A day at Condè Nast College of Fashion & Design

Harmony Brown-Ali reflects on the Condè Nast College of Fashion and Design Insight Day, as part of the Mayor’s Fund for London Access Aspiration programme
Entrance to Condè Nast College of Fashion & Design, open door and staircase
13th December 2023

One formidable force associated with style and flair is Condè Nast, located in the enchanted realm where imagination and luxury meet. Lying at the nexus of fashion and journalism, Condè Nast College of Fashion and Design Insight Day provides an intimate inside look at one of the globe’s greatest media companies.

My name is Harmony Brown-Ali, and I took part in the Condè Nast College of Fashion and Design Insight Day. It was an inspiring and fascinating day! From the moment I stepped into the stylish corridors, I felt like I was diving into the heartbeat of the publishing world which is an industry that I am so very keen to explore. I currently study English Literature and Creative Writing at University and am keen to enter the sector upon graduation.

All about the audience

First thing first: a recurrent topic that ran across the course of the morning was the impact of storytelling.  Our wonderful speaker, Hannah Shakir, Senior Lecturer in Fashion Media & Editor, Condé Nast College, was captivating in both teaching and explaining the publishing industry. Hannah emphasised that creating storylines via fashion, photography and style that connect with viewers was more important than simply writing words on a page.

The significance of design within the media was highlighted by investigating how visual elements improve communication and engage the audience which I found quite interesting. Hannah underlined the value of being authentic and developing an individual style, which is a lesson that transcends magazine glossy pages.  The way that creativity and understanding were integrated during the production process was amazing. The Insight Day focused on the financial and business elements of fashion in addition to its visual components. Examining areas like marketing tactics, brand management, and the changing retail environment demonstrated the school’s dedication to generating competent people capable of navigating the intricacies of the fashion industry. It takes more than just producing content to effectively connect with your audience.

Access to insiders

The teaching members’ enthusiasm was infectious. It was clear that they were passionate about teaching and working in fashion and were committed to developing the future generation of fashion employees, which inspired me a lot throughout the morning. Important networking opportunities with experts such as Zoe Souter, Head of Careers & Stakeholder Engagement, as well as, Olivia Lower, Social Media Manager at Vogue, were made possible by the event which made it even more worthwhile. The opportunity to network with experts and industry insiders emphasised the collaborative nature of the fashion business and fostered a sense of community which made me more excited to venture into the world of fashion journalism even more and has given me the opportunity to meet new people.

Olivia Lower, a social media manager at Vogue, shared a fascinating anecdote about the digital world. Her talk on using online platforms and social media to distribute material was enlightening. It takes more than merely following trends to remain ahead of the curve and produce material that flows effortlessly into the constantly changing internet landscape. The Condè Nast speakers made it clear that collaboration is an essential aspect of journalism, and I found that to be extremely fascinating.  The collaboration between several departments such as editorial, design, and marketing, illustrated the amazing effect that results from the union of creative forces. It reaffirmed the notion that a publication is a collaborative masterpiece rather than only the result of one person’s editorial genius. The focus on flexibility made a significant impact. The capacity to adapt to change is essential in a field that is always changing. The significance of adaptability in the face of difficulties was emphasised by the Insight Day, which covered topics including changing content strategy and handling technology changes which I found very interesting.

Remembering what it’s all about

The day would not be finished without acknowledging the importance of aesthetics, of course. My favourite part of the morning was when we were instructed to use coloured paper and an assortment of magazines to make a mood board for the photoshoot we wanted to conduct! A great addition to our day was a pamphlet with the course details and a gift bag containing the most recent issue of Vogue magazine.

Thinking back on Condè Nast College of Fashion and Design Insight Day, I’m reminded that publishing is a dynamic dance involving innovation, flexibility, and teamwork. I am more motivated than ever to enter the field. The day was an assortment of insights that provided a thorough overview of the publishing industry, and I would heartily endorse it to everyone. It was fantastic, and it has just made me appreciate fashion journalism even more only fuelling my passion further.

Access Aspiration

Harmony attended the Condè Nast College of Fashion and Design Insight Day as part of the Mayor’s Fund for London Access Aspiration programme. Access Aspiration addresses this imbalance by creating more visibility of career pathways for 16-18-year-olds from low-income and underrepresented backgrounds who are making key decisions about their future but struggling to link with employers. Find out more here.