juliana-chow-conde-nast-college-fashion-design-vogue-summer-blog-lifestyle-london-2016You may have noticed from my Instagram feed that I have travelled to London, a bunch of time last year. The reason is that I have thought about moving here for quite some time and, well, it finally happened. From Soho to Vogue – let me explain it all.

My wanderlust gene has always left me restless. I knew from a young age that there was more to this world than the city I grew up in. Travelling is a way for me to explore another part of the world, learn from different cultures, and overall, become wiser on the people and possibilities out there.

After graduating my International Business Baccalaureate in Copenhagen, I knew I wanted to do absolutely anything to be able to take my bachelor’s degree abroad. Firstly, to challenge myself to live in another city on my own, and secondly, because Copenhagen is not a fashion capital that has the level of fashion education to fit my needs. I have always been very self-aware of my passions and skillsets. I launched my blog when I was only 14, and still, to this day, I know that fashion and digital media is what drives me.

After graduating in 2015, I took a gap year to focus on blogging, freelancing, and research my way to find the best university and degree to fit my passions. Fun fact: I am overly ambitious, and I do not settle for less. And that’s where it all began.

From New York to Florence to London…

In Fall 2015 I travelled to New York to, firstly, explore the States for the first time, because visiting New York has been on my bucket list for years. I also went there to visit a handful of universities that I could only dream of attending, with Columbia University being my favourite. The city was a dream, but the tuition fees and living expenses were insanely higher than in Europe.

In Spring 2016, I flew to Florence to visit the fashion college Polimoda. I fell in love with the city, and I could actually see myself living there. I am a quarter Italian, I have always wanted to master the Italian language to make my grandmother proud. Polimoda offers a Business of Fashion undergraduate degree, which caught my interest. I was immediately accepted upon my interview at the campus. However, because of the lack of course structure that the course is stretched over four years, I decided it was not for me. IED Instituto Europeo di Design was another opportunity fell into my lap, while I was in Florence. During my interview, I was recommended their Fashion Marketing undergraduate degree in Milan, as their Florence department mostly offers short courses, which was not what I was after.

I had generally heard stories about the unstructured education system in Italy, and since many of the institutions did not offer Bachelor Honours degrees, as in England, I was scared that my degree would not be as valid when applying for jobs in the future.

This all led me to London. I applied to several universities, including London College of Fashion, Central Saint Martins, Regents University and London College of Communication.

Central Saint Martins is the leading fashion college in the world, so I was naturally thrilled when I was invited for an interview for their BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Promotion. The interview process was strict, and I was not allowed to go through my portfolio as I intended. During my interview, the course turned out to be completely different than I thought, despite the course description online. The course was focused on art and photography and did not consist of academic marketing or business learning, which were my focus points. That is not to say that Central Saint Martins is not an amazing opportunity for anyone who is considering applying, but it was obviously just too creative for my taste and skillset.

I was also accepted into London College of Communication’s BA (Hons) Magazine Journalism and Publishing and Regent University’s BA (Hons) Fashion Marketing and as I was having difficulties deciding between the two something magical happened.

During a night out in Copenhagen, a friend of mine suggested that I look into Condé Nast College of Fashion and Design and its courses. I had never heard of the college before, but I knew that the publication was behind global magazines, such as Vogue, Glamour, Vanity Fair, Condé Nast Traveller, WIRED and GQ magazine and that immediately sparked my interest. It turned out that the college only recently opened in 2013, and that this Fall they would for the first time run a two-year BA (Hons) Fashion Communication.

I was ecstatic! A two-year BA degree from one of the leading fashion institutions in the world sounded like a dream, and it meant that I would be able to kickstart my career one year earlier than expected. When I found out that they had a summer course a week from when I first heard about the college, I took the leap – booked my tickets and a place to stay – to see what Condé Nast College was all about.

A leap of faith

The summer of 2017 was one of the best summers of my life. I was so nervous on the first day of the 4-week Vogue Intensive Summer Course, but I quickly overcame that when I met the other students, who in their own way, reminded me so much of myself – passionate to break into the industry with big dreams and ideas.

It was an incredibly inspiring month, and it left me wanting more. On the last day, I had an interview with the Academic Director, and I was accepted to the BA course on the spot.

Studying at Condé Nast College

I am currently halfway through the degree, and I am very satisfied with the course. I deeply appreciate the industry insight that the college can offer (from industry speakers, like Tory Burch, Lucinda Chambers and Nathalie Massenet, to name a few), as well as our knowledgeable tutors, who prepare us for entering the fashion industry.

The projects are often in collaboration with recognised fashion companies (our most recent ones have been in collaboration with Manolo Blahnik and Vogue Arabia), where representatives from the company pitch us the task.

Because the course is broad in the sense that you are taught every aspect of fashion communication (journalism, photography, graphic design, styling, publishing, marketing, entrepreneurship and more!) you get the opportunity to specialise in two module options. I have chosen journalism and publishing, as these modules are most reflective of my skillsets and aspirations the most.

During the end of the academic year, we are asked to find a Fashion Industry Placement. I just completed my internship at Vogue International, which I will tell you more about very soon.

I am excited for my final year, and what the future has to bring. I can’t wait to continue to share my journey with you.