Master of Arts in Contemporary Fashion Design


Program Description

IFA Paris Master Certified by FEDE (Fédération Européenne Des Écoles)

  • Duration: 15-month program in English
  • Campuses: Paris, Florence (Istituto Lorenzo de Medici)
  • Format: Paris/Florence/Paris
  • Next Intake: October 2020
  • ECTS Credits: 120
  • Application Fee: €150
  • Tuition Fee: €12,800
  • Limited to: 25 students per class

"Develop your collection in our designer atelier"


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.

Despite an apparent return to pure and fresh creativity, the components of fashion design related jobs have dramatically changed. Imagining garments in an intuitive way is only one aspect of a designer’s responsibilities. A head designer or a creative director must not only anticipate social and aesthetic changes but also understand the strategic issues faced by brands in terms of positioning, market potential, and communication.

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 specially 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 to 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 in a global context. Marketing, organizational 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.”


Admission requirements:

  • Bachelor Graduate or significant professional experience in related fields.
  • IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL IBT 79 (or equivalence) or proof of study in English, for non-native English speakers.
  • Interview (on campus or Skype).
  • Working experience (internships are taken into account).

Documents to provide:

  • Fill in the online application form.
  • Latest transcript.
  • Copy of Bachelor diploma or its equivalence.
  • Motivation letter.
  • Portfolio.
  • Resume/CV.
  • Passport photo.
  • Copy of passport.

Course Structure

Creative Culture

In order 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 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 in art as well as curiosity towards other creative fields are necessary to feed fashion creativity. Aesthetic knowledge is built by analyzing various genres of imagery, graphics, color, painting, sculpture, architecture or design of artifacts. 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 analyze how fashion addresses the notions of appearance and status. Ultimately students will be able to decode the meanings behind shapes, volumes, détail or colors 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 analyzes 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 analyzed 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 include:

Positioning & Pricing Fashion Distribution Consumer Behavior Sourcing & Supply Chain Issues Branding.

Image & Communication

Comprehensive communication and innovative design presentations are crucial for fashion houses to stand out in a crowded marketplace. The different modules of this chapter will train students to merge the proper wording and imagery akin to fashion communication campaigns developed in the international arena. More specifically, the knowledge and skills imparted will focus on media strategic planning, visual communication through styling, written communication through traditional and digital channels, public relation techniques and event management for fashion shows.

Modules include:

Communication 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 analyzing 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.

Technical Issue

Realistically a future career in fashion cannot be conceived without an in-depth knowledge of clothes construction. Within this module grouping, students will strengthen their knowledge and skills to handle a multiplicity of garments and textile types through the apprenticeship of both traditional and high-tech production techniques. They will also be exposed to the role of technology in creating new textiles and designs. Upon completion of this module grouping, students will have grasped the fabrication processes and practical issues involved in bringing a garment to life.

Modules include:

  • Digital Design Workshop
  • Innovative Textile Workshop
  • Pattern & Draping Development

For more information and to download the program brochure, please visit:

Last updated Nov 2020

About the School

The Paris Fashion School for Design and Business. In the words of Suzy Menkes, IFA Paris is where to “Learn the French way of seeing fashion as art.”

The Paris Fashion School for Design and Business. In the words of Suzy Menkes, IFA Paris is where to “Learn the French way of seeing fashion as art.” Read less
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