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The MA Fashion Studies at Parsons Paris is the first master's program in its field in France and one of only a handful worldwide. In this groundbreaking 42-credit program, students explore the production, dissemination, and consumption of fashion from both historical and contemporary vantage points. The program investigates the different segments and meanings of fashion as creative and multifaceted industry – from haute couture to fast fashion; as a phenomenon dealing with identity, race, and gender; as an everyday act of consumption; as a material object; as an image; and as an artistic practice.
By situating fashion as a manifold phenomenon, the program casts light on the relationship between practice and theory as students explore the interdisciplinary theories and methodologies that have shaped the field of fashion studies while also discussing their applications within the fashion industry. The program also challenges students to engage with contemporary concerns such as sustainability, fashion curatorial practice, globalization, technological innovation, and digital fashion futures.
Core and elective courses open up broad perspectives on fashion and its connections with design, production, consumption, imagination, representation, embodiment, and identity. Finally, as fashion studies is inherently interdisciplinary and multi-methodological, courses examine fashion through the perspectives of anthropology, sociology, art history, gender studies, visual and material cultural studies, and film and media studies.
With Paris as a backdrop, the program brings students in contact with the European and French fashion industry and its cultural fields of production. Students are invited to engage with the industry through lectures and master classes held by fashion practitioners; special projects with fashion brands (mainly Paris based); visits to European and Parisian fashion trade fairs like Première Vision-Paris; unparalleled access and visits to fashion houses and ateliers; and the most prominent fashion and textile collections and archives in France, from the Musée Galleria to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. The program also assists students in applying for internships with established and independent fashion brands during Paris Fashion Week and during the summer break while also encouraging them to independently observe Parisian streets, neighborhoods, and retail environments critical to the fashion system.
The aim of the MA Fashion Studies program is to create polyvalent and critical researchers and professionals able to adapt to the heterogeneity of the fashion industry and its various sectors. In particular, our students develop competencies in fashion communication – from fashion writing and criticism to "image-making"; in trend-forecasting and marketing analysis; in fashion curating; in the research and archival practices connected to private and public museums or/and brand heritage. Students develop awareness of the different realities and constraints of the field of fashion and its commercial aspects, developing a personal and critical view on this creative industry. Possible career paths bring students to work in fashion PR and communication agencies, fashion magazines, fashion consulting, fashion museums and galleries, private archives, auction houses, fashion brands communication and marketing departments, trend-forecasting agencies, and fashion retailing and also to pursue PhD degrees at top universities around the world.
Thanks to faculty contacts and the program's strategic geographical position, MA Fashion Studies functions as a European hub, giving students access to other important fashion cities like Milan, London, Antwerp, Berlin, and Stockholm as well as international fashion institutions like the Victoria and Albert Museum or the Fashion Museum of Antwerp (MoMu). The program sponsors public events, panels, open lectures and symposia on fashion, inviting established and emerging fashion scholars, curators, and professionals. The Parsons Paris Gallery and workshops with fashion editors, stylists, and photographers stimulates students to publicize their own work while, thanks to its relationship with the New York campus, students also have opportunities to collaborate with overseas MA Fashion Studies peers and spend a semester abroad.
Explore our blog and Instagram accounts to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in Paris and around the world.