The Condé Nast College of Fashion and Design is a lesser-known choice for budding creatives looking at options for higher education. A tiny student population makes for a competitive place at an institution providing an experience like no other. Step through the gleaming glass doors and have a glass of prosecco in the foyer – this college could be your golden ticket to join ranks amongst the fashion world’s elites.
It’s easy to see the draw of this college from the off. The website features gorgeous white interiors, garden terraces, and classmates more trendsetting than Kate Moss. However, before you throw out your other prospectuses and start prepping your portfolio for September, let’s take a closer look at what being a student here would be like.
The Course Intensity
The accredited courses offered at the Condé Nast College are:
–BA (Hons) Fashion Communication (two years, worth the same as a regular three-year course)
-Vogue Fashion Foundation Diploma (two years, worth two years of regular university)
-Vogue Fashion Certificate (ten weeks)
As you can see, this college packs in a lot in a significantly faster period of time than regular university courses do. So this means fewer holidays (boo), but it does mean you’ll be able to be in full-time employment faster than your friends attending traditional universities. Working the same number of weeks in a year as an average employee at Condé Nast means better preparation for the workload that the industry demands. However, the elongated time spent at other art colleges does allow for meandering through different creative practices and so stumbling upon new ideas that perhaps wouldn’t be possible under the time constraints. Furthermore, the cultivation of ideas is given more time in more years which will translate through any design work. Also, university is for most a social period in their life with relatively low pressures allowing you to become an independent adult. Societies, clubbing, and having a wild time is not going to be your way of life at the Condé Nast College of Fashion and Design. This might be enough to put you off.
Firstly, the degree itself will hold a lot of influence. You can check the BA Hons box that most employers ask for. Not to mention that your CV will turn to gold the minute the Condé Nast name embellishes your education section. Also, your portfolio will be top notch, featuring live industry briefs. The college prides itself on working with influential fashion brands. For example, Manolo Blahnik’s future collections have been styled and photographed by students for social media content and adverts made by students have been used in international editions of Vogue. The contents of your portfolio will rival visual designers who have worked in the industry for years. Equally, the contacts you will make at this college will be unrivalled. With speakers at the college including Alexandra Schulman, Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria Beckham, and Anya Hindmarch, you won’t be missing a lecture. Students even met Anna Wintour last summer in New York. With most creatives relying on seeking jobs through their professional networks, every student is given the gift of an address book bursting with A-listers that will help you climb the industry ladder. So to summarise this paragraph, if you go to this college and can’t get a job, we’ll eat the Manolo Blahnik shoes you photographed in your second term.
Your Creative Development
This is an interesting point to consider when weighing up whether this is the university for you. One positive is that you’ll have access to so many different resources. If you want a model, you got it. Storm Model Management’s New Faces Board will be at your disposal. Need a photographer? Vogue Certified professionals at your side. Need clothes? I hope you like couture. You’ll be inundated with all the benefits of working at Condé Nast College. Despite this, there remains one red flag. Working within an environment with such a specific focus means that it misses out on the benefits of having a breadth of art and design disciplines under one roof. Collaborations between completely different creatives often result in work that’s exciting, diverse, and unique. The work by students that adorns the prospectus doesn’t necessarily have the same excitement and experimental nature of other art colleges. This is perhaps necessary to push the boundaries of the fashion industry and to keep visual communication fresh and progressive.
Critical Understanding of the Industry
It is imperative that students educated in any art and design discipline understand the environmental and economic impact their work is making. The Condé Nast College does have a module about ethics. This seems to sufficiently provide students with a good grasp on sustainability in the fashion industry and hopefully instils students with a desire to work towards fixing these issues. What hasn’t been made clear is how far the college deals with the social impacts of the work created. For example, financial barriers to fashion, body issues within fashion, and diversity within fashion don’t appear to be reflected in student work. Whilst it is probably impossible to create anything that is 100% ethically solid, making conscientious work is a vital skill which is not given as much emphasis at the Condé Nast College as it would be on a more academically-based Art and Design course.
This is a very indulgent course that’s a glamorous fast-track to achieving all of your fashion industry dreams. It seems to provide an excellent education of how the industry is currently fueled by professional experience and successful fashion figures. It perhaps lacks in providing skills to transform the industry. That, however, is down to its students to challenge. If you enrol, make sure you’re set on the fashion industry, as there’s little wiggle room on that! Also, make sure you’re ready to commit yourself to something so intense. If you can tick those boxes, then full steam ahead – get applying!
Would you apply to the Condé Nast College of Fashion and Design? Let us know by commenting below!
Words: Felicity Hamilton
Hashtags: #CondéNast #Education #ArtCollege #Vogue #University #Fashion