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School of Style

There’s a new school in season and it’s got a big name backing it.

Elizabeth Hoyt

May 20, 2013

School of Style
Listen up, fashion-loving Fastwebbers! There’s a new school in season and it’s got a big name backing it. Condé Nast, the London-based magazine publisher, has opened Condé Nast College of Fashion and Design. Like the publisher, the school is based in London, but students from all over the world are invited to apply for their available 10-week Vogue Fashion Certificate course. The two-step application process is competitive but those lucky enough to be admitted to the course will gain invaluable opportunities into the world of fashion and publishing. Stage 1 consists of an application and personal statement and, those who make it to stage two will be interviewed and required to complete a creative project, named “The College Challenge.” Applications are reviewed with consideration of interest and understanding of visual disciplines, research and investigative skills, writing ability, creative thinking and problem solving, the use of a range of materials and processes and a keen interest in fashion, design and related subjects, according to the college’s web site.

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Thus far, 45 students are enrolled in the 10-week course that will cover topics like the history of fashion, designers, fashion journalism, the retail sector, business and fashion, marketing and public relations. “What we offer — particularly on the 10-week course — is a broad sweep of business-facing courses intended to enlighten our students about how the fashion industry really works,” said the college’s principal, Susie Forbes, who is also a seasoned Condé Nast editor. The publisher is known and celebrated for many of its coveted media brands, boasting popular lifestyle magazines involving fashion, entertainment and media like Vogue, GQ and WIRED.

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It’s important to note that students in the course are comparable to interns and are given a “front-row seat in the world of fashion,” but are not guaranteed positions within any of the publications – though a connection with the publication certainly never hurts, even when applying for other job positions. Currently, students pay an $8,500 (converted from the pound) in tuition for the 10-week course. No degree is awarded but, rather, a Vogue Fashion Certificate.

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Beginning in October of this year, the college will offer an additional one-year course option, said to be entitled the Foundation Diploma course. The course will be similar to the 10-week course in its subject matter, though the curriculum will be more in depth. During the year long course, students will earn 30 credits certified by the Open College Network, which is equal to the amount of credits taken in one’s first undergraduate year. The credits will then become transferable so that students can finish their degrees at other industry-related schools. The school has received accreditation by the British accreditation council but must be in operation for a minimum of one year before it is able to offer degrees. The foundation course will begin with 45 admitted students with the hope of accommodating up to 300 the second year. The college plans to expand beyond its first fashion-related course, which explains why the name Condé Nast College was chosen. “If we called it ‘Vogue College’ then we’d be putting a marker down that we’re only going to do fashion,” said Forbes. “I can see us doing technology master classes with people from WIRED or courses on interior design or garden design.” In the future, the school hopes to offer two-year undergraduate degrees and is thinking “about partnering with a university to become a degree awarding institution,” said Forbes.

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