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Master of Arts in Contemporary Fashion Design

Course Description

Young fashion designers have become the key element in reshaping today’s fashion panorama. From the appointment of JW Anderson as Creative Director to Loewe to the acquisition of stakes of Christopher Kane by Kering Group, all events seem to indicate that now more than ever fashion creation remains essential for the activities of large luxury brands and mass-market brands.

Our Master of Arts in Contemporary Fashion Design was specifically designed to address these changes and is aimed at Fashion Design graduates who want to go beyond product design and development.

The program has 3 main objectives :

- Enriching our students’ fashion and creative culture with modules especially designed for this course. For instance our ‘Fashion Cross Culture’ module was developed with the Musée des Arts Décoratifs to provide a more sophisticated approach towards the analysis of cultural discrepancies and their effect on fashion. Another key module would be “Fashion Product Semiology”. It uses semiology as a methodology to decode a garment and to decrypt its aesthetic aspect in order to better understand how it is perceived.

- Developing student creativity with modules such as « Creative Process» that helps students become more aware of their own “creative logic” and increase their potential. The addition of practical workshops will provide students with a new approach on known production and designing techniques. For example the “Pattern and Draping Development” module introduces new research methods based on experimentation and opens new perspectives for students when it comes to finding inspiration.

- Helping our students understand how the fashion industries work and how brand strategies are crafted on a global context. Marketing, organisational issues, financial challenges as well as image and communication strategies will be discussed in a series of various modules

The course ends with students developing their own collection project with the guidance of a tutor. This project includes creating a garment and/or an accessories collection. The process involves designing prototypes for 12 silhouettes as well as developing marketing and business plans. This collection is then examined by a jury of professionals and the best students receive the opportunity to show their work to fashion professionals at the IFA Graduate Show that takes place during The Haute Couture Fashion Week. Students are also tutored to take part in several international contests that represent a great platform for young fashion designers.

As with the other IFA Paris courses, the Master of Arts in Contemporary Fashion Design benefits greatly from its Paris location. With its rich cultural life, its two museums dedicated to fashion, its 6 annual fashion weeks, hundreds of showrooms and textile fairs as well as the vicinity of small-scale crafts industries, the city of lights remains the undisputed fashion capital of the world.

All our programs are articulated around the ECTS framework as defined by the Bologne convention. After completing their course, students receive a total of 120 ECTS that can easily be transferred if they decide to study further. This program also received the IDEL/IDEART accreditation and is certified as an “International Master.”

*For more information: http://www.idel-labels.eu

Course Structure

Creative Culture

In order to to generate relevant concepts and products fashion designers consistently have to question their own creative process in light of changes in their social, economic and cultural environments. Through the different modules of this group students will transcend an the definition of intuitive creativity in order to build their own artistic framework based on their personal motivation and intellectual process. The goal is to help them fully tap into their creative mind and therefore maximize their innovation capabilities.

Modules include :

Contemporary Creativity Analysis
Research & Creative Thinking
Creative Process Workshop

Fashion Environment

A strong interest towards art as well as curiosity towards other creative fields are necessary to feed fashion creativity. Aesthetic knowledge is built through analysing various genres of imagery, graphics, colour, painting, sculpture, architecture or design of artefacts. Through modules such as Fashion Ethnography, Fashion Cross-Culture developed in partnership with the Paris Musée des Arts Décoratifs, or Fashion Product Semiology, students will further analyse how fashion addresses the notions of appearance and status. Ultimately students will be able to decode the meanings behind shapes, volumes, detail or colours of any range of fashion products.

Modules include :

Fashion Ethnography
Fashion Cross Culture
Creative Context
Trends & Future
Fashion Product Semiology

Marketing & Management

This group of modules analyses and reflects on marketing strategies for fashion brands and provides a rigorous outline to manage them. Students examine the differences in marketing high fashion brands versus mass-market brands. Observing processes impacting brands identity, positioning, pricing, distribution and communication help students to understand the inherent challenges of the broad contemporary fashion market. The power of a brand will be analysed through its value, its social, contractual and semiotic dimensions. Students will familiarize themselves with the required comprehensive tools for branding in order to build coherent strategies for their own fashion brand. The need for future fashion entrepreneurs to develop innovative fashion concepts in specific markets of today’s global fashion industry is also addressed.

Modules includes

Positioning & Pricing
Fashion Distribution
Consumer Behaviour
Sourcing & Supply Chain Issues

Modules include :

The Fashion Press
Retail & Visual Merchandising
Photographic Styling
Fashion Photography History & Analysis

Business issues

Fashion designers or Art directors must understand the legal and business framework of the fashion industry in order to converse efficiently with brand managers. Within this module grouping students will discover the realities of the Fashion industry from an economic and financial point of view. They will explore the challenges faced by start-up companies and learn the best practices for writing a business plan. That includes analysing and evaluating growth potential in new businesses, minimizing financial risks while identifying industry key success factors necessary for a brand to grow and flourish within today’s competitive global economy.

Modules include :

Entrepreneurship & Finance
Intellectual Property

Modules includes :

Digital Design Workshop
Innovative Textile Workshop
Pattern & Draping Development

Visit the Master of Arts in Contemporary Fashion Design page on the IFA Paris website for more details!

Student Profiles

MASTER OF ARTS Contemporary Fashion Design (Paris) - 3 Awards

All scholarships are open to both domestic and international students.
You can apply for a scholarship from December 1st 2015 to March 31st 2016.1. CV2. Diplomas (minimum Bachelor)3. Grades sheet4. Cover letter5. 2 letters of recommendation6. 1 portfolio of the previous fashion works7. 1 complete portfolio (research notebook, mood board, 10 silhouettes, and corresponding technical drawings) on the theme: « Future starts Slow »8. An essay on the theme: « Is slow fashion the future of fashion? »

Value of Scholarship(s)



A full scholarship represents the total tuition fees.
A half-scholarship represents half of the tuition fees.A ‘super scholarship’ of 5000 euros in cash will be awarded to the scholarship recipient seen as the most talented and promising.
All applicants to our scholarships at this level need to be bachelor graduates, preference will be given to candidates with background in Business Administration, Marketing, Media & Communication and Fashion Design related fields.
At least 3 years of relevant working experience.
Non-native English speakers need to provide an IELTS score of 7.0 or above, or a TOEFL score of 96 or above.

Application Procedure

You just need to send the documents specified above to [email protected]
The administrative fee is 50 € per application, to be paid via PayPal. You will receive this payment link once you have submitted your application to us by email.
The five best applicants will be selected and interviewed.
Scholarship winners will be announced on May 1st 2016.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

See Course Description

Email Enquiry

Recipient: IFA Paris
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