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Understanding Fashion: From Business to Culture

Discover the business of fashion and understand the cultural impact of the fashion industry with Institut Français de la Mode.

155,700 enrolled on this course

Understanding Fashion: From Business to Culture

Step into the fashion world and study fashion and culture with Chanel and YSL

Curious about how the fashion industry has transformed and shaped Western culture over the last 150 years?

This 4-week course delves into the fashion world and investigates fashion as both a cultural phenomenon and a creative industry.

You’ll explore the interaction between fashion, society and business with top fashion designers and professors from Institut Français de la Mode.

Where does fashion actually come from? You’ll start the course by answering this question and learning about modern fashion and its contemporary relevance.

You’ll explore the rise of the fashion industry during the industrial revolution and evaluate how brands inject modernity into their designs. The course features case studies from top fashion designers such as Chanel and Gucci.

Investigate the role of fashion designers and brands

You’ll be thinking about the relationship between fashion and politics, and asking whether fashion designers and brands have the power to be social actors.

You’ll also explore fashion code and the language of fashion, considering whether fashion brands are creative languages.

Understand consumption in the fashion industry

In your final week, you’ll investigate fashion consumption and develop your understanding of how it works as a social marker and identity construct.

You’ll evaluate what it takes to create and develop a fashion collection, and you’ll look at the intersections between trends, seasonality and innovation.

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What topics will you cover?

  • Fashion and modernity: contemporary relevance, ‘Zeitgeist’, and the desirability of the new.
  • Fashion and society: the concept of trends, social distinction and selection, culture and subcultures.
  • Fashion as a language: decoding silhouettes, the genre of fashion literature and fashion press.
  • Fashion and consumption: fashion and gender, the emergence of ‘lifestyle’, fetishism.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Develop transdisciplinary knowledge and expertise aimed at understanding the logics of the contemporary fashion field
  • Identify the creative models of the different fashion houses and their conception of time
  • Explore the trends diffusion models
  • Interpret a fashion silhouette
  • Explain the construction of consumer behaviour

Who is the course for?

Whether you’re a marketing student intrigued by consumer culture or you’re an experienced fashion professional looking to enhance your knowledge, this course is designed for anyone looking to deepen and specialise their knowledge of the fashion industry.

This course will also be relevant to fashion entrepreneurs who need a holistic view of the industry’s key success factors.

This course is supported by DEFI.

Who will you learn with?

I am a permanent professor at Institut Français de la Mode, where I teach fashion theory and fashion brands strategy. My background is in analytic philosophy and social sciences.

Who developed the course?

Institut Français de la Mode (IFM)

IFM (Institut Français de la Mode) is a higher education institution specialising in the textile, fashion, luxury and design industries, based in Paris, France.

Join this course

Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.

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  • Access to this course for 6 weeks

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  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • A print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible

Unlimited

$189.99 for one year

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year

Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.

Available until 22 November 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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