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Master of Arts in Fashion Design.

Master of Arts in Fashion Design

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We believe fashion is a form of applied art that mixes creativity, craftsmanship and culture, in an industry that is all about passion and innovation. The Master of Arts in Fashion Design pushes the boundaries of creative talent, enabling designers to be both stylistically innovative and technically exceptional.

Audience

Open to students holding a 3-year Bachelor's degree or equivalent in art/fashion or design. Exceptions are possible for candidates without a diploma.

Practical information

Type:
Master of Arts
Format:
Full time
Duration:
2 years (19 months coursework plus a 6-month internship)
Next intake:
September 2019
Tuition fees:
€19,800 (EU) - €28,700 (non-EU)

Need-based scholarships available for EU students.

Language:
English
Location:
Austerlitz campus

36 quai d'Austerlitz, 75013 Paris

Fashion silhouettes
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania
Fashion silhouettes
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania

With an emphasis on real-life experimentation and project-based learning, the course offers you ways to express a strong personal creative signature, broaden your artistic horizons and gain professional acumen.

Seven pathways of specialization are offered:

  • Womenswear Major
  • Menswear Major
  • Knitwear Major
  • Creative Pattern Making Major
  • Leather Goods Major
  • Footwear Major
  • Image Major

Taught by the best faculty and practitioners in their field, they allow you to hone your technical skills and develop a full personal collection that is altogether meaningful, crafty and innovative.

The MA in Fashion Design leverages the school’s incomparable links with fashion and luxury companies (such as Chanel, Dior, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Chloé, etc) and the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, which organizes Paris Fashion Week, in order to offer you real life experiences. Projects are led with manufacturers working with these prestigious fashion houses, and individual coaching is provided by active fashion designers and art directors. A 6-month internship will allow you to put into practice the skills and knowledge acquired during the course, and is often an invaluable step towards full-time employment.

Because fashion without meaning is merely clothing, we foster reflection and open-mindedness through courses and incomparable partnerships with top cultural institutions in Paris such as Palais de Tokyo, La Cinémathèque française or le Centre National de la Danse.

The course runs over 19 months, plus a 6-month internship. Year 1 alternates experimental work, creative workshops and partnerships with the industry, while Year 2 concentrates on your final individual project. As an MA in Fashion Design student you are part of one highly international cohort, and work on projects with students from other Majors, as well as other programs at Institut Français de la Mode. The final individual project will allow you to develop a full collection and portfolio, depending on the chosen Major.

Facilities

As of Autumn 2020, all of our programs will move into brand new premises at our Austerlitz campus located at Cité de la Mode et du Design in the center of Paris. You will have access to state-of-the-art fashion studios, couture ateliers, a Makers Lab, a FabLab, a materials library, a knit workshop, a leather workshop, a photo studio, a CAD workshop, etc. Entirely dedicated to the fashion, design and creation sectors, our analog and digital Library has one of the most unique collections in Europe. Academic year 2019-2020 will be held in new temporary facilities, also at our Austerlitz campus, until construction work is over.

Fashion silhouettes
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania
Fashion silhouettes
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania

The Womenswear and Menswear Majors allow you to assert a strong personal and contemporary creative signature, honing the technical skills you have acquired.

Over 2 years, the course opens up your horizons and develops your professional acumen, alternating phases of experimentation, reflection, workshops and partnerships with the industry, with the aim of creating a collection of 10 fully accessorized silhouettes.

Year 1// Experiment and confirm

Year 1 concentrates on research & multiple experiences in which you will be given the opportunity to discover new creative challenges, take risks and develop the foundations for your concept.

The year will be structured around 3 phases:

Experimental or laboratory phase

You will free your creative gestures but also question your identity, your personal signature to better define them.

Inspiration phase

You will get to work within our "mini studio", in which you will be able to give life to your sources of inspiration in all their forms (2D/3D, garments and objects...).

Workshop // garment phase

On an autonomous basis, or guided by experts and guest designers, you will question the idea of a contemporary cloakroom.

You will also address 4 inseparable fields of investigation:

  1. The field of know-how
    You will take into account the specificity of each of the disciplines as well as their specific assembly techniques: Jersey // Knit // Leather // Denim // Flou // Outwear technique
  2. The field of incarnation & attitude
    You will be encouraged to bring global perspective to your work, taking into account what the garment entails // attitude: styling, casting, makeup and hair
  3. The field of fabrics / materials / finishings
    This will allow you to develop and give birth to a style based on a specific choice of materials // approaching materials ennobling techniques but also handling the pattern //prints or embroideries, with attention to texture.
    You will also address sustainable development and technology issues.
  4. The field of accessorization
    Ornamentation (jewels, bags, belts, shoes...)

Year 2/// Assert and Express

Master 2 has two main objectives:

  • Design and finalize a collection of 10 accessorized silhouettes. The final project will be revealed to a professional jury during a show or presentation.
  • Carry out a 6-month internship in a renowned house leading to the presentation of a well-argued and illustrated internship report.
Fashion silhouettes
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania
Fashion silhouette
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania
Fashion silhouettes
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania
Fashion silhouette
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania

The Major in Knitwear is the first of its kind on an MA level in France.

Equipped with a state of the art industry-standard workshop the course allows students to develop their own signature style through guided experimentation, technical workshops and industry-linked design projects taught by leaders in the knitwear field and highly qualified technical staff.

The Major in Knitwear focuses on creative experimentation, craftsmanship and technological innovation. Students are encouraged to consider the ethical and environmental implications of their work and of the knitwear industry in general.

In year 1, students explore and develop their individual style through experimental design projects, knitwear programming workshops and collaborations with industry.

In year 2, students produce a portfolio of research, designs and a final collection of 10 silhouettes, demonstrating their creative skills, technical ability and understanding of contemporary fashion. This graduate project is coached by established knitwear designers operating in Parisian fashion houses.

Through our extensive links to the knitwear industry, students will have access to all the key players from yarn-spinners to manufacturers to in-house and independent designers, giving them a deep understanding of the knitwear process and allowing them to apply their creativity to the 'real world'.

The knitwear workshop is fully equipped with single and double bed knitting machines, electronic Silver Reed and Passap machines, Dubied machines from 3 gauge to 14 gauge, linkers and an industrial Stoll multi-gauge knitting machine with digital programming stations.

The course is headed by Adam Jones, former knitwear designer at Kenzo and Dior, and founder of his own brand.

Guest lecturers include knitwear designers such as Emily Harris (Chloé, Sonia Rykiel, Givenchy, Bompard), Amy Fox (Hermès, Chloé, Margiela), Annemarie Sheridan (Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Paco Rabanne, Versace), Sam Leutton (Kenzo, Leutton Postle, Stoll International) and Sarah Gresty (Head of the BA Fashion at Central Saint Martins).

Knitwear silhouette
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania
Knitwear silhouette
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania
Knitwear silhouette
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania
Knitwear silhouette
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania
Knitwear silhouette
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania
Knitwear silhouette
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania

The Creative Pattern Making Major brings you to the highest standards of both creativity and technique sought by studios, workshops and design offices, adapting to and understanding the creative processes that are at stake there.

Building on the school’s unparalleled tradition of Haute Couture savoir-faire and its exclusive links to the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, the course will allow you to hone your skills, in order to interpret the inspirations of a collection and iconographic research, and become a powerful interface between creativity and technique.

Year 1 will be dedicated to various personal projects or workshops in partnership with a fashion house and coached by professionals (artistic directors, designers or workshop managers). Mock-ups, drapings, finishings, details, etc... are developed with:

  • Personal iconographic research
  • Pattern transcription of vintage garments
  • Iconographies and/or drawings proposed by a designer or workshop manager
  • Finishing patterns and inspirational drawings provided by a design office

Projects alternate work sessions on wooden mannequins and fittings on live models. You will be trained at fitting sessions and the importance of line/proportion and material/fit ratios. You will also use dedicated CAD software technology.

Year 2 is offered as a sandwich course, allowing you to consolidate and apply your knowledge in a professional environment, as part of the course takes place in an atelier of a Parisian fashion house. You will design and implement a personal graduation project that will be presented to a professional jury and the public.

Fashion silhouette
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania
Fashion silhouette
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania
Fashion slhouette
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania
Fashion silhouette
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania
Fashion silhouette
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania
Fashion slhouette
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania

In the Leather Goods and Footwear Majors, you will deploy your creativity in a work process and calendar that reproduce those of an actual accessory design studio.

Through various creative bag or shoe design projects (depending on the chosen specialization), you will develop your professional skills by alternating research, design and development phases during studio, workshop or in-house company work sessions.

Year 1 is structured around 3 main projects:

  • A bag or shoe creation project with a brand in the form of a pre-collection
  • A personal bag or shoe creation project for a prospective collection
  • Bag or shoe creation capsule projects involving societal issues such as sustainable development, innovation or technology

Each project allows you to understand the different phases of development of a collection (sources of inspiration, iconographic research, materials, color ranges, drawings, models...) in order to move forward from concept to idea, design, product and then to setting up a collection (model, shape, function, materials, colors, animation...).

You will develop your 3D research and models in the school’s prototyping workshop, supported by a highly qualified technical team, in order to produce a final model with workshops and manufacturers working with fashion & luxury houses such as CHANEL, DIOR, HERMES, LOUIS VUITTON or SAINT LAURENT.

In Year 2, building up on the skills acquired, you will design and produce a full personal collection, coached by designers from Parisian fashion houses. The result will be revealed during a presentation to professionals and the public.

The Leather Goods and Footwear Majors are headed by Micaela Naldini, Leather Goods Designer who has worked over the years with Prada, Miu Miu, Dolce & Gabbana, Helmut Lang, Gucci, Tom Ford, Ferragamo, Dior and Maison Margiela.

Fashion silhouette
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania
Shoe making project
© Allyssa Heuze
Women's head covered with yellow flowers
© Frédérique Daubal
Fashion silhouette
© Benoit Bethume & Estelle Hanania
Shoe making project
© Allyssa Heuze
Women's head covered with yellow flowers
© Frédérique Daubal

The Image Major offers you the opportunity to develop a personal vision and creative approach to meet the needs of fashion industry brands in artistic direction. The two-year program is based on a series of workshops, led by professionals who produce the most remarkable productions and images in fashion. A personal final project will showcase the extent of your skills and your unique creative signature.

Artistic direction is vast and applies to different fields of fashion communication, requiring a broad general culture, great curiosity and autonomy, multiple areas of interest, personal taste and a passion for exchanges, meetings and coordinating different types of professionals.

Teamwork is essential: developing and reformulating briefs, developing a storytelling, message or editorial position, composing a creative team, pooling energies towards a common project, ensuring that brand strategy is integrated into the creative process. The use of words and images, the ability to defend a project in writing and verbally, as well as strategic vision are particularly important.

The ability to play with words and images, to reach out of the fashion scene into other cultural fields, to defend a project in writing and orally, as well as a clear strategic vision are particularly important.

Program

In addition to the core courses of the MA Fashion Design such as marketing and brand strategy, fashion history and fashion news, training in public speaking and project presentation, you will take part in workshops in:

  • image artistic direction (photography, video)
  • visual identity (logo, typography)
  • editorials (print and/or digital media)
  • visual merchandising
  • e-business site design
  • fashion show/presentation

Projects will be 2D as well as 3D, still and moving images. Technical skills and ability to use all the contemporary software will be developed.

Projects will be conducted individually or as a team, some of which for established brands in the fashion industry such as Hermès or Chanel, some for emerging designers and some with complete freedom.

Personal research, archiving and filing of a personal “data bank” will be challenged all program long, in particular to feed the final Personal Project, which will take place in the second year, between October and March.

At the end of the course, we will help you develop a professional portfolio and prepare you to look for an internship through coaching sessions with headhunters.

The program ends with a six-month internship to apply the acquired knowledge in a business environment, within a communication agency specialized in fashion, luxury or cosmetics, or internally within a brand or a media (artistic direction, photo styling, graphics, copywriting, print or digital communication, visual merchandising, window display, scenography...).

Facilities and working environment

You will be working in dedicated workspaces including a photo studio, different printing techniques, workstations equipped with the appropriate software, allowing to answer these different briefs.

You will also be encouraged to take advantage of the Paris fashion ecosystem through conferences, meetings and visits, particularly related to Parisian cultural events (fashion and plastic arts exhibitions, galleries, fairs, shows, concerts, films...), in order to broaden your culture and your network.

Faculty and experts

The course is headed by Stéphane Wargnier, Head of Communications at Petit Bateau, former Head of Communications at Hermès and former Executive President of Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode.
Alice Litscher (artistic director) will be the referring faculty.
Speakers on the course belong to a professional network of communication and the Parisian fashion industry including, among others: Marc Ascoli, Yorgo Tloupas (Yorgo & Co), Antoine Jean (Funny Bones), Frédéric Bodenes (Le Bon Marché), Angelo Cirimele (Magazine Magazine), Elise Goldfarb and Julia Layani (Fraîches founders), Etienne Russo (Villa Eugénie), Frédéric Sanchez and numerous other highly recognized fashion professionals such as photographers, graphic designers, stylists, chief editors, social networks specialists, hair and make up artists, show producers and art directors.

Young man with painting on his face
© Frédérique Daubal
Pile of magazines
© Allyssa Heuze
Young man with painting on his face
© Frédérique Daubal
Pile of magazines
© Allyssa Heuze

The MA in Fashion Design typically leads to careers in:

  • Menswear / Womenswear Design: Designer men’s or women’s RTW, Luxury and Haute Couture studios, Design director, Creative director, Artistic director
  • Accessory Design: Designer in Leather goods, Small Leather goods, Shoes, Leather accessories, Textile accessories
  • Image Design: Art Director, Art Consultant, Photo Stylist, Visual Merchandiser, Window or Pop-up Designer, Scenographer, Graphic Identity designer for Print or Digital , Web Designer, Digital Content Design Manager, Image Manager
  • Creative Pattern Making: Modelist/Pattern Maker, Pattern workshop Manager, Research & Development Manager
  • Knitwear Design: Fashion Knitwear Designer, Knitwear Programmer, Knitwear Developer

The Career Services Department is here to support you in order to shape your personal career path, find internship and job opportunities and develop your network, during your studies at Institut Français de la Mode and after you leave school. As students, the Careers team acts as a bridge between students, alumni and companies, and offers you many events and individual support throughout the year:

  • Company presentations
  • Career presentations by Human Resources professionals, operational staff and alumni
  • Intensive individual coaching (definition of your creative identity, assistance in CV writing and portfolio preparation, interview coaching, individual follow-ups)
  • Active support in the search for internships
  • Speed-recruitment sessions and personal interviews with specialized recruiters (Career Fairs, portfolio presentations…)
  • Access to an extensive database of job and internship offers

At the end of the program you will complete a 6-month internship in companies such as BALENCIAGA, CHANEL, CARVEN, CÉLINE, CHLOÉ, CHRISTIAN DIOR, GIVENCHY, HERMÈS, KENZO, MAISON KITSUNÉ, LANVIN, LOEWE, LOUIS VUITTON, MAISON MARGIELA, NINA RICCI, OHLMAN CONSORTI, PIERRE HARDY, SAINT LAURENT, SPILL, VALENTINO, VETEMENTS...

As alumni, you will benefit from the strength of our network of companies and alumni, both in France and abroad. A personalized career follow-up is offered to you at all time during your professional career, and regular events are organized by our Alumni Association.

The course is headed by Hans de Foer and Céline Toledano.

Hans de Foer has designed luxury ready-to-wear and couture collections for Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, André Courrèges, and Jean-paul Gaultier, as well as his own brand. He also worked for Azzedine Alaïa. Céline Toledano started her career as collection manager alongside Karl Lagerfeld and then worked for several fashion houses including Martine Sitbon, Céline, Nina Ricci and Sonia Rykiel. She is now consultant for the Consulting/Headhunting Firm m-O Conseil. For many years both of them held academic responsibilities at IFM and Ecole de la chambre syndicale de la couture parisienne.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for the 2019/2020 academic year:

Year 1:
€12,000 for students who are European Union nationals
€17,400 for non-EU students

Year 2:
€7,800 for students who are European Union nationals
€11,300 for non-EU students

There is also a lifetime contribution to Institut Français de la Mode's Alumni Association: €300

Scholarships

Thanks to the sponsorship of company members of Institut Français de la Mode's Foundation, need-based scholarships are available for EU citizens under 28 years of age on September 1 of the academic year and who do not benefit from an individual training leave.

We also recommend that you consult the Campus France website to learn of other potential scholarship opportunities.

Admissions requirements

The course is open to students who have obtained a 3-year Bachelor's degree or equivalent in art/fashion or design. Exceptions are possible for candidates without a diploma. Fluent English is required.

Admissions process

The admissions process consists of two steps, firstly the submission of a detailed digital application file (completed with your portfolio) and secondly, for selected candidates, an interview. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Portfolio

Your portfolio should be a PDF document with 10 to 15 pages, either of your own work (sketches, drawings, paintings, photographs, videos, etc) or inspirational moodboards reflecting your research. The portfolio should be carefully put together to showcase your personal creative environment.

Interview

If your application is selected, you will be invited to take part in an interview with the course faculty. A specific day and timeslot will be assigned to you within the dates listed below. While you are strongly encouraged to attend in person, we realize this may not always be possible. If that is the case, we can arrange for your interview to be held via Skype.

Apply

Admissions sessions

You may choose the session you wish to apply for, but can only apply to one. If you are invited for an interview, a specific time and date will be given to you within the dates specified below. Please note that we strongly advise non-EU students to apply for sessions 1 or 2, in anticipation of visa processing delays.

Session 1 - Menswear / Womenswear / Knitwear

  • Deadline for submission of application file: Monday 25 February 2019
  • Notification of eligibility: Tuesday 12 March 2019 latest
  • Interviews: 19 to 22 March 2019

Session 1 - Footwear / Leather Goods / Pattern Making / Image

  • Deadline for submission of application file: Monday 25 February 2019
  • Notification of eligibility and reception of creative assignment: Friday 8 March 2019
  • Deadline for submission of creative assignment: Friday 22 March 2019 latest
  • Interviews: 25 to 29 March 2019

Session 2 - Menswear / Womenswear / Knitwear

  • Deadline for submission of application file: Tuesday 23 April 2019
  • Notification of eligibility: Wednesday 8 May 2019 latest
  • Interviews: 14 to 17 May 2019

Session 2 - Footwear / Leather Goods / Pattern Making / Image

  • Deadline for submission of application file: Tuesday 23 April 2019
  • Notification of eligibility and reception of creative assignment: Monday 6 May 2019
  • Deadline for submission of creative assignment: Monday 20 May 2019 latest
  • Interviews: 22 to 24 May 2019

Session 3 - Menswear / Womenswear / Knitwear

  • Deadline for submission of application file: Tuesday 11 June 2019
  • Notification of eligibility: Tuesday 25 June 2019 latest
  • Interviews: 1 to 5 July 2019

Session 3 - Footwear / Leather Goods / Pattern Making / Image

  • Deadline for submission of application file: Tuesday 11 June 2019
  • Notification of eligibility and reception of creative assignment: Friday 21 June 2019
  • Deadline for submission of creative assignment: Friday 5 July 2019 latest
  • Interviews: 15 to 17 July 2019