The Global Fashion Concentration at Bunka Gakuen University is such a unique and wonderful journey. The course is very international, offering the chance to learn from instructors and peers with diverse backgrounds. The strength of the program lies in the chance to explore things that are special to Japan — including cultural traditions, field trips, exhibitions, and of course, the world-class fashion and retail industry. However, since it is a young program some challenges are to be expected. The biggest obstacles, personally, were cultural barriers and expectations; with limited guidance and support, the program is best suited to students with independent working styles and strong research/technical skills. That said, I had a great experience with the graduate project. My dissertation explored creativity and meaning-making through cultural heritage crafts; I had the pleasure of conducting fieldwork on location at a beautiful indigo plantation in the mountains of Kanagawa, learning from an indigo expert and working with participants from around the world. After completing the degree, I was hired as a senior trend analyst at a fashion forecasting firm in New York, consulting with major retail clients on fashion and consumer lifestyle trends in North and South America. The global experience and interdisciplinary knowledge gained at Bunka certainly gave me a strong competitive edge. In looking back, the two years spent in Tokyo was well worth it. It was a transformative experience, filled with new insights, unforgettable memories, and lifelong friendships. I would highly recommend the program to anyone looking for a memorable and one-of-a-kind fashion post-grad experience.
— Christine Wu, March 2017 graduate
After completing my BA Honours degree in Fashion Design at Edinburgh College of Art, I wanted to further my studies by doing an MA. Because my graduating collection was heavily inspired by Japanese culture, in particular by kimono construction, pattern, texture and print design, I decided to look for a Fashion Masters course in Japan. The Global Fashion Concentration course allowed me not only to carry on my fashion studies, but also to further my knowledge on Japanese culture, experience it first hand during lessons and workshops at the University and field trips. During the course I was able to attend lectures on kimono design, Japanese textile techniques, architecture, religion, tea ceremony and indigo dyeing workshops. The most rewarding of these experiences was the opportunity to work with weaving and jacquard factories in order to produce unique and personal fabrics for my graduating collection. Once the collection making process started, we also received design collection feedback from a teacher, who is also a fashion designer, through weekly tutorial sessions. Portfolio feedback was also available at a later stage. All of this support and insight from a professional was very rewarding. Furthermore, the course organised special presentations from industry guests, such as visiting professors from Art and Design institutions and design veterans from Yohji Yamamoto brand. Through this contact, I was able to intern at the Yohji Yamamoto atelier during holidays and term time alongside my studies, which has been an incredible once in a lifetime experience.
— Irene D’Antonio, March 2020 graduate