well as the development of ecommerce and the tumultuous changes resulting for fashion retail in terms of bricks and mortar versus online sales” she says. “Today there are so many new, big questions; the most important of which are sustainability and inclusivity. We have to address fashion’s role in these areas and consider how we can make significant positive changes. We also think about how the fashion system is changing, for example, how are start-ups adopting new direct-to-customer business models and in what ways are global brands working with the gaming industry to integrate virtual and augmented reality? Then there’s the transformation in the media sector from reliance on advertising revenue to subscription and membership models – the pace of change demands that we review and update what we teach.”

The degree aims to create not just industry professionals but leaders. “When change is happening at such a rate it’s important to be able to think ahead,” Harriet says. “We’re confronting students with the big issues so they can form their own ideas about what those changes should look like. What does sustainability actually mean for fashion? How can technology be used in the sector for overall good?”

More than half of students who take their Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Communication at the College are in work immediately after they complete the course. Graduate, Alexander Ron, is a digital content marketing executive for Condé Nast, and he says what he learned at the College has been invaluable. “I knew from a very early age that Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design was somewhere I wanted to be. I read an article about how the courses there were all industry-led and industry-focused. I feel like the College has made me who I am in terms of knowledge and employability. The lecturers are all genuine experts with amazing experience and skill and you can learn so much from them. What’s more, they’re so well connected that if you set yourself goals, push the boundaries and make yourself noticed then the right doors will open for you. For example, the first top-level event I went to through the College was Naomi Campbell’s fashion party which was an incredible experience.” Alexander says the fact that the degree was an intensive two year course rather than the traditional three was also a big plus. “Friends of mine were still studying for their degrees and I was out here, working and earning money already. When you’ve finished a two year degree you feel like you’ve got a head start on everyone else which is really energising.”

Megan Meaney is another graduate of the Bachelor’s degree who says the two year element has been hugely beneficial. “It’s very intense and you can’t let your concentration slip for a minute but it’s so worth it. The industry speakers the College attracts are of such a high calibre that it’s easy to stay focused because they’re so fascinating. We heard from really big names and had the chance to ask them questions and get their insight. They really wanted to be helpful too and loads of them were happy to link up on social media and keep the conversation going, well after they’d given their talks. We had some amazing trips as part of the course. We went to New York and met Anna Wintour, and how many students get the chance to say that?”

Megan is now a buying assistant at MatchesFashion which she says is all down to her degree. “When I started at the College, I knew I wanted to be involved with product but I didn’t know exactly what area I wanted to go into. I chose a module option about buying and right away I knew this was what I wanted to do. My group graduated during lockdown so getting work experience was incredibly difficult, but it was the skills I learnt during my buying module which helped me get my foot in the door.”

Megan says everything she learnt had real, practical value. “We did a collaborative industry project with Mac makeup and it wasn’t just a theoretical, ‘Imagine you’re working for Coach,’ exercise at all. We went to the store and talked to people working there and actually acted as consultants for them. It was all real and I don’t think you’d get that level of genuine involvement anywhere else.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about the BA Honours in Fashion Communication and Industry Practice should visit our BA course page and register for our upcoming Virtual Open Day with our Course Director Harriet Posner.