Fashion Editor Kieran Murphy examines whether the new Condé Nast College is worth a student’s time.
This year, The Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design announced that they would offer a ground-breaking opportunity in all aspects of the fashion industry for potential students, starting in January 2013. Based in London, the college will offer two courses in its inaugural year; a 10-week long Vogue Fashion Certificate and a year-long Vogue Fashion Foundation Diploma to improve students’ creative, business and communication skills within a fashion based context.
Condé Nast Publications is, of course, responsible for the powerhouse in fashion that is Vogue, but also in their stable is GQ, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker – so any future graduates will be in good company. According to its principal, former Easy Living editor Susie Forbes, the college will “arm a whole new generation of students with the skill and capability to pursue a successful career in the fashion industry”. However, for any student who wants to gain these skills, it does not come cheap.
The 10 week Certificate will cost £6,600 excluding VAT, which comes in at just over €8,000, the same cost of fees for an MA in Journalism in DCU. The year-long Diploma clocks in at an eye-watering £19,560, again excluding VAT (€24,000), which would support an average student in Ireland for a three year course.
Many Irish people have a belief that to work in a certain industry – especially the fashion industry – you must study for that particular industry in college. If you want to study journalism, go do a journalism degree. If you want to get into fashion, well you better do a fashion orientated course and the Condé Nast College only furthers this belief. Experience is key when it comes to any industry and especially in the fashion industry. While you may have been taught how to format an article in the classroom, you may never have experienced typing out an article frantically – due to go live in thirty minutes – about a runway show that is happening right in front of you.
There are many opportunities for people to get involved with and learn about the fashion industry, such as lending their services to Cork Fashion Week, getting involved with the UCC Fashion Society and even if you’re unable to do these there have been many people who have been hired off the back of a fashion blog they have made.
There is no doubt that any of the college’s alumni will be more than equipped to write for Vogue or any other publication but can there be any justification for paying over €20,000 for what you can arguably learn better through experience? With the inaugural class not graduating until October 2014, only time will tell.