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May 20, 2013 2:25 PM Fashion College, for Fun and Profit (and Just for Fun and Profit)

By Daniel Luzer

Fashion

Among the more controversial aspects of young adult training, two things stick out as particularly offensive, and perhaps mutually reinforcing: overpriced schools and the scarcity of good jobs.

And now, at long last, we’ve got an institution of higher learning that seems to combine both of these things, pretty overtly. From the New York Times comes news of a school, of sorts, that offers really high-priced training that doesn’t seem to train one for anything:

[Zuzanna] Ciszewska Ciszewska is one of the first 45 students at the Conde Nast College of Fashion and Design, enrolled in a 10-week course meant to introduce them to topics like the fashion calendar, the history of fashion, important designers, fashion journalism, retail, business, marketing and public relations.
Also offered is the Conde Nast name and the promise of an association with the company responsible for such fashion bibles as Vogue, Glamour, Allure, GQ and Women’s Wear Daily.

But that’s it, just “the promise of an association.” Conde Nast editor Susie Forbes, who is the college’s principal, explained to the Times that,

It was important for prospective students to understand that while their tuition bought them a front-row seat in the world of fashion, it would not buy them a job or even an internship at a Conde Nast publication. “We’re not a feeder school for Conde Nast. Our editors and publishers don’t want to feel obliged to take our students,” Ms. Forbes said.

For a 10-week course CNCFD costs $8,500.

Farhana Nazir, a blogger for My Fashion Life, wrote that the high tuition (from which the company is totally earning a profit) seemed hard to justify and wondered if the fashion school “further reinforce[d] the idea that a fashion education is only for the privileged?”

Well of course a fashion education is only for the privileged. This is hardly a debatable point.

What seems to be particularly troublesome about this one is that the college appears to be fashion education for no specific vocational purpose at all. An education for the privileged is one thing, but even the privileged want real careers.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer

Comments

  • Herostratus on May 20, 2013 10:06 PM:

    Why? Don't they have a trust fund?