My first year as a BA (Hons) Fashion Communication Undergraduate at Conde Nast College

Charlotte Coates interviewing Natasha Pearlman at Condé Nast HQ in New York

From industry talks by Victoria Beckham to interviewing Natasha Pearlman, Executive Editor of GLAMOUR on the stage at Condé Nast HQ, read on to find out just what it’s like to study on our BA (Hons) Fashion Communication & Industry Practice as student Charlotte Coates reflects on her whirlwind of a first year.


Reflecting on my first year as a Fashion Communications Undergraduate at Condé Nast College, I can’t help but feel excited and nostalgic as I embark on my second and final year. This pivotal moment inspires me to share some of the remarkable achievements and experiences that have shaped my academic journey so far. 

Charlotte Coates


Fashion Culture in London 


My first year kicked off with an exploration of London’s rich cultural tapestry. Nestled in the heart of the city, Condé Nast College’s location made sure that such exhibitions were within reach. From ‘Africa Fashion’ and ‘Known and Strange’ at the V&A to The Design Museum’s ‘Objects of Desire: Surrealism and Design’, these outings not only served as inspiration to projects but also provided an opportunity to form connections with my fellow students. 


One of the aspects I treasure most of my degree is its versatility. It allows us to explore a broad variety of disciplines and encourages us to specialise in our preferred creative mediums whether this be photography or styling, writing or filmmaking. 


Having previously pursued film studies, I enjoyed the opportunity to create a series of short films. This not only flexed my creative muscle but also enriched my portfolio, setting me apart from other applicants. One standout from this was a short film I created called ‘The Death of Religion’ which explored the diminishing presence of major religions in contemporary media. Filmed and edited within a 24-hour time limit, it provided me the opportunity to experiment with typography and layered video techniques. 

BA (Hons) Fashion Communication students

When Victoria Beckham Came to Class


Another unforgettable highlight was the privilege of having Victoria Beckham as one of our Vogue Education Presents speakers. In conversation with British Vogue’s Anders Christian Madsen, Victoria shared candid insights into her Paris show, her design process and imparted invaluable advice. 


Among the modules I studied last year, trend forecasting and fashion theory stood out. Through this module I found a keen interest in sustainability and inclusivity, which have remained central to my studies. I found I thoroughly enjoyed long-form academic writing and learned much about PESTLE analysis. 


I was surprised by the extent to which I was pushed outside my comfort zone. An example of this was my foray into documentary photography during the Fire Brigade Union strike for better pay. Documentary photography has fascinated me since I met a war photographer, yet was a discipline I never saw myself executing. I’m immensely proud of the photographs I took, and they continue to be a source of personal pride. 

Charlotte Coates at Condé Nast
Image by Gabriel Summerfield

Behind the Scenes at London Fashion Week


One of the reasons I chose this university is because of its unparalleled industry connections. During London Fashion Week in February, I had the opportunity to work behind the scenes as a dresser at the Ahluwalia show. This eye-opening experience gave me a unique insight into the intricate dance that underpins a fashion show. 


Visiting Condé Nast HQ in New York


Finally, one of the crowning moments of my first year was the opportunity to interview Natasha Pearlman at One World Trade Center during our university trip to New York. She kindly shared valuable insights into her work for the PaidLeave campaign, her involvement in the Glamour Women’s History Month Brunch with Kamala Harris, and her passion for telling untold female stories. 

Interning at Anya Hindmarch

This summer, I had the opportunity to intern at Anya Hindmarch, in the social media and e-commerce teams. During my internship, I learned an incredible deal about PR send-outs, got to work with a celebrity relations specialist and contributed to the brand’s Universal Bag campaigns.

This past year has been a thrilling journey of education and self-discovery. As I dive into my last year, I can’t help but feel excited to see what adventures are to come! 


By Charlotte Coates


Find out more about our two-year intensive degree programme below… 

BA (Hons) Fashion Communication & Industry Practice