London-based Business of Fashion has released a series of free online courses in fashion called BoF Education. It includes articles and videos by founder and CEO Imran Amed and other prominent figures organized into four courses: Fashion Business Basics, Fashion Marketing & Communications, Fashion History, and Fashion Entrepreneurship. Each course, which has no grading, quizzing, or certification, will take about an hour and a half to complete.
Fashion Business Basics includes sections on whether the fashion business is right for you, how to write a business plan, a video from James Long about creating brand awareness, and a video from Zoë Jordan. More is in the works, including material covering e-commerce, production, sales, design, and development.
Fashion Marketing and Communications includes public relations, influencer marketing, experiential marketing, content marketing, and marketing to millenials. Fashion History covers famous names such as Coco Chanel. Fashion Entrepreneurship has sections that teach starting out and early traction, gaining scale, business pivots, and values and motivation.
The first article of many in-depth offerings asks the question, “Is fashion education selling a false dream?” as part of a series on the State of Fashion Education 2015. Its caption reads:
How are education institutions around the world preparing the next generation of leaders who will drive our inustry? In this special in-depth briefing, BoF examines the state of fashion education, with expert analysis, opinions and contributions from across the fashion spectrum.
The website also includes an interactive Fashion A-Z dictionary by Camilla Morton and a section devoted to finding fashion careers.
Sponsors of the courses include River Island, The Communication Store, and designers Zoë Jordan and James Long, reports Dhani Mau of Fashionista.
Naomi Lugo of the Examiner quoted Amed on the purpose of offering basic courses in the fashion education sector:
We hope that BoF Education will aid prospective students in making informed choices about pursuing higher education in fashion; act as a tool for universities and colleges to improve their education offerings; and serve as a resource for the wider industry to engage in a discussion about the critical importance of fashion education.
Amed, who founded the Business of Fashion website in 2007, teaches the only fashion business course at fashion school Central Saint Martins. BoF Education has a resource ranking traditional fashion schools as well, ranking Central Saint Martins as number one for 4-year degrees and second for master’s degrees.
Accessing the course is free, but to unlock the entire website, users must sign up for BoF’s newsletter, writes Kelsey Drain of the Fashion Times.