Anouk Van Dingenen started the brand new Master in International Fashion Management at Antwerp Management School and wrote a general program overview.
During the first semester in Antwerp, seven different courses are taught. These courses include macroeconomics, ecosystem of the fashion industry, supply chain, customer driven marketing, financial management, business modeling and entrepreneurship and lastly, fashion and law. These courses give basic insights, knowledge you should have before starting in a company, focused on the fashion industry.
Academic professors and professionals in the field teach the theory with a lot of real life examples, which makes it very practical and hands on. You don’t need a background in economics or finance. Thanks to small groups, helpful professors, fellow students and commitment, I had no problem keeping up.
Exchange programs to London, Milan and Sao Paulo
In November, a three days trip to London and London College of Fashion is planned. A very inspiring trip for discovering new brands, new business models, and new innovations in the fashion industry!
In February, the first real exchange starts! For a period of 6 weeks you will study at Domus Academy in Milan. You will participate in a workshop of fashion buying, together with local and international students. The workshop is a mix of lectures taught by professional fashion buyers and a group project with feedback sessions and presentation. What is interesting about the group project is that you will be working for a real-life existing company and so you get the chance to work with professionals in the field and have a taste of a first working experience.
After a period of 6 weeks and after a quick pit stop in Belgium to switch clothing (off course, we are obsessed with fashion and packing well is important ;-)) it is time to leave for Sao Paulo, Brazil. Here, the second exchange continues for another 7 weeks. In Brazil, you take courses at the prestigious school FAAP. The focus here is on understanding the Brazilian cultural history through art, fashion and design and the Brazilian fashion industry. Furthermore, there are weekly visits planned to textile and digital fashion companies, commercial centers and more, which is an ideal way to immediately link theory into practice.
Consultancy project and portfolio
After returning from Brazil at the beginning of May, only one task is left to complete before graduating. So last but not least, a consultancy project and portfolio have to be handed in and presented before a jury at the end of the year. Examples of topics of this project are working out an internationalization strategy for a Belgian brand that wants to expand its market or defining a communication strategy to reposition a brand in the customer’s mind.
The consultancy project is something you work on in groups and takes some months. The kick off is in December. You will be matched to a certain fashion company you will be doing the assignment for. Both in January, May and June, you will not have classes in order to fully focus on this project. Throughout the entire second semester, you will be in close contact with both the fashion company and a mentor at Antwerp Management school so that the process and progress can be monitored and discussed. In the middle of June, you will present your final project to a jury. You also have to visualize this project or a related topic by means of a portfolio. In this portfolio you can express yourself creatively in whatever way you want; a video, moodboard, booklet... At the same day as presenting your project, you will talk about this portfolio et voilà, after this, the master will be completed and graduation is around the corner!
For me this master program is a perfect mix of theory, practice, company visits, exchanges and projects, so in other words, a perfect preparation for everyone willing to work in the fashion industry!