Inside London's Conde Nast College


(Conde Nast College) Does this look like your college experience?

Earlier this season, Conde Nast International, which is based in London, opened the doors to the company's first-ever institution of higher learning. Welcome to Conde Nast College, where aspiring fashion workers can take foundation or certificate courses in fashion—that's fashion, in general.

The college recently welcomed its first-ever fashion certificate class to its Soho headquarters and the Independent stopped by to check it out—and speak to some students. Here are five things we learned from the inside report:

1. Looking good is par for the course, highly encouraged, and reinforced by strategic mirror placement through the building:
The entrance hall is dominated by mirrors, which create the illusion of a large, well-lit space. As I stand in the centre of the room, surrounded by reflections of my unkempt self, I realise the mirrors are also a gentle reminder to students not to turn up to school in holed jeans or a stained blouse.
2. The two courses are much more expensive than the average college/university in the UK. The 10-week certificate costs $10,000 in tuition alone and the year-long foundation course will commence this fall and will cost $36,560—again, tuition only—at current exchange rates.

3. The kids who go there are really really nice. (To be fair, they haven't actuallystarted working in fashion yet... just kidding, fashion people are SO NICE.)
I'm forced to eat humble pie when I discover the students are every bit as earnest and hopeful as I was when I started my philosophy degree. Aged between 18 and 32, there's a real sense of camaraderie among them.
4. Every student is loaned an iPad for the duration of the course.

5. Going to the Conde Nast College doesn't guarantee you a job at Conde Nast, sorry.

"They can apply in the same way as everybody else, but they won't get special dispensation," says head of school Susie Forbes. "It's really important not to make a promise to someone about an internship or a job because people start buying the course for the internship and using us as a stepping stone."
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