MA in Global Communications Fashion Track

Paris is at the center of the multi-trillion dollar global fashion industry. The Fashion Track within the MA in Global Communications takes advantage of this privileged position to provide on-location, in-depth study of this hybrid field undergoing exciting and fast transformation.

Fashion has always been a passion of mine, but AUP has the perfect program to turn my passion into a career.

Alexandra Swies Alumna '14
Traditional to cutting-edge

Graduating from the Fashion Track you will have developed a deep insight into the fashion industry and the skills to build a career in traditional fashion communications or one of the expanding, future-focused aspects of the industry including:

  • the marketing of global luxury brands
  • the rise of ethical fashion, such as cause-related marketing, Labor Behind the Label and sustainable consumption
  • NGO fashion and textile production for sustainable development
  • cultural implications of globalized fashion
  • the digital revolution in fashion journalism and marketing including blogs and websites
  • fashion centers and cities worldwide

Throughout the degree, you will have the opportunity to further engage with specific issues alongside visiting professionals and researchers at the top of their fields. Speakers have included couture designers, brand managers, journalists and PR specialists to discuss topics from trend forecasting to artistic 3D fashion space design to sustainable fashion.

A Hybrid Program

Balancing creativity, communication skills and business insight, the program offers a comprehensive education within this diverse industry. As a student you will have the chance to expand your understanding of subjects including:

  • Fashion Journalism and PR – join a growing profession in the digital age
  • Paris Fashion and Design Template – discover the many locations in Paris important to fashion history and present day fashion spaces
  • The Fashion System – understand the supply chain and the business side of fashion
  • Fashion Theory – understand the meaning behind wearing clothes
Coursework and Research Masters

The MA in in Global Communications, Fashion Track can be completed over three semesters, including the summer. The length of the internship or thesis may vary, however – many students choose to take additional time for these components.

The program offers an extensive range of classes blending theory and practice. You also have a choice of practicums in sustainable development, NGOs, or Branding and courses in PR and journalism.

Alongside the core modules of the Global Communications course, students taking the Fashions Track will choose from additional electives on topics including:

CM5002 Brands And Belief

This course examines the evolution of critical advertising and brand analysis with a particular emphasis on learning how people come to identify with and believe in brands. It includes an analysis of how brands work as systems for producing differences between themselves by creating imaginary possible worlds associated with brands. Students learn tools of semiotic and linguistic analysis in analyzing brands and how they relate to each other. Each student completes a communications audit of a brand examining all aspects of its communicative strategies from package design to employee behavior, clothing, architecture, and shop design. The course will also examine how branding now has extended beyond consumer brands to such areas as NGOs and politics (political parties as brands and politicians as brands).

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CM5005 Identity Formation In A Transnat'l World

This course examines the theories of self and identity formation in a globalized world where traditional techniques of identity formation coming from religions and schools and family are being supplemented or changed by techniques coming from other cultures and countries. Some of these ways of self-identification are influenced by consumerism, advertising and media. Some are influenced by traditional physical and moral training or globalized martial arts. Some are influenced by the implantation of psychological and therapeutic techniques from the West. Others are linked to the circulation of techniques of self-formation from yoga, tai chi, and kabala that have been taken out of their traditional contexts and globalized, mediatized and modernized. This course looks at people who seek to make and define themselves in various different local contexts. It will also examine the rise of religious fundamentalism, its appeal to youth, and how it uses media. The course also looks at the role of media, institutions and advertising consumer culture in this process.

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CM5017 Fashion Journalism

This course examines the many facets of communicating fashion to the outside world. We shall analyze the ways the various media: print, visual, and new, cover fashion. The role of PR in facilitating access to coverage will also be examined. Fashion journalism is undergoing a major shift with the advent of new technology. In order to understand this revolution, we shall consider the larger context in which fashion coverage is being played out. We shall look at newspapers, magazines, TV, movies and the web. How fashion can be presented: as spectacle, as image, as art, as craft, and as a commercial, industrial entity will be given consideration. An introduction to the major players and characters in the fashion world will be also part of this course.

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CM5033 Media, Stuff & Values

This course will first define essential aspects of the material and analyse different theoretical approaches to the study of material culture. We will then investigate how ‘stuff’of material culture (landscapes, objects, clothing, paraphernalia of the everyday environment) mediates contemporary identity in the context of a globalised culture and examine how the interplay between design, form, and function is represented by media as embodying cultural value. We will reflect on the nature of consumption, consider the politics of value of commodities, and explore how media are transformed into signs of global material culture.

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CM5037 The Museum As Medium

The origins of the contemporary "museum" can be seen in the rage for collecting unique and unusual objects which characterized the Renaissance and the age of exploration. Possession of such objects conveyed not only the power and wealth of the collector, but also displayed the collector's intellectual and aesthetic preferences to a selected audience, thus simultaneously confirming the identities of both collector and spectators as members of a privileged group. In the Age of Enlightenment and the Encyclopedia, the classification and organization of facts and objects - both intellectual property and material culture - gave birth to the concept of the modern 'museum'. This course investigates the construction and communication of national, cultural, and community identities and diverse definitions of heritage through the medium of the contemporary museum, where material culture is exhibited and organized to express verbal and visual narratives that evoke particular interpretations of history and values. Lectures and discussions will alternate with museum visits in which museum display and techniques of exhibition are identified and analysed. Issues of visitor participation, the museum experience, digital tools, websites and virtual visits will be considered. Several guest lectures by professionals will expand upon contemporary museum issues. Please note that an additional fee will be charged for this course.

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CM5060 Visual Culture, Theory & Communication

This course considers the physical and cultural conditions of vision and viewing within today’s globalized media environment through a transcultural survey of theories and contexts. It presents the act of seeing and the creation of visual objects as activities balancing beliefs in objectivity with ideas of free choice and subjectivity within the circulation of visual information. Consumer packaging, eco-tourism, plastic surgery, bodybuilding, theme park design, subway mapping and screen formatting are some of the subjects to be considered. Students will learn how visual theories extend across cultures, how visual practices shape our identity and environment in fundamental ways, and how vision functions in conjunction with the other senses.

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CM5063 Sustainable Development Practicum

How does communication work as local government bodies, civil-society actors and NGOs put together sustainable development initiatives? How can communication be made to work better? Cutting across disciplines, this practicum allows students to see individuals, groups and communities in collaboration (and sometimes conflict) in a South Asian context marked by the 2004 tsunami. Based in the international eco-community of Auroville (Tamil Nadu, south-east India), students will explore substantive areas including micro-credit, health care with special reference to HIV/Aids, socially responsible business and environmental management. On-site visits and team-work are central to the course, leading to the production of multi-media reports on the interface between communication, development and sustainability. This course has an extra course fee - to guage an estimated cost, the fee was approximately 1600 euros.

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CM5066 Advanced Branding Practicum

Brands, their creation, their identity and their management derive from a set of disciplines and principles that have been developed over the past 60 years. These disciplines are the architectural underpinnings for successful branding and they apply equally across categories of products and services and geographically across countries. The Branding Practicum will instruct students in these disciplines and principles and ask students to apply them to the creation of a new international brand in a category of their choice. Students will analyze a chosen category, create a new brand proposition for it, develop the branding identity for the new brand including name, logo, selling proposition and more. They will also create a global marketing strategy for the brand.

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CM5067 Advertising Practicum

The development of effective advertising is an intellectual and creative process that has evolved over the past century and includes the disciplines of research, targeting, strategy, strategy derived creative execution and evaluation. Today, the form and content of advertising is changing as the digital age opens new channels and types of messages. The Advertising Practicum will instruct students in the real world creation of effective advertising. Students will learn “the creation process” from start to finish, develop strategies and create advertising campaigns. Finally, they will compete to win an international brand’s advertising account by solving a strategic and creative challenge facing that brand just as it is done in the advertiser/ advertising agency industry worldwide. At the course’s end, students should have completed an advertising exercise that they can present to future employers as an aid to securing a job of their choice.

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CM5069 Internat'l Public Relations Practicum

Public relations (PR) is now an integral part of everyday life. From politicians to playgroups, it is an important tool that can mean the difference between success and failure of a project or product. Effective PR is a key requirement of most companies and organisations and this course is designed to provide students with the necessary background knowledge to allow them to begin a career in this area and/or to improve their general business communication skills. The course outlines different types, practices, and principles of public relations. It looks at key frameworks and developments in PR theory and practice, offering a straightforward combination of theory and case studies. In an increasingly global context, it is also imperative to take into account the international and intercultural perspectives of PR.

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CM5070 Media, Gender & Globalization

This class studies in detail the relations between media, gender and sexuality in a complex global environment. We will build on a theoretical foundation of gender in terms of embodiment, representation, consumption and institutions, and apply various methods of analysis to a range of global media. We will examine how gender enters debates around globalization, including anti-globalization movements, and how constructions of gender influence the mediation of global issues such as nationality, war and terrorism, and transnational flows of people, culture and capital.

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CM5080 Visual Design Practicum

This course is an intensive introduction to the basics of design principles for a variety of communications strategies. Through hands-on lab time with step-by-step instruction, students will learn the fundamentals of working with Adobe Creative Suite in order to create their own brand and its accompanying visuals. Presentations by professionals working in various fields of design and communications will familiarize students with their first-hand experience. Design literacy is essential to all areas of communication, whether in traditional print, digital media, websites or video. This class will focus specifically on the relationship between image and text, providing students with a solid foundation for any further study of graphics or web design they may wish to undertake in the future, as well as training students to interact effectively with professional designers.. The class will be comprised of lecturers on the fundamentals of design, presentations by and workshops with working professionals, and hands-on lab time to learn practical technical skills as applied to students’ individual branding projects. It suits students who plan to work in advertising, NGOs, branding, global advocacy or any other field of communications. Design literacy is an essential skill, indispensable for the effective communication of any organization’s message. Students will gain appreciation of graphic design; learning how typography color, composition, photography, illustration, etc. work together to produce effective conduits of information.

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